Nexus 7, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
Tech Reviews / July 23, 2012

As you might have gathered from my title, I have the Nexus 7 in my hand and have been playing with it for a couple of days now. i can’t believe how different my experience has been with this compared to my previous Android experience on the Kobo Vox. This machine is FAST. it is a Google sponsored product, so it comes with pure Android 4.1.1., Jelly Bean. The Google team has been focussing on lag in Project Butter, and although I can’t compare with anything other than the Kobo Vox, the user experience is silky smooth. In comparison to the Kobo Vox, when I changed screen orientation while reading a Kobo book, I was not faced with five seconds of white screen while the device caught up. Two things I was anxious to check out in Jelly Bean were the Google Search (a Siri equivalent) and Google Now. I have had great fun with Google Search – I was particularly impressed when it hooked up to my Rdio account and will play any song I tell it to play. I was also blown away by Google Now when I checked it and found my bus times without my having…

Dipping my toes back into Android
Tech Reviews / July 20, 2012

Those of you who have read my blog know that I am an Apple fangirl, and that I had been very disappointed in my brieftime with the Kobo Vox ereading tablet. That had been my first experience with Android, and although I was very disappointed in the Kobo Vox, I realised that was due to the tablet itself not the operating system. I really liked the 7 inch size of the Kobo Vox, and I had been considering a more general Android 7 inch tablet. I had been seriously considering the Galaxy 2 tablet, but then I heard about the new Nexus 7 and was blown away by the presentation and reviews. Just looking at the specs of the Kobo compared to the Nexus I can tell already my experience is going to be completely different: Kobo Vox: Operating system custom Android 2.3 CPU 800 Mhz Storage capacity 8 GB Memory 512 MB RAM Display 7″ multi-touch FFS+ multimedia display; 1024 x 600 resolution Nexus 7: Operating system Android 4.1 Jelly Bean SoC Nvidia Tegra 3 (T30L) CPU 1.2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 with additional low-speed companion core,[1] GPU 416 MHz Nvidia GeForce ULP with 12 cores Memory 1 GB…

Dipping my toes back into Android
Tech Reviews / July 20, 2012

Those of you who have read my blog know that I am an Apple fangirl, and that I had been very disappointed in my brieftime with the Kobo Vox ereading tablet. That had been my first experience with Android, and although I was very disappointed in the Kobo Vox, I realised that was due to the tablet itself not the operating system. I really liked the 7 inch size of the Kobo Vox, and I had been considering a more general Android 7 inch tablet. I had been seriously considering the Galaxy 2 tablet, but then I heard about the new Nexus 7 and was blown away by the presentation and reviews. Just looking at the specs of the Kobo compared to the Nexus I can tell already my experience is going to be completely different: Kobo Vox: Operating system custom Android 2.3 CPU 800 Mhz Storage capacity 8 GB Memory 512 MB RAM Display 7″ multi-touch FFS+ multimedia display; 1024 x 600 resolution Nexus 7: Operating system Android 4.1 Jelly Bean SoC Nvidia Tegra 3 (T30L) CPU 1.2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 with additional low-speed companion core,[1] GPU 416 MHz Nvidia GeForce ULP with 12 cores Memory 1 GB…

eBook borrowing with Overdrive
Tech Reviews / December 1, 2011

A past blog entry of mine related my frustrations with borrowing from the Bibliotheque et Archives Nationales du Quebec. I expressed my frustration at the difficulty I had finding a book and loading it onto my Kobo eReader.   Recently, the BAnQ moved to the Overdrive ebook lending system, and I have to say it's a HUGE difference in ease of use.  Last Saturday my husband and I went to see the movie The Help and as I enjoyed it I decided to borrow the book on which it was based.  I logged into the BAnQ's Overdrive site and discovered that both copies of the book were out.  (Libraries can only lend as many copies as they have licences for that book.)  However, there was a handy link nearby: Place a Hold.  I entered my email address to register my hold. So, this evening I got an email from BAnQ saying the book was available, providing a link and directing me to My Holds page on the Overdrive system.  A couple of well guided clicks and a login later, the book was downloading to my computer and then a drop and drag moved it to my Kobo.  All in all, it took…

eBook borrowing with Overdrive
Tech Reviews / December 1, 2011

A past blog entry of mine related my frustrations with borrowing from the Bibliotheque et Archives Nationales du Quebec. I expressed my frustration at the difficulty I had finding a book and loading it onto my Kobo eReader. Recently, the BAnQ moved to the Overdrive ebook lending system, and I have to say it’s a HUGE difference in ease of use.  Last Saturday my husband and I went to see the movie The Help and as I enjoyed it I decided to borrow the book on which it was based.  I logged into the BAnQ’s Overdrive site and discovered that both copies of the book were out.  (Libraries can only lend as many copies as they have licences for that book.)  However, there was a handy link nearby: Place a Hold.  I entered my email address to register my hold. So, this evening I got an email from BAnQ saying the book was available, providing a link and directing me to My Holds page on the Overdrive system.  A couple of well guided clicks and a login later, the book was downloading to my computer and then a drop and drag moved it to my Kobo.  All in all, it took maybe…

eBook Borrowing from the BAnQ Montreal – followup
Tech Reviews / September 22, 2011

Further to my blog entry yesterday regarding ebook borrowing from the BAnQ in Montreal, I received a very useful and informative reply from them which I would like to share with you: Thank you for sharing your comments regarding our ebook collections. We recognize that the process includes numerous steps and can be cumbersome at some times. Please find below some information about recent developments in our services. Finding ebooks on our portal Regarding the visibility of our ebook collections on our website, we have recently implemented a new page entirely dedicated to ebooks. There is a link to it on our homepage, at the right side (where it says Livre numériques on a green banner). The page has not been translated into English yet, but we hope that our subscribers will be able to navigate our ebook collections easily from this page and will find answers to most of their technical difficulties in the page’s FAQ (Foire aux questions)  :http://www.banq.qc.ca/ressources_en_ligne/livres-numeriques/index.html. This page is updated regularly. Once you are on the Livres numériques page, you may use the search box to search for ebooks in the Iris catalogue (it is a different search box from the one that you have used on our Online Resources pages)….

eBook Borrowing from the BAnQ Montreal – followup
Tech Reviews / September 22, 2011

Further to my blog entry yesterday regarding ebook borrowing from the BAnQ in Montreal, I received a very useful and informative reply from them which I would like to share with you: Thank you for sharing your comments regarding our ebook collections. We recognize that the process includes numerous steps and can be cumbersome at some times. Please find below some information about recent developments in our services. Finding ebooks on our portal Regarding the visibility of our ebook collections on our website, we have recently implemented a new page entirely dedicated to ebooks. There is a link to it on our homepage, at the right side (where it says Livre numériques on a green banner). The page has not been translated into English yet, but we hope that our subscribers will be able to navigate our ebook collections easily from this page and will find answers to most of their technical difficulties in the page’s FAQ (Foire aux questions)  :http://www.banq.qc.ca/ressources_en_ligne/livres-numeriques/index.html. This page is updated regularly. Once you are on the Livres numériques page, you may use the search box to search for ebooks in the Iris catalogue (it is a different search box from the one that you have used on our Online Resources pages)….

The Joys of eBook Borrowing
Tech Reviews / September 21, 2011

Amazon recently announced that their flagship Kindle ebook reader was now capable of borrowing from public libraries.  As my ebook budget is a source of, um, friendly banter between my husband and me, this is one functionality that was very welcome to me.  However, at this point, this ability is only available in the US.   I know from past experience that the Montreal public library, of which I am a member, does have some limited ebooks to borrow, so I decided to check it out.  When I last checked several months ago, the selection available, at least in terms of my preferred genre of fantasy, was extremely limited, especially in English.  Well, it is the main city of Francophone Canada, so I guess I'll forgive it for having most books in French.  In all fairness I believe their selection has improved markedly since my initial investigation 18 months or so ago. My experience borrowing from the library was painful and I felt it would have been easier to write the darned book.  I am no technophobe by any means, in fact more the opposite, but I found the numerous stages ponderous and unnecessary.  I really hope Amazon's process is much…

The Joys of eBook Borrowing
Tech Reviews / September 21, 2011

Amazon recently announced that their flagship Kindle ebook reader was now capable of borrowing from public libraries.  As my ebook budget is a source of, um, friendly banter between my husband and me, this is one functionality that was very welcome to me.  However, at this point, this ability is only available in the US. I know from past experience that the Montreal public library, of which I am a member, does have some limited ebooks to borrow, so I decided to check it out.  When I last checked several months ago, the selection available, at least in terms of my preferred genre of fantasy, was extremely limited, especially in English.  Well, it is the main city of Francophone Canada, so I guess I’ll forgive it for having most books in French.  In all fairness I believe their selection has improved markedly since my initial investigation 18 months or so ago. My experience borrowing from the library was painful and I felt it would have been easier to write the darned book.  I am no technophobe by any means, in fact more the opposite, but I found the numerous stages ponderous and unnecessary.  I really hope Amazon’s process is much easier….