Any good finds for Digital Day?

So, anybody else disappointed in the offering for Amazon Digital Day?

I had held off spending my holiday gift cards, hoping for some great deals on Kindle books. No joy for me and I was disappointed….

Did you find anything?

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Happy holidays (and a little Christmas music)

Wishing everyone a happy and joyous holiday season!

I will be posting here and there over the next week and back to a more regular daily posting schedule after the first of the year.

As some of my regular readers know, my husband is a musician who, a few years back, recorded a wonderful holiday jazz CD, Tidings of Comfort and Joy: A Jazz Piano Trio Christmas. Once a year, I try to do one post promoting his music.

For your holiday enjoyment, here is  video for the one of my favorite songs from from his album:

You can listen to more on this playlist from YouTube. You can also listen for free on Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music and other streaming services. And, if you like what you heard, comments and reviews on your favorite retailer are always appreciated!

If you enjoy the album and want a copy of your own, it’s available in both CD and digital formats at at Bandcamp, CD Baby, Amazon and iTunes.

Enjoy!

A refreshing opinion piece from someone who actually prefers ebooks

Yesterday, I ran across an interesting article praising ebooks over print. I found it absolutely refreshing. Here is someone unabashedly coming out and saying that they think that ebooks are vastly superior to their print counterparts.

When I first started this blog in 2011, it seemed like every other article I read was talking about how bad ebooks were and emphasizing the many ways that print books had the advantages. Most of the pieces I read made the same points over and over: “Real books” smelled better and felt better to the touch. Paper books didn’t need a battery, a charger, or a WiFi connection. You could share them, lend and even donate or sell them when you were done.As time went on, these types of articles started adding references to studies and statistics that pointed out that you remembered more of what you read on a print book or that teenagers didn’t like to read books in digital form.

Now, almost eight years later, I still see these articles. At least once or twice a month, I find one of these article coming up on a blog or I read or on one of the internet alerts I have set up for articles  on ebooks. Any more, most of the posts are opinion pieces, many from smaller, local papers. But the tone nowadays is almost nostalgic. The print book is an artifact, symbolizing the struggle against the technology that threatens to overwhelm our lives and offering a respite from the endless array of screens we are surrounded by daily.

Back in 2011, the publishing industry really feared that ebooks would take over the publishing industry. We have now seen that that’s not happening. People are still going to bookstores, still buying print books. Many people buy both: ebooks for casual reading and paper for books they want to keep. Or perhaps they buy fiction in digital, non-fiction in paper.

Maybe now that publishers have raised the prices of ebooks enough to seriously slow down their growth, the industry is no longer quite as worried about the effect of ebooks on the publishing economy, After all, audiobooks are the publishing industry’s new darling, with digital audiobooks sales way, way up. And since in most cases, the publishers firmly control the audio rights along with the print rights, maybe they are not worried about audio disrupting their profits.

Or maybe, there’s just one guy out there who, like me, is saying please don’t buy me any print books for Christmas. I’d rather read ebooks.

What about you? Are you E or P?

On being disconnected in a connected world…

Last week, our router died. So, POOF, no internet other than mobile phone access for a couple of days until our ISP got a new router out to us.

It was a bit of a culture shock for sure. Since my husband and I work from home, we really rely on the internet for most things that we do. Both of us are used to using a desktop rather than a mobile device to go about our internet business, so trying to function predominantly on a phone was a challenge. And, although we both have smartphones, we have a plan with only a limited amount of data (because we work from home and normally, we are always on Wi-Fi). That meant rationing data (UGH). That meant no Alexa or Google Home (MORE UGH). And that whole cord-cutting thing? It really works a lot better with the internet, even with an over-the-air antenna in the house.

Somehow, mostly by using our phones as mobile hotspots for my Chromebook, we muddled through until the replacement router arrived.

It turns out that my idea of a good router and my ISP’s idea of a good router are definitely not the same thing.The one that the service provider sent is definitely not doing the job – while I can get on the internet and get the ROKUs and the Google Home working, the network extender, our Amazon Echo devices and most of my Kindles don’t want to connect properly. (That makes it over a week with no Alexa, in case you are keeping score, LOL!)

So, I have now purchased yet another router (this one to MY specifications) and the one I purchased from our ISP will be relegated to being a back up. I’m spending the next few days trying to get all our toys back up and running. I’ll be back to blogging as soon as I get everything plugged back in…. 🙂

Anybody have any disconnected stories to share?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday blues

This year, I didn’t buy a thing on black Friday or cyber Monday. Nothing. Nunca. Nada.

This is actually kind of unheard of for me,  especially given the fact that I’m such a technology buff.  Cyber Monday has actually been my favorite self-gifting holiday of the year.

Why the change this year?

I think a big part of the reason is the so many of the items offered for sale I already have.  I’ve already bought Echos, Echo Shows, Echo Dots, Kindle Paperwhites, a Kindle Oasis, Fire tablets,  Fire TV sticks,  etcetera. The picture in this post is just a few of the items that I already have (yes, there are more that arrived after I took that picture) and am currently testing to review.

Don’t get me wrong, some of the prices that these items have been offered at makes me wish that I hadn’t just recently bought them. But it’s really hard to get excited about bargains for things you already qwn.

How about you? Did this year’s cyber bargains interest you?

Throwback Thursday: Nokia “Candybar” Phone Box

I have a tendency to save the boxes for the electronics that I buy, at least until the item is out of warranty. It can be useful for warranty service and can add to the resale value of an item. Sometimes, however, things get lost in the shuffle and the boxes never get disposed of. I am in the midst of cleaning out my basement and found this:

It is the box to a Nokia 3585i “candybar” style phone from 2002. This is a CDMA phone for the US Cellular network. Note the literature that explains regional calling plans! Times sure have changed!

As for the actual phone itself, it may or may not be somewhere here in the basement…. 🙂

#throwbackthursday

Throwback Thursday: Computer repair kit

In the late 1990s, I took a college class in computer hardware repair. It was one of the useful classes I’ve ever taken. Because of that class, for years, I’ve been able to work on my own computers. I have saved money adding my own hard drives and upgrading memory rather than hiring someone else to do it.

I took this picture today of the computer repair kit that I bought at RadioShack (remember them?) around the time I took the course. I’ve been using the same tools for 20 years now.

Here is what the case looks like zipped:

Here is what the contents of the case look like – notice that you can still see the instruction sheet in the kit. The object in the right-hand corner is a fold up magnifying glass.

Lots of fun memories here.

#throwbackthursday