At least is measured in the up-down, back-forth direction, and not the thickness direction.
A Big Garden is by Gilles Clement, Professor Emeritus at the Versailles National School of Landscape Architecture and holder of the Chair of Artistic Creation at the College de France in Paris. He is famous for creating several public gardens such as the Andre? Citroe?n Park and the garden of the Quai Branly Museum in Paris and the Henri Matisse Park in Lille. The illustrations are by Vincent Grave.
This is a large format coffee table or get-together-with-the-family-to-read style book. Interesting and insightful text accompanies a brilliant and detailed illustration for each month. The text waxes between poetic and informative, giving the impressions of a master gardener’s master gardener. The illustrations are of the type that invite a long period of inspection, looking for proverbial waldoes, and are often fanciful and humerus.
Even though the book is about gardening, which tends to be a seasonal activity, it well and truly covers every month of the year. This can be on your gift shopping list for anyone’s birthday or for the winter holidays, not necessarily someone who is a heavy duty gardener. We spend some time trying to figure out if this was a kids book or an adult’s book. After a while we realized we were asking the wrong question. Clearly the text is not for young readers, but it is for any listener, of any age. And, again, the illustrations are amazing and for everyone. Each of them is equivalent in content density to an entire graphic novel, which is not surprising since Grave is a graphic novel illustrator.
I highly recommend this book, for yourself, or as a gift.
Several weeks ago I tried once again, after many prior ill fated attempts over several years, to get a device that would play music, audio books, and be a radio. The audiobook part wasn’t the most important part, but the ability to play various audio files AND act as a radio AND not be a big giant thing I had to strap to a body part AND be sturdy were all important. This latest attempt has gone very well, and I now have a device that is very nice and therefore, I figured you’d want one too.
<li>Tiny and Solid Construction: The metal body makes it sturdy with some weight. Mini and portable,only 3 x 0.3 x 1.2 inches.</li>
<li>Lossless Sound Quality: High sound quality brings crystal clear sound wherever you are. Support audio formats: MP3/WMA/OGG/APE(Normal/Fast)/FLAC/WAV/AAC-LC/ACELP.</li>
<li>Easy Operation with Touch Button: Designed with 6 touch buttons and 5 metal buttons,independent locking and volume control. Fashion and convenient operation.</li>
<li>Multi-function: With music play, FM radio, FM/voice recording, resume playback, folder view, clock screensaver, bookmarks etc.</li>
<li>Long playback time: Up to 14 hours of audio playback with 2 hours of full charge. 8 GB digital storage media capacity, supports up to 64 GB (not included). To avoid incompatibility, please use AGPTek Memory Card.</li>
Did you see that it holds a microSD? I’ve not used that feature, but that is pretty cool. It has folders you can divide the music up in, which is, essentially, a very efficient way of making a play list. I’ve also not tried to record music off the radio. I’ll probably never listen to music on this radio. I may, however, record Rachel Maddow now and then..
At this point, being fairly new, I think it goes well beyond the 2 hour charge estimate.
It is complicated, this little device, and therefore can not be operated with a single button like a Shuffle. So, it will take a little while to lerarn how to use it (perhaps a full five minutes). Just remember, the reverse U button backs you out, and that’s a great way to change modes. The menu hamburger button, while listening to a radio station, lets you make a preset or change the presets.
I’m not sure that I loved the headphones. I remember not being too impressed with how they fit, but that’s going to be true for everybody vis-a-vis various headphones. I just plugged in my favorite headphones and used them. I’d grab them and look them over one more time to give you my opinion, but it is possible that the cat ate them.
Also, I just noticed, that if you get the AGPtEK now and buy an additional item with it, like a microSD card or a wall charger, you can get a discount on something. I’m not in the market for any of those things so I didn’t look closely.
If there is a Bechdel Test for ableism, it would pass.
This is an interesting story written for youthful readers (see publisher’s summary below) that is well written and mostly devoid of the usual plot holes we find in this genre, but where the characters represent a range of non normative persona.
Benny, fifteen, is solitary by circumstance more than choice: he counts each move to a new town as “a life.” He’s on Life Number Seven. His last! He plans to run away from his paranoid mother, who’s been on the run since the disappearance of his father when he was three. Benny has no memory of it, except for weird dreams of a firestorm and a hideous dragon. After a fight with his mother, Benny packs his bags. Boom! The house explodes, catapulting Benny into a world he never imagined existed. The trail leads him to a gated Neoclassical building in the woods and to six teens he vaguely remembers: Kami is deaf, Amir is blind, Zuma is overweight, Layla is gorgeous but lazy, Chaz is in a wheelchair and Raj is as angry as the purple dagger-shaped birthmark running down the side of her face. These unlikely heroes share a common thread: Benny lost his father and they lost their mothers on the same day. The only clue to the mystery is Benny’s grandfather, Domenico H. Adez, a strange and dangerous man. “In my last years at Harcourt, I can’t remember reading one single fantasy MG or YA that was half as interesting as the world you have created. . . It really was a cool discovery that you had linked these modern-day misfits to Greek mythology and Greek history! So brilliant! Between the fight scenes and the stories and people and creatures of Greek mythology coming to life, it was truly a roller-coaster adventure. And the ending—now THAT is how you leave us wanting for more!” –Editor, Evil Speaks
The ePaper Kindle is back in my life. I started out with one (the original model), then moved on to using tablets and phones and computers and stuff to read ebooks. Then, I got a Kindle Fire (see this discussion), and that was nice.
But I wanted an ePaper reading surface for all the reasons people tend to discuss. It is more like paper, perhaps does not have the down sides of constantly staring at a light emitting screen, etc.
The “Paper White” has mysteriously placed LEDs that light the screen from somewhere nearby the screen itself. It is like having a book light but using quantum mechanics instead of a tiny light bulb. I don’t really understand it. It is optional: can be turned off for the full effect of ePaper, or turned up and down as desired.
There are a couple of elite super duper higher end versions of this as well that have potentially important differences, and some probably very unimportant differences.
The Kindle Voyage E-reader is slightly smaller and lighter and brighter (more of the LEDs). The “Kindle Oasis” has even more LED’s, and comes with a fancy “charging cover,” and is even smaller. This is for people who are so fancy they can spend nearly 300 bucks on an eReader that is smaller than everyone else’s eReader!
To me, this is crazy. If anything, I’d like a larger one, maybe an inch taller and a quarter inch wider.
Here’s the thing. The original Kindle and several early models had buttons that you could use to turn the page. That was annoying to many people but many got used to it. The “New Kindle” and the “Kindle Paperwhite” use only touch screen capabilities (but built on to the ePaper using some sort of magic). This eliminates the accidental page turning. The touch screen, however, is not the best touch screen in the world. I’m doing fine with it, I’m happy, but some people will want their damn buttons back. The Voyage and Oasis have both touch screen and buttons. And, they are vastly more expensive. I’ve not played around with them so I have no advice on this, but I don’t really like the buttons so it was easy for me to not spend the extra money.
With this new eReader, I actually find myself reading more, and choosing the eBook option over the paper option more frequently.
I’m just passing this information on, I’ve not handled this device. But the price and performance seem like such a sweet spot that I am compelled to tell you about it. Let me know in the comments if you have experience with this item.
The Dragon Touch M8 2016 Edition 8 inch Quad Core Tablet is a competitively priced high quality tablet, with excellent reviews. It costs 80 bucks. A while back, I asked if you should buy a $50 Kindle Fire Tablet. I concluded that maybe you should, because it is cheap and if the main thing you are doing with your tablet is grazing your Amazon Kindle booklist, it is actually idea. The Dragon Touch M8 (2016) is larger (8 inch display), and runs basic Android (different from the fire) and while a bit more expensive, it is also cheap.
Click through to see the specs. . It is a quad core with 1gb of ram, has a memory card slot for an extra 32 gigs of storage above the built in 16 gigs, GPS (that requires, I think, wireless), blue tooth, an HDMI plug, which might make it ideal for carrying around to give presentations (though you might need a ).
Scanning the reviews on Amazon, it seems that the bad reviews are about individual tablets that are broken in some way. The good reviews are pretty glowing. There are some complaints about the forward facing camera, but this may arise from the fact that at least in some tablets, this camera has a separate protective film on it that some may not have removed.
This tablet is not going to be as good as an iPad or a Google Nexus 9. It may be noticeably slower, especially with high demand apps like some games. But, if you simply can’t afford a tablet this may be a good choice, or if you want a second device for specific purposes that are not that demanding, you can probably skip some mid-priced pleasure (like going out to eat or something) and totally justify the purchase.
I had previously reviewed the Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse, suggesting it as a replacement for the Apple Magic Mouse. Now, I’ve tried it on my Linux machine (don’t know why that took so long). It turns out to work very well, better than most, possibly all, mice I’ve used.
One’s mouse is a very personal thing, and everyone is going to have a potentially different opinion about what the best mouse is. The Ultrathin is designed to work with laptops/notebooks because it is small, and it is assumed that everything you use with such a portable device must be small. The truth is, you can carry around a whopping big mouse in your notebook bag and not even notice, so this is a bit of a fallacy. Anyway, it obviously works with any computer with a bluetooth connection, desktop or laptop.
Also, some people want their mouse to be big, some want it to be small. And most people can probably grow to like whichever mouse they are using, and thus develop their preference longer term. I personally like a very large mouse or a very small mouse. I can not explain that.
A touchy mouse
There are, these days, two fundamentally different kinds of mouse. One is the kind with buttons and scroll bars and such, the other is the kind with a swipe-able surface. The Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse is one of the latter. It vaguely resembles the standard Apple mouse that comes with modern Apple computers, but is trapezoidal in shape rather than ovaloid. It is also smaller.
As I noted in my earlier review, my Apple mouse was starting to act strange, so I decided to replace it, and instead of getting an Apple mouse, I got the cheaper Logitech touchy mouse to try it out, and I’ve not looked back.
Designed for Windows/Mac but Works on Linux
There are two versions of this mouse, the T631 for Mac for the Mac, and the T630 for Windows. As far as I can tell, they are the same, but look different, with the Mac version being white and the Windows version being black. Makes sense at several levels.
I have read on the Internet, which is never wrong, that the Windows version works fine on Linux, and I can attest to the Mac version working fine on Linux as well. I doubt that at present Linux is using all the various swipy capabilities of the mouse, but it moves the cursor, has left and right click, swipe-scrolling, and it may also emulate a middle mouse button. Two fingered swiping back and forth trigger Linux buttons 8 and 9. And so on.
Obviously, I’ve not tried this mouse on Windows. Why would I ever do that?
Two hook ups and Great Battery Life
This is a bluetooth mouse (and that is how you get it to work with your Linux machine). The mouse has a selector switch, A and B, so you can pair it with two different computers (such as your desktop or your laptop).
Unlike the Apple Mouse or many other existing mice, this device does not use batteries that you replace. (Indeed, the Apple Mouse is even pretty picky about the kind of battery you use.) You plug it in to a micro USB cord hooked to something with power, every now and then. It charges really fast, and the charge lasts a long time.
I had been using the stock Apple Magic Mouse on an iMac. The right click often didn’t work properly. Also, selecting and dragging files in Finder, or the Finder replacement I use (PathFinder) often failed. I figured the former was related to the mouse but assumed the latter was related to the OS. That turns out to not be the case.
The Magic Mouse will run on any AA batteries but if you don’t want to change the batteries a lot and have other problems, you need to use super-duper electronic device batteries. I think I was spending at least $50 a year on batteries. That Magic Mouse is a great piece of design and innovated in being a device that could handle gestures as well as act like a normal mouse.
But eventually my Magic Mouse started to get old, started burning through batteries more quickly, and most importantly, started disconnecting or otherwise giving problems. No big deal, mice get old and die. Time to get a new one.
In considering replacing it with a new Magic Mouse, I looked into alternatives and found the Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse t631 (not to be confused with the t630). It is explicitly a replacement for the Magic Mouse, but officially also runs on a Windows machine. Checking further, I also found, as is the case with so many devices including those made by Logitech, that it also works on a Linux machine, though the manufacturer does not support it.
Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse t631
Knowing that the mouse works on Linux and knowing that I needed a new mouse for my Linux laptop anyway, I went ahead and bought the Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T631 for Mac (for somwhere south of $60, which I think is cheaper than a new Magic Mouse).
The problem I had with double clicking is gone. So, too, is the problem I had with selecting files. Had I known that was the mouse, I would have gotten a new mouse a long time ago (I doubt this is a Magic Mouse problem, probably something wrong with my specific mouse from the get-go).
The Logitech mouse will not be liked by everyone. When I first started using the Magic Mouse I found the touch was way to sensitive. But in short order I got used to that. People who like the fact that the Magic Mouse has a hair trigger on the click may be annoyed by the fact that you have to push harder to click with the Logitech Ultrathin. Personally, I’m fine with that and probably prefer it.
The Logitech Ultrathin is, well, ultra thin, and generally, much smaller than the Magic Mouse (but about the same width, which is important for gestures). Given Apple’s trend towards extreme smallness, this should actually excite Apple Ecosystem denizens. For me, again, the smallness is fine. Personally, I prefer to move back and forth between mice of very different sizes, shapes, and overall feel as I move between computers. That is probably just a quirk of mine but I think not ensuring that my hands are always configured in the same exact way no matter what reduces muscle and joint fatigue, decreased the chance of carpel tunnel syndrome, etc.
The mouse has all the usual gestures. Oddly, even though the Logitech Ultrathin is designed as a Magic Mouse replacement, it has several gesture features that don’t apply to the Mac, but do work with Windows to do various things. For example, there is a left and right edge swipe. It also has an app espose gesture that works on the Mac. The gestures are highly configurable and can be disabled.
Seeing this extra gesture functionality makes me want to try it out on Linux sooner than later. Note, for example, that the Logitech Ultrathin has a middle click. Yay for the middle click! (This especially applies to emacs users.) Again, I’ve not tried it out yet, but I’m sure it will work on Linux with a little tweaking.
The Logitech Ultrathin is a Bluetooth mouse, so your device is going to have to be a bluetooth device. Also, it has a button on the bottom that effectively changes the mouse’s identity, so you can pair one identity with one computer, the other with a different computer. This allows you to easily switch between two computers. All the literature with the mouse talks about doing this with two different Macs, but I don’t know why that wouldn’t work in general. I’ve not tried to pair it with my android phone yet… or an iPad … We’ll see.
The mouse runs off an internal rechargeable battery, so that 50 bucks a year I’m spending on batteries for the Magic Mouse paid for the Logitech Ultrathin, assuming it lasts just over a year. It has a fast charge, so one minute of charge is said to produce one hour of use-juice. The company says that one and a half hour of charge gives you about ten days of use. So, remembering to plug it in all night now and then will do it. Which, of course, I won’t remember, but it is a nice thought.
There is a design flaw, in my opinion, that I want to mention. You plug the charge cord, a micro-USB (which is highly convenient) into the bottom of the mouse. So you can’t use it while it is charging. I’d rather have the mouse hook up to the charger and still be usable, even if it has a cable hanging off it, for those moments when I have to keep working but forgot to charge it. I’m not sure why they made it this way.
And another thing, one of those strange quirks of the Magic Mouse, now solved. For reasons I did not understand at the time, Google Maps were useless on my iMac. When trying to navigate (using the mouse) by dragging the map, the zoom mode would activate and the map would start growing and shrinking rapidly and randomly. I’d be looking at the distance between my hope and my son’s new grade school, and suddenly I was comparing the distance between Coon Rapids, Minnesota and Bognor Regis, England. With the new mouse, that does not happen. So that is yet another quirk that was the Magic Mouse’s fault, now solved.
The mouse does not require installing configuration software but you will probably regret not doing so. So do that. Easily done on a Mac, and it works. If I experiment with Linux, I’ll write something up on what esoteric command line magic you will need to make the mouse sing on that OS.
The Amazon Kindle originally promised a technology that would improve your reading experience, at the same time cutting the cost of books in half. Those books would arrive on your Kindle through the magic of the Whisper Net, a free space age delivery service. The Kindle itself would be easier to use, lighter weight, and more readable than an actual book.