Technology

Kindle with Books

Kindle with BooksWhy, oh why, do we need DRM! My first real run in with this copy protection scheme was with music. Then there are all of the issues surrounding films, including DVDs, Blu-Rays and now digital copies. Lately though the things that’s really bugging me are ebooks!

It’s getting really frustrating that this extra layer of complication seems to tacked onto everything. Not only does it restrict how you use the product that you have legitimately purchased but it also lowers the level of enjoyment you get out of a product.

Take DVDs for example. How many times have you had to sit through the copy protection lecture, that you can’t even skip past, at the start of every DVD? Just to rub salt in the wound, the people that don’t bother to actually part with their cash and just get a dodgy copy from a mate end up getting a better experience as they probably don’t have to sit through it!!!

Unfortunately ebooks are also currently encumbered with DRM, tying you in to the company you buy the book from. Take the Kindle for example. The only place you can buy ebooks for the Kindle is from Amazon. Or is it? Is this all about to change…

Ski Pad iPhone App v2

Ski Pad iPhone App v2A while ago now I created an iPhone app to complement the Ski Pad website. The website has just received an update and I have been hard at work tweaking the app to work with the new site as well as adding some extra features along the way…

In reality I suppose this is just a shameless plug for the app but I thought it would be a good idea to take this opportunity to explain the new features. Anyway surely there is nothing wrong with a bit of self promotion every now and again. đŸ˜‰

So before you read on, if you have an iPhone, now might be a good time to get the Ski Pad App from the app store…

Go on you know you want to…

On a recent trip to Jersey I got charged an extra £10.19 for Mobile Internet & Data. This confused me as I always check that I have Data Roaming turned off whenever I go abroad…

I checked my phone and the Data Roaming option was definitely turned off. So how did I manage to rack up the charge?

After a bit of digging I found numerous posts on the internet suggesting that Apple have changed the settings options available and there are now two options you have to turn off before you can be sure you do not incur any charges while abroad.

So I bet you want to know what you need to do to make sure you don’t end up with any surprises on your next bill…

Yellow Cast In Windows Photo Viewer

Yellow Cast In Windows Photo ViewerNow that I have an iMac I deal with my photos pretty much exclusively on that. There is still always the occasional need to view images in Windows and the built in Photo Viewer program is pretty good.

One thing that does annoy me though is that, by default, there is usually a yellow cast over the whole image. This happened to me with Windows Vista and now I am getting the same thing on Windows 7.

It’s not hard to fix but it’s one of those things that I had to look up on the internet so I thought I would write a quick post for anyone else getting the problem. Maybe you have seen it and not realised there is even a problem…

PowerShot SX40 HS Lens Extended

PowerShot SX40 HS Lens ExtendedI was recently asked what I thought about bridge cameras. To be honest I hadn’t really heard much about them before but when shown what they could do I was amazed.

A few days later I was packing my camera backpack for a day out down to Snowdrop Valley. Having not been there before I wasn’t sure about which lenses I might need so I took all three of the lenses I currently own, a wide-angle zoom, a prime lens and a telephoto zoom. (You can see more details of the lenses I use on the new Gadgets page I have set up listing all my gear)

I did in fact use all three lenses but they make the bag quite heavy and the constant switching of lenses is really starting to bug me. Sometimes I end up taking all three lenses and only using one of them…

As they were fresh in my mind this got me thinking about bridge cameras. Should I replace my dated DSLR with a bridge camera?

Wet RoseI have been meaning to sort out a complete backup regime for a while now. Unfortunately every attempt I make finds something lacking in the program I trial…

This would force me to find another program to try out, which takes time. After a while I found it hard to find the time to find exactly what I needed as there was always something more important to do.

Then the other week the worst happened, my hard disk failed…

I had some of the stuff backed up, but how much? I really couldn’t tell. There are collections of different bits of my data scattered here and there, some on my iMac, some on my little HP server even some on DVD’s—from when I used to use them for my weekly backup. After a while my requirements spiralled out of control and the 4.7GB on a DVD wouldn’t even scratch the surface…

I know I haven’t done a complete backup in probably a year. My heart sank…

KindlesAmazon recently announced three new Kindle devices, the new Kindle, the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Fire. Then immediately afterwards it was suggested that they were unlikely to be made available in the UK before the end of the year…

I still have a fair few paper books so I wasn’t too put out by this delay. Then when the new, cheaper, Kindle was displayed on the Amazon site for £89 I couldn’t resist and decided to pre-order one. And as it arrived today I decided to get to work and write a review…

Once I had placed my pre-order I wanted to get my hands on an old Kindle, which has now been renamed the Kindle Keyboard, to make sure I would be able to make a decent comparison between the two so I recently read a short book on Shirley’s Kindle.

I received my new Kindle through the post today. That’s why this post is a little late. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to play with my new gadget so I can give a honest opinion of it…

Epson Stylus Photo PX720WDMy old HP printer recently died a death and started making some horrible noises as it tried to feed through the sheets of paper. It wasn’t long before it completely failed to pull in the paper so it was time to hunt for a replacement. I had been pretty happy with my last two HP printers but there was one feature that was lacking that only seems to be available on Epson printers, CD & DVD printing…

Now that in itself is not a good enough reason to buy a printer so I had to look into the details of the different printers out there and try and come up with a suitable replacement pretty quickly.

As you can tell from the title of this post I settled on the Epson Stylus Photo PX720WD. I’ll go into how I made the choice and my view of the printer having been using it for a little while.

Google Apps RingTo stay organised calendars are a very important tool. I have tried all sorts of calendars over the years but have always found issues trying to keep different computers in sync with each other let alone other devices like mobile phones.

The only way I have found to get around this is to use Google Calendars. They are available pretty much anywhere, as they are web based as so available from any browser on any computer, but even better they can be made available offline on your computer(s) as well as devices such as the iPhone or iPad (both of which I pretty much rely on for day to day use now).

Another advantage is that you can easily make calendars available to other individuals or even set up a public calendar to share with the world. You can also include calendars other people have shared in with your Google Calendars. A great example of this is the Rugby World Cup 2011 Fixture Calendar.

To get the best use of these calendars though there are a few things that may not be obvious so I will try and go into them in a bit more detail below.

Ski Pad App IconI have talked a lot about developing an app for the iPhone. It took me a bit longer than I had anticipated but today I can officially announce that my Ski Pad App has been accepted to the iTunes App Store and is now available to download. For Free!

If you have an iPhone then go get it and let me know what you think. Feel free to give it a 5-star rating if you feel so inclined as that can only help with getting it noticed đŸ˜‰

In this post I’ll go into a bit of detail of what the app is all about so you’ll have a better idea of what you are looking at.