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My Summer of Ergonomics Begins!
June 20, 2013 | 8:46 pm

ergonomicsI am delighted—but nervous—to officially be on summer holiday! I'm looking forward to a less structured schedule, and I have plenty to keep me busy. But unfortunately, most of this stuff is computer-related. I looked far and wide for an in-person offering for a continuing-education course I want to take and found that everyone was doing it online only—and that's in addition to an online training program I've been plugging away at all year long, and in addition to my writing work for TeleRead and others. So, why am I nervous? Well, last summer, I did away with my E Ink reader...

Review: Poetic cover for Nook HD
May 22, 2013 | 4:15 pm

Poetic cover for Nook HDI'm still loving my Nook HD, and it has become my go-to device. I only use my Nexus 7 for app testing that requires either Jelly Bean or working with widgets. Since the HD goes with me everywhere, I needed a case, and I found a really inexpensive one on Amazon. The Poetic Slimline Portfolio case adds very little bulk to the HD, but it protects it from bumping around in a backpack while still giving access to all ports and buttons. (The picture is a live link to the case on Amazon.) It even offers a magnetic sleep/wake function. I actually...

On Etsy, a Book Isn’t Always a Book
April 1, 2013 | 10:20 am

Have a hardback book you're not reading anymore? Why not make something with it? I came across a fascinating group of people on Etsy who are repurposing old hardback books into hidden storage boxes for money and valuables. From the outside, these books look just like the real thing. Open them up and you'll find that they've been hollowed out and refitted with a secret compartment. I fell in love with this idea and purchased one of the books on offer: a blue Reader's Digest Condensed Books in which I planned to store my passport, checks and some cash we are...

Show off your baseball pride with e-reading accessories
February 15, 2013 | 10:00 am

Pitchers and catchers report to spring training this week. For baseball fans, this marks the beginning of a rocky ride with tumultuous feelings that crush or elevate you throughout a season. And it’s wonderful. But what baseball fans love are ways to show their pride. Nothing says you’re a big New York Yankees fan than having an outlandish tattoo somewhere on your body. However, there are easier and less painful ways to show off your team pride. Companies have created several types of baseball-themed e-reading accessories, including covers for some of the more popular tablets. Look at this hard shell case for Kindle Fire...

Proporta Beachbuoy Waterproof Nexus 7 Case (Review)
February 11, 2013 | 1:00 pm

Proporta BeachBuoy Waterproof Google Nexus 7 CaseThe Proporta Beachbuoy Waterproof Nexus 7 Case was sent to me for review by the kind folks at Mobile Fun. They offered me my choice of Nexus or iPad Mini cases, and given that I stole the Beloved's book-style for my own purposes, I let him pick. He choose this waterproof case because he's fond of a good bath, and he was hoping he could enjoy his baseball RSS feeds while in the tub. He also found the book-style case a little cumbersome and prefers to read the device 'naked.' But when he travels with the tablet, he does want something...

Pedestal Stand for iPad also holds your toilet paper?
February 10, 2013 | 10:08 pm

iPad toilet paper holderOne of the things I love about my iPad is that it liberates me from the constraints of my desktop workstation and the lousy body English of using a laptop sitting on one’s lap. I can use the iPad in a wide range of venues in my house and yard—pretty much anywhere within range of my Wi-Fi router. However, one place I’ve never used the iPad is in the bathroom, and I really have no desire to do so. My philosophy about bathroom-going is that you do what’s on the agenda and move on, so to speak. But, whatever floats your...

Finding the Perfect E-Reader Prop
January 29, 2013 | 2:32 pm

Do you like to read while you eat? I know people say you shouldn't multitask while eating, but reading during breakfast and lunch is one of my favorite ways to treat myself. Finding a good way to prop up my e-reader has always been a challenge. The MoKo case for my Nexus 7 works well in landscape mode, but my Kindle Touch case doesn't have any way to position it. If you've been searching as well, I've found two solutions you might want to consider. The first is the AmazonBasics Mini Travel Stand (top photo). It's only $6.20 on Amazon, and it's deceptively...

Review: AmazonBasics Bluetooth Keyboard
January 25, 2013 | 2:31 pm

AmazonBasics Bluetooth Keyboard reviewI admit it: I’m cheap. And while I love technology, I don’t want to spend more money than I have to on it. When I decided I needed a Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad, I shopped around. The price range is huge. Naturally, I considered the Apple keyboard, but it’s expensive. Then I found the AmazonBasics Bluetooth keyboard. The reviews were good, and the price was right. (Note that Amazon's supply is currently out of stock, but the price is $29.99. At the time of writing, 24 new and used keyboards were available from third-party sellers.) Also notice that since I bought...

SkyMall E-Reading Gadgets
January 20, 2013 | 11:19 am

So I was sitting on the worst part of the plane flight, right after they told me to shut off all electronic devices. Being a good traveler, I stowed my Kindle and looked around for something to do. Ah! SkyMall magazine. Always a good way to waste a few minutes. In and around the usual silliness, I found a couple of items that would actually be useful to an e-book reader. What do you think of these? 1. iPad Power Case ($129.95) iPad batteries are good, but they can't stand up to marathon reading sessions. This one sports a 9000mAh battery, which should give...

An Appeal to Tablet and E-Reader Manufacturers: Standardize your power cords, already!
January 16, 2013 | 2:00 pm

Some things I collect avidly and with great pleasure, like detective stories. Others I accumulate reluctantly and with increasing distaste, like power supplies. As with most twenty-first century households, we have an ever-growing collection of power supplies for various devices which have broken, been stolen or simply retired from old age. ‘I’ll keep the power supply!’ I think. ‘It may work for something else!’ But it seldom does. Each new manufacturer feels duty-bound to require some new combination of voltage and jack size which renders every previous power supply totally useless. I recently acquired a new ten-inch Android tablet as part of...

Review: AmazonBasics Netbook Sleeve with Handle
January 16, 2013 | 12:00 pm

AmazonBasics Netbook Sleeve with HandleSome people like to carry their iPads around in their hands. I’m not one of them, because I’m always afraid I’m going to drop it. A messenger bag is good, but sometimes it’s overkill. For those times, I like the AmazonBasics Netbook Sleeve with Handle. Like all AmazonBasics products, it comes in frustration-free packaging, and they mean it. Rip one tab, and you’re in. Made of neoprene, it’s light and sturdy. The padding goes all the way around, even on the bottom, so your tablet is completely protected. The handle is padded and makes it easy to carry. It has a little side pocket, which sets...

REVIEW: Rikomagic MK802 III – How To Turn Your TV Into An Android Tablet
December 27, 2012 | 1:00 am

Rikomagic MK802 III review I was lucky enough to be gifted with an Android PC on a USB stick this Christmas: the Rikomagic MK802 III model, latest in a series from one of the originators of this category, although there are plenty of other makers and models now. And though it's obviously not something you can carry around to read e-books off, like a tablet or phone, it has surprising potential as an e-reading device, most of all for the educational market. As the Rikomagic website explains, once this super-tiny, pocket-sized PC is up and running, "it's a bit like turning your TV into a...