Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wandering through the web

I can find most anything somewhere on the web today but I simply can't find everything. Where would I put it? I can read or think about a great many things but I still have to pick and choose. I still have to exclude as well as include. Consciously or out of ignorance or fatigue or a busy schedule, I can give some attention to things of interest. But here and in your life too, there will have to be some omissions, some editing.

The more alert I try to be, the more I read, think and look at new information, the more clearly various sorts of limits show themselves. The blogs I have listed are just one attempt to give some attention and some continuity to myself.

Kindles lead to blogs

Preparing to talk about using the Amazon Kindle, I wanted to experience subscriptions that are regularly beamed to the Kindle. I chose the Atlantic Monthly for $1.25 a month and two blogs. My nephew, an information architect, advised me to try the Amazon daily blog, free on the Kindle. I looked for something that appealed to me and chose O'Reilly Radar, from a leading computer publisher. Naturally, they have lead to more. I want to try to be stingy about adding blogs of interest. The Kindle is not as good for exploration of web pages so I put feeds links in the bookmark toolbar of Firefox. But today's reading of Amazon and O'Reilly have lead me to Chris Anderson's Long Tail and Collecting Children's Books.

This blog here, "fear, fun and filosophy" is one of something like 40 MILLION blogs. I realize that the best of 40 million, say the top 1%, would wind me up reading over 1000 blogs daily and that would only let me visit each blog in the top group once a year. In other words, it ain't gonna happen. So, as with wonderful people, good places to visit, great foods to try and the best books and tv, I have to keep the choke on, accept new leads slowly and remember to cull every once in a while.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kindles pay off

I have now purchased six Kindles, the last two being version 2. I recommend them. Especially if two or more people share an account, the cost per book is considerably lower than paper. The standard price is supposed to be $9.99 but many good books cost more. However, many cost less too, including many worthwhile authors who are free.

I am giving a presentation in late April about the advantages and limitations of the Kindle. I bought one a year ago and I was motivated to actually shell out the $400 (current price is $40 less) to get a book and avoid adding one physically to our shelves. The device is now in a new format and it seems better. Enough so that I bought myself a new one while still using version 1.

Important advantages:
  • 1500 books weigh less than 10 oz. altogether in one place
  • A reader can switch between many books faster and more easily than using paper books
  • The Whispernet system allows immediate downloading of books into the device without any hookup to anything
  • Files can be housed on a computer if desired
  • The device is very efficient at many notes and bookmarks in books. The file of notes can be downloaded into a computer for further duplication, transmission, etc.

Important disadvantages:
  • You pay for something that cannot be read except on the device, so it can't be loaned or given away.
  • It takes a little getting used to.
  • It has long battery life and is fast-charging but is helpless and useless with a charge.

New management

Same person but modified approach. As time goes on, I think I will try directing more relatives and friends to this blog to see what's up with me. The number of emails gets bigger all the time.

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