The Kindle and I

Posted on July 6th, 2011 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: IT / Tech, Personal.
Tags: , , , .

6 07 2011

I’m well late for this party, but having recently got an Amazon Kindle, and I have to say, I am very, very impressed with it.

Sure, it doesn’t play movies, it has a laughable web browser, and the audio play back is awful. However for what it was designed for, reading books, it is simply the best device I have used.

I’d previously tried to read paper books, using iBooks no the iPad, Android Tables, Phones, and my iPhone, nothing really felt right. I went on a long weekend to Tenerife a few weeks back, and wanted to try out a few books I’d been recommended. Previously I hand’t really been a ‘bookworm’, sure I read tons every day, but usually they’re technical books, RSS, Blogs… that kind of thing, but not novels or that kind of thing; even rarer to read it from cover to cover.

So I picked up a wifi Kindle, for £90, ordered a few books on the store, charged the thing up, and shoved it in my bag. Whilst sitting by the pool, I started to read ‘A Million Little Pieces’ a book a good friend had recommended. The first thing I noted was the eInk screen, and how easy it was to read in the bright sunlight – something no other device I have can be said about. The second was how comfortable it was to read with it. The buttons are exactly where they need to be on both sides, and the Kinda is very light, lighter than most books, so holding it for any length of time isn’t an issue.

The things that are clearly awesome about it:

  • The price – It’s really rather cheap in comparison to my normal gadgets.
  • Ease of use – It’s so simple, even Mother can get on with it.
  • Ease of buying – The system Amazon has built around buying eBooks is so simple. I can request a sample of a book, read the first chapter, and if I like it, at the end of the first chapter, I have a buy button; that’s it, I then have the book.
  • Screen – The eInk display is really rather impressive. The only downfall to it is the lack of backlight, so as soon as it’s not overly light where you are, you can’t see the thing. They do have a case with integrated night light. This also works quite well, as it uses the power from the device for power.
  • Weight/Shape/Controls – They are all very well designed.
  • Battery – Two weeks of use, and I still haven’t charged it.

The things that aren’t so awesome:

  • Screensavers – They’re awful. I had to jailbreak the device, to get rid of them.
  • Cases – To get a backlight, I bought the official case – they’re not cheap.
  • VAT – not an Amazon or a Kindle issue – but in the UK, you still get charged VAT (20%) for eBooks. So eBooks are more expensive than paper books – CRAZY!

One thing I really wish I had done now in reflection is to buy the 3G model. The only reason I’d want that is the page sync. I’ve found that the Kindle app for Android is surprisingly very good. I use it on my ZTE Blade, which has an AMOLED screen. Putting the background to black and text to white, doesn’t use a lot of battery at all on the Blade, and being able to turn page by using the volume switch, makes it quite a good device to use when I don’t have my kindle on me. The only issue with this is, I need to remember to turn the kindle wi-fi on and sync the pages back to Amazon – if I’d bought the 3G model, this would just do it for me.

I’ve tried the Kindle app on the iPad, and whilst it’s all there, I just don’t find the iPad that great for reading for any length of time, the lack of a ‘turn page button’ and it’s slightly too heavy. It is however neat to have a synced copy of all my books on all the devices… just in case.

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Amoxoi-tastic

Posted on February 1st, 2011 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: Personal.
Tags: , , .

1 02 2011

Usually, I’d shrug off being ill, with the occasional rant about the seasonal flu. However January really has taken the biscuit.

The week before Christmas, I had an awful cold (I won’t compensate and call it flu). Luckily I was then fine for a few days over the Christmas break. To then come down with the worst case of flu I think I’ve ever had the week after. Literally a week in bed, was very grim. I suspect that was swine flu.

Have then been fine for a week or so, to then come down with another cold, again with a weasey chest. The cold has now pretty much gone, but I still sound like a burst hoover every time I breath in and out.

So I checked in at the local doctors this morning, to be greeted with a really caring, genuinely nice doctor. I told her what the history, and she had a listen to my chest, and concurred something was not right.

She prescribed me 500mg Amoxicillin, as she believes I’ve had a secondary infection in my chest. This may be causing a bit of a loop. Chest gets better (but weakens immune system) > Influenza takes hold due to weaken immune system > Chest… etc

Amoxicillin

I’ve never really been a fan of anti-biotics, you read about the super bacteria, that are cropping up all over the place. Some believe these are ‘evolving’ due to the over use of anti-biotics. I’m also not a huge fan of popping a pill at every opportunity. However, not taken any anti-biotics for the first 25 years of my life, I’m sure one dose wont bring on the resident evil stylie zombies… or will it?

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Movember – Update

Posted on November 24th, 2010 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: Personal.
Tags: , .

24 11 2010

So, I’ve been growing my Tache, in aid of Movember since 1st November, and well, it’s horrid. My beard, if you can call it that, grows multicoloured, from white, to mousey brown, to ginger, not to mention it looks like someone has just put a load of pubes on my face.

Never the less, I’ve carried it on, and as you can see from the above, am following all the rules. I had to remove my Soul Patch, as this was against the rules. I’ve had a soul patch for quite some years now, and it’s a bit of a running joke, that I’ve missed a bit when shaving.

The interesting thing I did find out yesterday, was that a few places are giving freebies away for anyone partaking in Movember, such as Byron, between 15:00 and 19:00 will give you a free burger, and wahaca Monday to Tuesdays, are giving a free burrito, amazing stuff!

So seeing as I had lunch on the Mo today, I thought I’d give a quick update, then go on the pester for more donations. Think a bit of facebook spamming, and emailing the likely lot at work is well in order.

If you’d like to donate (comeon, you know you want to) please visit my MOSPACE, and donate on there? A few pounds would be awesome. It’s going to a great cause (Prostate Cancer Charity) and I’ll keep growing the mo (looking like a pillock) kthxbi

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Movember

Posted on November 11th, 2010 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: Personal.
Tags: , .

11 11 2010

So, in the name of charity, this November I am participating in Movember. Movember is an annual month-long event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November.

I rarely participate in charity events myself, but often donate to worthy causes, so decided this is a pretty good thing to do. There are a load of my friends and chaps in my office doing it, so humiliation is shared around.

Movember Mo

To be honest, when I try and grow a beard or any sort of facial growth, it just looks like adolescent multicoloured bum fluff, as you can see above. Any small donation to the charity will make this all very much worthwhile.

The proceeds go to the Prostate Cancer Charity and Everyman, which are two charities I regularly donate to myself, so see these as awesome causes.

Currently I am sitting bottom of the donation league, so really need to start pleading with you all for some of your coppers…. please dig deep, any donation, big or small will be most welcome…

To donate please go to my mo-space over at movember.

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A walk down memory lane

Posted on December 28th, 2009 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: Personal, Photography.
Tags: , .

28 12 2009

I’ve been at Mum’s over Christmas, and is always a bit weird coming back to the area.
I moved away to Southend-on-Sea (Essex) when I was 14, and lived in Essex until very recently.

I was meeting Mum from work today, to go on to visit my Brother for the afternoon. As I’m one of those people who are usually early, and I had a few hours to kill so thought I’d go for a wander.

There was always an area near to where I used to live, that was totally different to the surrounding area, and always somewhere I’d love to escape to. I always dreamt of living in one of the houses, and today was a bit of a shock, to realise, well actually I could if wanted to. At that point, I realised, I’m getting old. It’s like I always wished I’d work in IT, with a nice car…blah blah when I was older, and now I actually do it’s a bit like, well what do I do now? Well I know next time I have to move, which I hope isn’t anytime soon, that I’ll be looking in SE16.


Walk down memory lane

Anyways back to the houses, they’re all in a small bit of Bermandsey, by the Thames, and Greenland Docks, but they have the most picturesque surroundings. Most overlook their own water features or ponds (like the above), and I just find them amazing.

Cygnet (Swan)

Throughout my visit, I was followed by the Cygnet above… maybe he was trying to butter me up, so if I moved into the area, I’d keep him in stock of moulding Hovis.

As old as me?

Amazingly, the car above, I’m sure has been in that same parking space, since I left, when I was 13 (so a few years). Still has up to date TAX, but never looks as though it’s moved. Amazing.

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