DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

August 19, 2014

Things Wanted, Part 4

I never realized the past three articles would provide me with so much email from readers.  So today I will close out the series with one final shot at discussing things people want to know most from me. 

Ron's Tablet, Google Nexus 7 (2013)One follow up to last week.  I did not recommend the $49 version of various tablets and I listed the reasons.  One person wrote to tell me they had one and it was fantastic.  I am happy for them and for anyone who would like to use one of the more inexpensive tablets.  However, I stand by what I said as far as features, speed, available apps and capabilities.  If it is your first tablet and you are enjoying it please continue.  If you compared it to one of the more expensive models you would be astounded at the difference.  I was also asked for prices of tablets.  In regard to Android only the better ones start around $150 and top out around $600 depending on brand and capabilities.

Wendy and several others have written recently saying something similar to, "I accidentally deleted 1,000 pictures from my SD Card from vacation…can I get them back?"  Well the answer is usually, but not always, no.  Here is how you can try.

The company Piriform has several utilities I have recommended in the past.  First and foremost is CCleaner followed up closely by Defraggler.  The third is Recuva (piriform.com/recuva).  One warning: there are many "fake" Piriform products out there so make sure you always download them from Piriform.com to get the real things. 

Recuva logoRecuva is quite easy to use.  Download it.  Install it.  Run it. It will ask you first what type of files you are looking for; All file types?  Photos?  Music?   Select what you need.  Next it will ask where to look for them.  This is where you can choose your SD card (if plugged into your computer), a specific folder on your computer or my favorite, the Recycle Bin.  Next it will ask where you would like to restore the files.  If you are searching an SD Card I would select somewhere on your computer’s hard drive for the restored files.  Then start it and let it run.  The number of files it has to search for determines how long it will take.  I have found it to be very successful in recovering deleted files for me.

There is an essential caveat that you should be aware of for "undeleting" files.  This is that you do it soon after deleting the file. 

The way windows computers work when you delete a file, it really doesn’t delete it, even when you empty the recycle bin.  The operating system actually puts a mark on the file which tells the system that if this space is needed to store another file, it can be used. 

So the file is there but it will be overwritten if/when needed.  The longer you wait the more chance there is that it will be partially or fully destroyed.  Think of an old cassette tape.  You can record something and then rerecord over it, making the first recording useless.

So if you know you have deleted a file on your SD card, pull that card out of your camera and use another one…now.  Then your chances of getting those beautiful vacation pictures back are greatly increased.  

August 12, 2014

Things Wanted, Part 3

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — Ron @ 4:07 am

Following the past two weeks’ columns, I’ve received many responses.

So, I thought I would continue the series addressing common suggestions I offer regarding questions I frequently receive.

For instance, I am often asked, “Which is the best e-reader app?”

I use Android tablets and phones, but my suggestion holds true for most all systems.

10,000 FreeNook AppThe two that I use on my tablet and phone are “Nook” (bn.com/nook) and 10,000+ Free eBooks Reader (eprint-studio.com, Android only).

I still use Nook because the Barnes & Noble Nook eReader was my first reader/tablet. I have several books through Nook that I cannot read on other devices; so, I stick with it.

The reason for my suggestion of 10,000+ Free eBooks Reader should be obvious: It offers free eBooks. Users have likely heard that before and been disappointed, but I’m not talking about classics, boring books or poor sellers.

All of the latest books are available free of charge, a service I believe the company is able to provide by charging for a small advertisement that pops up at random times while you read.

I can handle that just fine, given the positives.

For instance, I read several serialized novels. One Wednesday, I heard that the latest in the series had been released and I wanted to read it.

The next Monday, I checked the app and found the title in full, high quality.

Another question I frequently field is, “Which is the best tablet?”

Nexus 7 (2013)While that question is far too broad, I will say that I am partial to Android tablets. Throughout the years, I’ve owned a couple, and I currently use a Google Nexus 7.

It worked flawlessly until very recently but more about that in a couple of weeks.

So, which is the best tablet? It depends, but  I recommend finding a brand name and searching for reviews for a specific model.

I do not suggest the $49 tablets advertised at the local grocery stores. They are slow, don’t allow users to download many apps, have poor battery life and the touch screens will often have problems.

April 24, 2012

Android Tablet Apps

I always receive emails from Android users asking what apps I like to run on my phone and tablet.  I always have to insert when I mention phones that I work for NTELOS Wireless, so there you go.

Anyway, I thought instead of writing each person individually for a while I would tell you all here.  I know many in world like iPhones and all they offer, but I am an Android lover so I won’t mention them much.  However, NTELOS started carrying iPhones just last week so when I get a hold of one my opinion may change slightly… nah.

imageI wrote an article about some apps back in January of this year but these are always changing.  For instance, then it was called the Android Market;s now it is named Google Play and found at a different URL: play.google.com.  I guess one of the reasons the name changed is now you can purchase more than just Android apps.

OK, here is my list of apps I use and like most.  There are others that may do the same things but I like these or have not heard of the others yet. So if you have suggestions please shoot me an email and let me know.

All of these can be found on Google play if you search for them.

Nook for Android – if you are a Barnes and Noble e-book reader you can use this app to read on your phone or tablet PC instead of your nook.

Barcode Scanner – Scan barcodes on products and look up prices and reviews. Also QR for websites, information, contact, etc.

Bible – (by LifeChurch) great bible app with many versions.  You can study; use an annual reading plan and more.

Evernote – this app lets you take notes, photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders, etc.  You can then make them searchable and sync them across most platforms so you can find them anywhere.

Facebook -I cringe recommending this since I am not a fan, but lots of people use it, even me on rare occasions. 

Fox News – I am not much into news but this app works well and that’s the news for now.

Moon+ Reader Pro – You know me; I don’t like to pay for apps, but pay for this one I did. It reads all non-DRM e-books.  There is also a free version to try out.

Office Suite Pro – OK, here’s another I like so well I actually pay for the full version. This replaces Microsoft Office on your Android devices. It does a better than average job of it, too.

See you next week with a few more.  Remember let me know if you have some favorites!

April 17, 2012

My e-Reader holds More e-Books Than Yours

I receive questions similar to the one I got from Donna recently.  It involves something that sounds quite important in picking an e-book reader so let’s take a look and see. 

I own a Toshiba Thrive which is not actually an e-reader but I can also read books on it, so it will qualify.  My wife owns a Barnes & Noble Color Nook.

This question always involves, "which e-book reader can hold the most books?" 

For our two, the Nook advertises that it can hold around five to six thousand e-books.  It seems that all of them can hold at least three thousand and then it goes up from there.  My Thrive could probably hold that many and maybe two or more times that amount.  I’m guessing here, but I really don’t want to find out since I would have to buy a lot of books.  Yes, I know I can get the e-books and add them to my tablet but again, why?

Now all numbers given by manufacturers can vary in either direction from what they say.  No, they aren’t lying but it also depends on how many other items you store on them.  All but the purest e-readers have the ability to add other applications to them.  Those apps take up room too. 

It also gets a little more complicated as far as numbers.  If you buy a book from B&N, Amazon or anywhere else, you do not "have" to download them to your e-reader (no matter which one it is) until you are ready to read it.  You can leave it in your online "library."

I am amused by the advertising which says you can hold 3,000 – 12,000 (plus or minus) books on the various readers because, well, why would a person want to?

Do some math here. If you are my age, in my 50s, you wouldn’t have enough years left to read 3,000 books. 

If you have 3,000 books on your e-reader, pretend you read one book a week per year.  We will also say that you skip two weeks a year and don’t read due to vacation, health, etc.  That would be 3000/50.  The answer is that it will take you 60 years to complete your reading.  If your e-reader will hold 5,000 books, that would yield 100 years of reading.  I hate to be negative here, but I do not believe that the majority of us will make it that long.

These numbers are just a wonderful marketing ploy.  Most people just download a couple of recent purchases and save the rest until they finish the others.  Once a book is read you can remove it from your e-reader and it is still kept in the B&N/Amazon account for you to download and reread later if you want to.

Have a great time no matter which you finally settle on.

July 19, 2011

E-books vs. P-books

(   or Electronic books vs. 
         Paper/Printed books)

Several weeks ago I wrote about my wife’s e-ink Nook from Barnes and Noble.  I was surprised by the number of responses.  I had a small number asking why I did not write about the Amazon Kindle or some of the other e-readers.  The reason is that I do not get demos to test, so I have no experience with them.  (Of course, I would be more than happy to test out any of the others if the manufacturers would like to send them to me-hint, hint.)  We read, talked to people, researched and made an informed educated guess.  We chose the one we thought would be best for our use and pocketbook. 

Most answers were a toss-up : "I couldn’t stand not holding an actual paperback or hardback book…e-books are just a passing fancy, a fad."  Or, "I bought one last (fill in a calendar date) and I think they are great!"  No one wrote to say that they bought one and did not like it, quite the opposite. 

There were many reasons people liked the e-readers.   Take a look at the comments below and see if you agree, disagree, never thought of that or really just do not care. 

Some people said that the small size and being able to include 1,000 plus books was a big reason they liked theirs.  My wife included a couple of her thoughts…if it is windy outside, while reading, you don’t have to fight the wind to keep the pages from turning.  Also, bookmarks can’t fall out losing your place.  Since she has recently had wrist surgery she finds them lighter in weight and much easier to hold (or just laying it on the table to read is good for her). 

Others, like me, who are over 40, can change the font size to a larger or smaller size and even a different font if they wish.  That means that you may not need to use reading glasses to see the e-pages.

One very popular reason is: great convenience.  The convenience is you do not have to travel to the bookstore to get a new novel.  That would not influence my purchase of an e-reader since I love walking around a large bookstore and looking at all the available titles.

In closing, I have often heard that reflected light, like from a paper book, newspaper or e-ink (used with the Barnes and Noble Nook) is better for your eyes than direct light, say from a computer monitor or a color eBook reader shining into your eyes.  I checked with my eye doctor, Dr. Mary Alice Portillo, of Waynesboro, VA, for the validity of this thought. 

Dr. Portillo says that although the eyes are not negatively affected by either type of light, some people’s eyes become tired or more uncomfortable from the direct light of the computer screen.  However, it is really a personal preference for comfort.  So if you aren’t bothered by eye strain/stress from your computer screen, feel free to choose either type of e-book reader.

One last thought from me…I think these are some derivative of them are here to stay, these are not a passing fancy or a fad.  At least not for me since I bought my color Nook last week.

June 28, 2011

Nook

OK, although I never thought I, or my wife would participate in the latest technological “fad,” we have.
 
It’s confession time here.  I bought one; but it is mainly for my wife’s use.  The culprit is an eBook Reader.  Yes, a month or two ago I bought a Nook which is sold by Barnes & Noble stores.  Now one aside here:  If you know me you know that I am tight, a penny-pincher, cheap and any of the other words with the same connotation.  So I bought one of the black and white or e-Ink, refurbished ones for about half the price of buying one new.  It has the same guarantee as new, so I figured, “What the heck, let’s give it a spin.”

Again, being a miser, I first went out and got some old Edgar Rice Burroughs books I had read as a kid.  They are free all over the net.  I downloaded mine at Project Gutenberg.

imageI am an avid reader, when I have the time, and figured I would miss the tactile sensation of holding a paper book.  I found that after about three minutes I was lost in the book and could care less about the feel. I have to admit I liked the experience.

My wife likes to read (especially in the summer when school is out) so we bought her first e-book.  This is in a continuing series she reads and she likes it too.  And not having to stack the book somewhere to store it is good, too.  Once read you can archive the book, go back another day and re-download it for another reading.  We also now have a book or two from Barnes & Noble Nook site.

The Nook I bought will also surf the net (in black and white, or e-Ink) but it is not really an enjoyable experience.  However, if you get one of the new color Nooks (Nook Color) it is a good thing…not bad at all.  With the Nook Color you can surf the net, check email and do many things that you can do on more expensive tablet PCs.  It also has the Android operating system which is another plus in my opinion.

That being said, it is not a fully developed Android tablet with access to the Market and the full gamut of Android applications and features.  It does have some of the Android Market at this point but not the major part, although I imagine that will change in time.

You can also get full copies of most of your favorite glossy magazines with lots of photographs on the Nook Color.  It is excellent to read them this way and there are no trash byproducts when you are finished.  Magazines for the e-Ink readers display gray-scale images and most images are omitted from these.  Many newspapers are also available for e-readers.

There are a couple of things you should note.  If you read mostly indoors, even in rooms with miserable lighting, the Nook Color is a good choice with a listed battery life of about eight hours. If you read outdoors at a picnic bench or on vacations at the poolside, get the e-Ink reader like I did. E-Ink displays look their best under bright light and require reading lights or ambient room lighting indoors.  The e-Ink is amazing to see in action, but not in poor light.  This one also has an advertised battery life of ten days, yes, days… not hours. Also, the lack of a touch screen on the e-Ink reader makes navigation awkward on anything other than books.

Speaking of books, you can get most of the latest titles Barnes & Noble carries for your reader.  The prices are below the prices of printed books, so that is another good thing.

I now disagree with my first statement.  I do not believe it is a fad as something like it will be around for a long time.

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