The Fire This Time

My place of work recently ordered some new e-readers and tablets for staff to use. I had the opportunity to take a Kindle Fire home for the weekend to play around with it and see how it works. After a couple of days using it, here are my impressions.

As an e-reader, it’s pretty sweet. It’s got a nice interface with really fast, accurate touch response. As long as backlit reading doesn’t bother you, e-books and PDFs look really nice and crisp. The 7″ size is comfortable and handy, and with a case on it, it feels like you’re carrying a book or Moleskine journal around, which I like a lot. I was disappointed when calibre wouldn’t recognize it, although I assume it’s because the Fire is so new. On the other hand, it was easy to connect the Fire to my laptop through a USB cord and transfer e-books and PDFs from my laptop to the Fire.

But the Fire isn’t just being promoted as an e-reader, it’s Amazon’s entry into the tablet field, and as a tablet, it falls short of what I would want. There’s no camera, for one thing. Also, while it’s an Android tablet, Amazon does it’s level best to push you to the Amazon App Store instead of the Android App Store. I was only able to get to the Android App store by going through the web browser, but when I tried to search the Android App Store, the Fire would instead search the Amazon App Store. Obvious it’s an Amazon product, so it’s no surprise they want you to use the Amazon App Store, but…it’s still frustrating for what’s essentially an Android tablet. The web browser, Silk, isn’t bad. It’s no Dolphin (or Chrome or Firefox), but it’s perfectly serviceable.

If you want an amped-up e-reader, I think the Kindle Fire is pretty cool. But as a fully functioning tablet, it think it leaves a lot to be desired.


Up and At ‘Em, Part 2

At this morning’s weekly Web Content Team meeting, we were informed by our supervisor that IT has decided to buy us all new laptops to replace our desktop PCs. I was very excited about this and mentioned my last blog post. We then talked about shifting my cubicle workspace a bit so that I can have access to both a tall desk that I could stand at and a regular desk I could sit at.

I’m obviously very pleased about this. I think it will help my energy and productivity at work a lot.

Up and At ‘Em!

As many people know, I’m pretty lazy. I’m a constant procrastinator and I frequently have to really push myself to get up off my tuchas and do something.

I got to work this morning feeling really motivated to knock stuff off my to-do list and Get Things Done. But as soon as I was situated at my desktop PC, sitting comfortably in my chair, I became easily distracted, unmotivated and lazy. Which is frustrating, because I really was looking forward to working hard today. I’ll still get as much done as I can, but now it will be like pulling teeth instead of happily playing. Even more frustrating, I’m like this at home, too. When I sit around reading, I have a tendency to fall asleep, no matter how exciting the book or comic is. I frequently have to push myself to do something other than sitting around in front of the TV.

I think my problem is one of motion and inertia. Walking from my car to the library, I was all fired up. But once I was safely schlumped in my chair, I lost that spark. I’m starting to think I’d work better, both professionally and personally, if I used a netbook or tablet, something lightweight, easy to carry around and move. I think if I could alternate between sitting and standing, being still and moving around, I’d keep more of my energy and be more productive.