Archive for Kindle Fire HD

Have Kindle Fire HD Will Travel, er, Work

In my role as a journalist, there are times when I have to adapt and improvise. Such an occasion arose recently when I was working on a couple of stories for a special section.

Kindle Notes

The special section focuses on arts and music in the schools. I had conducted my interviews a few days earlier, but had not yet started to write my stories.

I started to write one of them while in a Burger King getting breakfast. I was between interviews in a city about 20 miles away from the office. Whenever I head out to this city, I like to have a number of interviews and stories to work on so I can maximize my efficiency and cut down on the amount of mileage the newspaper has to pay.

Because I had some time, I decided to go to the Burger King because it has free Wi-Fi. I proceeded to order a large caramel iced coffee and order of tater tots, sat down and whipped out the reliable Amazon Kindle Fire HD.

With my notes on the table and the tablet in my hands, I started writing my story in GoogleDocs on my Kindle Fire HD. I have written before about how this tablet has improved my productivity, and this is just the latest example. Though I had some down time in terms of interviews, I did not have to stop working because the free time was converted to writing time.

I could have brought my laptop with me and accomplished the same thing. The writing process would have been quicker because it is much easier to type on a physical keyboard than a virtual keyboard. But, it was a very cold day, and the laptop would have been outside most of the time in my Jeep.

Instead, the Kindle Fire HD stayed in my pocket instead of the Jeep, ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice.

Also, as I have written about before, I use the text-to-speech functionality of the Kindle to make my books audio books, and I listened to one of them on my drive out to do the interviews and on my way back to the office. (Check out all of my blog posts about this tablet here.)

My Kindle Fire HD cannot do everything, but it does a lot, enough to keep me busy, anyway. What about you?

Are You Sacrificing Your Core for the Elusive Cutting Edge?

As I boarded a flight at the Akron-Canton Airport for Boston to attend the Association of Health Care Journalists annual conference, I brought with me my trusty Kindle Fire HD.

Old school notebook

‘I sat there for a long time unable to read anything. Then I pulled out a small notebook and a pen and started to write this blog post!’

I have so many books on it, ranging from The Story Template, Simply Jesus, Click Millionaires, Necessary Endings, EntreLeadership, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, Princess Grace, How to Deliver a TED Talk, APE: Author, Publisher, Editor and others, it was tough deciding which would I would read on the two-hour flight.

I finally settled on Simply Jesus by N.T. Wright.

I sat down and started reading the book. I highlighted a passage I found to be particularly profound about how the teachings and sayings of Jesus made sense to some people who considered him the messiah, while those same words led others to want to assassinate him.

As I was typing in my note, the flight attendant repeated herself several times informing me and everyone else on the airplane to turn off all electronic devices and stow them away.

It seemed like it took me forever to write a very short note (I was in such a hurry I didn’t even capitalize Jesus and feel bad about it now), but I managed to get it recorded. I shut off the Kindle and settled in for the flight.

Before we could take off, the plane needed to be de-iced. It turned out to be about a 15-minute process. I sat there with my amazing and incredible Kindle (I really do love the device, you can see what I mean here, here, here and here, and if you are really ambitious, here) tucked under my left arm, and I waited and waited and waited for the plane to be de-iced so we could taxi down the runway, take off from the airport and reach a high-enough altitude so I could turn on my amazing and incredible Kindle.

I happened to notice a guy sitting across the aisle one row up who was reading The Wall Street Journal. I immediately thought he never has to fold up his newspaper and lay it down. Altitude means nothing to a newspaper reader on an airplane.

The lady next to me was involved in completing word searches printed in one of those magazines you would find in a dollar store.

The man to immediate right across the aisle was utilizing some old-school technology: He was reading a traditional paperback book.

Their encounters with the written word proceeded uninterrupted during the de-icing process. I, however, was not so fortunate.

I sat there, Kindle still clutched under my arm, and thought about how sometimes we are too quick to discard yesterday’s technologies, yesterday’s devices and yesterday’s ideas for new things that might relatively unknown, unproven and untested.

However, those old things served our parents and grandparents well. They were able to accomplish great things without computers, GPS units, smartphones, smart TVs, the Internet, Wi-Fi, Mi-Fi, Eye-Fi or Re-Fi (OK, maybe they needed Re-Fi).

As I sat on the airplane thinking about all of this, I pondered this question: Are we sacrificing our core for the elusive cutting edge?

I sat there for a long time unable to read anything. Then I pulled out a small notebook and a pen and started to write this blog post!

 

Kindle Fire HD 7 Continues to Score Big Here

It’s been nearly seven weeks since I purchased a Kindle Fire HD 7, and I am liking it more and more everyday. For good reason.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7

I remember reading on Michael Hyatt’s blog about how preferred the iPad Mini over the original, larger version, saying the Mini was what the iPad should have been from the start.

Having never owned an iPad, I cannot make the same statement, but I can say this: The Kindle Fire HD 7 is what netbooks should have been all along. When my wife’s laptop became old, outdated and slow, I wanted to get her a new one. However, there was something attractive about the netbooks. At the time, I did not fully understand what they were; I just thought they were slightly smaller laptops.

Well, in a sense, they are. Netbooks are smaller than laptops. And, netbooks kind of look like laptops. But, what we discovered is a netbook is not really a laptop. A laptop is for computing, and a netbook is mainly designed to surf the Internet.

My Kindle Fire HD does just that. It surfs the web, it feasts on Amazon.com content, it plays games and it even contributes to some productivity. After I first purchased the tablet, I carried it with me sometimes. Now, unless I know I am going to be totally tied to my desk at the newspaper, it comes with me.

Why I Carry My Kindle Fire HD All the Time:

  • It turns my vehicle into a mobile university: This is the No. 1 reason why it is with me most of the time. By owning a Kindle device, I can turn on Amazon’s text-to-speech function and listen to books while I drive. I just finished reading/listening to The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur (which turned out to be better than I initially envisioned). Whether I am in the Jeep five minutes or 35 minutes, I like having the option of listening to a book.
  • It keeps me up-to-date with my blog: I have a WordPress app that allows me to edit or create posts, check my site stats or do anything else I need to with my blog, as long as I have a Wi-Fi connection.
  • I keep my teaching notes on it: I teach an adult Sunday School class at Parkview Christian Church, and I send all of my notes to my Kindle device. I have a study Bible loaded on the Kindle, and I keep my notes for Sunday School on it.
  • I can capture thoughts using Catch app: When you start blogging, you realize how important it is to get your ideas down. With Catch Notes, I can do that. The free app allows you to write notes, record audio notes, take photos, set up reminders and create checklists. I used it the other day to jot some ideas down for future blog posts and a future book.
  • I can move my online reading offline: With Pocket, another free app, I can be reading something on the web and save it to read later. The app works across all sorts of devices. I can be reading something on the web at home, save it to Pocket, and when I sync my Kindle Fire HD, I will get a nice, readable version of the web page. It is important to sync Pocket’s content while you have Wi-Fi access. This is immensely helpful when researching. I have been using it to aid me in writing a book for mindreaders. It is invaluable.
  • I can keep up-to-date with all of my social networks: Again, as long as there is a Wi-Fi connection.

If you would like to purchase your own Kindle Fire HD, check out my affiliate link by clicking here. I recommend the 32 GB version because once you buy it, there is no expanding it. Might as well get the extra storage space.

The Kindle Fire HD  7 has been a great fit for me, but let me caution you by saying I made the purchase because I was an Amazon Prime member. It made sense to have a device geared toward watching the movies, TV shows and videos available for free to Prime members, getting the shipping discount from Amazon and the ability to borrow one book a month from the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

If you are looking for more of a computing tablet, then perhaps the iPad, iPad Mini or Google Nexus 7 are better options for you.

For me, it was the Kindle. You can see other reasons why by clicking here.

Kindle Fire HD 7: Five Reasons I Love It

It has been about a month since I purchased a Kindle Fire HD 7 for my birthday (I have such generous family and friends), and I have to say I am finding more uses for it today than ever.

Kindle Fire HD 7 screenshot

I am a geek in the sense I have studied computer programming (a long time ago), am able to rip open a desktop computer and add and change hardware and am all over social media (though I have yet to label myself a “social media expert” — when you figure out what that is, let me know).

However, I am not such a geek that I can tell you with clarity and specificity why, from a hardware and software and operating system point of view, the Kindle Fire HD 7 is an excellent machine that is better than the competition.

But, I can tell you there are five reasons why I am so grateful I purchased the Kindle Fire HD 7.

  1. I read more. Look at the screenshot above; I am reading those books and more. Generally, all I read was the Bible, The Daily Record newspaper and political websites. Now, I am reading more books about writing, building a platform and business. And, yes, I am still reading my Bible.
  2. I write more. I have actually begun working on some writing projects outside of my daily reporting duties at the newspaper. It feels good to be focused on some of these efforts.
  3. I watch less TV. With the boob tube blackened out most of the time, I have a ton of time to read and write.
  4. I blog now. The Kindle Fire HD 7 actually was a factor in me deciding to start my own self-hosted blog. I wrote about that here.
  5. I sell books in the Kindle store. It is really an article that I have sold, but it is a start. It would not have happened without the Kindle Fire HD connecting me with the Amazon website more and the Kindle store in particular.

Do you have a Kindle Fire HD? What are your thoughts about it?

Casual Productivity and the Kindle Fire HD 7

IMAG0798 - Tom,Burn,Pinstripe

I have written a lot about the Kindle Fire HD 7 device in the past couple of weeks, and for good reason, it really has me being more productive, something I call a “casual productivity.”

I am late to the tablet party, and I am sure those who have been using the iPad, Google Nexus, Samsung Galaxy series or any other tablet have discovered how useful they can be. I am surprised at just how much more I am able to do with my Kindle Fire HD.

Because the 7-inch model is nice and compact, it is easy to hold like any book (this is even more the case with the cover I have for it). As such, when my wife and I are relaxing at home, I can get comfortable on the couch and perform a variety of tasks.

If I am not particularly interested in the show on the television, I can read one of my Kindle books. I can work on a draft of a blog entry. If I have the kernel of an idea, I can jot something down in Catch and come to it later. I can catch up with the news using Flipboard, and I can play Words with Friends.

So, this tablet, which some might view as a time waster, is leading me down the road to increased productivity, casually, of course.

Of Course You Can Read Kindle Books Without a Kindle Device, Learn Now

Want to read a Kindle book or article, but don’t have a Kindle device? Believe it or not, you can. It’s easy.

FreeKindleAppsEver since I published a short devotional using Kindle Direct Publishing, people who do not own Kindle devices have been asking me how can they read my article, “The Gospel According to Bungy: Or, Seven Things I Learned About God from a Blind, Deaf, 17-Year-Old, Long-Haired Dachshund on a Cold, Dark, Damp Winter Night.

They were surprised to hear there is a way without having to purchase a Kindle device; many ways, actually.

As noted in the image above, Amazon provides a variety of ways for consumers of information to access their Kindle books, booklets, articles and documents, which is a good thing for the company … and for us.

Amazon provides what it calls the Kindle Cloud Reader, which allows people to read Kindle books through their web browsers. Long before I received my first smartphone for Christmas in 2011, I was already reading Kindle documents without having a Kindle device. I did so through an app that connected me to Amazon’s electronic publications via my Chrome web browser.

When I received my HTC ThunderBolt smartphone in 2011, it came preloaded with Amazon’s Kindle Reader. Now, I was able to read books on my phone when I was waiting in an airport or waiting in general. In 2012, I bought a Kindle Fire HD 7, and it opened up a whole new world to me, as I mentioned in an earlier post. However, the point is I purchased the bulk of my Kindle books before ever owning a Kindle device.

It makes sense for Amazon to remove any barriers between readers and the Kindle books it sells. Easier access leads to more sales; it’s plain and simple. What is even nicer about Amazon’s Kindle reader apps is that you purchase the book once, and it is available through all of the reader devices and apps. When I purchased the Fire HD, I was able to download any of the books I purchased previously. Amazon’s reader apps also syncs your books across all of your access points.

I started reading a Kindle book about writing nonfiction books, and when I started researching free Kindle reader apps for the post, I opened up my cloud reader, only to discover the book was loaded and right on the page where I left off only hours earlier.

So, if you would like to read my first foray into Kindle Direct Publishing but do not have a reader, then I urge you to visit Amazon’s page detailing how to install a free reader app. You can visit the page here.

How to Prepare for the Unexpected with a Kindle Fire HD

Problem of Suffering

For more than nine years I have been teaching an adult Sunday School class at Parkview Christian Church in Wooster, Ohio. The class is the Koinonia Class. The name comes from the Greek word for “fellowship.” It is not often that I teach class without notes. I am a writer, and it is quite natural for me to have my notes printed out.

We have been studying Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Haggai and Zechariah, and I was set to teach about four visions Zechariah had as he urged his fellow countrymen to return to the task of rebuilding the temple after the exile.

However, when I taught class on Dec. 16, I opted to forego the notes and follow my heart and, I hope, the Holy Spirit. Normally, I would have prepared a lesson that would have talked about what is called “the problem of pain” due to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. At its root, the problem of pain deals with this question: If God is all-powerful, then why do bad things happen to good people. In the wake of the shootings which claimed the lives of 20 precious children and six adults, it seems as if there is no comforting words to ease the pain. Without the aid of notes, I attempted to address the problem and provide some reasonable arguments. Overall, I made a fairly good defense of the faith, but I know if I were to be talking to one of the families who lost a loved one, then it likely would not be adequate. In dealing with the tragedy the way I did, I walked away knowing I would do better the next time. Here is why: I had recently purchased a Kindle Fire HD 7. Amazon.com provides Kindle owners with an email address where they can send documents to their Kindle devices. I ended up sending my Zechariah lesson that was ultimately abandoned. As I closed my Bible, having looked at passages about suffering and comfort, it dawned on me that my Kindle Fire HD can store up to 32 GB of data. It would be helpful for me to store lessons about a variety of topics, like the problem of pain, salvation, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, evolution and responses to the New Atheists, so I can be prepared in case the need arises to switch gears and focus a lesson on an entirely different topic. I guess what I am saying is that with a little preparation and a Kindle Fire HD, you can expect to deal with the unexpected in an appropriate manner.

To read what Mark Copeland has to say about the problem of suffering, click here, or you can download the PDF document here.

Do you use your tablet or smartphone to prepare or deal with the unexpected? Add your comments.