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August 2014
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Kindle Fire, One Year Later

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One and a quarter years later, actually.

Is it still the “Gee whiz!” tech toy it was when I got it? Yep. Do I use it in all the ways I had envisioned when I got it? Nope. For instance, I rarely use it to browse the web and almost never use it to check my email. So, how do I use it? In order of frequency:

    1. To read ebooks.
    2. To watch videos (movies/TV shows)
    3. As an mp3 player.
    4. One or two apps, besides the file management app. The most-used app? The bubble level. It’s a seriously useful tool on projects around the house. If somehow one could use the USB connection and a OBD-II app for automobile diagnostics on the Fire, that’d be killer.

Between #1 and #s 2 and 3 above, big gap. I read 7-10 books/week (7 has long been my base I have almost never fallen below since I first began reading), and since the advent of ebooks (on either computers or specialized devices), my reading has tilted toward that medium, simply because of space and convenience–there are no decent bookstores closer than a couple of counties away. Now, my reading is generally mostly ebooks, some hardcopy from county library and from our own library (fairly large private collection– some I’ve not read yet, some worth re-reading for various reasons)–some hardcopy from used bookstores, and a few (perhaps 10-12) hardcopy books a year bought at retail. So, the Kindle Fire has been a BIG help in saving space and feeding my “need to read”.

Given the brilliant sound (when using a decent pair of earbuds) and really, really nice display–even on this first gen device–I find watching HD videos on the Fire to be a delight, and listening to mp3s (again, when using a decent pair of earbuds) yields sound that’s as good as it gets with mp3s (mp3s are necessarily lossy, but with my tinnitus *sigh* it’s less noticeable than one might think).

I’ve not been all that surprised that I’ve not found more apps I’ll really use. As far as calendaring and scheduling apps–something many have found useful on portable devices–nah. I’m still more of a pen and paper kinda guy there. I thought one of the Bible reading apps might be appealing, but I really do prefer hardcopy there. An AV, a file management app and the bubble level app really do pretty much define my app use. *shrugs* It gets many hours of use every week anyway.

Yeh, I “rooted” it once to play with it but didn’t even try to make it permanent, so Amazon overwrote with an update, which was fine with me, as. . . see above usage breakdown.

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