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5th-Apr-2009 09:13 pm - Moving on...
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I have made the decision to move my blog to Blogger. It lets me have more control over the look and feel of my blog. I hope everyone will come find me there.  :)

http://justyrambling.blogspot.com/
3rd-Apr-2009 05:06 pm - BeBook mini Review - Update 1
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I've been playing with my new BeBook for a little over a week now and I think I have a pretty good handle on how it works. Here are some of my findings. Everything I talk about in this review will relate to my experiences with the BeBook and Mobipocket or PDF eBooks. These are the only formats I have at this time; I may download other formats for future review/updates. I have been reading exclusively on my BeBook since I received it in order to give it a fair chance to “wow” me. I have to say I’m impressed. I have been recommending the BeBook as the best option for the average person since October 2008, when I saw that BeBook was supporting Mobipocket eBooks, and now I know I was recommending the right eBook Reader. I had my BeBook with me when I went to the Doctor this week. She had been admiring my Cybook for a while but was really excited when I showed her the BeBook. The buttons are very user friendly and she went right to the <8/zoom> button to zoom the font size without my direction. She is planning to buy one for her husband who can no longer read paperback books as the print is too small. The largest font size offered on the BeBook will be perfect for him. Of course I gave her my discount code “justy@telus.net" for a 25 Euro or $25 local currency discount. :)
Note: According to BeBook, as of February 13, 2009, "The discount for USD territories is no longer in place due to the huge price drop for the US market. The discount is still in place for the AUSD and EURO countries.” The current lower price is similar to what the price with discount would have been, $279.99 US including the leather case. Edit: Based on a BeBook Forum dated April 3, 2009: the AUSD discount is no longer in place as they have the "lowest price in the world."

Formats:

  • Over 90% of my eBooks are in Mobipocket format, so this was a HUGE consideration in choosing an eBook Reader. I started reading eBooks on a PDA so I already had a big collection of Mobipocket and a smaller collection of eReader eBooks before I even started looking at getting an eInk eBook Reader. When I first looked at eBook Readers in 2007 the only one which had Mobipocket support was the Cybook. Therefore I was very excited when BeBook started to support Mobipocket DRM, all I had to do was add my BeBook PID to my Fictionwise account and download the next eBook on my “to read” list. OK, I really downloaded *all* the eBooks on my “to read” list, but who’s counting.
  • Mobipocket - The current Mobipocket support on the BeBook is very good. Its seamless as far as I’m concerned. Download eBook, copy to Internal memory or SD card, read eBook. It looks good and is easy to customize. There are a few a few steps that have to be followed for Mobi eBooks that aren’t needed for other formats, these steps aren’t all in the manual but are easy to find on the myBeBook.com support forum. The one I use most is: Bookmarks – click <6> Bookmark list, click, Choose <1> Add Bookmark
  • PDF - Some of the eBooks I want are only available in PDF format and the results vary on the BeBook. This isn’t the BeBooks fault though, it all depends on how the eBook was created. Any PDF which was designed to print to a A4 or Letter size page will not look good on the BeBook unless it is Zoomed to the highest level. I have a couple of kids eBooks in PDF which I would like to read on my BeBook but only very simple picture books work well, if there is a big picture with lots of small writing it doesn’t look great. If the book has 1 side picture and 1 side large printing in simple sentences it is great. My son asks me to read him “Baby Monster” all the time. He loves having his books on my eBook Reader.

Fonts:

  • I have come to terms with the Font Size limitations in Mobipocket eBooks. I know I harp about that a lot but I started out with eBooks on my HP iPaq so I'm use to having the smallest possible font in order to get the most words possible per page. I've also been spoiled by the, comparatively, huge number of font sizes available on the Cybook. That said, the smallest font on the BeBook is very readable and a good 'average' size.
  • I understand the need to limit the number of sizes possible on the BeBook since the font size is changed by clicking on the <8/zoom> button. Each time the button is pushed it increase the size by one, you watch the book re-paginate and then you can push the button again to go up by one more size. You can click the button 3 times to get back to the size you started at, but you do have to wait for the re-pagination to complete each time. With more than 5 font sizes this would take a very long time to go through. *Hint* I would LOVE to have 5 font size options on the BeBook! ;)
  • I would like to see at least 1 smaller font made available to the BeBook. Others I have spoken to have asked right away how big the fonts go, so obviously smaller isn't better for everyone. I have added my Calibri to the BeBook and now I get a good number of words per page in a very readable font. I love customizing my reading experience. :)
  • Obviously the PDF files do not allow for custom fonts to be used but, as with the other formats, there are 3 sizes to choose from, as stated in the manual: “Normal, Full Screen, and Double. In Double the text will be displayed in landscape format. When a text page is displayed, press 8 repeatedly to zoom in or out to the format you prefer."

Start-up:

  • I love the 'Keyboard Lock" option. This means I don't have to wait for the BeBook to boot up before I can read my eBooks. When I click the power button to unlock the BeBook it takes me to the screen/page I had displayed when I locked the BeBook.
  • The actual boot time for the BeBook is very reasonable and it doesn't seem to go through the 'cataloguing' of the eBooks that my Cybook does at each boot up. The BeBook does take longer to open individual eBooks than the Cybook does, probably because it doesn't catalogue them at boot. This is a trade-off that is easy to take; it's not a huge delay, perhaps 5-10 seconds to open an eBook vs. 30+ seconds to boot the Cybook.
Battery Life:
  • I charged my BeBook fully 9 days ago, March 25th and after reading for *at least* 2 hrs a day it didn’t fail until April 2nd in the evening near the end of my reading session. I feel this is very good battery life. I had to keep myself from connecting the BeBook to my computer so that I could get a fair idea of how long it would last. 8 days of use, over 16 hrs reading time isn’t bad, especially when you consider that I was doing a lot of page refreshes hopping through menus as I was setting up all my custom options. :D
Freezing:
  • In the week that I have had the BeBook it has only frozen on me once. I really think that it was near the end of its battery life though as it kept indicating 2 batteries/3 batteries in an alternating pattern. I was also going from menus to eBook to menu to SD card to Internal Memory. Not a fair test... unless you are me and trying to see what will happen if you do "x” :D I know that for the first few charges the Cybook doesn’t show accurate battery levels, it is possible that the BeBook is the same. I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.
  • I have to say that I *Love* the way the BeBook actually re-boots when the reset button is pushed. It clearly shows what is happening at each stage so you aren't left with a frozen screen and an 'off' light indicating that the reset went through (thinking Cybook). This is exactly the behaviour that most people would expect to see when hitting 'reset.'

Once again, I want to thank my friends at MobileRead.com for all the help with finding the best eBook Reader for any given time and technical help along the way. If you decide to purchase a BeBook for yourself please consider using either my coupon code "justy@telus.net" or head over to the BeBook Wiki at MobileRead.com and help the next person get their Free BeBook too.

After
A few months ago I posted about a niftly looking eBook Reader called the BeBook and offered you all a 25 Euro discount if you used my coupon code "justy@telus.net." Well, someone was paying attention, probably the good people at MobileRead.com, because 10 people used my coupon code and my Free BeBook was delivered on Tuesday!!!

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If you have been on the fence about whether or not to get one of the new eInk eBook readers, this might be the answer for you! To help you see for yourself I give you a coupon which will give you 25 euros off ($35 US) discount on the BeBook!! Just purchase the BeBook from thier website, http://mybebook.com/,  and enter "justy@telus.net" in the discount coupon section. The cost of the BeBook would then be $314 US (349.99 - 35) including the leather cover.

I currently have a Cybook, but I'm very interested in the BeBook if only because of the easy to use buttons and Folders for sorting books. Since I'm quite a bookworm and love to read several different books at a time, being able to sort my books into folders by genre or author would be very helpful. I would never look at an eBook Reader that didn't support the Mobipocket format, which I had collected for my Pocket PC, so I was happy to see that BeBook now supports Mobipocket and plans to improve the interface in future firmware updates. Mobipocket support means that I can buy my New Release eBooks from
Fictionwise.com, Books on Board, or any of several other eBook stores online and know that I will be able to read those eBooks on my Cybook, BeBook, iPAQ, and computer, or any other combination of 4 devices I want. With the Sony Reader and Kindle you are limited to using thier propietary bookstores or doing 'format shifting' or other work arounds to read eBooks from other stores. Most modern books are released in eBook format within days of the Hard Cover release, at a lower price.  ;)

The BeBook supports the following formats: Mobipocket (prc, mobi), Microsoft Reader (lit), pdf, epub, html, txt, fb2, doc, rtf, djvu, wol, ppt, mbp, chm, bmp, jpg, png, gif, tif, rar, zip, mp3  and over 300.000 of free rss newsfeeds. All these file formats makes it very easy to find reading material that will work on the system! There is 512MB memory on board which allows for the storage of several hundred eBooks. but if you need more room for pictures or mp3 files you can always add in a SD card for more storage.

There is a great review of the BeBook on the MobileRead website which goes over all the main points.
 
You can also see a few demos of the BeBook on YouTube which shows how it works and the cover which comes with it. A few of the demos say that you can't read new release modern books on the BeBook, but with the addition of Mobipocket support this is no longer an issue.
To help you see for yourself I give you a coupon which will give you 25 euros off ($35 US) discount!! Just purchase the BeBook from their website and enter "justy@telus.net" in the discount coupon section. The cost of the BeBook would then be $364 (349.99 - 35) including a leather cover.

I'm not doing this all just for you though, for everyone that uses my email address as a coupon I get a discount on my own BeBook. So Buy Now and Buy Often! You know you want one, and everyone in your family needs one for Christmas.  ;)
After
I'm in total shock!!! Every month I faithfully go to the Early Review section of LibraryThing and make my picks of books I would like to read and review. I have traditionally been unfazed by not being picked to receive any books. This time it was different!!! I went to my mailbox this morning and there was a parcel for me from an address I didn't recognize. When I opened it up I found a brand new, hardcover copy of Free Range Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee!!!! *Squeeee* I love the Yarn Harlot's books!!! I'm so thrilled to get this book from her publisher. All I have to do is read the book and then email the publisher with my review. Somehow I don't think that will be hard to do.

I will be putting away my Cybook and actually reading a dead-tree book for the first time in ages. It will be worth it however to read the words of the Yarn Harlot again. I have followed her knitting blog for a while and love the way she writes!
21st-Oct-2008 04:10 pm - blurry vision
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I went to the optometrist for the first time in about 2 years today. My eyes are doing pretty good, not as good as right after my Lasik surgery, but pretty good. 20/20 and 20/25, can't really complain. However that slight bit of near sightedness has been hard on me when I'm using the computer, so after 2 years of glassesless bliss; I now have 'computer glasses' to help my afternoon computer screen headaches. They were very accommodating and helped me find a pair that looked decent, didn't cost an arm and a leg, and called me on my cell when they were ready only 40 min later. I"m really hoping that they do the job!

I had forgotten how long it takes for the dialation to go away, it's been about 1.5 hrs since they put the drops in and my eyes are still almost totally black and the world is a very blurry place indeed. I feel like I'm looking at everything through a piece of plastic wrap. It is rather disconcerting to say the least. I wonder what my Son' s daycare is going to think when they see my eyes... I don't have a history of irratic behaviour with them so it *should* be OK, but one never knows. LOL

I was going to do a mini reading lesson with Son, review some letter sounds and tracing of letters, today. I may have to put that off till tomorrow, or just do the parts that have *BIG* print so my eyes don't have to strain so much. Somehow I don't think he'll mind the slight reprive. :D


3rd-Oct-2008 01:02 pm - loose tooth :(
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This morning I got the dreaded call from Daycare "Please come get your child, he was running with another child and fell after the ran into each other. His tooth is loose and bleeding, he needs to go to the dentist to have it checked"  Wow, instant shock/panic Mommy mode!!!

By the time I got to him the bleeding had stopped and he was pretty calm. I took him to his regular dentist, but they didn't have time to see him in the morning and didn't even recognize him from his visit *Yesterday*! I ended up taking him to a new dentist nearby. The people there were very kind and helpful and I got a good feeling from them. Turns out the dentist use to work in the hospital as an emergency dentist so he had seen a lot of bonked teeth. He said that we were extremely lucky. The x-rays showed that the tooth had not been cracked and neither had the  bone, also the tooth had not been pushed up into the adult tooth growing underneath it so his permanent tooth should be fine when it comes in. The dentist said that the nerve was likely severed so the tooth will probably discolour, and it will be loose and tender for about a month. Overall it was a good prognosis though. I'll take a discoloured tooth over having to have it extracted any day! We still have to keep an eye on it, there is a chance that it may separate and have to be extracted after all, but it looks good that he will be able to keep it until it is due to fall out on it's own.
24th-Jun-2008 06:55 pm - An interesting idea
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If you like shopping for books online but miss the 'browsing in a bookstore' feeling you may like Zoomi Books, "A "real" bookstore with Amazon's prices, Amazon's secure payment, Amazon's shipping. " When you are in Zoomi you can browse Bestsellers, jump right to the sections you want and browse the shelves, or search for a book as you would in any online bookstore. I think it is an interesting concept and certainly allows for the chance of finding a new author just because the cover looked good ;)  I know, it's not nice to judge a book by it's cover, but in a 'real' bookstore it takes a good cover and a catchy title to make me look at a book by an author I've not read before. I don't think Zoomi will change that.
8th-Apr-2008 09:53 pm - Jikiden Reiki Training Completed
white cat
I recently took a 3 day course in Jikiden Reiki taught by Tadao Yamaguchi. I am now the proud owner of a English style certificate and a Hand printed Japanese certificate (From the Japanese Institute) declaring that I have completed both the Shoden and Okuden levels!!
 
28th-Mar-2008 09:39 am - Wacky Weather
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Ok, so the last time I checked it was March, and the end of March at that. Sooooo, where is all this snow coming from? I mean, I live on the West Coast of BC, Canada. We are famous for lots of rain this time of year, it gives us green grass and flowers when the rest of the country is digging themselves out and looking forward to a thaw. We are *not* use to snow this time of year at all!!! 

Yesterday we had a lovely range of weather, it started out cloudy, the sun came out for a while, it snowed up a storm, then cleared up again. I got caught in some hail with my son around 6pm after grocery shopping, and the sun was shining brightly by the time we got home. Today it is snowing again, nice big fluffy flakes which are actually starting to stick to the ground and covering up our grass and bushes.*Sigh*  I think the
Weather Wardens in my area are on strike, or just having too much fun lately.
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