Find Joy. Seek Truth. Be Kind.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The world is changing

Technology, the internet and world wide web are changing our lives. It's making the world smaller. It's opening doors that used to have gatekeepers. It's also cluttering up our time, and our real and virtual memory. I'm trying to adjust, and also having lots of moments where I'm just blown away by some visions of the future.

This was the Christmas of the e-reader for our house hold. Bit-Boy got a refurbished Nook (and not much else). I got a Kindle Fire (from Firelord, who used gift cards he received from work to get it. Sweet :-) ). My kindle can watch videos, both streaming and stored. It can read books from the library, be used to play game apps, read email, read and create documents, access the web... It might be able to wipe my nose, if I find the right app.

Firelord has had a Nook for several months. He rooted it and turned it into a full on android. Christmas day he walked Bit-Boy through the same process. My KindleFire is not currently rooted, but I expect, that when enough people have done it successfully, Firelord and Bit-Boy will have their way with it as well. A full android is pretty cool, and more powerful than I had realized. Even my little Kindle Fire is way more than I expected, although it needs a few work-arounds.

It was ironic that the Nook e-reader I put on hold at the library became available December 26. Even having 3 e-readers in the house, we were glad to check it out. It was nice to compare the e-ink to the color readers. It also came preloaded with over 100 books, including the Hunger Games trilogy. Those books are like crack-cocaine, and the holds for the paper books at the library are longer than the holds for the nook. Bit-Boy and I took turns stealing the black and white library nook from each other while we raced to finish the series. Now Firelord wants to commandeer it to read The Game of Thrones. Having this little thing handed to me, pre-loaded with so many different books, has opened my eyes to e-readers.

My Kindle didn't come pre-loaded with much. I've been trudging through the free kindle and android apps for things the kids would like playing (I mean beyond Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, and Where's My Water ;-P). There's a bit of a learning curve to get e-books from the library. There are at least 3 different types of files books can be in: epub, PDF, and Kindle. Apparently the device needs a different reading app for each. I'm figuring it out. Slowly, with a lot of support from Firelord. And, I'm starting to resent that I can only check out 5 e-books from the library at a time. I've learned how to side load apps that aren't available at the Kindle store using applications like . I've also put on extra readers. Now I have Overdrive (for library books), Google books, the Nook app, and BlueFire. I'm looking forward to figuring out how to load books from the Guttenberg Project, but have found that most the classics can be found for free elsewhere as well. Bit-Boy and I have talked about doing some field trips and getting library cards from as many libraries as possible to maximize our ability to check out e-books.

I've got so many thoughts spinning around right now. Ideas for sharing creativity using our new technology, and little bits of scraps lying around the house, are filling my vision. Bit-Boy is uncertain about starting school. He has many new business ideas around programming apps, and being in school will certainly cut back on the time he has to devote to his passions. Lego-Dude had a day yesterday and made me wonder if it's time to bring in the professionals (psychiatric or circus - I'm not sure). Hot dog is his cheerful self, but until last night wasn't sleeping through the night for over a week straight. Hmm... it's not wonder my thoughts are spinning. I need a nap.

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