Oct 102012

Even though they call me Gadget Boy because I always like to check out the newest electronic gadgets, that doesn’t mean I understand how any of them work. And I usually get as much frustration as I do enjoyment out of a lot of the stuff out there.

Our Verizon 3G air card and wireless router have never worked up to my expectations or Verizon’s promises. So yesterday, Greg White spent some time upgrading the firmware on our Cradlepoint router. It had not been updated in a couple of years, because I had no idea things like that need updating. At first I thought the upgrade had helped, because for about five minutes our speed seemed better. But than it slowed down to sludge again.

Greg also told me that Amazon recently did an upgrade on some of their Kindle e-book readers, and showed me how to upgrade mine. Basically, all I needed to do was turn it on and turn the WiFi receiver on, and in about half an hour I got a message saying that the device had been upgraded. Supposedly the upgrade will make the screen easier to read, with sharper fonts and better contrast, as well as adding new parental controls and some other stuff I didn’t really understand. Greg tried to explain it to me, and I had to remind him again that the maximum I can handle is where to turn the thing on and off.

Several people have asked if they can read the Gypsy Journal on their Kindles or other e-book readers. Well, yes and no. We send out a link to our digital edition, which is a PDF file that subscribers can download to their computers or e-readers. I have read the paper on my iPad and it looks good. On the smaller screen of the regular black and white Kindle, it is hard to read for my old eyes. You can make the type bigger, but I still would not want to read every issue that way. I haven’t tried it on my Kindle Fire yet, but I imagine it will be somewhere in between the regular Kindle and the iPad.

Speaking of Kindles, I recently revised my Overlooked Florida book, adding a searchable table of contents. Amazon was supposed to send out an e-mail to people who bought the book telling them how to download the revised edition, but they have not done it yet. So yesterday, longtime reader James Walter contacted Amazon and got the directions on how to download the upgrade. I am pasting that info here: Verify that your device is sufficiently charged and your wireless connection is enabled. On your Kindle: First, delete the current version of the book you have on your Kindle Home screen. Then, press Menu from the Home Screen and select "Sync & Check for Items." On your Kindle for Android: Delete the current version of the book from your Kindle app. Then, redownload the title from your Archive Items/Cloud. The previous version of your book will be automatically replaced by the updated version.

Okay, enough techno talk, I’m getting a headache. But, fortunately, Miss Terry made peanut better cookies for me, and I’m pretty sure two or three of them and a cold glass of milk will make it all better. Low tech and delicious. Mmmmm good!

Thought For The Day – When I grow up, I want to be just like me.

Check Out Nick’s E-books In Our E-Book Store

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  5 Responses to “Technology Challenged”

  1. “just like you”?

    Didn’t you learn the error of your ways the first time around?

  2. Yeah, I did Greg, but it’s just been so damn much fun!!!! 🙂

  3. My 12 years of experience with software “updates” for everything from 2 different online medical records programs to ipad and imac upgrades, is that every “update” is really a “downgrade” to the customer: compared to the original software, every “update” will run slower, break more often, have more problems, take up more device memory, require the transmission of more data with every usage, be more complicated to use, and add more time, expense and aggravation to one’s life.

    I hope that you get better results.

  4. Jodie’s Update Laws:
    1. As soon as they get the bugs out, they update it.
    2. As soon as I learn to use it, they update it.

  5. A quick update on downloading the updated Overlooked Florida book. I tried the above instructions and continued to get the old version. I seems that if you have not received the email from Amazon you have to contact them in order to get the new version. I sent an email, and within an hour they had everything set. BTW, very handy to have the “clickable” table of contents. Thanks!

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