Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

The Kindle 2 has Arrived!

26 February 2009 Leave a comment

Update, 15 April 2009: I see my blog was found using a search for the number of lines on the K2’s display, so I decided to mention the number of lines per page at each selectable font size.

The font size is selectable by pressing the button between the spacebar and SYM keys.  This also is a shortcut for controlling the Text-to-Speech options (on/off, speed, and voice).  There are six selectable font sizes.  From smallest to largest, here are the number of lines of text per selection: 26, 23, 20, 18, 14, and 12.  The default – or at least the size selected when I first powered mine up – is 20 lines per page.  I’m more comfortable with 18 lines, but even then I still must wear reading glasses; to forego glasses completely, I must select 14 lines.  Getting older kinda suXorz, but I suppose it’s better than the alternative.

Update, 17 March 2009:  I’ve read a number books on it now, a couple of Elmore Leonard and a couple freebies by Orwell and Verne, and I have to say it works quite well.  My gripes are that the display isn’t quite large enough, it isn’t backlit, and the joystick controller isn’t that great.   At the default font size, there are only 20 lines of text per page.  I can, of course, decrease the size, but then I have to wear reading glasses.  Backlighting is an inherent problem with eInk technology as the display is opaque.  The only remedy is good ambient lighting or to use a booklight.  The joystick controller is quite stiff and somewhat difficult to use if your hands are as chronically dry as mine.  Also, the menus don’t wrap – if you’re at the top of the menu and want to go to the bottom, you have to scroll down through every item.  You should be able to scroll up which after the top selection, wraps to the bottom selection.

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth

Okay, I already have my two front teeth.  For today, at least.  That’s another subject for another time.  This is about the Kindle.  Below are some really bad photos:

Actually, all I really wanted for Christmas this past year was Amazon’s Kindle.  A pretty tall order, but my girlfriend, brother & sisters, and mom & dad all chipped in to get me just that.  The Kindle 2 (K2) wasn’t out at the time of the order, so my sister Melinda ordered the old Kindle (K1).  I’d hoped Amazon would be understanding and generous enough to realize (most) everyone would want the new K2 instead of the K1.  They did realize it and this explains exactly why I’m such a huge Amazon fan.  Unless I’m buying individual electronics parts such as inductors and diodes and resistor networks and whatnot, things they’re not likely to have, Step One is to hit  Even if I don’t buy through them (rarely the case), I use the comments/ratings to get an idea of the product.

Read more…


Interesting Map: Countries whose GDP Matches Individual US States’

13 December 2007 Leave a comment

Econ professor Mark Perry, University of Michigan, has on his site this map of the United States. Instead of state names, the name of a nation whose gross domestic product (GDP) is equal to that state’s.

US State GDP in World-Wide Terms

I came to this by way of the sidebar in Coyote Blog, to Houston’s Clear Thinker’s post.