Saturday, June 19, 2010

I Love My Gadgets--Sony ebook and Insignia portable HD radio


I'm still enjoying the Sony Reader Touch. I've probably read more books in the last eight months than in any eight-month period since before there was a World Wide Web. Word on the street is that Dad may be getting a cool accessory for Fathers' Day tomorrow.

The titles I've read include Falling Man (DeLillo), The Pillars of the Earth, World Without End (Follett)--Pillars is soon to be a Starz mini-series (which I can watch on the Netflix Starz channel), His Last Bow [Sherlock Holmes] (Doyle)--from the Google library, Flags of Our Fathers (Bradley), The Guns of August (Tuchman)--gave up a little past the middle, the story was too hard to follow without large maps (sorry, tiny ebook screen).

And then there was The Phony Marine (Lehrer), Double Play (Parker), The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Tears of the Giraffe (Smith), 13 Things That Don't Make Sense (Brooks), Gold Coast (Leonard), The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo (Larsson)--the publishing phenomenon, I have the other two books in the trilogy already loaded in the ebook, Home (Julie Andrews' memoir)--I got this from the library and bought the paperback for Mom.

His Last Bow [Sherlock Holmes] (Doyle)--from the Google library: there were many OCR errors but still enjoyable to read, especially the eponymous title tale, where the boys are "surprisingly" revealed in the end to be two on the trail of German WWI saboteurs in England. It is a rare Holmes yarn written in the third person, because Watson's (spoiler alert) identity is revealed during the denouement.


An infinitesimal portion of the radio audience listens on public transportation. Thanks to my new Insignia HD Radio (FM only, no AM), I can listen to Imus in the Morning on WPLJ-HD3. The amount of electrical noise in a train has made AM radio reception problematic. Also, I'm enjoying Jeff Spurgeon and the morning crew on WQXR-FM, via WNYC-HD2. The regular QXR FM signal is on 105.9 and much harder to pull in than the powerful blast from the WNYC stick. I sent an amplified TV antenna to a friend's mother on the island, who could no longer pick up QXR when they switched from 96.3. It's sad to think how many people in the fringe areas were disenfranchised when this switch occurred.

HD radio isn't catching on, because it doesn't offer the correspondingly big leap in sound quality that HDTV provides in picture quality over standard TV. I was watching yesterday's 2-2 draw by the US against Slovenia, on the edge of my seat, and the picture quality was outstanding, if not the vuvuzela din.

The Insignia charges through the USB port of a computer; it is not an Internet device. It may be time to retire some of my old rechargeable batteries that used to feed the AM/FM radio. I bought a bunch for $90 years ago when the kids had constant need for them for video games devices. I've probably re-used them hundreds of times and saved boku bux.


Brigid said...

Sorry to say that the E-Reader lights I encountered at each store I visited were either sold out or overpriced. Nevertheless, hope you get good use out of the hat & shirt.


Brian said...

I certainly will. Thank you.