Kindle talk

Thursday, 18 August, 2011

As a follow-on…… I gave a talk at Middlesex University on the use of Kindles in HE.

Using the Kindle…. to read a book!

Thursday, 18 August, 2011

I was actually using the Kindle to read a book today…. funny that up to this point I haven’t actually done this. In part its the fact that Kindle books are usually of the order of 50p cheaper than the print counterpart. In this instance the book was actually over half price so it was worth the purchase. That said you can’t scribble in the Kindle quite so easily or lend it (well you can in the US, but it comes with a 2 week restriction).

Anyway, using the Kindle was quite a liberating experience. It took me a little while to get over the fact that I can’t flick through the book, scan ahead, so how much of the chapter is left or flip backwards and forwards quite so easily, but once I got used to the format just seeing the book marker on the bottom row of the screen was sufficient. The screen really is beautiful to read, crisp, clear and easy on the eye. Advancing pages is easy and the extensive battery life great. It works and works well. As I said before, you have to be a martyr to actually make notes on thing; its not designed for it and painful. But what was remarkably useful was the ability to mark up paragraphs. It is quick to do and all the sections are then accumulated and can be transferred to the desktop. Great for writing reviews, reflecting upon important paragraphs and highlighting sections for students.

The other unexpected delight was playing mp3s: I knew the Kindle could do this but hadn’t really used it for this. So I dumped a couple of albums in the music directory, fired up the book I was reading and hit Alt-Space. Music is played in chronological order and you can forward (Alt-F) tracks but not go back. The iPod it ain’t but if you like zoning out to music whilst reading its surprisingly useful.

Write Space… more distraction free writing

Wednesday, 10 August, 2011

Following on from my post on Focus Writer is Write Space…. another distraction free editor. This time though its an App for Google Chrome and (perhaps unusually) offers local file storage. There are no options other than how the interface looks, but it just works. Another option….

DLR SRTM Data Now Freely Available

Saturday, 6 August, 2011

This announcement passed me by and seems to have been missed by quite a few other blogs….. and for those not in the know, SRTM is a global DEM product collected on a space shuttle mission a decade ago. What was perhaps unusual was that TWO different sensors were used to collect the data creating two different products. NASA freely released its data for the world at 90 m resolution, but only 30 m data was available for the US. The DLR sold its data at 25m resolution, high vertical accuracy, but not entire coverage. This latter product is now free and available from EOWEB.