I've been hitting the gym 4-5 times a week again. Doing cardio only for the time being, but I am going to start lifting some weights soon.
I have an Ikea chair in the Den (which Marisa refers to as "my room" since it is the area of the apartment in which I have the most say over what goes where) and it usually has a pile of random stuff on it.
That is, until I found this Star Trek pillow on ThinkGeek. I went with the Science pillow because that's how I roll.
I watch a lot of TV, and my TiVo is the best DVR I've ever used (I have a Roamio). I will say that Comcast's X1 is pretty good, though when I had it the DVR would sometimes just not record stuff I told it to (which isn't cool).
Going through my closet I found the box for my beloved G4 Cube. Man, I remember ordering that computer like it was yesterday.
I really shouldn't have ordered it, since it was super expensive and I really couldn't afford it (thank goodness for credit cards). I did order it, though, and I was even so excited to get it that I had them hold it at the FedEx office so I could pick it up myself.
Here's the Steve Jobs announcement that got me to order it immediately:
All told it was a great computer, though probably more successful as an exercise in industrial design.
It sits on a shelf in our living room now, after a few years of faithful service and the box is now in our storage unit.
The Kindle Voyage is a sturdy little device, and it doesn't need a case. That being said, I'm very happy that I bought the unimaginatively named Amazon Protective Cover for Kindle Voyage (I have the "royal" cover, though I think I'll be giving that to Marisa and replacing it with a black cover).
I fell in love with this type of cover when I got one for my Kindle HDX (Amazon called those covers Origami covers, which is a far better name). It converts from a cover to a little stand, like so:
This solves one of the big problems I had with my Kindle: reading as I'm eating lunch. I used to prop the Kindle up against whatever was laying on my desk. Now I can just use the cover!
It is a little odd, I suppose, that the cover flips up and over inside of opening like a book. I actually like it because it makes me feel like an old time reporter opening my notebook to take some notes for some important story. That might just be me though.
There is one minor disappointment, though it is more of a failing with the Kindle's software. The Kindle DX (yes, I owned both) had an auto rotating screen. Turn the device on its side, and the screen would rotate. You could even turn it upside down and the text would rotate.
The Voyage doesn't auto rotate, but you can set it to Landscape Mode which is handy. Sadly, you can't rotate the screen 360 degrees. Why does this matter? While the cover is nice standing upright, you can lay it on another angle like so:
Which would be great if the screen wasn't upside down. Sad Panda.
That being said, I like the cover and I'd buy another one!
It seems the old tap on opposite corners of the Kindle screen to take a screenshot does work on the Voyage (though I found it for me a little finicky as compared to doing the same on the Paperwhite) so I thought I'd share some screenshots.
The home screen is pretty much the same:
There's a new Auto Brightness option that auto-adjusts the screen's brightness depending on the room's illumination. I have disabled it because I know better than my Kindle:
PagePress can be toggled on and off:
And you can set how much Feedback you want. Also, this is the first set of Kindle setting screens that uses a graphic (as far as I recall):
And you can also set the amount of press it takes to turn the page:
If you want to see any more screenshots just let me know in the comments or on Twitter.
Here's a look at the font options (which are unchanged):
A year ago I reviewed the Kindle Paperwhite for TechHive and I said:
I’d like to see Amazon bring back physical page forward and back buttons. Having dedicated buttons allow you to rest your finger on the button and press down when you need to turn the page, instead of moving a finger to tap on the screen. A minor detail, but one that would make for a more pleasant reading experience.
Amazon listened, kind of, with the Kindle Voyage. The Voyage doesn't have dedicated page buttons in the traditional sense, it has page turn areas either side of the screen. One is marked with a dot (page back) and the other is a line (page forward). Squeeze either and the Kindle buzzes to let you know and the page turns.
I love PagePress, though I will say that the first few times I used it I accidentally paged back by touching the screen when trying to squeeze the PagePress button. It isn't happening now that I've got the hang of it, but something to be aware of.
Now, this isn't a full review because other people have done that, but I will say that screen is great. Not being recessed makes a big difference (even though I didn't think it would), and the light seems a little more even than the Paperwhite 2.
The Voyage is without a doubt the best Kindle ever. You should buy one and use my link to do it.
Since this isn't a full review I asked folks on Twitter if they had any questions, and some did. Here they are:
I think this is a reference to Kindle Unlimited (Amazon's subscription library of ebooks). I haven't tried it, and Oyster doesn't work with the Voyage.
@blankbaby How fragile does it feel?— Jamelle Ghoulie (@jbouie) October 22, 2014
Not fragile at all! In fact, since the front is one solid surface it feels a little sturdier to me than the Paperwhite 2 (which wasn't a flimsy device itself!). I don't think a case is needed, but I do like the Amazon case that I bought.
@blankbaby Waste of money?— Dallas Brown (@kdbdallas) October 22, 2014
@blankbaby the biggest one is if it’s worth upgrading from a PW1….— Ron Ifferte (@rifferte) October 22, 2014
I think so. The screen is much better, and I didn't like the unevenness of the lighting on the Paperwhite 1. The Voyage (and the Paperwhite 2) doesn't have the same issue (and the screen is much better).
@blankbaby Is the new high res screen as great as it sounds (and how is the new flush screen)?— David Crooks (@drcrooks) October 22, 2014
Sometimes you should believe the hype, and that is the case with the Voyage's screen. It is great.
@blankbaby How does the typography compare to previous versions? Does it have auto-hyphenation? Anything fancy like widow/orphan prevention?— Benjamin Esham (@bdesham) October 22, 2014
The Voyage's software is nearly identical to that on the Paperwhite, which means the typography is the same as well. No cool auto-hyphenation or widow/orphan prevention.
@blankbaby is my paperwhite 2 a piece of shit now? Need I feel shame whilst using it?— Lex Friedman (@lexfri) October 22, 2014
Yes and yes.
@blankbaby lol. Tweetbit on the iPad doesn’t like custom keyboards. I asked for your impressions of the cover compared with the PaperWhite.— Phil Lee (@philrlee) October 22, 2014
I didn't have a cover on my Paperwhite, but I'm a fan of the origami cover for the Voyage.
@blankbaby does the vibration on page turn become annoying and can you switch it off?— Flow (@fjkraemer) October 22, 2014
I like the little buzz when you use PagePress, but you can turn it off (or make it even more buzzy).
@blankbaby How would you describe the responsiveness of the touch screen? How does the touchscreen feel to touch?— Harry Donovan (@qortex) October 22, 2014
It is just as responsive as the Paperwhite 2, which suited my needs. There is a slight lag when you press to select something, but page turns are quick (and that's what I'm doing most of the time on the Kindle.
Hey, I wrote another book! This one, as you might suspect from the title, is all about the Amazon Fire Phone.
The phone didn't get rave reviews from the tech press, but I think it is a pretty nifty device (I may be biased). It has a bunch of neat features, the OS is pretty clear and easy to use, and it makes getting your Amazon content (books, movies, and music) very simple. Also, can I tell you how much I love browsing the Kindle book store in a native app? Because I do (you can't do that on the iPhone because Amazon won't give Apple the 30% that they charge for in app purchasing).
Anyway, buy my book if you have a Fire Phone. Or if you want a Fire Phone. Or if you want to support my writing career. Or if you're bored. You know, just buy the dang book!
Note: Some people will wonder why I wrote a book about the Fire when my every day phone is an iPhone (a 6 plus to be precise). I wrote about why I really can't switch from an iPhone before but it boils down to: unlimited data and iMessages.
Judging from this email I just got:
It is no secret that I'm a big Star Trek fan. I mean, I host a podcast devoted to Star Trek for goodness sake!
It follows that one of my favorite (if not the favorite) movies is Star Trek II: The Wraith of Khan. I can watch this movie over and over again.
One of the pivotal ships in the movie is the U.S.S. Reliant (which seems to have a B Team crew, as discussed in this episode of the Incomparable). Khan manages to takeover the ship rather easily and hijinks ensue.
The people at QMx have put together an amazing model (or as they're calling it "artisan replica") of the ship. Here are just a few pictures:
Of course such high levels of detail and high quality build construction translates to a $9,995 price tag. A little too rich for my blood (though honestly, I'd probably buy one if I were single. I don't think Marisa would agree that this is a good use of the money, and it isn't really).
Though if you have $10,000 you don't need and an unusual amount of like for me you now know what to get me for my birthday.
I have an interesting (and fun) job. This year I was tasked with organizing our Staff Retreat. Brainstorming with some colleagues of mine we came up with a great idea: building model rockets.
It was lots of fun (though I must admit I forgot just how high those damn rockets go, and how sometimes they don't go up but rather go towards a large group of people).
I was busy attending to details of the event so I didn't remember to take any pictures of rockets! Here's some of the aftermath though.