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    Monday, April 22, 2013

    Cold Vengeance

    Cold Vengeance (Pendergast, #11)Cold Vengeance by Douglas Preston
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    Having just finished this book I was very thrilled with it. And I have to acknowledge that I read it in about 3 days. It kept me moving through it. But after reading a few reviews I also find that there were things missing in this book that first got me into the books. First of all a large portion of this book was actually written from Judson Esterhazy's point of view. Which is not new. Several of the previous books treat Pendergast as if he is an unreadable character. We are often left watching Pendergast from the point of view of those around him. This literary device creates some mystery and intrigue around my favorite FBI Special Agent.

    This novel did give us a slightly less cerebral Pendergast. I do miss his brilliant deduction and carefully deduced solutions. His bursts of insight were always a delight and a magnificent part of the books.

    While others can't wait for this trilogy to be over, I personally have enjoyed it. It has been enjoyable to follow the revelations about Pendergast's personal life and to see him wrestle with the revelations that his wife wasn't who he thought she was. I also enjoyed seeing Connie Swanson come back and her part in the subplot. There were some very obvious red herrings where hints were thrown in the mix that were obviously misdirections. On the other hand there were revelations that in hindsight the reader recognizes were meant to lead you along

    As an installment in an evolving series I did love the book, but I hope in future installments we see some of the cerebral Pendergast back.

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    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Harry Potter #1

    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars


    Bookworms of the world today I'm rating Harry potter and the sorcerer's by J.K Rowling is about 12 year Harry finds out that he is a famous wizard. This book was truly written as an epic and should be on any shelf. I give this book G rating and any person who can read at the 3rd grade level would understand this book.



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    Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    Eragon

    Eragon (Inheritance, #1)Eragon by Christopher Paolini

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars


    Bookworms of the world today I'm rating Eragon. Eragon is a exciting tale of an average farm boy finding a dragons egg while hunting in the mountains near his home and after trying to sell it to many different merchants he takes it home after hatching dragon inside changes his life forever
    this book gets a rating of PG. This book is long but if you stick with it you will be mesmerized



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    Hunger Games

    Bookworms of the world the book I'm rating the hunger games by Suzzanecol. The hunger games is about Katniss who has taken the head of the house as the provider of all the food and money. It is truly a epic that any mature reader will enjoy reading.
    I'm rating this book PG-13 for graphic violence but when you have gotten past that the story is very entertaining and well written this book will forever be on my shelf

    If you want me to read a book post it as comment and I will read it as soon as possible

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    eBook Formats

    Nope, not digital literacy, but this will be a lesson in that as well, today we are talking about Digital Literature.  My first device for reading was an eminently portable, inexpensive and 100% recyclable device called: a book.  Now, the problem was that I soon had many of these portable devices, ones that I liked to refer back to and read again.  Sort of like getting together with old friends.



    Fast forward 20 some odd years.  I got my first PDA (no, not Public Display of Affection, I am a techie, I didn't even know that meaning until someone told me about it.  I am talking about a Personal Digital Assistant) I had a PalmPilot IIIxe.I tinkered and toyed with getting my books onto this device and found a few things that worked but nowadays there are a vast jungle of options for reading books digitally.

    When you go down to the store to buy a new appliance, you never stop to think about whether it will work with your electricity at home.  Why not?  There are different ways electricity can be delivered and if you have traveled out of the United States, you know that plugs aren't the same everywhere in the world.  Why don't we worry?  Because of standardization.  Someone somewhere (or probably a group of someone's in a meeting) decided that one style of plug was going to be required either by law or by consensus.  This is slowly happening with cell phone adapters, among other things.

    It however hasn't happened with books.  Why does that matter?  Well, if you are deciding on a device that is dedicated to reading books, or you are decided to buy books that you want to use with multiple devices it's worthwhile to know what you are looking at it.  With books, there are still a bunch of different widely adopted formats of eBooks.  Below are three and where you are most likely to encounter them.

    .azw

    This is the file format for the Amazon Kindle.  You probably won't ever see it because if you have a Kindle your books are delivered via Cell phone or Wi-Fi and they live on Amazon.com and your device.  But it's good to know it exists.  Also, since Amazon is interested in selling books, the software needed to read the .azw format is widely available on multiple platforms.

    .ePub

    This is the format of choice for iBooks on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.  It is an open format that while a little heavy on resource use, it is still a very good format that is being supported.  The fact that it is the format chosen for the iBooks app means that it will be strong for as log as Apple is strong and supports it.

    .prc/.mobi

    These two file formats are variations of each other.  The .prc format was created for the Palm™ devices.  MobiPocket is a reader you can still use on many portable devices and the .mobi format is still commonly used.

    To learn more you can start with the really great wikipedia article on eBook formats: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_e-book_formats

    Saturday, June 26, 2010

    iPad review: A short list for Steve Jobs of Apple Computers.

    Dear Steve Jobs,

    It's been awhile since we last chatted but I wanted to give you a list of things I would like fixed. My iPad is broken. I am sure this was unintentional but I would appreciate it if you could please fix the following things:
    1. My iPad doesn't sync files properly. Please check with Bill Gates, he has been doing this right for a long time with WindowsMobile devices. Just for starters, there should be a sync folder on my computer and on my iPad and the files should sync.
    2. I can't connect my iPad to other bluetooth devices. It isn't locating other bluetooth devices when I try to send the files (see above) to other devices and receive them. Again, chat with Bill on this.
    3. My VGA adapter cable is broken. It only projects videos, Keynote Presentations and a few other selected items. Please make sure it will mirror my screen to the projector, screen, or TV. Please add a button so the iPad can toggle from mirrored to projecting for Keynote, videos etc.
    4. This is more of a software glitch than a problem. For some reason, iBooks is not showing up in my iTunes software. Also because the sync folders are showing I can't load eBooks form others sources properly
    5. Which brings me to another thing. Is it really iTunes anymore? Isn't it iSync? or MobileSync? It's not just tunes and there is some more stuff going on.
    6. Also, iTunes is still using Genres to organize my music. I would like you to change that to tags. After all music can be Romantic and Hip-Hop
    7. My camera's aren't functioning properly. I can't seem to do face to face chat with my iPad and I can't shoot HD video. Since iMove for the iPad is being marketed I know this must have been an oversight.
    8. When I connect a USB flash drive to the USB adapter kit it won't let me move files onto my iPad, please refer to #1 above.
    9. For some reason the following Apple Apps aren't visible on my home screen: Calculator, Stocks, Weather, Voice Memo, and Clock.
    10. There is also a slight problem with the size. Mine seems just slightly bigger than I was expecting. Below I have included the size it should be (it's the middle size):

    Otherwise, my iPad is working fine. I love it and use it everyday. Thanks for the great work

    An interested educator,
    Mitchell B. Jorgensen

    iPad review: Is the iPad a solution for 1:1 computing?

    I have had my iPad for about 2 months now. I didn't get it on launch day, and I didn't wait until the 3g model was out so I wasn't an early adopter, but I was an early adopter. People ask me often, "So, do you like your iPad?" My response! This is simply the coolest thing I have ever owned.

    When I was in high school, I carried a Franklin Planner. I loved that I could carry lists and papers and a calendar, and all sorts of others stuff. At first when I switched over to a Palm Pilot I loved it because it was so much smaller than my old planner. But, I soon found that it just wouldn't carry it all. It was great for what it was for, but I couldn't carry pictures, or other things. Later I moved up to the Dell Axim which for my money was the best device I had owned, until now. I got an iPod touch, but it wouldn't do everything my Dell Axim device with Windows Mobile would do. For instance and specifically. No creative features. My iPod Touch was a fantastic device for consuming media, but I could barely create notes. The stylus and shorthand I used for entering data on my Dell Axim was much more accurate than the tiny touchscreen keyboard, but the iPod Touch was good at lots of other things.

    So now, what's a guy to do. With the launch of the iPad I have a quickly and easily portable device with amazing battery life that does just about everything I need. With the update of the iPhone OS this fall it really will have it all except....two cameras: one forward facing for video chat, and one rear facing for taking video (Are you listening Steve?)

    So what's the problem? The problem is the question? Is the iPad really a solution for 1:1 computing for education? The answer is an echoing: Maybe‽‽‽ After a rousing discussion today at EduBlogCon I came away not as convinced that the iPad is really the solution for 1:1 computing. But wait a minute hold on. The question is: Is the iPad a solution for 1:1 computing. Well? Maybe‽‽‽ One theme that came out several times with people's comments was that the iPad does some things really really well and the coolness factor makes adoption as a 1:1 device very easy. Also, it does what about 90% of computing in the schools is: Word Processing and Web browsing. Now the fact that it will do more and that future versions will do even more (Steve, you still listening? how about them cameras‽) A couple of people were saying that if I have to compare two devices and one does this and this and this and the other does this and this and this plus that and that and that and costs less? Which should I adopt?

    Well there was a concern I had about that. The problem with comparing NetBooks which do this and this and this and that and that and that with the iPad is that while it is true that the iPad may not be able to do that and that and that, it still does t'other and t'other and t'other. For the Graphically inclined:There is significant overlap. The challenge arises when you are looking at which of the things they can't do. If the netbook doesn't browse books easily and have a easy to share screen then maybe the iPad is better. If the iPad won't let you connect to a VGA projector and share web pages (Are you still listening Steve Jobs, get right on that one will you) Then maybe a NetBook is better. There needs to be a needs analysis done. Pick the right tool. Some argued that the iPad is like a pocketknife compared to a Swiss Army knife Netbook, but compared to the Kindle the iPad is the Swiss army knife.

    Personally, I valued two things highly from the discussion: What is the need? How much control do we want students to have? The iPad does have a drawback in that area. It tethers you to Apple. You can't do high level computing on it, not of any kind. It is designed as a peripheral device, a device to supplement a computer not replace it. But it does a great job of supplementing. And just wait to see what the future holds.

    Imagine iPads that can send to each other over bluetooth. Pictures, sounds, videos, and more. Imagine being able to watch every iPad in my room from my iPad and wirelessly share any individual iPad screen with every other student while one student showcases his work. Imagine being able to pass an iPad around the table or lay it in front of a group who are analyzing the graph of their latest lab results. With the iPad we don't have the device that will change the game, but the seed has been planted.

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