thistlechaser: (Happier than...)
When I returned home from work, my new Kindle was waiting at my door. Same with the previous Kindle: They just left it at the door, in a public walkway, where anyone could have just walked off with it without notice. Luckily no one did.

In the first moments of using it, I was very unhappy: None of my books had cover images and it was slow as hell to use. Turned out the slow part was the cause of and because of the lack of covers, and soon both issues were fixed. (It had to download 100+ covers, and apparently downloading so much made everything slow.)

My first reaction was that it was cool that it was so small.
My second reaction was that it would be a problem that it's so small.

Unfortunately small ereader means a small screen (duh). I like to keep the text big in an effort to go easy on my eyes, but just using the second largest text size (which is smaller than what I use on my iPad), and I get very little text per page. The largest size is bigger than I need -- luckily, as then you get just a tiny bit of text per page. It's just too bad the second largest is too small.

The other issue is that, unfortunately but understandably, the Kindle feels really, really cheap compared to my iPad. However, as one was $700+ and the other about $150, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. The touch screen doesn't work nearly so well (with the iPad, it's like you're moving it with your brain because it's so responsive), plus even when not downloading something, the Kindle is noticeably slow. Not like AOL dial up slow, but things like my computer, phone, and iPad respond instantly to a tap or a command, there's a slight delay on the Kindle. The delay plus the less responsive touch screen makes it frustrating to use.

Another issue is that it's all black and white. I know it's not reasonable, but I wish sellers would list things an item doesn't have -- like I wouldn't have bought that first Kindle if I had known it didn't have a touchscreen. Color only comes into play when looking at the covers/picking a new book, but it's depressing to not have it.

However, this is only my first day using it. I'm going to finish at least my current book on it (probably the next one as well) to give me a chance to get used to it. Maybe I'll stop noticing the issues. (And speaking of not noticing things, the built-in ads only bugged me once today, with that was with lots of use and playing around with it. I'm pretty sure they won't be an issue.)

Positives to it? It's smaller and lighter, though when using it at home, the iPad's size and weight aren't an issue (away from home is a different story). I can't really think of any other positives other than "It's cool" (though a lot less cool than it would be if it had color...).

---

And on RP! Eeeee! I RPed all night and it was wonderful! I haven't RPed so long and with so many people since... I don't know, sometime back in WoW? Usually scenes with lots of people are rough, but mostly the group broke into smaller conversations with new people coming and going through the evening. I love playing a social butterfly character -- it makes it so easy to ICly meet new people and take part in scenes!

RP seems to go on all day and all night, so I think I'm going to be able to go back to playing daily. So happy! :D And oddly for a large group of RPers on a MMO, no one was bad! I think the worst RPer I encountered today was still at "pretty good" level.

---

I'm loving the current book I'm reading, and the Kindle tells me I'll finish it in about three hours of reading (okay, cool feature there!), so in the next day or two I'll post the review for it. If I don't get to it before Monday, have a good long weekend, all! (Unless you're not in America. In that case, have a good normal weekend, all!)
thistlechaser: (Super Ninjas! (Naruto))
I finally did it. For a couple of years now, I've been thinking about replacing my iPad with a Kindle. I do very little with it other than read (and using the Kindle app, no less), and while there's nothing wrong with the pad when I use it at home, it's too big for sticking into my purse and easy carrying.

Sadly, a few months ago I bought the cheapest Kindle, thinking I'd use it only when I was going out. Unfortunately it doesn't have a touchscreen and is a pain in the ass to use, so I've only used it once or twice and don't want to continue using it.

Still, I'm the cheap frugal type, and if something isn't broken, I don't want to replace it. I paid a lot of money for that pad! Wondering if I misremembered how much I paid for it, I looked it up. Almost exactly four years ago (May 13th, 2010) I bought it for "$700 and change". (First gen iPad, thus the price.) I thought I had paid a thousand for it, so I guess $700 is better. Four years is a lot of use out of something, especially since I use it multiple times a day, right?

The new Kindle, with case, is $170. ($150 + darned $20 of taxes! Drives me insane, all this debate about online stores not having to charge tax, I've ALWAYS had to pay them!) I went with the Paperwhite instead of the Fire because I don't need another tablet -- if I want to use one, I'll still have my iPad.

It looks like the features will be better, which was the tipping point. The Kindle app only shows you the first two lines from the dictionary when you tap on a word -- the Kindle itself shows you the whole page and gives you the option to check the wiki as well. Even more handy, it tracks the words you look up and sets up flashcards so you can make sure you remember them later.

I got the version with "special offers" (ads) to save $20, only because reports I've read said they're very unobtrusive. I hope that was the right decision.
thistlechaser: (Moon)
I've found the only way I can enjoy watching SHIELD. I watch it like I used to "watch" TV: as background noise. Don't really listen to it, don't look at the TV.

Now and then I did pay more attention, and things were so unrealistic. Example: Annoying what's her face hacker was giving a briefing on whatever, sharing all the info she googled. She whined about her security cuff, left. One character said they were being really hard on her. Other responded that she lost their trust. First one: Well with this [briefing] she's come a long way towards earning it back.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over. She did ONE JOB, one basic task that is part of the job they hired her for, and that makes her even an inch more trustworthy? NO. NO IT DOES NOT.

All the dialogue was just so unbelievable too. What's his face, leading man McFighting Fighter said outright he wished the enemy was something he could fight instead of something he didn't understand -- so cliche! The more I listened to it, the more I heard how badly written it was.

I won't even comment on how unrealistic the episode's final action scene was. Gods above, how stupid and unrealistic.

So, I think I've finally given up on this show. I may continue to "watch" it, but I won't watch it.

The Walking Dead. I'd be so done with this show if I thought the change that happened this week was permanent. Cut for spoilers for this week's ep. )

I feel very disgruntled with TV at the moment.

Kindle: I've been going back and forth on getting one for years. I have an iPad that I do all my reading on, but it's very big. Taking it when I have to go somewhere is a pain -- it doesn't fit in my purse at all.

Someone who is no longer on my friends list (for unrelated reasons) told me a Kindle was basically no different than an iPad when it came to ebooks. I used that information as part of my decision-making for buying it. Unfortunately it was very, very wrong. I assume that former friend had no idea what an iPad was or what it does.

Kindles do not have a touchscreen*. iPads do. That's a massive difference. The Kindle controls are so clunky that I feel like I've gone back 20 years tech-wise. I know I shouldn't be surprised, since the Kindle cost about $90 and my iPad over $900**, but I wish I hadn't gone into it with the expectation that they were anything alike. (*You can buy a Kindle/touchpad hybrid, but the default Kindle does not. **First gen iPad. They're a lot cheaper now.)

It is a lot smaller though, which was one of the reasons I bought it. It's about the third of the size of my iPad, and could easily fit in a purse:

(Forgive the glare. Also, I have no idea what that line is on the iPad screen, but it's not a crack.)

So, I think I'm going to keep using my iPad for reading at home. It's just too nice and easy to use. But, when I have to take my reading with me, I'll grab the Kindle.

I should say, if one doesn't compare it to an iPad, it's a nice little device. It feels great to hold, it's tiny (yet a good size for reading from). I keep coming back to the limitations though. I could read from my iPad in the dark, but the Kindle has no backlighting. That same ex-friend said the Kindle is easier to read from (text clarity), but I find that's not at all the case. ...I keep trying to write about the positives of it, yet I keep coming back to the negatives.

Let's leave it at this: If you're trying to decide between an iPad and a Kindle, and money isn't an issue, get the iPad. If you want an ereader you don't have to pay hundreds for, get the Kindle (or some other dedicated ereader). If you're deciding based on features, the iPad. Ease of carrying around, the Kindle.
thistlechaser: (Cat nose)
Though I had said I'd never buy a dead-tree version of a book again, when I was reminded that [livejournal.com profile] ms_manna's The Administration books had new original stories in them, I made an exception.

While I do so totally love the new stories, reading them in a physical book was just such a... lesser experience than I'm now used to. Simple things like being able to glance at the top of the page to check the time. Less simple things like being able to tap on a word to see what it means (I hadn't realized how often I do that, to confirm a word that I've learned through context alone.) And basic things, like text in an e-reader being so so so much easier on the eyes. The books were all large paperbacks, and I never like to break the spine on books, so I couldn't open the page fully straight. All these things I just never noticed when I only read physical books!

I mistakenly assumed all seven books had a new story in them, so I bought them all. While I'm more than happy to support a writer I like, I now have seven new books on my bookshelf. I no longer see my physical books with joy, they now just look like boxes of weight that will have to be hauled along when I move to a new apartment.

One day all books will become available as ebooks, and when that day comes, I will happily donate the last of my physical ones to the library.

I know some (most?) people still like physical books better, but if everything I want to read for the rest of my life comes out in electronic form, I'll happily never buy a physical book again.
thistlechaser: (Default)
I just finished Curse of Chalion (Best Book EVER, seriously!), and I went to start the next one, Paladin of Souls, but I've been thwarted by my Kindle app. As an "ebook extra", there's a glossary of terms, characters, places, all that. That's fine and dandy, I don't need it but I can ignore it.

Problem is, every time one of the terms from the glossary appear in the book, it's a blue underlined link. Mind you, all the main characters' names, all the major places, all that is in the glossary, so I have a blue link in almost every sentence. It's amazingly distracting.

Is there a way to turn that off? home (in Kindle) -> info -> settings has only three options listed, and none relate to this.
thistlechaser: (Default)
I just finished Curse of Chalion (Best Book EVER, seriously!), and I went to start the next one, Paladin of Souls, but I've been thwarted by my Kindle app. As an "ebook extra", there's a glossary of terms, characters, places, all that. That's fine and dandy, I don't need it but I can ignore it.

Problem is, every time one of the terms from the glossary appear in the book, it's a blue underlined link. Mind you, all the main characters' names, all the major places, all that is in the glossary, so I have a blue link in almost every sentence. It's amazingly distracting.

Is there a way to turn that off? home (in Kindle) -> info -> settings has only three options listed, and none relate to this.
thistlechaser: (Default)
I love my iPad. It's a great e-reader and it's an awful one. One of the reasons it's great is that if you run into a word you don't know, you can just tap it and you'll get a little popup box at the bottom containing the definition as well as a link to wiki and an online dictionary in case you want more info.

I'm at work, reading a book for work, and came across an unfamiliar word. Stochastic ("stochastic design"). I actually moved my hand, nearly tapped the word, before I caught myself. So inefficient to have to come back to my computer to look it up!

On the other hand, there are darned fewer distractions while reading from a real book. I'm currently reading a really enjoyable book at home (The Curse of Chalion), but I never get more than a couple pages read before something distracts me -- at the moment it's Angry Birds. I liked that game enough that it became only the second app I've ever paid money for. It's fun, it's entertaining, it's so distracting! If it's not Angry Birds it's another game. Or the pad's net connection. Or the graphic TV guide. Or just puttering around looking for new entertaining apps.

Oh, and stochastic means random, if you're like me and hadn't run into the word before.
thistlechaser: (Default)
I love my iPad. It's a great e-reader and it's an awful one. One of the reasons it's great is that if you run into a word you don't know, you can just tap it and you'll get a little popup box at the bottom containing the definition as well as a link to wiki and an online dictionary in case you want more info.

I'm at work, reading a book for work, and came across an unfamiliar word. Stochastic ("stochastic design"). I actually moved my hand, nearly tapped the word, before I caught myself. So inefficient to have to come back to my computer to look it up!

On the other hand, there are darned fewer distractions while reading from a real book. I'm currently reading a really enjoyable book at home (The Curse of Chalion), but I never get more than a couple pages read before something distracts me -- at the moment it's Angry Birds. I liked that game enough that it became only the second app I've ever paid money for. It's fun, it's entertaining, it's so distracting! If it's not Angry Birds it's another game. Or the pad's net connection. Or the graphic TV guide. Or just puttering around looking for new entertaining apps.

Oh, and stochastic means random, if you're like me and hadn't run into the word before.
thistlechaser: (Default)
M-51 ENGINEERS FIELD BAG may be the coolest bag I have ever owned. So many pockets! What a cool size and shape! I'm in love with it! And (key point) the iPad fits nicely inside it!

One and only (big) downside: The bag weighs five pounds empty! Even empty, it's a lot heavier than the heaviest (packed/full) bag I've ever carried for daily use, including ones with paperback books and lunch in them.

It's so very cool though, I love the size, the shape, and all the endless pockets and pouches!

I might try it for a week, see if it grows on me.
thistlechaser: (Default)
M-51 ENGINEERS FIELD BAG may be the coolest bag I have ever owned. So many pockets! What a cool size and shape! I'm in love with it! And (key point) the iPad fits nicely inside it!

One and only (big) downside: The bag weighs five pounds empty! Even empty, it's a lot heavier than the heaviest (packed/full) bag I've ever carried for daily use, including ones with paperback books and lunch in them.

It's so very cool though, I love the size, the shape, and all the endless pockets and pouches!

I might try it for a week, see if it grows on me.
thistlechaser: (Default)
For a fun little toy, the darned pad sure does bring a lot of annoyance into my life.

I had seen this as a joke around long before I bought it myself. How the heck does one carry the iPad? It's smaller than a magazine, so using something like a backpack (or, as it turns out, a messenger bag) is way overkill. It's way too big to fit into a purse.

I bought this messenger bag intending it to be just for the pad, but it's much too big as well. It's a really, really nice bag, I'm not going to return it, but it's way too big for day-to-day work use.

This Engineers' field bag military bag would be a better fit, but do I want to buy another bag for it? (Edit: I think I will. Looks like it'd be a good fit...) (Edit edit: Or maybe not. Olive drab is covered by Prime, so zero shipping. If I want the black (which I do), it's $10 more for shipping...)

As there's so little reception at work, I haven't even been taking it with me lately. Instead I try to read my LJ friends list at home before I go, then just ignore that the net exists while I'm at work.

The few times I take it, I've been carrying it with no bag (just its own "skin tight" case). This worries me though, as I have way more chance of dropping it. Supposedly you can drop it without issue, but I don't want to test that.

When I can get a signal with it, it's the best little toy ever. I took it with me to a doctor's appointment yesterday and they had free wifi. Made the wait seem like nothing at all!

I've googled, and it seems some people are sewing their own bags for it. I've not done any sewing in ages, but that actually seems like it might be the best option...
thistlechaser: (Default)
For a fun little toy, the darned pad sure does bring a lot of annoyance into my life.

I had seen this as a joke around long before I bought it myself. How the heck does one carry the iPad? It's smaller than a magazine, so using something like a backpack (or, as it turns out, a messenger bag) is way overkill. It's way too big to fit into a purse.

I bought this messenger bag intending it to be just for the pad, but it's much too big as well. It's a really, really nice bag, I'm not going to return it, but it's way too big for day-to-day work use.

This Engineers' field bag military bag would be a better fit, but do I want to buy another bag for it? (Edit: I think I will. Looks like it'd be a good fit...) (Edit edit: Or maybe not. Olive drab is covered by Prime, so zero shipping. If I want the black (which I do), it's $10 more for shipping...)

As there's so little reception at work, I haven't even been taking it with me lately. Instead I try to read my LJ friends list at home before I go, then just ignore that the net exists while I'm at work.

The few times I take it, I've been carrying it with no bag (just its own "skin tight" case). This worries me though, as I have way more chance of dropping it. Supposedly you can drop it without issue, but I don't want to test that.

When I can get a signal with it, it's the best little toy ever. I took it with me to a doctor's appointment yesterday and they had free wifi. Made the wait seem like nothing at all!

I've googled, and it seems some people are sewing their own bags for it. I've not done any sewing in ages, but that actually seems like it might be the best option...
thistlechaser: (Default)
I decided I need a wireless router. I like playing with my pad while sitting at my computer, but I feel bad using 3G minutes when I have a connection right there. (And yes, my computer can do anything the iPad can, but the pad is so much fun! I love scrolling through webpages by touching them!)

So! This router will be arriving tomorrow. (Have I mentioned lately how much I love Amazon Prime? Free two-day shipping or $4 to ship any item overnight.) I've looked around online, it doesn't look like it'll be too hard to set up (hopefully!). And, unlike other computer-upgrade things, if it doesn't work I can just hook my computer right back to the old modem and I won't be down (hopefully!).

Plus... now that I think about it, I think Tivo and Wii wanted a wireless connection. More good reasons!

Related: It's darned hard to find a messenger bag. I went to office supply stores and Target, but couldn't find one (there were a couple at Target, but they were either god-awful colors, wrong size, or had Twilight crap on them). I would have rather touched it and seen it first, but I ended up buying one online. My backpack sucks for carrying the pad around -- it's way too big and bulky.
thistlechaser: (Default)
I decided I need a wireless router. I like playing with my pad while sitting at my computer, but I feel bad using 3G minutes when I have a connection right there. (And yes, my computer can do anything the iPad can, but the pad is so much fun! I love scrolling through webpages by touching them!)

So! This router will be arriving tomorrow. (Have I mentioned lately how much I love Amazon Prime? Free two-day shipping or $4 to ship any item overnight.) I've looked around online, it doesn't look like it'll be too hard to set up (hopefully!). And, unlike other computer-upgrade things, if it doesn't work I can just hook my computer right back to the old modem and I won't be down (hopefully!).

Plus... now that I think about it, I think Tivo and Wii wanted a wireless connection. More good reasons!

Related: It's darned hard to find a messenger bag. I went to office supply stores and Target, but couldn't find one (there were a couple at Target, but they were either god-awful colors, wrong size, or had Twilight crap on them). I would have rather touched it and seen it first, but I ended up buying one online. My backpack sucks for carrying the pad around -- it's way too big and bulky.
thistlechaser: (Flames)
When Drew Carey first took over on The Price Is Right, he annoyed me. He would say "god bless you" and "bless you" to every contestant who made it up onto stage. Someone must have told him to stop, because in the second season that mostly vanished and I forgot about it.

Then I found his blog.

He posts from his iPad. Which he has named his Jesus Pad.

From his blog today, telling about how his kid accidentally broke his wife's nose:

"But I gained some insight from all this while in my role as a supportive observer. I reckon that as Jesus suffered on the cross, when he screamed out "Father, Father, why did you forsake me?", God probably answered "Because you broke my nose when you were five."

Cheers,

Drew"

---

Speaking of iPads, I'm leaning back towards keeping mine. It's amazing how well it works before 9 AM! ("Well" compared to it being basically dead in the afternoon.) It working for half my work day is better than not having it at all? I guess I'm lucky Silicon Valley is full of slackers who think the work day starts at 10 AM! :P

I totally forgot to bring it to a meeting today! I'm thinking about it as a toy I have to keep hidden at work, but it would actually be valid for me to bring it with me!

However I will not, under any circumstances, ever call it my "Jesus Pad".
thistlechaser: (Flames)
When Drew Carey first took over on The Price Is Right, he annoyed me. He would say "god bless you" and "bless you" to every contestant who made it up onto stage. Someone must have told him to stop, because in the second season that mostly vanished and I forgot about it.

Then I found his blog.

He posts from his iPad. Which he has named his Jesus Pad.

From his blog today, telling about how his kid accidentally broke his wife's nose:

"But I gained some insight from all this while in my role as a supportive observer. I reckon that as Jesus suffered on the cross, when he screamed out "Father, Father, why did you forsake me?", God probably answered "Because you broke my nose when you were five."

Cheers,

Drew"

---

Speaking of iPads, I'm leaning back towards keeping mine. It's amazing how well it works before 9 AM! ("Well" compared to it being basically dead in the afternoon.) It working for half my work day is better than not having it at all? I guess I'm lucky Silicon Valley is full of slackers who think the work day starts at 10 AM! :P

I totally forgot to bring it to a meeting today! I'm thinking about it as a toy I have to keep hidden at work, but it would actually be valid for me to bring it with me!

However I will not, under any circumstances, ever call it my "Jesus Pad".
thistlechaser: (Angry scribble cat)
It took me 35 minutes before I was finally able to reach the ever so graphics heavy Google main page. I haven't been able to successfully load a page other than that in an hour and a half. I still have the same 0-3 (generally 1 or less) bars as this morning, but suddenly no pages will load.

I have 14 days to return this thing (so 11 or so left), and I lose 10% of my purchase price if I return it. Plus postage, I'm sure, and it's a darned heavy little thing. So if I return it, I'm out about $100, plus all the time I've spent waiting and dealing with this, stressing over it, and the ever so fun trip to the mall yesterday. (Which I won't repeat, so I'll be out the $70 more for the case and special earphones.)

Mumble. I'll keep it through Friday (the end of jury duty week) and then decide over the weekend what I'm going to do. I was willing to deal with slow-as-hell loading pages, but totally not working is just pointless.
thistlechaser: (Angry scribble cat)
It took me 35 minutes before I was finally able to reach the ever so graphics heavy Google main page. I haven't been able to successfully load a page other than that in an hour and a half. I still have the same 0-3 (generally 1 or less) bars as this morning, but suddenly no pages will load.

I have 14 days to return this thing (so 11 or so left), and I lose 10% of my purchase price if I return it. Plus postage, I'm sure, and it's a darned heavy little thing. So if I return it, I'm out about $100, plus all the time I've spent waiting and dealing with this, stressing over it, and the ever so fun trip to the mall yesterday. (Which I won't repeat, so I'll be out the $70 more for the case and special earphones.)

Mumble. I'll keep it through Friday (the end of jury duty week) and then decide over the weekend what I'm going to do. I was willing to deal with slow-as-hell loading pages, but totally not working is just pointless.
thistlechaser: (Default)
I feel like it's 1992 again. At my desk at work, I get 0-2 bars (out of five). Even a text-only page takes minutes to load. And pictures? Watching them load line by slow line... Takes a good five minutes or so to load my LJ flist. And, without tabs, if I click a link, I have to wait for the whole page to load again when done. Blah!

Edit, from my work machine: Yeah, so. 40 minutes and I haven't successfully loaded my flist once yet. Basically unusable at work. So what do I do now? Do they make rabbit ears to improve grabbing the G3 network? (Ha ha.) Basically right now I have a nearly $1,000 toy that does not do what I bought it for. I like it, I don't want to return it, but if it doesn't work here... (45 minutes of trying and it just failed to load it again!) I don't want to return it, but how do I make it work? (Getting my desk moved somewhere else isn't an option.)

Edit 2: Okay, non-LJ pages are being semi-more reasonable. Neither good nor fast, but they generally eventually load. Perhaps LJ is being dumb, or I need to change my setting to fewer posts per page.

Edit, final: Reducing the number of posts per page allows the pages to load almost without fail. Long, long, long delays, yes, up to five minutes for pictures (icons or in the post), but... that's okay enough for me to not want to return this. I can't use any game apps (apparently they run over the net, who knew!), but I think it's okay enough to keep. Whew.
thistlechaser: (Default)
I feel like it's 1992 again. At my desk at work, I get 0-2 bars (out of five). Even a text-only page takes minutes to load. And pictures? Watching them load line by slow line... Takes a good five minutes or so to load my LJ flist. And, without tabs, if I click a link, I have to wait for the whole page to load again when done. Blah!

Edit, from my work machine: Yeah, so. 40 minutes and I haven't successfully loaded my flist once yet. Basically unusable at work. So what do I do now? Do they make rabbit ears to improve grabbing the G3 network? (Ha ha.) Basically right now I have a nearly $1,000 toy that does not do what I bought it for. I like it, I don't want to return it, but if it doesn't work here... (45 minutes of trying and it just failed to load it again!) I don't want to return it, but how do I make it work? (Getting my desk moved somewhere else isn't an option.)

Edit 2: Okay, non-LJ pages are being semi-more reasonable. Neither good nor fast, but they generally eventually load. Perhaps LJ is being dumb, or I need to change my setting to fewer posts per page.

Edit, final: Reducing the number of posts per page allows the pages to load almost without fail. Long, long, long delays, yes, up to five minutes for pictures (icons or in the post), but... that's okay enough for me to not want to return this. I can't use any game apps (apparently they run over the net, who knew!), but I think it's okay enough to keep. Whew.

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