Although keenly interested in changes in technology, I’ve never been one to acquire the latest and greatest. I like to wait a while until the initial wrinkles get worked out and the price comes down. In addition, I’ve gotten a lot of hand-me-downs over the years from Jack, when he gets the latest and greatest: computers, ereaders, PDA’s, and cameras.

Eighteen months ago, I decided to get a Kindle Fire when I was facing some surgery. I thought it would be a nice item to keep me entertained while I was convalescing. However, Jack sent me a link to a comparison between the Kindle Fire and an iPad 2 and I considered my use cases. Then I googled “refurbished iPad” and found an entry level model at a not totally unreasonable price at the Apple site.

If I had waited a couple of more months, I would have bought a mini-iPad, but it had not yet been released. However, I loved my iPad 2 with an almost unnatural passion, although I did occasionally regret that it wasn’t something I could easily slip into my handbag.

Recently, I decided it might actually be time to spring for a new tablet, with a lighter, slimmer form factor . Recent Android tablets have been getting better press, so I decided to check out the Nexus 7, which has been getting great reviews on technology sites. I found a wireless 32 GB one at a local Staples, asked about their return policy, and brought it home. I was quite disappointed: I loved the form factor and the way it worked, but not the fact that it crashed on a regular basis. I did a factory reset, and it still crashed. I scouted the review sites, and decided that maybe, just maybe, I had a lemon. I returned it to Staples, and they ordered another one for me. (I had discovered, based on my experience with the iPad, that I can fill 16 GB with no difficulty at all, so I wanted a lot more memory.)

With great trepidation, I unwrapped it. Not only was I afraid I might have another lemon, the packaging looked as though someone had run over it with a tire. However, the tablet inside the box was pristine and I quickly got it set up. I started waiting for it to crash, as I used it as much as possible. I waited, and waited, and waited, and finally decided it was working properly, and not a lemon.

Then I discovered I had a new problem: I don’t really need two tablets, and I prefer the Nexus. It slips into a side pocket of my handbag as if it were designed to do so. I asked Jack if he wanted it. So yesterday, I did a factory reset on the iPad, upgraded it to IOS 7, and handed it over. Now he has his first hand-me-down gadget from me.

Moko Cover

Moko Cover

When I got this iPad last March I unpacked it, fondled the smooth surfaces for a short while, and realized that I would have to get a non-smooth case or I would be dropping it all the time.  I bought a super cheap folio case that could also be used to prop up the iPad in landscape mode.  It served well, but is looking a little battered.  One of the iPad web sites recommended Moko as making affordable smart cases so I checked it out.

The MoKo Rotating Detachable iPad Cover (above in landscape prop mode) is a smart case, which means that it turns off the iPad when I close the case. It also rotates so that I can prop up the iPad in portrait mode. I ordered it last week from Amazon, after reading the reviews there, and I am very pleased with it.


Clown and Cuddles

Clown and Cuddles

We’re guessing Clown (above) and Cuddles (below) are relatives.  Clown was born on my friend’s property, to a young female that had shown up out of nowhere.  While waiting for the young (and very sweet) cat’s first heat to get her spayed, my friend realized that while she had missed the first heat, a tom obviously hadn’t.  (Clown’s mother is now a very pampered mouser and barn cat east of here.)  Cuddles showed up within the past year.  He was a very aggressive tom, so my friend trapped him, had him vaccinated, then sent him off to the the low-priced clinic for “snip-snip.”  Cuddles was either handled as a kitten, or gives the lie to the idea that you can’t domesticate a feral cat, because he pretty much lives up to his name these days. It’s hard to walk out to the barn without him throwing himself at your feet, soliciting attention. Cuddles lives outside, though he is trying desperately to get inside, while Clown is an inside-outside cat. Clown has apparently decided he wants to be friends.  Time will tell what Cuddles thinks. (Taken with my iPad.)

Driving in the Lake

There has been a lot of discussion the past few days about the iPhone and iPad default map application in its most recent release: IOS6.  Apple switched from using an app developed by Google using the goggle mapping data to its own app using alternate data. (Even though my iPad is wireless, I use the map functions by taking screen shots of where I plan to go rather than printing the directions.) Not only does the new app lack functions people were using in the Google app, but people are finding a lot of errors in the mapping data.

Some of the data they are using comes from Tom Tom (or wherever Tom Tom gets its data).  In the summer of 2011, a friend let us take her Tom Tom with us to Alaska.  It came in quite handy.  We did notice at one point that the Tom Tom cheerfully showed us driving in a lake on the Kenai Peninsula.  We were, in fact, on the shore of the lake at that time.  When I just checked my iPad for the Seward Highway, it looks as though they are still routing it through the lake.  I just took this screen shot:

Someone has started a tumblr devoted to IOS6 mapping errors.

Sunrise by IPad

I’ve had a mild case of iPad lust ever since they were announced two years ago.  (Yes, I made fun of the name, just like everyone else.)  However, there was no way I could convince myself that I NEEDED one, and it was far too expensive as a toy.  It didn’t seem fair when my sister showed up with one when she visited in February.

After the announcement of the 2012 iPad, I just happened to check the price of a refurbished basic iPad 2.  Hmmm…. I asked Jack if I could get one for my birthday and Christmas present this year.  He agreed. We ordered it last week, and it arrived from China on Friday.

I absolutely adore it.  Though I think I will stick to my DSLR camera for most photos.