Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Technical Difficulties and a Few Questions

by Pa Rock
Gadget Gadfly

I try to stay up with things in the modern world, but am so technically deficient as to be a hazard to myself and those around me.  Aside from what I consider the normal modern contrivances, like televisions and microwave ovens, my forays into the world of the future are limited to my laptop computer (a PC) and my iPod.  I use both several hours a day and they form an important part of my existence out on this little rock in the Pacific.

The computer mainly stays in my apartment where it gets used evenings and weekends, but the iPod follows me to work and to the gym.  I have a device at home and at the office called an iHome that the iPod pops into and allows me to listen to music without those pesky headphones.  I also have a set of over-sized Sony headphones that go with me and the iPod to the gym.

That is basically the extent of my technical side - so imagine my panicked state of mind when my trusty little silver iPod quit working yesterday, and this morning my computer (which has my 5,000 plus songs stored on iTunes) appeared to be going on the fritz.  Today I rushed to the Base Exchange and purchased a new iPod Touch and managed to get it loaded with my music.  And now it looks as though the computer has recovered.

(I asked the salesman at the Base Exchange to make sure that the instruction booklet was included with the iPod.  He looked like he had been seriously offended - or stepped in dog crap - and told me there was no instruction booklet and that all I had to do was plug and play.  (Easy for him to say!)  I quickly found some young airmen who have begun teaching me how to use it.

All of my music is now safely on the new little iPod, and I even downloaded several more "old time" radio programs - great stuff for a rainy day!  So I will be all right - for the time being.

I have been reading a little about the Amazon "cloud" which will store music remotely, and then it can be accessed if my computer was to crash.  That might be a good plan for me.  I know that if I buy some music from Amazon (which I sometimes do), I would be eligible to use the "cloud," but I haven't figured out how I would get the music that I already have into Amazon's "cloud."  Technical assistance, anyone?

Second question:  Several years ago I bought a hardcover mystery book at the Kansas City Airport (KCI) about some people who were writing radio dramas during World War II.  I have since loaned it out and it never returned.  I would like to read it again, but don't remember the name and can't seem to get the right search words into Amazon.  Does anyone have any idea about that?

Third question:  I am finally thinking about getting an electronic book reader.  Do I want to get a Kindle, or is there some other option that I should explore?

All responses welcome.


Don said...

I have a Kindle, with which I am totally satisfied. It's the larger model and has a built-in wireless that lets me order a book in something under 10 seconds and to be reading it 10 seconds after that.

It's much more expensive than the smaller Kindle now being marketed aggressively by Amazon, but the ease of reading is much greater.

I think Kindle is the superior platform simply because Amazon has access to so many more titles.

Xobekim said...

Maybe the book was "Two O'Clock Eastern Wartime" by John Dunning.

Although everyone calls the airport KCI it is actually assgned the airport code MCI. The name was originally Mid-Continent International Airport. But that gets confusing because Wichita's airportis called Mid-Continent Airport with the airport code of ICT.

There was a reason educators made us read Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle." Technology has made me rethink Rip's lessons. That goes double today as I learn to type on a new flexible keyboard. Like every reinvention of the keyboard the subtle changes challenge the muscle memory learned in Eigth Grade typing class.

Bk in MO said...

I have a kindle. I also have the version that goes on my iPod, and a free version that goes on the computer - and I have one on both of them.
What you need to consider is this: How often will you be needing to read your Kindle without a computer around? And do you need the capability to read comfortably in the sunlight? If this is a need, buy one. But I have the larger one that Don talks about and I find it unwieldy, bulky, and a bother. I wish now I had one of the smaller ones. But unfortunately a Kindle lacks some other things I wish I had when I am out and about. So today, this is what I would do - I would buy an iPad with wireless and 3G ( or is it 4G now? I forget…._) anyway, I would go that route. Then I'd have a handy little computer with me everywhere and I could read on the kindle if I wanted, send email, or surf. Or write my next novel. LOL. It's really all about what you need and what will work for you.