Friday, March 30, 2012

The Kindle and Don't Throw Away Your Broken PC

First of all, I received a Kindle touch for Christmas. For the first couple of  days I had a little bit of trouble figuring out how to navigate but after I realized I just need to swipe my finger to get to the second page of my home screen I was all set. I actually prefer reading books on the Kindle to reading from a regular book. It's small and lightweight and you can change the font size. The Text to Speech function allows me to get through books while I'm working. I'm hoping that in the future Text to Speech will sound more natural. Every once in a while the Text to Speech stops working and I have to reset the Kindle to get it going again. I really like the ability to access the books from my computer and copy and paste from there. The ability to search is also very helpul, I just wish it were a bit faster. There's an incredible selection of free books out there that have fallen out of copyright, some of these books are hard to come by in printed form. The web browser is a bit of a joke but if you absolutely need to it's usually usable. I'm hoping that CPH will lower their prices on some of their Kindle books. It seems strange to me that the electronic books almost cost as much as the printed ones.

Also, in the last few years I have received PCs from my parents that they could no longer use because of viruses. They tried to use restore disks but were completely unsuccessful. I have had great success wiping the hard drive and installing Linux based distributions on them. Linux is free and available in a number of different distributions that are tailored to specific types of users. There's a website that keeps track of the latest distributions. Puppy Linux is so small that it can run in your RAM. You can run it without having a hard drive. I was able to use it to get some of the files off of my parents' computer. After extracting the information that my parents wanted using Puppy Linux, I did a full install of Ubuntu. Ubuntu is probably the most user-friendly and well-supported distributions of Linux. In my opinion it is far superior to Windows in speed and in customizability. It comes packaged with Libreoffice. Libreoffice is similar to Microsoft Office but it's free. Linux is virtually free from viruses. It's even more secure than a Mac. Unfortunately, I have a couple of Windows based programs like Bibleworks that I cannot get to run on Ubuntu. There is a WINE program that allows you to run Windows software on Linux but I haven't success with Bibleworks. So I have a computer that I'm still running Windows on.

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