Tag: Kindle


2021 Week 50 – Kindle Upgrade

I’ve been an Amazon Kindle user ever since V2 was released in 2009. That version had a keyboard and built-in cellular modem that allowed you to transfer data and download books anywhere, anytime.

Amazon Kindle V2 in 2009

The Kindle e-reader does one thing and, in my opinion, does it very well. It provides a distraction-free reading experience. OK, two things, you can carry a huge number of books with you at any time. This is handy when you want to read a couple of books at the same time, depending on mood and energy. It makes no noise, it has no pop-up messages, and it’s already ready to pick up where you left off in your last reading session.

I eventually upgraded to a newer version and then another. The low $100-125 price and ever-increasing screen resolutions and lighting options made the upgrades worth it. We lost the cellular modem years ago, but with WiFi being so accessible, it’s something you really don’t miss. I typically like to read in the evenings where it helps me unwind. On occasion, I can use my phone to finish a chapter or launch the Audible version of a book where it syncs with the text copy for easy switching between the two.

My last Paperwhite was starting to get a little sluggish, and I realized after 5-years of ownership I was no longer getting updates with some of the newer software features. After doing a little research, I found that I could trade my old unit in for a new one and get a 20% discount as well as a few dollars for the unit I was turning in.

2021 Kindle Paperwhite

The 2021 Kindle Paperwhite (as reviewed by Wired) is the best Kindle e-reader to date. The screen is larger, and the screen resolution looks like you’re reading a paper book. Backlight options include a warmth mode that tints the screen to ease eye fatigue at night. It’s all automatic based on the sunrise/sunset in your area. You don’t really notice the screen color until you turn it off.

Now that it’s getting cold out, and dark early, I’m spending a lot more time reading in the evening, and I’m really enjoying this upgrade.


I wrote about the Grammarly app in Week 42, and I’m happy to say after the 90-day initial trial, I renewed for another year. It’s been beneficial in my personal and professional life. You might have noticed some improvements in the blog posts too. I was missing some necessary punctuation in my writing. Some obvious (bad editing) and some not so obvious. They just released a new Desktop app for the Mac that allows it to work in ANY application. It was previously limited to its own app outside MS Office apps. Now it works right inside my email program and makes editing on the fly much smoother. At $150 a year, it’s not cheap but, if written communication is an important part of your life, it’s worth checking out to see if it can be helpful to you.

And finally… The limited series show “True Story” on Netflix was a surprise hit. Kevin Hart was excellent in his role, and the story moved very quickly through the seven episodes. Each episode is only 30-minutes, so it’s a pretty quick watch & easy to binge on a rainy day.

That’s it for thie week. Christmas is less than 2-weeks away! I should probably start shopping or something…

2021 Week 45 – Tech Upgrades & Tacos

I’ve been absolutely loving the new iPad Pro since I purchased it a few months ago. In fact, It’s my primary computing device when I’m home. Paired with a Lap Desk from Amazon, I can crank out all kinds of work and keep up with my reading from the comfort of my couch (while watching Soccer & Football).

The Apple Watch Series 7 arrived last Monday & I’m thrilled with the upgrade from the Series 4 I was using. Apple offered a $100 trade-in, and my company provides an annual fitness reimbursement of $60 for wearable devices, which brought the overall price of the device down to something a lot more reasonable.

Speaking of reasonable, Amazon just released the new Kindle Paperwhite for $139. I have an original one from 2012 that has gotten very sluggish (and stopped receiving software updates). I was able to get 25% off the price of the new Kindle if I traded my old one in. I think this trade-in option is something I’m going to start looking for when upgrading electronic devices. Otherwise, these old units end up taking space on the shelf with no benefit to anyone.

In local food news, Chris’ Ice Cream (and Tacos) has relocated across 86th Street from its old location, just east of Total Wine and next door to Subway. They haven’t put a permanent sign up yet, so it’s a little hard to find. I had lunch with a former colleague the other day, and the food is just as good as it was before at the old location. The new site isn’t any larger than the old one, so I think the relocation might have been landlord or rent-related. Either way, this is a great little hole-in-the-wall with some excellent Mexican food.

And finally, this video is a few years old, but it’s hilarious. There is NO WAY I would ever try Noodling, but it sure was fun watching these guys do it. Have a great week, and we’ll see you next time!

How To: Getting Personal Documents on Your Kindle

If you have a Kindle this is a must read…  The Gadgeteer, one of my favorite tech blogs, has a great writeup on how to get just about any document on your Kindle.

Incidentally, The Gadgeteer, founded by Julie Strietelmeier,  is based out of Columbus, Indiana.  Not exactly a place were you’d expect one of the big tech blogs to be located!

There are several ways to convert and transfer documents to the Kindle.  Some methods are free and other cost a few pennies per MB.  Either way you do it if you want the most convenient way to transport and access documents while traveling the Kindle is definitely the way to go.

The Amazon Kindle

I’ll be the first one to admit it… I don’t read for fun nearly as much as I should (or want to).

When Amazon launched the first Kindle in late 2007, I really didn’t take notice.  By the time Generation 2 came out in early 2009 I knew I had to have one.  I was traveling weekly for work and found myself with more downtime in the evening than I normally had when I was at home.  Being limited to a book or magazine in my suitcase was not the preferred option as my preference for subject material changes quite frequently.  It’s not unusual for me to have several books/magazines going at one time.

The clincher for me was the “Whispersync” technology that keeps all of your various reading material synchronized between devices.  By devices I mean not only the Kindle but your PC, Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, Android and iPod Touch.  This feature allows you to purchase and share kindle content among the various electronic devices you use every day.  A prefect example of this in use was when my wife wanted to read a book on the Kindle.  I was able to grab the laptop and continue reading my own book that I had been working on previously.

Whispersync is the feature that pushed me over the edge from “want to need” and convinced me to purchase a Kindle sight unseen.  They were not available in the traditional brick and mortar stores until recently so I read enough positive reviews that I took the plunge.

The Kindle display uses Electronic Ink which is amazing.  After spending all day working on a computer it’s actually refreshing to stare at the Kindle screen.  It looks like ink on paper and works perfectly inside and out.  There is a slight “flash” as the page refreshes as you turn the digital page.  It’s noticeable at first but you end up not even noticing it after a while.  The Kindle only uses power when it’s refreshing the screen or communicating wirelessly.  When it’s “off” there’s actually pictures (screen savers) on the screen.

Speaking of communicating wirelessly, the Gen 2 version I own has a built in AT&T 3G data card in it.  It’s free to use for the life of the device and allows for the wireless sync as well as some basic web browsing via the built in browser.

Battery life with the 3G radio disabled is measured in weeks (2-3), even with daily reading sessions of an hour or more.  With the 3G turned on your battery life drops to 4-5 days.

The new Generation 3 devices have an even better display and a lower cost from the previous generations.  I could go on and on about what a great device the Kindle is.  It only does one thing but it does it very well.

My Kindle – Finale

Continued from part 2

Back in December I started writing about the new amazon Kindle eBook reader I purchased.  It’s been about 6 weeks and I thought I would do a follow-up post.

Although I have not had as much time to read as I would have liked, I’ve spent considerable time with the Kindle in a lot of different environments.  My favorite place to read is the comfy leather chair in my living room illuminated by a 40w bulb in the Pharmacy Floor Lamp.

When not curling up with the Kindle at home I’ve done some reading while riding in a car, enjoying a quiet lunch at the cafe near the office and in my second home, the hotel.  The Kindle performed well everywhere and the wireless connectivity never missed a beat.

By making use of the ample storage in the Kindle I always have something available to read.  Fiction, history, newspapers and technical manuals have all found their place on the device.  I currently have around 200 titles loaded and I’m not even close to making a dent in the memory.

If you are looking for some classic reading you can’t go wrong with Project Gutenberg.  All of the titles here are public domain (free).  You get what you pay for though as several titles I have obtained from here had some typo & formatting issues.  Overall it’s a great place to pickup some good reading materials.

Another tool I have found for the Kindle (and just about every other eReader out there) is a software application called Calibre.  Calibre is an eBook Management tool that allows you to catalog, edit and convert electronic documentation into the format needed for your particular eBook reader.  You can use Calibre to upload and download books to/from your devcice as well.  it’s an OUTSTANDING piece of software that the developer, Kovid Goyal, offers for FREE!  If you like the software you are encouraged to make a donation to help with future development.

I hope this brief 3-part review of the Kindle gives you additional information on this amazing piece of technology.  If you love to read you’ll love the Kindle!

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