Friday, March 29, 2013

Love the Kindle-Audible Partnership

I saw this book, The Second Ship, on sale at Amazon and although I have over 300 waiting-to-be-read books on my Kindle {mostly free}, I am always interested in a book that is part of a trilogy and draws my attention. I figure if I like the book, I know at least two others I am going to enjoy. So I paid the $3 sale price and got the book.

During our last trip to Alabama, I listed to my Kindle read a book to me. It was kinda rough listening to computer-generated voice try to figure out not only names, but punctuation as well, but it was still a nice option to have when driving. I planned on trying it again when I began reading about a partnership between Amazon and Audible. If you owned the Kindle book, you could get the Audible version for a GREATLY reduced price. And what was really neat was the fact that the Kindle book and the Audible boo were supposed to sync. I thought that would be awesome for the road trip to Alabama (have a professional read the book to you is WAY better than the Kindle computer-generated voice). So I started this book at home, listed to it on the road and finished the book while in Alabama.

As I had hoped, Second Ship was a good book and I was ready for the next two. Another GREAT thing about the Kindle is the ease of ordering a book.  I downloaded the second book, Immune, from the Rho Agenda trilogy and started it. Since the Audible version of the book was so reasonable ($4 instead of $14), I got it, too. So I started the book in Alabama, listened to in on the way back to Texas and finished it here last night.

I had planned on reading another book before reading Wormhole, the last installment of The Rho Agenda trilogy, but second book was so good, I could not wait. Downloaded this book last night and will start reading it tomorrow. Love my Kindle...and I'm loving this trilogy.

New Laptops

The conversation went something like this:

Brooke:  My laptop is SO SLOW!!!

Rob: I've been wanting a Windows 8 laptop. I'll get one and you have this one (my Dell Windows 7 laptop with 4 gig of RAM...still quit snappy).

Brooke: Yes, get it.

Rob: {pause as he has to make sure he heard correctly}

Rob: few days later orders Dell Inspiron 14r. 4Gb RAM, 500 Gb hard drive, Windows 8, touch screen

Brooke: What is all over your laptop (old, Windows 7 Dell). It looks like paint has been spilled all over it. {Translation: That computer is ugly and I do NOT want it}

Rob: {thinking: Where does this leave me? She wanted a new laptop. She was going to use mine. Now she is not going to use mine. MY new laptop is already ordered. Guess we all know what this means}. Had looked at Chromebooks before but did not have much interest. Considering what Brooke wanted a laptop for (almost 100% web browsing), I looked into it again. After showing Brooke, she wanted one.

Side note: Rob's Dell was ordered February 12th in hopes of having it in time to take it on Spring Break to learn Windows 8 and install software. Dell set delivery date at March 19! After Spring Break!!!  Brooke's Chromebook was ordered March 14 with a delivery date of March 19.

Due to the delay in getting my system, I asked Dell to throw in an extra power supply. Instead, they offered me a $50 voucher once my system arrived and was paid for and I could buy a power supply or whatever else I wanted from their shopping site. I asked for an email to confirm what they promised, and I had the email within 10 minutes. I must say, despite the long order time, Dell really impressed me with their customer service. EVERY time I called with a question or issue, Dell not only took care of me, but they also followed up with another phone call.  100% of the time I talked to someone overseas, but they were not hard to understand and they ALWAYS took very good care of me. A+ to Dell customer support. Computer was delivered on March 19.

Same day, Brooke's Chromebook was delivered. We considered the Samsung and the Acer C7. The selling point (for us) with the Samsung was the solid state drive which would make for lightening fast boot up. The Acer offered a 320 Gigabyte hard drive. Although Chromebooks do not Office documents, etc, storage for pictures and music seemed nice. In the end, considering what Brooke was going to do with the computer, we went with the Samsung. It does boot fast and Brooke absolutely loves it.

A couple weeks later, a friend gave me a couple laptop hard drives. I guess it was about a year ago, I did some computer work for a family and their daughter's Toshiba laptop died. The problem ended up being a dead hard drive. Since there has been major flooding in Taiwan, parts for hard drives were hard to come by and hard drive prices almost doubled. Between the cost of a new hard drive and getting it installed, the family decided it was not worth fixing. As payment for my time, they let me keep the laptop. Once I got the hard drives, another friend (brother of the hard drive gift-giving friend) gave me a (legal) copy of Windows 7. I put the new hard drive in, installed Windows 7 and copied Amanda's old files onto the new computer and Amanda was ready to go.

Everybody is upgraded and everybody is happy.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Break in Review

I have not done so well keeping up with my blog. Spring Break (March 11-18) was a couple weeks ago and I hadn't blog for a month before that. Anyway, here's some picture highlights of Spring Break in Alabama.

Amanda's friend Ryanne went with us this year. This is how the girls spent the early (and mid) morning hours on the way there.

Day trip! We had planned to visit a drive-thru zoo, but as we checked online to get directions and head out, we discovered that one had closed in 2010. After some searching to find family activities in the Huntsville area, we chose to to Harmony Park Safari Drive-Thru zoo. The back seat was full!

These are the folks in the front seat...along with the photo bomber from the back!

Seems kinda silly to tell you this is a zebra...but there's not much else to say about this picture. Except that it was cool to get to feed and pet a zebra (Oh, no...I didn't pet it. That was not allowed)

This guy was my favorite. Don't know why. He just seemed friendly.

This guy was HUGE. When he got in front of the car and didn't want to move...we just waited!

Matching hers and hers turtles.

Best friends!

We stopped at the frozen yogurt place in Decatur. The girls were never far from their phones.

Amanda has a slight Nutella obsession!

I saved the best for last. I think this is my favorite picture from Spring Break 2013.