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Messages - Mike D. aka jmiked

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Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / Re: iOS 10.3 update
« on: May 16, 2017, 08:33:20 am »
Speaking of security enhancements, it appears that Apple will be requiring two-factor authentication on all accounts as of June 15th. I already have it on my main account, but I may as well go ahead and turn it on for the other one. It's a very minor nuisance to set up initially, but worth it since it means that even if some bad guy gets your username and password, they still can't log into your account. I have it on my main Google account also.

Sorry to hear about the chemo. I'm just finishing a reread of Det. Jackson and I think I'll schedule a reread of Sheriff Dan Rhodes. I'll put Sheriff Bo Tulley and Pierre Chambrun on my list. Ooops, just checked. Too rich for my blood.

If I recall it right, I got the entire set of Chambrun mysteries last year or the year before on that day Amazon sells ebooks at huge discounts.

Another lesser well-known series is the Mrs. Bradley series by Gladys Mitchell. They were written from the 1929 through 1984, over 60 books in all. She was considered the equal of Agatha Christie at the time, but few of her books were published here in the US until they were made as ebooks. They are all available as Kindle Unlimited. The first volume has one of my favorite lines from a book: "I've never cared much for the countryside. To me it's a soggy sort of place, where animals and birds wander around uncooked."  :o

Not Quite Kindle / Re: Hearing Aid Advice
« on: May 15, 2017, 09:12:06 pm »
I've had two tests by audiologists, three years apart. Looking at the charts, I have age-related severe loss (I'm 73) in the treble range. It was recommended that I get hearing aids sooner rather than later, even though I'm not having significant problems in normal conversation. I shopped around and decided to get a pair of SoundWorld HD100 hearing aids (they sell sound amplifiers also, but only one model they call hearing aids). They aren't the most sophisticated models around, but they were only $750 for the pair.

They work very nicely. Rechargeable batteries (two days on a charge), Bluetooth (not stereo), A2DP mode (for better music performance, doesn't actually make much difference). There's an iOS/Android app that allows you to control volume, equalization, presets, etc. For volume, On/Off, and environment settings, you don't need the phone app, you can use the buttons on the behind-the-ear module.

It's only a 3-band equalizer, but my hearing is such that three is adequate. It has a built-in calibration mode that will play tones and you tap a button when you can hear them. It will then build a custom preset to match your hearing range. You can also choose from Everyday, Restaurant, and Entertainment (Music) settings. Restaurant minimizes sounds from behind (moderately successful), and Entertainment provides a slight bass boost. You can also adjust the volume, bass and treble curves of the individual earpieces from the phone app.

I find there is a substantial improvement in sound quality when listening to music, tv, or even to the Amazon Echo. I found that those things sounded more than a bit muffled without the high frequency boost. I can also now hear my wristwatch alarm, the oven timer, and the squeaky mouse cat toy. I have to turn them off when in the car, as my car has a lot of road noise.

They claim the batteries are good for about two years and that they will replace them for $45 each with one-day turn-around and overnight shipping. Obviously, you can send them in one at a time if you rely on them to hear.

They are handy for listening to the other party when I get a phone call, also. I don't like the sound when listening to music played from my phone via Bluetooth, tough. A bit too harsh.

One interesting feature that I hadn't expected is that when the aids are linked to my phone, they let me know when the phone gets out of range by saying "Connection Lost". So it's hard to leave your phone somewhere. You don't need the phone connected during normal operation, but it is required for setup and changing some of the less-frequently used settings.

If you have hearing loss due to loud sounds (i.e., a narrow dip in the frequency curve), then you may need something with more equalizer levels. But for my age-related loss (everything over about 1.5 kHz drops into the Severe Loss part of the chart), then this works just fine. I really like the fact I can calibrate and adjust the curve myself on this device. I don't want to have to go to an audiologist every time my hearing changes.

If you get hearing aids, be patient. It may take several months to get used to them. You aren't used to hearing those sounds and it can be startling, even unpleasant at first. Hang in there.


Bill Crider might be too well known, but he's also a possibility.

I love Bill Crider's mysteries. I'm halfway through binge-reading all of his Sheriff Dan Rhodes books on Kindle. I hope he's around to write more of them, he's doing chemotherapy at the moment.

A less-well known mystery series is the Sheriff Bo Tulley series (six books so far) by Patrick McManus. They are similar in tone to the ones by Crider.

There is also the Pierre Chambrun series by Hugh Pentecost. All enKindled save he first one.

Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / Re: iOS 10.3 update
« on: May 13, 2017, 08:53:17 am »
The list of apps is in Settings > General > About > Applications.

I never would have found this myself, one of the hosts of a tech show I watch gave the details.

I'm still annoyed that Apple is going to prevent these apps from running. They don't appear to slow the device down, I think they just want to get rid of support for older apps for philosophical reasons.

I'll still have them available on my iPad 3, as it can't even run iOS 10, much less iOS 11.

So that's what happened to me! All of a sudden after the install, windows defender got caught in a loop of telling me it found malware. Solution anyone?

A friend of mine who was a tech support guy for these kind of problems (until retirement two years ago) had the same thing and worked all day yesterday on it. He talked to Microsoft support and there is not yet a fix for the problem. MS said they have, however, 'fixed' the symptom by pushing a patch to Windows Defender to prevent it from repeatedly notifying you of the problem until they can find a fix.

The problem seems to be that there is a hidden executable that will re-install the bogus files within seconds of them being deleted. MS will have to find this program and do something about it to fix the problem.

There are a lot of claims in that article, and no citations to back any of it up. I'm not saying it isn't all accurate, but I can't judge from what's there.

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Did you get rid of your print books?
« on: May 10, 2017, 08:38:33 am »
I haven't gotten rid of any books yet, through laziness/inertia. I really do need to start. I have around 4,000 books and I plan to keep maybe 200-300 of them.

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Kindle Voyage
« on: May 08, 2017, 09:17:48 pm »
Based on the performance while running the web browser app or scrolling pictures with pictures, the Kindle eInk hardware isn't up to running much in the way of games.

Not Quite Kindle / Re: Guardians of the Galaxy 2
« on: May 08, 2017, 12:39:35 pm »
I'm looking forward to seeing this (albeit on DVD at home). I think it's the only Marvel universe film I've ever enjoyed (no, I don't enjoy super-hero movies).

Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / Re: text messages alerts
« on: May 05, 2017, 02:31:11 pm »
Settings > Notifications > Messages > Repeat Alerts

Default is once. i.e., it will sound again after two minutes. Set to Never to only play the sound once.

Since I'd already bought a wireless charging pad to use with the S7, I bought a new case for the iPhone that allows me to wirelessly recharge the battery with the money I'm not spending on the new phone.  :)

The Book Corner / Re: Best/Worst Book to Movie and Vice Versa
« on: April 29, 2017, 08:13:59 am »
One of the better book-to-movie adaptions I've seen is The Legend of Hell House (1973). Of course, it didn't hurt that Richard Matheson wrote both the book (Hell House), and the screenplay.  ;)

Even better was the The Haunting (1963, directed by Robert Wise), from Shirley Jackson's acclaimed novel The Haunting of Hill House. The 1999 remake was uninspired.

Near the top of my list for awfulness (if not actually at the top) is David Lynch's version of Frank Herbert's excellent novel Dune. It was not only awful, but OMG awful. The SyFy mini-series was only marginally better, not aided by William Hurt appearing to be uninterested in the whole process during filming.

Anything Else Amazon / Re: Echo Look
« on: April 28, 2017, 08:21:47 am »
Thumbs down. I don't need a camera that lets Amazon (or anybody) see in my house.

I'm boxing up the Galaxy S7 for return tomorrow. I didn't realize how fond I had become of things that just work so I don't have to take days of fiddling around with obscure settings to get things close to the way I like them.

Say what you will about Apple's control, sand-boxing, and limited customization, but it just works with a minimum of fuss.

I liked the S7 screen, though. That hi-res OLED display is gorgeous.

I'm thinking I'll wait until the new iPhones are out and then get an iPhone 6S (maybe plus) and sell the 6.

The Book Corner / Re: Best/Worst Book to Movie and Vice Versa
« on: April 26, 2017, 07:07:44 pm »
Another unsuccessful adaptation of a book was the Will Smith version of I am Legend. Of the 4 or 5 versions that have been made, I liked the 1964 one with Vincent Price the best.

The Book Corner / Re: Best/Worst Book to Movie and Vice Versa
« on: April 26, 2017, 05:42:33 pm »
Yes. I own a Hardback copy of what I am fairly certain is an unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo.  I had to hunt quite a while to find it - most versions seem to be abridged to one degree or other and I hate reading abridged stories.

Several years ago I bought a copy that was a new translation from the original source material, done around 1995. Apparently, previous translations contained many errors that had been perpetuated over the years. It's around 1200 pages in the print version (I read the Kindle version). It was great, although at 1200 pages, I had to break it up into two reading sessions a month or so apart. I'm not generally fan of long books.  ;D

The Book Corner / Re: Best/Worst Book to Movie and Vice Versa
« on: April 26, 2017, 12:35:52 pm »
Yes, the Caviezel one wasn't great. It had good production values, but changed the story too much for my taste.

One that I liked was the 1998 four-part French TV series starring (of all people) Gérard Depardieu. True, it was sub-titled, so not to everyone's liking. They couldn't resist changing the ending on even that one (IIRC). And of course they had to leave a lot out, even 400 minutes isn't enough for the entire story.

Have you read an un-abridged version of the book?

The Book Corner / Re: Best/Worst Book to Movie and Vice Versa
« on: April 26, 2017, 11:40:59 am »
I hated the movie versions of both The Count of Monte Cristo [snip]

Which movie version? There have been half-a-dozen of them.

The Book Corner / Re: Best/Worst Book to Movie and Vice Versa
« on: April 25, 2017, 11:13:59 pm »
One of the worst book-to-movie translations in my opinion was Nightwing. The book by Martin Cruz Smith was scary/suspenseful, but the movie was laughable. Mainly because of the bat puppets on wires (flap....flap.....flap) by Carlo Rambaldi. Even the presence of David Warner couldn't save this one.

Congrats! I take it you didn't want to wait for/pay for the S8 that everyone is swooning over?

Correct. I just don't see paying a premium to get an S8. It's not that much better. Plus, the S8 is a 5.8" screen (S7 is 5.1") , and that's a bit too large for convenience. Besides, I can pick one up cheap(er) in two years. Or an iPhone 7/8, should I decide to go that route. I have all my necessary apps already purchased for both platforms, so switching back and forth is pretty trivial.

This switch is not necessarily a rejection of Apple/iPhone, it can somewhat be put down to just wanting a change.

I got a good deal on a Samsung Galaxy S7 today and ordered one. It's yet to be shown that I will like it better then the iPhone 6, but I have a 30-day return window. And I had three Android phones before I had the iPhone, so the culture shock will be minimal.


Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Just a Thought
« on: April 15, 2017, 05:48:30 pm »
I discovered something new about Kindle Matchbook last week. It doesn't last forever. I checked my Matchbook list and found that most of my qualified books have been reduced from 20+ to only 4.

So get them sooner rather than later.

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Is there any benefit to using azw3 vs mobi?
« on: April 15, 2017, 03:26:57 pm »
If you are converting from ePub to the Kindle, best use the AZW3 (KF8) format. AFAIK, It allows many of the more complex formatting options that ePub has had for a long time to be transferred to the Kindle. Such as indenting block quotes, proper table formatting, etc.

The Book Corner / Re: Any Dresden Files fans out there?
« on: April 14, 2017, 03:06:36 pm »
I usually rec Frank Tuttle, but his publisher went under so you can't currently buy his MarkHat books.  They should come back someday.

The sooner the better. His books are at the top of my Fantasy reading list. I notice that Way Out West (Markhat #10) is still available for purchase, though.

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