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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Comments on Lehr- und Übungsbuch der deutschen Grammatik, Neubearbeitung, Deutsch-Englisch, A Practice Grammar of German by Hilke Dreyer, Richard Schmitt

Image may differ!
On the bright side, the text is of very good quality with only few spelling errors, accurate definitions and plenty of examples. The most important advantage of the book is that it offers a plethora of exercises both for the beginner and the advanced student. Its colourful design offers an image, which is very pleasant to the reader's eyes. A separate key to the exercises, not written by the authors, is available, but at an extra cost. The book is available in several foreign languages, besides English and Italian.
On the dark side, when compared with other, older school German grammar books such as the venerate Lernergrammatik für Deutsch als Fremdsprache by Lorentz Nieder, there is vital information missing. For instance, when one is trying to build an argument, several words are of the essence, such as Argumentativpartikel. This information is crucial for someone who is preparing to sit for an official German language examination.
All in all, the book offers great help in self study, filling many grammar gaps with explanations, exercising and reference. Therefore, it is highly recommended for those who need to a synoptic grammar introduction or  to master quickly the German language. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Review of Hewlett Packard Pavilion laptop series

HP keys can be faulty
I have used a minimum of three HP laptops, two of them Pavilions, still working. The older one running Windows xp flawlessly, came with many CD's such as drivers, including two CD's with versions of Windows in different languages. On the other hand, the newer one has been rather a disappointment!
Starting from unpacking I found out the printed configuration label mentioning an older memory type, other than the one advertised on their site.  Contacting HP Hellas for several times by phone, to report the error in the configuration, did not yield any result. Instead  filing a written complain at the Consumer protection agency and contacting the HP executive team did. Some weeks later I received a call to  fetch a replacement laptop of similar price.
In that case there were no DVD's at all, neither of drivers nor of operating system,  just an application to record the file images from the hard disk to three or four blank DVD's.  After two years of normal home, non office use, and numerous problems with the NVIDIA graphics adapter drivers, some keyboard keys stopped functioning. The backspace key, the backslash key beneath it and lastly the numerical 7 key. The price of a spare part keyboard in Greece was surprisingly  at least 20 € higher than in Germany and was due to be delivered in more than a month! On the other hand, within  3 working days  I received a new keyboard for  a total of 49 € in Frankfurt am Main. The search for a nearby dealer via the HP search page  returned either businesses which were closed or relocated. Hopefully the online manual for disassembling the laptop was clear enough (although some extra screws were not displayed) to replace it on my own, without paying a visit to a technician, at no extra monetary or time cost.Thus, be ware, it counts from where one places one's spare part order!
All in all, the HP pavilions quality seems to deteriorate in time, the newer models are more fragile and easy to break down. All of them are vulnerable to overheating, which forces the laptop to power  off automatically, so as to prevent any further damage, but leaving the user wondering whether his work has been saved! That applies not only to places with a hot summer Mediterranean climate but also to milder climates, such as Germany. Finally, one matter of essence is the shorter duration of  the HP  one year guarantee, when compared to the competition which offers two years of warranty.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Back to classicism? Zurück zur Klassik. Ein neuer Blick auf das alte Griechenland


Following the trend of discovering ancient Greece is a new exhibition in Frankfurt am Main. More details one can find here:

One step further for those who have been taught some form of Greek at school, is visiting the available online museums of Greece and reading the literature about it:

Nevertheless, people with no knowledge of Greek, ancient or modern, would also benefit by browsing the pictures of the exhibits, just to get a taste of the aesthetics.
Για  δε τους  απανταχού της γης ελληνόφωνους ή της ελληνικής παιδείας μετέχοντες, το υπουργείο παιδείας προσφέρει δωρεάν όλα τα σχολικά βιβλία εδώ.

Finally, the last step would be to see all these with one's naked eyes, by visiting Greece to enjoy the sunny weather and avail oneself of the particularly low hotel prices, attracting potential tourists worldwide.