Tuesday, November 23, 2010

nook 1.5

The nook Firmware update 1.5 came out today!  First impressions, I like it, much faster page turning.  I also like the bookmark syncing across devices although that means I need to keep the WiFi on.  The Bookshelf idea is a step in the right direction, but it would be nice if the shelf showed all of the documents in one place not B&N purchases separate from side-loaded documents.  It would be nice to password protect individual books in addition to password options for the unit itself.  The Web Browser lost the "beta" tag but I haven't played with it enough to notice anything different.  Supposedly the battery life has been improved as well.

A side note:   The Android app is nice but huge, I think it may be the largest app I have on my Droid.  It was updated as well.  Since they both sync bookmarks, I may use it more often.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Android Keyboads

As much as I like Swiftkey and Better Keyboard, both for different reasons, Swype is still number one.  It is just plain fast, pure and simple.  As good as Swiftkey is at predicting keys, I still find myself keying in whole words or slowing down to get alternate keys.  Swype just flys and this last beta added the button for voice which is a welcome addition.  One thing I would like to see is an option to let you use the alternate symbol/number keyboard for the default SYM keyboard.  (It is not a huge deal because you can still get to it by Syping from SYM to 5.)  Now if they would only take it out of Beta and stick it in the Market...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

3M MPro120 Projector - Quick Glance

Very Small and Portable
Good battery life
Good colors
You can get them fairly cheap
Quiet (You can hear the fan from time to time though)

Only usable in darker settings - (dimly lit or dark rooms)
No Keystone Correction - This makes the location of the projector very important to the quality of the picture
An inclusion of a single iPod cable would have been nice
Poorly documented

It is good for what it does but don't expect it to replace a flat screen :-)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

eReaders - The Nook

Just wanted to give a quick Pros and Cons entry about the Barnes & Noble Nook.  So far for the most part I really like my Nook.

ePub format support is very good
reasonable price for the WiFi version
very readable screen, even in sunlight
expandable storage
user replaceable battery!
clients on Android, iWhatever, PC (soon to sync bookmarks)
nice big page turn buttons
lend-able books

Battery life could be better - It is not bad, just average
Sometimes a little sluggish
Poor Web Browser
Can't read Kindle format
Movement around wide documents can be difficult (and sometime impossible!)

I really like the nook but I wish I would have waited for the Color version which can do more than just read books.  It would be even better if we could do away with all of the DRM nonsense!  When coupled with the excellent Calibre software the nook really shines.  I use Calibre and store my books in Dropbox, so I can get them easily from any device.  I am looking forward to the new firmware (1.5) which is coming this month and is supposed to make things snappier.  The only other reader I would consider is the slim new Kindle, it looks very nice and the cost is now reasonable.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Note Taking System

Here is a little insight into my current Note-taking system.

[My Requirements]
simple no-frills note taking
system independent
No-hassle backups

[My Current Setup]
Web: Simplenote (free account)
PC: ResophNotes (free) coupled with Dropbox (free)
Droid: AndroNoter (free)
iPod Touch: Dropbox or Simplenote client (I really don't use this much but it is an option)

Using Resoph, you can set up your Simplenote account sync and tell the software to store the notes in a folder as text files.  I use a folder in Dropbox for this purpose so everything is synced with ease to both Dropbox and SimpleNote accounts.  Resoph can be a little quirky but it is very good at what it is designed for, dead simple sync of text notes to Simplenote.  It also supports Markdown, a text to HTML conversion utility which uses certain text markers to do some basic text formatting.

In addition to this I use Evernote, which lets me take Notes is other formats like pictures or Web Pages.  Evernote has clients on PC, iPhone, Web, and Android.  It is very easy to take a picture or screenshot and zip it off to my Evernote folder.  The basic service is free but you can get more storage and features for a fee.

I rarely use the web based versions of these solutions but it is nice to know they are there if I need them.  There are certainly many other combinations of software to accomplish the same thing but so far this setup has been the easiest and most reliable.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blog Resurrection

On the resurrection of my blog.  I have decided that I would like to attempt to write more often, so I think it would be beneficial if I had some sort of goal in mind.  Even though no one may ever read this blog, I am going to try to get at least one to two paragraphs published every other day. Starting today. No really, today. I mean it...