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Messages - Mike D. aka jmiked

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The Book Corner / Re: Kindle Covers vs. Paperback Covers
« on: February 08, 2017, 08:56:00 pm »
I can't say I'm obsessive about it, but when I import ebooks into Calibre, I have the program go out and look to see if the cover from the original printing is available. If it is, I swap them out.

I agree that most of the ebook covers I see are pretty unimaginative. I can understand why copyright issues might make the original art unavailable, though.

There seem to be a few people posting in this thread that say they don't buy Kindle/ebooks at all. I'm curious as to how they came to be on a forum dedicated to ebook reading. I'm not complaining, mind you. I'll welcome all readers here. I just find it curious.


Not Quite Kindle / Re: What are you binge-watching?
« on: February 04, 2017, 04:02:20 pm »
Longmire. Good show.

Oh, yeah. I like this show a lot. I was disappointed to learn that the upcoming season will be the last. I guess they need that slot for another zombie series.


Not Quite Kindle / Re: DVRs
« on: February 04, 2017, 07:52:16 am »
Never having had cable I don't know anything about BBCAmerica and the Graham Norton show.

BBC America is now available for streaming from both Sling and Playstation Vue (via Roku). As is Turner Classic Movies (yay!). There's not much left that's keeping me from cord-cutting except for finishing out my 2-year commitment to the satellite provider. Then I can pick and choose what I want.

The Playstation Vue service looks like a winner... it includes DVR-like recording capabilities so you can flag a program or series and play it back later (within a month).


Not Quite Kindle / Re: DVRs
« on: February 03, 2017, 05:23:50 pm »
I'm getting closer to cord-cutting, but after browsing the Tivo forums I'm less interested in getting a TiVo. A recent poll showed only about 45% of the current users would get another TiVo. The problems cited derived from the takeover of the TiVo company by another company several months ago. The scheduling info has apparently deteriorated and there are rumblings that the parent company wants out of the hardware business. No encouraging. I don't like the idea of spending $500 on a device with an iffy future.


Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Format Conversion Issue
« on: February 03, 2017, 02:31:28 pm »
There may be something in the Calibre settings or a problem with the ePub file that is causing this. I've routinely converted ePubs to AZW3 for years with zero problems*.


* I know, I hate it also when people say something works just fine for them. :D

The Book Corner / Re: Roger Zelazny's influence on Steven Brust
« on: February 03, 2017, 01:56:43 pm »
NogDog, your post spurred me to read two Zelazny books this week: Jack of Shadows and A Night in the Lonesome October. Several more went near the top of my TBR list.

Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / Re: What has happened to Apple?
« on: January 31, 2017, 07:10:05 pm »
I'm still pretty happy with my 2008 "Blackbook". It does have some issues due to being stuck at OS 7.5, such as not able to run Postbox (my choice of email programs), Apple Notes, or get any updates of a number of programs (which still work just fine, just no updates). I'll stick with it until it dies. Then I may pick up a used iPad Pro and add a keyboard, such as the Brydge:

I even have a 1999 G4 Power Mac desktop which still runs fine, and it runs OS9. Most things it runs almost as fast as the current machines (OS9 wasn't bloated with features), but doesn't do multitasking.

Not Quite Kindle / Re: What are you binge-watching?
« on: January 31, 2017, 06:36:05 pm »
I'm binge-watching Frequency. It's possibly something I'd normally pass on, but the selection of interesting series to watch is pretty sparse at them moment. I think it suffers from not being a limited-run series with fewer episodes.

I've been considering ordering one, but switching from Android might be too much of a change for me since everything I use is through google.

Speaking as one who had three Android phones before getting an iPhone, the adjustment period was minimal. You can still use all your actual Google stuff, as they have IOS equivalents (as far as I can recall).


The Book Corner / Re: Anyone a Historical Mystery fan?
« on: January 24, 2017, 06:52:42 pm »
Although John Dickson Carr is noted for his locked-room mysteries, he wrote a dozen or so historical novels, some of which were mysteries. They received very good reviews. You might try one of those and see if you like his style.


Not Quite Kindle / Re: What are you binge-watching?
« on: January 10, 2017, 01:35:33 pm »
I've been burning through the episodes of Raffles (The Amateur Cracksman) on Acorn TV. There were only 15 or so episodes made in 1977 in the UK. It's reported that almost all the episode scripts were taken pretty much directly from the printed page, but I don't remember enough about the stories to verify this.

The stories were published in the early 1900s, and were filmed as period pieces. It's a pretty typical 70s production. The sidekick is played very much in the bumbling Nigel Bruce tradition, which is a bit annoying to modern viewers.

The series is going away from Acorn at the end of January, so I decided to watch them while I still could.

Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / Re: What has happened to Apple?
« on: December 30, 2016, 02:41:23 pm »
My practice is to by the most recent top of the line when the newest top of the line comes out. I get almost as good a phone for significantly less money. And I keep it 3 or 4 years until upgrading is a significant improvement in performance.

Most recently I got the Samsung S7 Edge . . . just as the Note 7 was released as the new best-thing-since-Graham-Bell . . . . . Turns out, I have the TRUE top of the line since the Note 7 had a sort of major flaw. ::) O'course, they're still discounting the S7 and S7 Edge because they're trying to lure back the frightened people.

Google timed it exactly right with the Pixel! :o

An excellent practice.  I follow it myself on many things. If I had to buy a phone right now, I'd likely opt for a S6 Edge.


Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / Re: What has happened to Apple?
« on: December 30, 2016, 08:10:59 am »
High prices not only mean high margins, they also act to control demand, making it somewhat easier to handle problems that come with any truly new model. And those who are willing to pay more are often more understanding, too. Apple fanboys are proud to be the first and proud to have spent so much. It's a luxury thing, I suppose.

iPhones aren't significantly more expensive than Samsung, Pixel/Google or other top-line phones. So we need to include Samsung fanboys and Google fanboys, also.  ;D ;D

Not Quite Kindle / Re: What are you binge-watching?
« on: December 30, 2016, 08:03:13 am »
Not going to Supergirl, AofS, or the new whatshername SA flame series. The rest I know nothing about. Timeless sounds a good name for me, but its obviously not here yet.

I am waiting for the next Grimm, Person of Interest, Killjoys, and Darkmatter, in addition to the 4 above. And there are supposed to be a couple of others I dont recall names for coming I'll get.

Person of Interest has ended... I sort of lost interest after the first season, I didn't care for the Battle of the Machines plotline. I kept watching to the finish for the character interaction, though.

Killjoys and Dark Matter I have recorded, and watch an episode every once in a while.

I like Grimm (not renewed). I'm looking forward to new seasons of Fortitude, The Artful Detective, Longmire (last series, alas), and The Expanse. The upcoming Emerald City looks interesting.

Mostly I watch and re-watch British detective and mystery series.

Not Quite Kindle / Re: What are you binge-watching?
« on: December 30, 2016, 07:44:36 am »

Right now we have Pitch, Timeless, Madam Secretary, Humans, Incorporated, Flash, Supergirl, Arrow, Agents of Shield, Halt and Catch Fire, 12 Monkeys, Continuum, Containment, Billions, Limitless, Lucifer, Roadies, Speechless -

And that's just the 15% of shows I think are worth watching.

If you can't find at least 4 shows you like in that list, I don't know what to say.

I stopped watching Continuum somewhere around the middle of the next-to-last season, stopped Arrow partway through the second season. I'm recording the second season of Lucifer, but so far have only watched the first episode. I actually watched all of Limitless and was sorry it was not renewed. The others I may have watched an episode or two but they failed to hold my attention.

I seem to end up watching mostly science, history, and technology documentaries these days, along with a few scripted shows I enjoy. And older movies.

But I read 100-120 books a year.  ;D ;D

Not Quite Kindle / Re: What are you binge-watching?
« on: December 29, 2016, 03:06:49 pm »
Really? I had the exact opposite reaction. I loved it when it was new but could not stand it when i saw it a few years ago.

I think it may be a reflection of my distaste for most things being shown on TV at present. The lowest common denominator seems to have sunk to new lows.


Not Quite Kindle / Re: What are you binge-watching?
« on: December 28, 2016, 06:41:55 pm »
I watched the 22 episode season of Highlander: The Raven over the last week. I remember thinking at the time it was first broadcast in 1999 that it was pretty cheesy, but now I think it's positively brilliant compared to most things being shown today.  ;D ;D


The Book Corner / Re: The trend for books based on true stories
« on: December 26, 2016, 03:47:55 pm »
Are you sure it's a growing trend?  I've seen books like that all my life.

So have I. I'd want more info to support that (I don't reject the idea out of hand, though) .


The Book Corner / Re: Free Books From Open Road Media
« on: December 17, 2016, 12:35:54 pm »
I only got 53 books from the deal. I guess I cold have gotten more, but my stamina for paging through them came to an end. I've got until the 21st, though.  ;D ;D


Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / Re: What has happened to Apple?
« on: December 16, 2016, 08:59:18 am »
I'm pretty sure that the more expensive hearing aids have BT stereo. Mine are the bargain-basement type.  ;D

Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / Re: What has happened to Apple?
« on: December 15, 2016, 10:32:57 am »
The specs say it's compatible with iPhone 5/5s/5c.

I can pair my hearing aids with my iPhone, but only one at a time (no stereo). The sound isn't great. Good enough for using to listen to phone calls, though.

One side benefit is that getting more than about 20 feet from my phone sounds an alarm, so it makes it difficult to leave my phone behind.

Not Quite Kindle / Re: Winter Tip
« on: December 14, 2016, 09:51:15 pm »
The real test is going to come this Saturday and Sunday, when the temps are going to be below 30F at night. The beauty of using bubble wrap is that I can add a second layer if the one is not enough. ;D ;D

Also, I don't know how condensation is going to affect this.

Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / Re: What has happened to Apple?
« on: December 14, 2016, 07:31:14 pm »
Here's an interesting Airpod review by Rene Ritchie of

He's been using them for about three months and hasn't had any normal-use problems with them falling out, even during jogging, etc. If I weren't wearing hearing aids most of the time, I'd consider buying these.

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