piranha: red origami crane (Default)
when i started contemplating buying a bicycle one of the main reasons was that i wanted to use it for transportation -- to go down to ladysmith to work on the boat, to ride to southgate for groceries, to get to some special spots to take photos when the light is good. i knew that i'd chicken out if the transportation aspect got too onerous. i'm just too much out of shape, and whenever i pull myself together and start on an exercise regimen again, illness interferes sooner rather than later, and i fall off the wagon.

so i wanted something that will carry me when i feel crappy, but won't take the exercise completely out of it for when i feel better. i looked at various electric assist systems on the market. the one i bought by bionX is actually way smarter than i expected to find, and it fits incredibly well with what i want.

click if interested in the details )

bionX makes other systems with less or more power.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
my kobo "wifi" is showing its age -- which is quite amusing, considering it's less than 2 years old. alas no more firmware upgrades seem to be coming along, since the company has now 2 further advanced models, and while always promising not to forget us "old" users, yeah right, i know insincere pep talks when i hear them. the interface is SLOW, parts of it are too slow for me to put up with anymore. organization? what organization. i have to modify filenames carefully so i can read them at all. also, the battery is holding less and less charge, and it's not replaceable.

i've taken to the ebook experience like a , uh, fish to water. ;) i hardly buy print books anymore, unless i know the author personally, or the book absolutely cannot be had in electronic format (and then i'll scan it). i love the light little thing; it weighs less than a paperback and it easier to hold, and takes less space to carry along. the e-ink is restful for my eyes. and i buy a lot of ebooks; more than i used to buy print books. there is no space issue with them. :)

so, i am thinking of upgrading. but i am not entirely sure buying another ebook reader is the answer. part of why i bought a kobo was that it was canadian, and i wanted to throw my purchasing power behind somebody other than amazon or sony, and hey, it was a nice thought for a "local" company to be successful in that market. which surprisingly they have been; in canada they have 46% of market share compared to 24% for amazon and 18% for sony. but now rakuten (a huge japanese conglomerate) owns kobo, so that incentive has gone away. sure, better rakuten than amazon, but still... no longer "local", no longer smallish. yes, i do have major peeves about large corporations.

still, the kobo "touch" looks decent, and it's come down in price which is now lower than what i originally paid for my first kobo. i am absolutely not going to buy a kindle, ever; amazon's walled garden philosophy makes me sick. am not all that interested in sony either. maybe a nook. maybe one of the "also ran" models, like from bookeen. or maybe i should be looking at android tablets? kobo's newest, the "vox", runs on android. that does away with the restfulness of the e-ink, and if android, why not get a real tablet then instead of a stunted ereader?

do you have an ereader and/or tablet? what do you love/hate about it? what would you buy instead if you were in the market? i'm not quite up-to-date with the tech anymore.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
firecat asked how the kobo falls short of my ideal, and a) it's a long list, and b) it's not that the kobo falls short in specific, but that all ereaders fall short at this point, so i thought i separate this from the reader review itself.


  • full text search.
  • full colour, high resolution, primarily to view images. though i could live with high-level grayscale instead and forget about reading graphic novels/comics on my ereader.
  • comics view functions, if i get colour e-ink.
  • foreground and background colour/contrast control.
  • intuitive navigation.
  • annotations: highlights, notes, drawings.
  • clipboard.
  • bookmarks.
  • integrated dictionaries of my choice.
  • wifi/3G/bluetooth (this is not a top requirement).
  • if the above, then also integrated google/wikipedia lookup.
  • integrated translation for several languages of my choice.
  • several fonts of my choosing, as well as sizing.
  • tagging of books.
  • handle the major formats so i can stop converting.
  • touch screen (pressure-sensitive stylus would work best for me, but multi-touch could make navigation very easy).
  • handwriting recognition.
  • split screen or easy switching back-and-forth so i can see different passages at once.
  • open-source OS.
  • external memory expandability.
  • good library management.
  • lightweight.
  • decent battery life (a full day would be acceptable, a week would be fabulous), and quick charge.
  • USB connectivity.
  • rugged.
  • well-priced (and naturally it should come with a pony).


i don't ask for much, do i. *snrk*.

i don't need easy integrated purchasing from anywhere i am, and i can totally live without wifi as well; that would just be nice for looking up information. i'm also fine without audio.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i bought a dedicated ebook reader. all this time i've been waiting for something close to my ideal to come along, but in the end i bought the one where the price was right, because i was tired of waiting.

kobo ereader

(next time i photograph it in actual daylight instead of in crappy fluorescent, trying to colour correct in p'shop, *sigh*. but it's closer to the actual colour than the kobo site's images, which are whiter.)

this is the brand-new kobo ereader. at this point only available to canadians. (now there's a rarity.)

(and yes, anah and dianne, i am reading one of yours, *grin*.)

review follows )
piranha: red origami crane (Default)


right: 1 TB. 1 terabyte. the size of a hardcover.

left: 16GB USB flash drive.


i remember roughly what i paid for my very first own 40 MB drive; it was a big chunk of money for a big chunk of hardware, i pondered for quite a while whether should i get 20MB or 40MB. today i paid $350 for the 1TB (and this wasn't the cheapest available; i wanted the rep, the access speed, and the multiple interfaces). here's a reminder of the cost of hard disk storage. that's a fun page to read (for geeks).

and USB flash drives are just too cute. i am surprised none came in pink, *snicker*.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
ok, so how weird is it that i'd rather have something like this implanted than get a real ink-in-flesh tattoo? hm.

electronic tattoo display runs on blood.

via [livejournal.com profile] enegim.

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renaissance poisson

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