Amazon Kindle versus Barnes and Noble Nook

I’m going to start out by warning you that will be a long post as I plan to cover everything I’ve known so far about both the Kindle & the Nook. I know of at least two people who have a Kindle & I have seen them. I have not yet laid eyes on a Nook.

Well I decided the other day to look at any updates there may have been for the Kindle as I have wanted one for over a year now. I was happy to see the following "Kindle Library Lending

Later this year, Kindle customers will be able to borrow Kindle books from more than 11,000 libraries in the United States through the new Kindle Library Lending feature.

When Kindle Library Lending is launched, you will be able to check out a Kindle book from your local library and start reading on any Kindle device or free Kindle app for Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone. Kindle Library Lending will provide the same unique features as Kindle and Kindle books, including the ability to read on any Kindle or free Kindle app, Whispersync technology that synchronizes your notes, highlights and last page read, real page numbers, and more. After a library book expires, if you ever decide to check it out again or purchase it from Amazon, all of your annotations and bookmarks will be preserved.

You’ll be able to borrow Kindle library books from any of the more than 11,000 libraries that work with OverDrive, the leading provider of digital content solutions for libraries.

Availability of books and length of loan will vary by library. Kindle Library Lending will only available for U.S. customers at launch."

I guess now is as good a time as any to list the versions of both the Kindle & the Nook. I’ll start with the Kindle Kindle, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6" Display – includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers, Kindle, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6" Display, Kindle 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 3G Works Globally, 6" Display (In either Graphite or White.), Kindle DX, Free 3G, 3G Works Globally, Graphite, 9.7" Display. On to the versions of the Nook Barnes and Noble NOOK eBook Reader (Wi-Fi only) [ Black & White ], Barnes & Noble NOOK ebook reader (Wi-Fi + 3G)[B&W], Barnes & Noble NOOK Color eBook Tablet.

I’m not sure what Barnes and Noble mean by the "Borrowing" listed as only on the Nook color only means at See which Nook is right for you.

With that announcement I have dropped all consideration I had for a Nook as the only feature it had that the Kindle in a lower standing in my opinion is now gone. Since both devices are going to or already support the same network I don’t see that as being a major difference between them. If you want to find out if your library is participating you can do a search at OverDrive to either find books or if your Library participates. You can also check for a full list of devices that are supported at OverDrive’s Device Resource Center

There are a few other minor issues but none of them are deal breakers for me. Here in the order that I can think of differences between the Kindle & the Nook.

  • The Kindle does not have a user replaceable battery & the non-color Nooks do. The color Nook does not have a user replaceable battery. From what I’ve read the battery in the Kindle’s battery typically lasts for three years so not a deal breaker in my book.
  • The Kindle does not have any support for color while one version of the Nook does. The color screen means it has a backlight & will run the battery dead faster.
  • The Kindle can run for up to one month of reading while the Nook gets only 8 hours for the color & only 10 days for they grey scale. (All mentioned times are from the respective manufactures site & are with the wireless turned off.)
  • The Kindle does not have a port for expansion, the Nook can accept a microSD card of up to 16 GB for the non-color versions & the color version can accept a microSD card of up to 32 GB . But since Amazon says "Delete with abandon. We automatically keep an archival copy of your Kindle books-—re-download for free, anytime. We even back up your last page read and annotations, so when you re-download to the device you can pick up where you left off with all of your notes still in place." I don’t care as much about the lack of expandability on the Kindle.
  • The Kindle has 802.11 b/g for the wireless models. The Nook has 802.11 b/g on the non-color model, while the color nook has 802.11 b/g/n.
  • The Kindle uses buttons for the interface while the Nook uses either a small 3.5 inch color touch screen or a 7 inch touch screen in the case of the color Nook. Remember the color interface means it has back lighting which will eat up the battery life & will most likely have issues when trying to look at it outside.
  • The Kindle has 4 GB internal storage (approximately 3GB available for user content). The Nook has 8 GB for the color & 2 GB for the other versions (Actual formatted capacity may be less. Approximately 5GB available to store content, of which up to 4GB may be reserved for content purchased from the Barnes & Noble NOOK Store.).
  • The Kindle comes in 6 inch or 9.7 inch display sizes. The Nook comes in either 7 inch for the color or 6 inch for the other models.
  • The Kindle has "Free Access at AT&T Hotspots". While the Nook only has Free Wi-Fi® in all AT&T hotspots for the versions that are not color. Obviously the Nook also has Internet access at Barnes & Noble stores.
  • The Kindle can do Portrait & Landscape View on all currently sold models while only the Nook color has that feature. The non color nooks are Portrait only. (I don’t remember if the 1st generation Kindle had the landscape view option.)
  • The Kindle has the following dimensions 7.5" x 4.8" x 0.335" while the Kindle DX is 10.4" x 7.2" x 0.38". The Nook is 7.7" x 4.9" x 0.50" for non color versions & 8.1" x 5.0" x 0.48". (Where " indicates inches.)
  • The Kindle is 8.5 oz. for the Wi-Fi only, 8.7 oz. for the Wi-Fi & 3G, & 18.9 oz. for the DX. The Nook is 11.6 oz. for the Wi-Fi only, 12.1 oz. for the Wi-Fi & 3G, & 15.8 oz. for the color Nook.
  • The Kindle has WebKit-based browser in the 3rd generation as well as the DX. Only the Nook color has any mention of having a web browser.
  • The Kindle has apps for the following devices Android, BlackBerry, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Macintosh, Windows PC, & Windows Phone. The nook has apps for Android, BlackBerry, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Macintosh (beta), & Windows PC. (Sorry Nook but I want a Windows Phone & I don’t like beta software either.)
  • The Kindle can read books to you I only see mention of the Nook color having this feature.
  • The Kindle has native support for
    • Documents: Kindle (.AZW, .AZW1). Text (.TXT), Unprotected Mobipocket (.MOBI, .PRC)
    • Audible: Audible (.AA, .AAX)
    • Music: MP3 (.MP3)
  • The Nook color has mention of support for other formats & they are Word, Excel and Powerpoint document support. I didn’t see any other formats listed for the Nook.
  • The Kindle does have support to convert the following formats over to the Kindle format.
    • Microsoft Word (.DOC)
    • HTML (.HTML, .HTM)
    • RTF (.RTF)
    • JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG)
    • GIF (.GIF)
    • PNG (.PNG)
    • BMP (.BMP)
    • PDF (.PDF): (PDF support added to 2nd generation, 3rd generation, & DX devices.)
    • Microsoft Word (.DOCX) is supported in our experimental category.
  • The Kindle has two ways to send the converted documents to your computer either via email or through the USB cable. I assume the Nook can only do it through USB as I was not able to find any information on that subject. If you send it to your @free.kindle.com address it will be sent to your Kindle via Wi-Fi or if it is sent to your @kindle.com address it will send it to your Kindle via 3G & you will be charged according to the size of the document up to your per document limit. If the document exceeds the limit it will be sent to your @free.kindle.com address and a notification will be sent to your Kindle.
  • The Nook color has support for POP & IMAP in email, while the Kindle & other Nook models do not have that support. (I was not able to find an app that adds email support for the Kindle)
  • The Kindle has an app store with several free games along with some paid games & other apps. The Nook comes preloaded with Chess & Sudoku & only the Nook color can do crossword puzzles or download additional apps in the Nook store.

At the time I wrote this you can get the Kindle for $114 Wi-Fi with special offers, $139 Wi-Fi, $189 Wi-Fi & 3G, or $379 DX. While the Nook is listed as $149 Wi-Fi, $199 Wi-Fi & 3G, or $249 Color. (These prices are coming directly from amazon.com for the Kindle & from barnesandnoble.com for the Nook.)

Posted in Amazon, Android, Apple, Barnes and Noble, BlackBerry, Google, Internet, iPad, iPhone, iPod, iPod touch, Kindle, Mac, Microsoft, Nook, Research In Motion, Windows, Windows Phone 7 | Comments Off on Amazon Kindle versus Barnes and Noble Nook

Deleting a Facebook account

I had created a second Facebook account for some reason that I can’t really remember. So I thought I had deleted it just to find out later I had only deactivated it. You have to find the Facebook FAQ to find the directions to actually delete a Facebook account. The hardest part of the process when I did it is that I had to not sign into that account for 30 days. From looking at the process now I don’t see any mention of needing to wait so long, but it is still annoying to find the link to delete your Facebook account.

After I waited the required time for it to be deleted I was able to add the previously used email address to the account so that Facebook would be less annoying to me. Since they now want you to have at least 2 email addresses. Which I can understand as I’ve had some of my friends accounts get hacked.

Posted in Facebook, Internet | Comments Off on Deleting a Facebook account

Upgrading a Mac book

I know people who know me will be surprised but I did do some upgrades to a Mac book last year. I think I will finally write about the experience. I can list of several things I liked about it & at the same time I hated about it.

We did this as part of upgrading to OS x 10.6. We bought the following Western Digital AV-25 WD5000BUDT 500GB 5400 RPM 32MB Cache 2.5″ SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal AV Hard Drive, macally PHRS250CC Aluminum 2.5″ USB 2.0 & 1394 External Enclosure, & Kingston 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Memory for Apple Notebook Model KTA-MB667K2/2G for the hardware. On the software we had an unused Windows XP license, Mac OS X version 10.6.3 Snow Leopard upgrade DVD, as well as iLife ’11. I’m including links to the parts we used in the upgrade.

I had to spend a large amount of time to find out what limitations the Mac had as well as how to install the upgraded hardware. Thankfully I found a video that showed how to do the upgrade, but it was so long ago I can’t remember where I found all the needed info to do the hardware upgrade. Here is more of the love hate relationship I have with Macs. To upgrade the RAM & the Hard drive you must remove the battery. This is forced on you which I don’t mind, but it makes it really hard to tell if you have the RAM in correctly which is what I dislike about the process.

Basically under the battery is an “L” shaped piece of metal that covers both RAM slots & the tray for the Hard drive. You unscrew 3 screws in it on the long side where the RAM is located to remove it. The screws in the upgrade I did stayed in the “L” shaped piece of metal. I then removed the RAM using the levers & paid close attention to where the notch in them was located so I could just insert the new modules the same way. Then I removed the old Hard drive using the plastic tab to pull it out. I switched out the drive in the tray I inserted the new drive.

After all that I put everything else back to where it was & started on installing OS X. The install from the DVD was uneventful other than I had to figure out how to partition the drive to run OS X, the drive came without any partitions. Which meant more time using Google. After I got past that issue the install finished although partway through it wanted me to add it to my wireless network which if I tried to do I would get stuck so I just skipped that step & used a wired connection to get the wireless settings & download the first set of updates.

During the boring parts of the install, IE while the install was running & not asking me any questions, I put the old Hard drive in the external enclosure so if we needed to get any data from it we could easily.

After the install & updates finished for OS X I got to have fun trying to figure out how to use boot camp to install Windows XP. I learned several things from those attempts which resulted in me reinstalling OS X more than once.

  • Windows must me installed on the partition that boot camp on OS X is listing it as, install it on any other partition or deleting of the partition boot camp assigned it to will cause issues.
  • The partition tool in boot camp does not use the same math as the partition tool in OS X, one say that 1 GB (1 GB = 1 Gigabyte) is 1,073,741,824 bytes while the other tool says that 1,000,000,000 bytes is 1 GB. (I’ll update this when I get a chance to figure out which used 1,073,741,824 as 1 GB)
  • If you want a FAT32 partition to share data between Windows & OS X you will need to add it later using the partition tool in OS X & remember that after you add it you can’t use boot camp again unless you want to wipe out the install of Windows.
  • If you are going to have a shared partition you need to either have it already created before installing Windows as an OS X format or leave it as extra space after the Windows partition. If there is un-partitioned space between the partitions you will need to edit the boot.ini file using the recovery console.

That’s all that I can remember from that adventure in my life. So about the only thing I really liked is that you have to remove the battery to replace either the RAM or the Hard drive. I disliked the inconsistency of measuring what 1 GB is on OS X, that you couldn’t easily tell if the RAM was installed properly (mainly because you couldn’t see it), & I thought it was rather primitive of boot camp to only support one FAT32 partition.

Posted in Apple, Google, Mac, Microsoft, Windows | Comments Off on Upgrading a Mac book

Musings about Bing rewards program

The other day I saw a Google ad that said the following.

“Get 400 Free Xbox Points
Get 400 Free Xbox Points. Join Bing Rewards!
www.Bing.com/Rewards”

I was intrigued as I’d like to get some Microsoft points so I can buy some arcade games on my Xbox 360. The only issue I have with this ad is it sounds like you can get 400 Microsoft points just for joining the Bing rewards program. To get the 400 Microsoft points you need to have 400 search rewards points. Apparently from what I’ve read when they first launched the program you could redeem 100 search rewards points for 100 Microsoft points. I guess Microsoft realized this was to low of a number because they give you 250 search rewards points just for signing up for the program.

If you do the daily search items first they will also count towards the total number of searches that will earn you points as well. At the moment I’m writing this they seem to have two daily searches worth 3 points each & until January 29th 2011 you can earn one point per search up to a max of 10. So the current maximum you can earn a day is 16 points, which would take you 25 days at that rate to earn 400 search rewards points. But if you want to earn the first 400 search rewards points you can get that done in 10 days with your bonus 250 search rewards points that you start with.

One more thing before I rant about the installation process of the Bing bar. According to the Bing Rewards Preview Frequently Asked Questions “The Bing Rewards Preview ends on September 30, 2011. Credits accumulated expire December 31, 2011.”. So you have a limit amount of time to earn the points. Also remember that the Microsoft points rewarded from this method are only good for a limited time after you receive them from the program, so spend them shortly after you get them.

Now on to some of the issues I have with this program. First it installs three add-ons Mozilla Firefox Which if you are running the current version of Firefox they will be disabled right after they are installed, I haven’t tested with older versions as I refuse to run old versions of Firefox. They disabled the items because Microsoft said in Bing Bar support for Mozilla Firefox to disable them to prevent a security issue. While I applaud Mozilla for disabling them I’m irritated at Microsoft for installing software that they know will be disabled on install. When I last read the article it said “Article ID: 2430460 – Last Review: October 5, 2010 – Revision: 3.0”, meaning that they have known about this issue for several months at the point when I installed the Bing bar on my computer, & yet they insisted on installing the software they knew would be disabled.

You can see a complete list of what add-ons the current version of Firefox will disable on install at Add-ons Blocklist | Mozilla. At the time I wrote this post the first three in the list are the add-ons that the Bing bar installs. They are Bing Bar for Firefox, Default Manager v2.2, & Search Helper Extension.

I will admit I haven’t found a way yet to remove it from just Firefox. I have done some basic searches, but I have found nothing yet that will remove it only from Firefox. I have found ways to remove it from Firefox & Internet Explorer at Removing the Search Helper Extension and Bing Bar though.

Also during the install of the Bing bar it insisted that I close both Firefox as well as Internet Explorer. I closed Firefox on my own so that I would be sure to not lose the tabs that I had opened. It did reopen Internet Explorer after it finished & I was given my bonus 250 search rewards points.

Posted in Bing, Bing Rewards, blog, Firefox, Internet, Internet Explorer, Marketplace, Microsoft, Mozilla, Xbox, Xbox Live, Zune | Comments Off on Musings about Bing rewards program

Other stuff I have noticed with my hardware

I have noticed some quirks on several pieces of hardware that I own. So I thought I’d post them. I will start with my Dash Express GPS for my car.

My Dash Express has a few minor quarks that I’ve noticed. If I have it running on battery power regardless if it has a lock on GPS satellites to know its coordinates on the globe when it is plugged into the car it will stop attempting to route me to my requested destination. I’ve also noticed that it assumes whatever direction you are traveling in is always forward, not a major issue but it can be confusing if you just backed out of a parking stall & you forgot about this feature.

I have also noticed that when you do not have Internet on it as all Dash Express GPS units should now be, if you let it turn off on its own when it looses an outside power source it will have the wrong time most likely. The solution to this issue is when it asks you to “shut down” you tell it no & then go into settings & select the option “turn off and power down device”, then hit “ok”. It will take longer to boot back up, but if you want it to switch between day & night mode automatically it is the only way to do it, that I have seen or figured out.

On to my old LG Glance phone, which to my knowledge was only available on Verizon wireless. They decided it was a great idea to make a phone that can take pictures, but it can only share them by sending text messages to more capable phones. This causes several issues that I can think of. One is the pictures have to be relatively small to send as a text so they may be at a lower resolution then when you took the picture. Two if you don’t have a texting plan the text part costs 20¢ which can add up quickly, also they seem to think that this is competitive when Net10 only charges at most 5¢ for a text message. Third as it has a media attachment unless you have a data plan you get to pay an additional 60¢ for sending the picture. So you have to pay 80¢ for every picture you take that you want to get off of the phone & I have yet to find an easy & free way to get them off that phone. That’s right you can’t even use Bluetooth to send the picture to another Bluetooth enabled device. For sending media texts I’d expect Net10 to be cheaper as the data costs are 10¢ per minute you are online.

Talking about cell phones reminds me of my old Motorola C130 had a feature that I loved & I haven’t seen in any phone I’ve owned since, is that I could schedule it to turn off & back on at certain times of the day. This was really important for a period in my life when I was working graveyards & I’d have friends & family trying to call me during the day when I was trying to sleep. It is also the last phone I’ve owned that had a sensible set of keys to unlock the phone. I liked needing to press two keys that were far away from each other to unlock the phone. I liked this because it never was unblocked accidentally, while my LG Glance would not only unlock but the default configuration would have it trying to connect to the Internet frequently which was annoying as I didn’t want a data plan with that phone.

For the issue of not being able to schedule the phone turning off & on the best solution I could find was to either remember to turn the phone off everyday, or give everyone my Google voice number & tell them they can reach me at that number. I did that mainly because I can get voicemail for free with a transcribed version available & I can also tell Google to not ring certain phones at certain times of the day. It isn’t perfect as I currently can only tell Google Voice on weekdays & weekends for my schedule. Since I don’t work Monday through Friday their current offering lacks some of the features I want.

Posted in C130, Cell Phones, Dash Express, Glance VX7100, Google, Google Voice, GPS, Internet, LG, Motorola, Net10, Verizon | Comments Off on Other stuff I have noticed with my hardware

More on resetting the Dash Express

The only information that was lost was any statistical data that was from my device that had not made it into one of the updates from Dash. So nothing that was an update was removed, but I now can search for Burger King by name. So if it was an update it is still on the system.

In other words a factory reset on the Dash Express is similar to resetting Internet Explorer to its defaults, in that you still have all of the updates installed, but all your settings go back to the default. It is slightly different because your address book is gone on the Dash when your favorites are still there for you in Internet Explorer.

To be clear the only things it deleted was from the following list, Address book, recent destinations, search history, WiFi access points, saved search entries (they require Internet to work), & any historical traffic data that was not in an official update from Dash.

I can confirm that I had data from traffic data as I went to Kirkland Washington using my Dash Express & as I was going up I saw historical traffic data on roads I have never been on in my entire life. Also if you use the 2008 map update DVD it will tell you that you are using a newer version of several things including historical data.

One last thing right before I cut the Internet off from my Dash Express I was invited to a beta test & I can confirm that I still have the beta version running on my Dash Express, as they made some slight modifications to the map screen with the beta that I was in. Unfortunately for me they didn’t release the full version before I killed the Internet on it & I didn’t have money to connect it again until after Research In Motion had decided to kill the Internet for all Dash Express customers.

Posted in Dash Express, GPS, Internet, Internet Explorer, Microsoft | Comments Off on More on resetting the Dash Express

More on the Samsung T401G

I realized I missed some features in my last post. When the keypad is locked you can unlock it in two ways. 1 Hit the buttons indicated. 2 Open the “QWERTY” keyboard. Both options unlock it. I like the second option as it is quicker for me to do that than pressing the buttons.

My wife has noticed an issue for people with long fingernails. the ok button & surrounding direction keys can be hard to get used to, especially if you have never had a phone with that sort of feature.

You can only assign custom ring tones to phone numbers that are not stored on the SIM card. Which isn’t a major issue as you can store up to 1,000 names in this phone. The SIM card can only deal with 200 entries & can only have one phone number per entry.

I’ve seen several pictures that won’t display in the phone. They seem to need to be under 300 KB, but some of the files were not showing up that were smaller than 300 KB. I’m not sure what exactly needs to be done with those files for it to display them. Those pictures were taken on other phones & possibly.

When inserting the SD card into the slot you want to insert it with the printed side facing the keys. That is to say you want to be able to read what is on the card before inserting it, assuming you are looking at the screen side of the phone. In other words the side with the metal contacts should be facing the side the camera is on.

Posted in Cell Phones, Net10, Samsung, T401G | Comments Off on More on the Samsung T401G