Sunday, 31 January 2016

By on January 31st, 2016 in Barbara, personal, relocation

10:37 – Another month gone, but we got a lot accomplished. When we put in an offer on our new house in late October, I didn’t expect things to progress as quickly as they did. But here we are, pretty much completely moved and settled in. Even Colin considers this home now, although he still has lots of exploration and marking to do on his new property.

Barbara hates to re-read books or re-watch TV programs, but we’re getting to the point where we’ve watched pretty much everything on Netflix streaming that we really want to watch. I have 100+ titles in our queue, but most of those are just series that I thought would be tolerable rather than things we really want to watch. So the other night I told Barbara that I’d much rather re-watch excellent series that we first watched 15 or 30 years ago than new crap, especially since we won’t remember any details. She agreed, and we’ve started re-watching Inspector Morse, which we first watched starting in the late 80’s. After the first four episodes, neither of us remembered anything about any of them, so they’re effectively new to us.

I also plugged a set of earphones into the Roku remote, which means Barbara can watch series that she likes but I can’t stand, notably anything by Shonda Rhimes. With the earphones connected, I can’t hear the audio, so I can sit and read while Barbara watches. It’s a win-win situation. I don’t have to hear these obnoxious series as Barbara watches them, and she doesn’t have to listen to my obnoxious comments on the obnoxious programs. And I suppose it’ll also work in reverse. I can watch re-reruns of Heartland or Jericho while Barbara reads. We can both watch what we want to, and we’ll both have more time to read.

Which will be nice. For the last few years, we’ve been running streaming TV from dinner until Barbara went back to the bedroom around 9:00. She’d read in bed for an hour or so, while I’d sit reading out in the den. That meant we each had only an hour or so of reading each evening. Before that, we’d often have two or three hours a night of reading, which I miss. There are hundreds of books currently on my TBR and TB re-R lists, and I’d like to get back to reading at least two or three books a day.

Speaking of which, Kindle Unlimited is an amazing resource for heavy readers. It has an immense selection of both fiction and non-fiction titles. A lot of the self-published stuff is garbage, but a lot of it isn’t. Which reminds me that I need to put a new Kindle on my to-buy list. My current one frequently skips ahead two pages at a time, and it gets annoying to have to do the page-back/page-forward shuffle constantly. It’s not a hardware issue, unless both of the page-forward buttons have just coincidentally developed the same hardware problem at the same time.

I’m going to do a hardware reset on my Kindle to see if that fixes the problem. Before I do that, I’ll use this site to build a structured list, organized by collections, of the titles I want to reload after the reset. And after the reset, I won’t tell the Kindle how to connect to our WiFi, because connecting to WiFi reproducibly crashes both Barbara’s and my Kindles, requiring a hard reset and reload each time. The other advantage is that the battery charge lasts much longer with WiFi disabled.

Even if the hard reset fixes the page-turn problem, I’ll probably get a spare Kindle and load both of them up with reference books and so on. It never hurts to have important books replicated, or in my case triplicated, since I have many of the titles in hard copy as well.

21 Comments and discussion on "Sunday, 31 January 2016"

  1. DadCooks says:

    We are a heavy Kindle User Family (Fires and Paperwhites), everyone has had one since the 1st generation. When Amazon had the new 5th generation Fire on sale for only $35 before Christmas I bought one for everybody. Take a look at it, it’s normal $50 price is still a good deal. We all particularly like that you can put in a BIG microSD card and download a bunch of books to always have on hand and not have to rely on being connected to WiFi. It looks to me that Amazon is getting ready to come out with new Fire HDs, since they have been on sale since before Christmas. IMHO, even on sale, the price Amazon is asking for the Fire HDs is too much, you might as well spend a bit more and get a good tablet.

    Regarding the page skipping problem on Kindle Paperwhites, it really disappoints me that Amazon has totally ignored customer complaints since 2012. Since my Wife has been using a Paperwhite since generation 1 and getting a new one whenever they come out she has developed a special method of page turning that has stopped the skipping pages almost 75% of the time (you have to hold it at just the right angle to the moon, tilt your head in a certain way, use your middle finger, while holding you mouth like you just sucked a lemon).

  2. SteveF says:

    It’s possible that both of the Page Forward buttons go through the same debounce circuitry and therefore did simultaneously develop the same hardware problem. I’ve never opened up a Kindle 3 (aka Kindle Keyboard) to look.

    However, it seems more likely to me that it’s a software problem. The K3 I use has recently started locking up hard, requiring the 20-second reset, which ends up reloading the OS or whatever it’s doing. Sometimes it even reboots itself when it’s just sitting on my desk. This happens several times a day, which gets old real quick. I keep meaning to load an older version of the OS via cable, but never think of it when I have a computer, Kindle, and cable all handy.

  3. nick says:

    Wow, your kindle problems continue to flabbergast me. I’ve got 7 or 8 at the moment, a variety of models, and I don’t have any of the problems you’ve had. I have them on wifi, and a couple are old enough to be on cellular whispernet. I send them pdfs. I send them non-drm books from Baen. The one thing I’ve never done is connect directly to a pc.

    The only issues I’ve had were with a particular game, words with friends, and that would cause network connection issues. As the game went away, it’s not an issue anymore.

    I have noticed that strong wifi helps, as the kindle reestablishes the connection when you wake it, and that can take a noticeable amount of time if you are marginal signal strength.

    I’ve got some old used kindles, and haven’t had any issues with worn out batteries or hardware failures. Even the giant DX, which originally didn’t hold a charge now does fine.

    I primarily use my Fire at home, but lately have been picking up one of the paperwhites. They are SO much lighter. Swiping the screen feels like swiping paper. (kind of catches my attention after swiping the slick Fire…) I still use my original white keyboarded Kindle when reading in daylight.

    We even got the 6yo the kid proofed kindle Fire. no problems with it either.

    Some folks are lucky, some are not. In the case of the kindle, I think we’re on opposite ends of the bell curve :-}


    ADDED on the touch screens I usually swipe, but sometimes tap. Depends on which hand I’m holding with. I haven’t noticed any problem with double page turns.

    WRT re-reading or re-watching- I do both. I’ve got books that are like comfort food. Sometimes you want the familiar delights. I usually forget enough detail to still be delighted by turns of phrase or character, whatever made me love the book in the first place. I find it harder to rewatch movies. So much of our visual vocabulary and dialect has changed that watching movies from certain time periods is just painful.

  4. DadCooks says:

    WRT re-reading or re-watching – with my slowly fading short term memory (and even some details in long term memory) so much that was old is new again. However, more often than not, “re”-ing something wakes up an old memory and it will slowly come back.

    I used to always have a little notebook in my pocket, now with my smartphone I use Evernote for my “paper brains”. Since it runs on all platforms I always have access to it and it will be invaluable for my Wife and Kids’ when I totally lose it.

    WRT the “cloud”. Nice to have, but like the weather it can be gone in an instant. For me it is the low priority backup and I triple it (Carbonite, iDrive, and Amazon Cloud). Triple local portable hard disks are my primary along with a constantly sync’d cloned laptop.

  5. Miles_Teg says:

    Have you ever watched the British series Poldark?

  6. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Never watched Poldark.

    I just asked Barbara, and she says her Kindle (which was originally my Kindle) has never had the page-skip problem. It’s one generation earlier than mine, which I originally bought for her. At the time, she was playing games on my Kindle, and the new one didn’t have a keyboard, so I traded with her.

  7. MrAtoz says:

    I’ve been using the Kindle app on an iPad mini and really like it. Especially white text on black background when my eye tire. I like the speed of looking something up, checking email, browsing and then back to reading. I also have a Kindle Voyage and have Calibre configured to remove DRM’d stuff I buy.

  8. OFD says:

    “Have you ever watched the British series Poldark?”

    We have, and liked it a lot. There is a new series of it out now via the PBS catalog with different actors, except for the original main guy, whose name escapes me at the moment, and he plays a reverend or something in it.

    Just the one Kindle Fire HDX here and I don’t use it that much, mainly if I’m gonna be stuck somewhere waiting for a while, like at the airport or car dealership. I’ve had zero problems with it, whether reading, surfing the innernet, or sending files to a printer, plus I’ve loaded several Google apps to it.

    This site has a bunch of useful info and intel:

  9. OFD says:

    More stuff on the Oregon caper from a former Army guy:

    ” it’s disturbing the degree to which this feels like the period of Bloody Kansas and the John Brown Raid. People are divided, bitter, and bloody-minded. We know where the failure to find a political resolution to the widening schism in the 1850s wound up. Anyone who wants the current schism to go there is out of his ever-lovin’ mind. American deaths in the Civil War were 2.5% of the population, predominantly productive-age men; that proportion would be about 8.25 million today. Both sides committed the sort of bestial atrocities that always seem to arise in civil wars. And while the two big issues were resolved: Slavery; and who is to be master, Feds or States — the cultural issues still fester like an antibiotic-resistant abscess.”

  10. lynn says:

    I watched the pilot of the new NBC show, “You, Me and the Apocalypse”. It is about an eight mile diameter comet hitting the earth (an ELE event) and several survivors in a deep bunker. I will watch more episodes but it appears to be a farce like “The Last Man on Earth”. It is shot in Britain and has already showed there.,_Me_and_the_Apocalypse

    I finished watching the fifth and final season of “Falling Skies”. It was Ok, not great.

    We hit 80 F here today. Spun up all the air conditioners. 2016 may be a warm one.

  11. OFD says:

    Wouldn’t a comet that size be sorta like a bullet hitting an apple? Or the “Foot” in that other stupid Pournelle/Niven creation that I can’t believe I slogged all the way through?

  12. lynn says:

    The earth diameter is 8,000 miles. The comet is 8 miles. Much smaller ratio than a bullet hitting an apple.

  13. OFD says:

    I get that but what about the velocity and explosive power? How big would a comet traveling at whatever speed have to be to destroy the planet?

  14. lynn says:

    The comet would have to be going the speed of light in order to destroy the Earth. The mass is just so much smaller.

  15. Denis says:

    I also have a page-turn problem on my Kindle Paperwhite – I wonder if it’s the same one RBT has? Sometimes, on mine, when I tap to advance the page nothing happens unless and until I tap a second time, upon which it skips two pages forward. Quite irritating!

    After the initial activation, I never allow my Kindles to connect via wi-fi. I leave them perpetually in aeroplane mode. I get improved battery life, and there’s no sneaking around (I hope!) with Amazon deleting my stuff that they don’t like, updating software and so on.

    Long ago, when I was on my first Kindle (I’m now on my third), RBT here recommended the 1000 best scanned drm-free books for Kindle to download. Alas, I can’t find the Daynotes post (or was it a comment?) anymore. I’ve read all those, am currently re-reading the best titles, and badly need more/newer content. Could anybody suggest another 1000-best type link?

  16. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Mine is an earlier version, and it’s not that the page-forward keys lag, it’s that pushing either once sometimes causes the Kindle to jump ahead two pages instead of one.

  17. Denis says:

    “Mine is an earlier version, and it’s not that the page-forward keys lag, it’s that pushing either once sometimes causes the Kindle to jump ahead two pages instead of one.”

    That sounds very irritating indeed. Just in case it’s a mechanical thing, have you tried blowing out the keys with compressed air? I seem to remember that my first-generation Kindle had quite a gap between the keys and the body, where pocket lint or something gritty might accumulate.

  18. MrAtoz says:

    I’ve read all those, am currently re-reading the best titles, and badly need more/newer content. Could anybody suggest another 1000-best type link?

    Try Kickass Torrents for tons of de-DRM’d books. I don’t remember if Dr. Bob’s link was for “free” books or not. You could download a couple of thousand to peruse and buy what you read.

  19. Roy Harvey says:

    Speaking of Kindle Unlimited, Duntemann’s latest is available there.

  20. Denis says:

    “Try Kickass Torrents …”


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