Thursday, July 31, 2014

Use your tablet as a magnifier

I bought the wonderful little Mikey Digital microphone. Nice, but like usually happens with small gadgets, the manual which comes with them is very tiny and with small text, which is no friend to middle-aged eyes.
With good light I could just about read it, but it was not pleasant.
Then I got an idea: use my iPad for magnification. (First I tried my iPhone, but like I say often, the screen is too small.     :-)

You simply, in good light, put or hold the little text by the iPad's back camera. Filling the whole screen, it's very easy to read indeed!
Depending on the position of things, you can just read it like that, or you can take photos for reading in a more comfortable position. (It's fully legal to photograph texts if it's for personal use only.)

You can see how small it is. And if you click on the pic,
you can also see how big and clear the text is!
(It takes decent light and a little practice with the focus
to get clear photos of such close-ups.)

A good ereader device also does audiobooks and text-to-speech

[You'll notice this does not include Amazon's current e-ink devices. They will have to do something about that if they want to stay competitive.]

I love audiobooks. I have consumed hundreds of them, I’m sure. (Maybe forty books by Terry Pratchett alone.)

Two kinds don’t work: too complex books, where you have to stop and think all the time. And too easy books, where you can read it much faster.

But those in the middle, it frees the body and the hands etc to do tasks, go for walks. Or the opposite, really relax. I always have issues with relaxing, so I cherish being able to go from super-relax to sleep mode by just hitting a button, instead of taking off my glasses, putting in a bookmark, turning off the light, turning over, and trying to get my brain relax from the tasks of running the eyes and enterpreting letters and sentences.

By now I almost consider audiobooks to be about the same as books read by text-to-speech, because of the Kindle Fire HDX, which is so good at this that I sometimes forget it's not a human reading to me.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Another example of iPad cases which are both good and cheap

[Example are for iPad, but you can find similarly good and cheap cases for Amazon Kindles, for example here and here. Really, it's a cornucopia!]

[Many products are made of "PU leather", which is made from the lower layers of skin (suede) and covered with polyurethane (advanced plastic products). They may be in some aspects superior to real leather, feel good, and often so close to real leather than even experts can have a hard time telling them apart.]

Finding these cheap and good cases have given me a new collectors habit (and a lot cheaper than cameras from eBay).

It gets wilder than last reported, by the way; yesterday I found a full, new, functional iPad case for *three* Pounds (five bucks! With free shipping! How does anybody make money on this?? I pay twice that for a pizza.

A different one, but one of my newest favorites, this croc pattern one. It's only ten bucks (six Sterling). A couple of years ago I paid six times as much for similar cases.
... Maybe some won't like the croc pattern, but seen abstractly (without thinking of $15,000 handbags) it is simply a beautiful pattern. (Most of the colors are too bright though, this goes for almost all the cases I've found. But they usually have some subtler ones too.)

And I wish you could see/feel the inside lining: like velour, rich, deep black, and soft. And the stand function works perfectly on it in any position, without the thick, ungainly ridges many cases/stands have. I don't know how they did that.
And like most cases today, it works with the magnetic closure, turns of the iPad when you close it, and vice-versa.

The iPad Air has a secondary little microphone on the back, which picks up background noise in order to counter-process it out when you're voice- or video-chatting. (And maybe it works opposite when filming.) And the case makers even made a hole for this too! And like the others, it's perfectly fitted over the mike.
Great function, good feel, aesthetics, pretty slim and light weight, and dead cheap, all in one package.

Comes in nine colors. They call this "blue"

The beautiful lining, with good friction for the stand function.

You can vary the angle as you like.
(For me the first iPad was "the birth of the ebook".)

Excellent simplicity.

[By the way, the pictures were taken indoors, hand-held, with my iPhone. Durn good quality, don't you think? Try double-clicking on the one above. It's better than most work I did with film cameras back in the day.]