Thank you for visiting!

You are invited to read Marcus of Abderus and the Inn at the Edge of the World, the first novel in my fantasy adventure series. Visit the Edge of the World! Come for the view, stay for the adventure!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Reading on Mobile Devices-

I switched to electronic books for a number of reasons. The cost became reasonable, the experience proved pleasant, and it became possible to carry a library wherever I went. That portability has gone just a bit further with the purchase of my first smart phone. In this case an Apple iPhone 3GS. Not cutting edge, but a nice tool.

I just finished reading the fifth volume of Randolph Lalonde's Spinward Fringe series. A space opera, a sub-genre of science fiction. The first volume is free. I read the first four volumes on my Nook, and enjoyed the experience both for the quality of the work and the quality of the reading experience on the Nook. For the fifth volume I decided to try the iPhone. I downloaded the iPhone Nook reader application and was ready for truly mobile reading.

Granted, the screen is small. However, the fonts are readable, and I can change the phone to landscape mode (held sideways) to make it seem a bit more book-like. The phone screen is back-lit, which can be nice in low lighting. The Nook screen is more like paper, and not back-lit. You have to read it like a book, with a light source. However, you can read the Nook in full sunlight, like a book. Phone screens tend to wash out in full sunlight.

The small screen was not problematic. The only problem is turning "pages" a bit more often. That simply requires a tap or swipe of the screen with one finger. That is not terribly difficult, and becomes routine very quickly. One night I wanted to read in bed. My wife was already asleep and it was dark. I fired up the iPhone, turned down the brightness, and read in comfort. The phone fit well in one hand. Delightful!

Since I carry my phone just about everywhere, I had a book to read anytime I wanted. That was quite convenient. Though the Nook allows me to carry a huge library with me at barely the weight of a paperback novel, it is still large enough to require someplace to put it when out and about. The phone was less of an issue. I am accustomed to carrying it, and hardly notice it when not in use.

I recommend ebooks highly, and trying out using any of you mobile devices that can serve as a reader. Many of you have such devices. Even if you have a Nook, or a Kindle, or one of the other ereader devices, try your other smart devices out as readers. You will get more out of the tools you have chosen and add versatility to your life.

You can get free reader applications that will download to your computer and your mobile devices. For example, the novels I have written and published with Barnes and Noble can only be read on a Nook reader or any epub friendly reader. Kindle readers cannot read my books. However, if you have a mobile device that can download the free Nook reader from Barnes and Noble, you can download and read my books.

Using similar creative applications of applications, you will find yourself free to download content from a great many sources. (My books included, I would hope.) These are tools that can allow you greater freedom in shaping your own life and how you live your life. Power to enhance your own experiences in your own way.

So, try new stuff. Write about it. Share well.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


It was time. I was due, and it was time. Time to upgrade my phone. The Apple iPhone 3GS was available from AT&T for free. I like free. So, I went. I talked to the people. I got a new phone (and a new contract) for free, in a very relative sense of what 'free' actually means. The contract really was no problem, since I find AT&T adequate and affordable. So, free was pretty much free.

I don't know if I have ever been at the forefront of the curve on developing technology, or any other aspect of modern life. I recall a friend who bought the newest of everything. He was young, single, and had a good disposable income. None of those have applied to me for a great many years. I pick up stuff over time, and ride far back from the cutting edge.

Anyway, I have an iPhone. Not the 4GS, which is costly. The 3GS. It is wonderful. I can check my email anywhere. Granted, I have already set the device to avoid needlessly updating everything over the cell network. I have the cheapest data plan, and really don't need to update that frequently. Costly. However, I now have power far beyond what I had with my orphaned LG View.

When linked to a WiFi network I can do lots of stuff for free. Watch videos. Update my blog as if I were on my computer. Send and receive texts and emails. I can now better understand how so much of the world has bypassed the desktop-laptop-mobile evolution and simply jumped in with mobile devices. This thing is a little computer. Granted, typing on it is not altogether pleasant, but then it is not my primary device for communication.

This power is now available to multitudes. The 'third world' does not exist in the virtual realm. Will this expansion of communication lead to broader freedoms and the exportation of 'democracy?' Perhaps. Or, will the Powerful Elite use the tracking capability of these devices to further control the populace? These are interesting times.

Banking is done over these devices. Not just communication, but commerce. I recently read of Africans who figured out how to use their cell phone accounts to create virtual banks and exchange networks. The cobbled grass-roots system was so successful that the phone and banking industries in those countries are attempting to capture what had evolved and turn it to their own purposes.

So, here I am, still behind the cutting edge, far back on the curve. Yet I have more power and greater connectivity than ever before. It is rather nice, very useful and often interesting. Most importantly, I am having fun.

Perhaps it is time I find out what 'Angry Birds' is all about.