10 Reasons To Get a Kindle

I love my Kindle, and I’ve had a couple friends ask me why I love it and if they should get one. If you are wondering that too, then I say to you, yes, you should. I know Kindle-haters are usually book collectors, and if you are an avid book collector, then maybe a Kindle isn’t right for you. But if you like to read, don’t like to spend a lot of money on books, and don’t care to have a library in your house, then you should get a Kindle.

10 Reasons Why:

1. Books are cheaper. Yes, you can find used books for pretty cheap at bookstores, but rarely will these books be new bestsellers or hardback books. Kindle books are drastically cheaper than regular books and some of the classics are even free. On top of that, Amazon sometimes has random book sales, and I’ve gotten some great best selling books for like, $2. Worth it!

2. You can get books instantly. Forget about going to the bookstore, you can download your favorite book in under 5 seconds. Books are never sold out, unlike at the store, and you can buy new releases on your Kindle at midnight. I definitely wanted to start reading Jaycee Dugard’s story, “A Stolen Life,” as soon as I could, so I bought it right after midnight on my Kindle. I know people still having a hard time finding it because it sold out at all the bookstores.

3. You can change the size of the font. Ever buy those books where the font is microscopic? I have, and those kind of books make me so tired when I read them, I don’t even want to read them. They are too much work! On Kindle, you can change the size of the font, although the standard size font is perfect for me. Great for those folks with not so keen of vision.

4. It’s small and lighter than a regular book. It’s easy to just pop in your purse or backpack or book bag and take with you anywhere. You don’t have to worry about smashing your book or loosing your bookmark in your bag because your book is all secured. Buy a cheap case for your Kindle to protect it, and you’re good.

5. I tend to read in awkward, curled up positions, so reading on a Kindle is great for me – no book pages to smash when you try and turn them. All you have to do is push the forward button, and you’re good to go. Because it’s so light, it’s easy to read in every position.

6. I have the 3G Kindle, meaning I have internet access everywhere. Free internet. On my Kindle, I can go online or check my Facebook or buy a book wherever I go. This 3G is also global. Can your book do that?

7. I personally think the Kindle is better than other eReaders out there, particularly the Nook. First of all, Kindle is created by Amazon. Amazon isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Barnes & Noble? Not so sure about that. Amazon has an amazing selection of books for great prices. I don’t know about B&N, but I’d rather not invest in something made by a bookstore at this point in time. Besides that, I just like the look, feel and price of the the Kindle. It’s so simple and light, as it should be.

I feel like the Nook tries to do too much, like with their touchscreen eReader. I am not a fan of the LCD touchscreen eReader; I feel like it’s trying to be a tablet, but it’s an eReader. It’s not really great in any one way, rather, it’s mediocre in both the tablet and eReader markets. It’s not the same reading on an LCD screen, and it lacks a lot of things a tablet needs and has. The touchscreen eReaders with the eInk technology is laggy, and it seems to imprint more than it would be on a regular eReader. That’s just my 2 cents.

8. The Kindle tells you your progress on your book, what percentage you’ve read and how long until the next chapter. No longer will you need to turn page after page to see when the next chapter is, or count pages to see how much you’ve read.

9. You can read it in sunlight. Yes, this is a benefit over the LCD screen tablets, but it’s also easier to read than a normal book, too. There is no glare, and because the Kindle background is sort of an off white, it doesn’t shine right back into your eyes like some white paged books do.

10. It’s fun to read on! I don’t know why, but I get excited to read on my Kindle. I never thought that I would be so excited to read again.

The one downside that I’ve seen is that not every single book is available for Kindle. Although all the books that I’ve wanted to read are available, I know of a few books that I’ve already read that aren’t (like Harry Potter). I see great potential with eReaders and textbooks for college, although it doesn’t seem to have taken off quite yet. I also think that libraries supporting eReaders and digital books will be a huge trend later this year and next, and it will completely revolutionize the way we read.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m a big Kindle fan. What do you like about your Kindle? Or what turns you off about getting an eReader? Let me know in the comments.

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Audio/Video sync issues with Photo Booth on YouTube

Today I created my first video blog post, and I thought it would be super easy as I have a MacBook with Photo Booth, but I ran into several super annoying issues. I thought I’d share my problems and how I fixed them because I had to do several searches on the internet – very time consuming – before I found the answer.

I thought that I could upload to YouTube straight from my Photo Booth, and while it did allow me to do this, my audio and video did not match up, making the video unwatchable. Then I tried to upload the Photo Booth video straight onto my blog post through WordPress’s options, but it wouldn’t even recognize the file. What I had to do is bring the video into iMovie (should come with your Mac) and export it with QuickTime though there.

Now, this is where I had the most trouble. I have never really used iMovie before, and I was getting super frustrated with items being blocked out for no apparent reason. Here’s what you need to do (what I did)…

First: You need to import you Photo Booth movie into iMovie. I could not, for the life of me, find the movie in the Photo Booth when doing this option, so I had to drag the Photo Booth movie onto my desktop and import it that way.

Second: You need to export the movie using Quicktime. When I tried to do this initially, the option was blocked out. What you need to do, is make sure the movie clip is not only in the main, bottom box but also in the top box on the left hand side. If the clips were not on both sides, I could not export the movie. All you have to do is command + a the video clips in one box and drag it into the other. Then you should be able to Share > Export Using QuickTime.

Third (read before you hit export): You might need to mess with some of your export settings, but if you’ve never really changed anything, I think the default settings are okay. Now, make sure that the export settings say “Movie to Quicktime Movie.” For some reason, mine defaulted to “Movie to Image Sequence,” which I accepted accidentally… and let me tell you, you don’t want to do that! All the other settings are probably okay, but make sure that the section “Prepare for Internet Streaming” is set to Fast Start.

*Also, I kept going back and forth between my notes and the iMovie settings, and each time I did this, it completely blocked out my options. I don’t know if it’s my computer or what, but I recommending knowing what you need to change first, so you can avoid this.

Fourth: Once your video is done exporting, you can upload that file straight to YouTube. Your audio and video should be synced perfectly!

Good luck and hopefully you don’t have to deal with as much trail and error as I did.

How To Choose A Point And Shoot Digital Camera

I don’t consider myself an expert when it comes to photography but as a consumer, I scour the web when it comes to buying big purchases such as a digital camera. As with most subjects I research online, I found that everyone has their own opinion. Many of the articles I found came from people who knew much more on the subject than me, and wrote like it. In this post, I’ll tell you what I found and what worked for me as a novice photographer.

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HTC Droid Eris Low on Space?

Phone Frustration

A few weeks ago my phone started saying that it was low on storage space. Low on space? I hadn’t changed anything! Needless to say, it was frustrating for the notification to keep popping up — especially since I kept deleting apps to free up my internal memory. I finally fixed the problem — Facebook was syncing with my phone contacts, making my contact storage over 25 mb! Facebook was also a memory suck, taking up nearly 10 mb. On top of that, my battery was draining too quickly, and I had to start bringing my charger everywhere. Crawling the internet, I found the solution, but I thought it might be helpful to put all the info in one place for other people who are having the same problems I had. Here are my troubleshooting tips for getting your Droid Eris under control.

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Droid Eris Review

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to upgrade my cell phone from a LG enV2 to a HTC Droid Eris. I’ve never before had a smartphone, let alone any internet capabilities. A lot of people have been asking me how I like it, so I decided to write a review of the phone (from what I’ve experienced so far).

As I said, in the past I used to own an enV2. I also have an iPod Touch that I use pretty regularly. I know that the iPod Touch is not an iPhone but because they have so many similarities I will use some comparisons.

First off, the Eris was free so that’s an awesome start. I’m on a family plan and my dad wanted to buy the Moto Droid, so we were able to use the “Double Your Droid” deal (he bought a Droid for regular price and I got the Eris for free). I would definitely recommend paying attention to these Verizon deals because sometimes they are amazing! Anyway, the Eris, with the new-every-2 is $100 less than the regular Droid. Yeah, over the course of a few years that one hundred bucks won’t really matter but it’s just a bonus for a poor, post-college student (and I wanted this phone anyway).

Second, I don’t know if you’ve seen the Moto Droid but it’s pretty hefty. I think that has something to do with the slide out keyboard which personally, I didn’t need or want. It might have some benefit, especially for people who aren’t used to using a touch screen, but I feel it’s unnecessary. Because I don’t like big, fat phones, I was definitely drawn to the Eris’ sleek, light design. I mean, the Droid advertises that “It isn’t pretty but it’s fast,” and I agree. The Eris on the other hand is pretty and cute, similar to many of HTC’s phones. All the goods and a little better packaging if you ask me! The Eris also has a little TrackBall similar to the Blackberry. Not a huge deal but it’s different, a bit useful, and you can set it up to light up when you get a text/notification.

The Moto Droid does have a bit better specs, as far as having Android 2.0 OS and flash on the camera while the Eris has the Android 1.5 OS and no flash. But from what I’ve heard, the Eris will be getting the 2.0 OS (or possibly even 2.1, like the Nexus One) within the next few weeks (speculated Jan. 20). From some of the research I’ve done, the reasoning behind having a 1.5 OS has something to do with the HTC Sense UI not quite syncing with 2.0 (which the UI is supposedly awesome) and that HTC is taking their time to make it work. Anyway, 2.0/2.1 should be up and running on the Eris soon anyway, so no big deal (the main difference from 1.5 and 2.0, or so I hear, is turn-by-turn Google navigation).

The Eris is completely customizable. Like the iPhone/iPod touch, it has sliding pages. There are only 7 pages but there is also a pop-up menu that has all the apps. Unlike the iPhone, you can decide how you want apps to look. You can make apps have little boxes, if that’s what you want — but many apps can be made bigger or shaped different based on what it is (like my Google Calendar can take up it’s own screen). Another difference from the iPhone/iPod Touch is that the Eris can run several apps simultaneously. Notifications (text messages, e-mails, Facebook updates, etc.) show up and scroll in the header, so you don’t have to stop what you are doing to read a message. So many different possibilities but for example, you can listen to Pandora while writing an e-mail and reading a text message.

One thing that compelled me to choose the Eris over a Blackberry was the Google integration. Overall, I wanted something easy, something that I could use to go online, update social media, and have apps. Both phones can do that. But I personally use Gmail, Google Calendar, and all those goods and the Eris is completely synced with these. I also liked the Eris design better than the Blackberrys that are currently on the market.

A few other quick things

  • It has a USB charger, so you can charge your phone on the computer. I guess this is the new, more common thing to happen to cell phones but it’s a big difference from my old phone.
  • It has a fun people shortcut so that you can easily text/call the people you talk to the most.
  • Information can be organized based on a person, so I can see everything that someone sent me and their info in one place.
  • I really could go on, but I don’t want to take all the fun and surprises out of getting a new phone. BUT, one more thing I like is the Google Search via voice recognition. Press a button, say “Taylor Swift” and it’ll search it for you on Google!

Hopefully that covered it. Any questions? Leave me a comment!

New Dreamweaver Web site

I just finished my first Web site! I am so excited. Check it out at here.

It was an assignment for my ART408 seminar, which focused on Adobe Dreamweaver. Our professor taught us the basics, and we had to apply everything we learned into our Web site. I decided to create an online Portfolio since I know it will come in handy now that I’m about to graduate. I recommend everyone taking some sort of Dreamweaver class. It’s a lot of fun to use the program (even though it can get frustrating at times), and I guarantee that you will feel accomplished when you are finished. Happy Web designing!