I love gadgets and I love to read. So it is no surprise that I have ALL the Kindles. Yes, I own the basic Kindle, the Paperwhte (4 of those), the Voyage, the HD 6 (3), the HD 7 (2), the HDX 7 (5), and the HDX 8.0 (both the 2013 and 2014 versions). This does not include the "past" kindles such as the Kindle Keyboard, etc.
I also own other Amazon products such as the Fire Phone, Fire TV as well as competitors such as Roku. Friends visit me to try a product before buying.
So, why do I have so many Kindles? First, I cannot resist a bargain and all of my Kindles have been bought "on sale." For instance, there was a one-day sale where I picked up the basic Kindle for $49. The regular price is $79. I like to read and as a traveler, I find myself in all sorts of places with differing experiences for reading. For me, the best Kindle for reading in bed is not the best Kindle for reading on an airplane or lounging on a beach.
I am an entertainment junkie. In addition to reading, I love music; I love movies; I love exploring the internet. I also read email, and if you twist my arm, I do facebook, too. I originally tried products from both Microsoft and Apple.
Although I prefer products that are not proprietary, I did love Apple until they went too far. First, I did not care that their products required a proprietary plug in addition to their proprietary operating system, iOS. At least, their proprietary stuff stayed the same across revisions and new products. The straw that broke my love for Apple came with the introduction of the iPhone 5. In addition to changing the plug for their devices, they dropped Google Maps!! At that point, I looked around, dropped Apple and picked up an Android phone. While I hated the unpolish of Android, I was impressed with the wealth of free apps and best of all, the phone had a micro-USB port. I had plenty of micro-USB cords from other devices such as bluetooth speakers, headphones, etc. The change to Android was kind to my pocket book.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has taken the approach that if you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. With Windows 8, they made desktop PCs look like tablets and phones. Plus, they want them all to be the same for your account across devices. What is worse is that the operating system doesn't do anything especially well.
So what does that have to do with Kindles? During this media consumption turmoil, I discovered that I was using Kindles more and more for other things. Once I got rid of Apple, I started buying music and movies from Amazon. Then, I became a Prime member. What joy to be able to download music, books AND movies to a device. I was now independent of tracking down and often paying for internet access so that I could immerse myself in entertainment while travelling. Amazon improved. Their devices began to have a quality feel about them. The apps and compatibility across devices with a common look-and-feel were maturing. Soon, I was discovering that I was reading my emails on a Kindle, then I'd take an occasion picture, started using Skype and managing my notes with Evernote. I could access all these thing from my PC, my phone, my tablet. Wow!
In my next post, I will evaluate the different Kindles, telling you what I like, what I don't, and what each model's strength and weakness is.
Monday, May 18, 2015
I like to keep all the software on my computer updated to the latest versions, and find it difficult and time-consuming as I have many programs installed. Sometimes software will have automatic updates (such as Adobe Reader, Mozilla's Firefox and Thunderbird, Skype, iTunes, etc.), but this isn't true of all software. In addition, the automatic check-for-updates process bogs down both my PC and my internet connection. Because of this, I sometimes turn off automatic updates and manually check when I'm idle.
However, this process has been made MUCH easier with the discovery of software update monitors. I have two that I particularly like: FileHippo's Update Checker (UDC) and Secunia's Personal Software Inspector (PSI).
Secunia's Personal Software Inspector is the best update monitor for users that are very security conscious. It lets you know which programs are patched, which are insecure and which are no longer maintained. It lists all your programs, and provides links to the vendor's homepage, technical details, the installation folder and "Add/Remove Programs."