Category Archives: Product

Nook HD From Barnes & Noble

Last March I wrote about the Nook 8GB Color Tablet that I bought for my wife the previous October, saying how much I liked it, though I didn’t have one, and how she was happy to have it. Well, this year I bought one a few days after Christmas, only better than the one I bought her, and I’m talking about it as well as putting in a product link if you want to check it out; hey, I’m allowed to try to make money here and there, right? đŸ™‚

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Nook HD

The tablet I purchased was the Nook HDicon, and it’s a major step above the one I bought her, in more ways than one.

I’ll get to the immediate details that concern the HD part of it all. Initially I couldn’t figure out why I wanted the HD; turns out I didn’t have much of a choice. They discontinued making the one I bought her in favor of the upgrade, and it only makes sense. While she could watch videos that we can download off YouTube (Nooks play MP4 video files), she couldn’t watch any HD videos on hers, and sometimes that’s the only choice you’re given. On mine, I get full HD, which is pretty cool.

Next, let’s talk capacity. Her Nook was an 8GB, which was as high as it went, and you could put a 32GB microSD card in it for more storage. Mine came in either 8 or 16 GB, but I can put as much as a 64GB microSD in it, though I went for the 32GB for now because of the price. So you know, I bought the microSD at Staples rather than at B&N or at Best Buy because it cost less; that might not always be the case. Why do you need more capacity? Because HD files take up a lot more space, even at 16GB, which I filled up, surprisingly.

Because I bought my own, I know more about it and thus I can now talk more about all the features. I have paid for and downloaded two books onto it. One of those books I actually purchased for real, but it was too big and unwieldy to carry around anywhere, and way too big to even read in bed. The Nook HD is 7″ high, light and easy to carry, and has a nice range of brightness so that I can make it either really bright, which is crystal clear, or darken it, which I do when reading late at night and my eyes don’t want to deal with all that light.

A neat thing about the books is that you can change sizes of the font, font colors, fonts themselves and the color of the background. That’s pretty neat, something the old one couldn’t do. And you have them for as long as you have your Nook.

Magazines will be interesting for me. There’s one I still subscribe to, PC World, and I’m thinking about switching it to the Nook. The magazines stay as long as you want them, and of course it’s easier to carry magazines around with you on the Nook than taking them outside of the house. And it turns out that the price of the magazines is the same as the price of regular magazines; neat. You can also subscribe to newspapers but the choices are limited, and I couldn’t find one that addressed local news so I won’t be going that route.

You can move both audio and video files, as well as images. The sound isn’t bad, and you can buy small speakers to attach if the sound isn’t loud enough for you. However, I’ve found that the sound on the HD is better and louder naturally than on the original. And the types of videos I’ve been adding have been things like TED talks, documentaries, and some cartoons. Some of these things I watch, then delete; a few I plan on keeping, such as the 20 minute opening to the movie The Secret, which always seems to make me feel better.

It’s also wi-fi if you happen to be in an area where you can access it. If you’re in B&N itself you can read books for up to an hour on the Nook for free, which could be a way to get around having to buy a book if you’re sneaky like that. However, you have to sign in with a credit card, which I wasn’t up for. Still, being able to access the internet is cool. And there are apps you can search for and add; I added Evernote since I have it on my computers and my smartphone; access everywhere!

One last thing. The battery holds much longer than using my smartphone, which immediately makes it a better reader overall. I’ve loaded some of my pdf files (yeah, I have lots of them) and my Word Doc files (I’m working on a detective story, as some of you know), as it accepts those formats as well as many others. Frankly, last year I was kicking myself because I didn’t buy one sooner, and now I think I’d have been kicking myself if I hadn’t waited for the HD.

That’s all I can think about to say so I’ll leave it there. By the way, it’s still rated higher than the Kindle; just thought I’d toss that into the mix. I love this thing, so I have no hesitation in talking about it and in trying to help market it. Any questions, just ask, but I hope you check it out if you want something that’s more than just a reader.
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Mitch Mitchell

Nook 8GB Tablet – Product Review

I don’t do a lot of product reviews, mainly because I don’t go out of my way to buy a bunch of things. However, I did write one last October when I purchase my Toshiba laptop, which I still love. What I didn’t talk about back then is that days after I bought that I bought my wife a Barnes & Noble Nook 8GB color tablet, which you see in the image there. I’m ready to review it now.

B&N NOOK Tabletâ„¢ 8GB

The reason I’ve waited to review it is that it took us a long time to figure it out. Actually, it took my wife a long time to figure it out, and since it was hers I stayed out of the way until she started asking me questions about it. Not that it’s overly complicated but she’s not technologically advanced; hey, she’d tell you that herself! lol

At around 7 ounces, 6 1/2 inches high and 5 inches wide, the Nook Color model is a beautiful thing. The colors are sharp and when you’re reading it’s really clear. Something this particular Nook has that none of the others versions have is its own light, which means you can read it in the dark or in dark places. And you can still read it in sunlight, although at this time of year in the Syracuse area that’s not a problem we have a lot of trouble with.

Just to throw this out there, CNET ranks the Nook higher than the Kindle Fire, mainly because of the screen resolution, the ability to expand storage to 32GB, and some physical controls. Oh yeah, PC World also ranks it higher; go figure!

It took us a bit of time trying to figure out where to add the chip, but we popped a 16GB chip in there instead. The sound quality is pretty good and you don’t need to use the earphones to listen to it. That’s a good thing because my wife loves listening to books on tape but hates wearing those suckers.

It can also access the internet if there’s wireless access, which we have in the house and which every Barnes & Noble store has. That’s a good thing because with the Nook, if you take it with you to their store you can access any music or ebooks on their system for free for up to an hour; I’m not sure if that’s total or each, but it adds a nice touch if you want to sample a lot of different things. My wife loves to sample the audio books sometimes when we go. And something else about the Nook is that the store offers classes that you can take; anyone know which Amazon store you can go to for classes… oh yeah, there are NO Amazon stores! lol

With the extra access, something else we’ve been able to do is load more books onto the Nook. You have to download a program so you can transfer files over, but you can put books on there that you can get from the library, which is pretty cool.

Frankly, my wife has never been a big reader, but suddenly she’s reading more, as well as listening to books, because she says she can read it easily and it doesn’t hurt her eyes, and she can also turn off all the lights and read if she wants to, which I’ll own up to as being rare because she usually immediately falls asleep once she gets too relaxed.

Anyway, I can say without reservation that my wife is glad we spent the extra bit of money on the color Nook, and look at this, now it’s going for $199, as when we bought it the sucker was $249. There are accessories for it, including cases, but they’ll cost you. Oh, one more thing; just like Amazon, Barnes & Noble offers free books you can download, but right now theirs are only on Fridays. Still, if you find what you like it’s not a bad deal.

If you’re thinking about buying one click on the book in this post or the upper link. Come on, you know you want to. đŸ˜‰
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

5 Things I’ve Learned About My Smartphone

As some of you know, I now have a smartphone. Man, do I feel old! Actually, I’m getting younger every day because it seems like every day I learn something new about it and thus I have these daily surprises that aren’t all that depressing.

I know there’s still a lot of people that don’t have smartphones, and it’s just possible that I’ve learned something that people with smartphones don’t know yet. I doubt that second one, but who knows, right? I figured this was fodder enough for a top 5 things post, so here we go:

1. These suckers run through battery power like whales eat krill. Initially it was like we’d charge the things all night and by 5PM we were down to our last bar, whether we’d done almost anything or not. Turns out there are apps for that (man, what commercial is that phrase in?) to help at least a little bit. One is called Open Advanced Task Killer. The other is called Juice Defender. None of them are perfect, but they have helped to a degree.

2. Some apps you just can’t get rid of. There’s a lot of junk on these suckers that comes pre-packaged. Unlike with computers, where you can delete it all, if it came with the phone it’s staying with the phone. Now, one might think that’s not all that problematic; unfortunately it is because…

3. Apps are always running, whether you’re using them or not. And even if you use the ATK I talked about above, it only temporarily shuts down apps. Now, if you downloaded something and turn that off it stays off, but all the other stuff already on there is always running, always consuming some of your battery power. The weasels!

4. You have to get a cushion of some kind to put around your phone. My wife and I got these little rubbery things to put on ours. You’re not necessarily putting it on for protection. You’re putting it on so you don’t accidentally keep clicking on stuff on the top and sides that you just can’t avoid otherwise. The other day I got a phone call from a friend of mine, only she didn’t mean to call me. She’d sent me a text, then set the phone down but accidentally hit the button to call me. My cell recorded about 4 minutes of whatever was going on in her car before it disconnected; I’m just glad she didn’t say anything bad about me. lol

5. It’s wonderful being able to access the internet wherever you are. Wow, how great is this? I can find out where places are, look up things that I can’t fully remember but have on the tip of my tongue, get directions, access websites, etc. I’m on one of those unlimited plans that I hear might be going away, and I hope I get grandfathered in. It’s just the neatest thing; I never thought I’d care but now it seems I do.

That’s all I have; what say you?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Smartphone Madness

Last weekend I went with my wife to the local AT&T store to upgrade our phones. Our anniversary is today, but last Sunday was Mother’s Day and there was a special on phones across the board. We went in with no expectations except to exchange the phone that AT&T sent her as a replacement when we had problems with them late last year.

We got lucky as we walked into the store because there was only one person working there and no one else was in the store at the time. The guy spent a lot of time talking to us, and eventually we decided on getting a HTC Inspire 4G, which would be the first “new” phone we’ve ever bought. Every other phone we’ve bought had already been discontinued but had a great price. In this case because of the holiday they were offering the phones at $49.99 each. Sure, we had to go through that long process of setting it all up, but at the end of the day we went home with our first ever smartphones.

The problem? No bars in the house, and very few elsewhere most of the time. For all that AT&T touts themselves to be, over the course of the 11 years we’ve been in this house we’ve rarely had much access to service. With the previous phone I had, the Motorola Razr, at least I rarely had any of my text messages bouncing back. With the new phone, which I thought was supposed to be a major improvement, I couldn’t get a text message to leave the house half the time I tried; same with my wife. But we’ve had people come to the house using Verizon and being able to have total access and use their phones in any way possible.

Over the course of the first week I called AT&T customer service twice. The first time they supposedly sent out a signal booster to both of our phones; nothing happened. The second time the guy said I had to do a full system wipe of my phone, which would cause me to lose everything on it, but that it should work; it didn’t.

If you know nothing else about me know this; I’m kind of a loyal guy. I got my first cell phone in 1995 when the company was called Cellular One. They went through a couple of takeovers until AT&T got them a few years ago, and overall I never thought much about leaving them; it’s just not my style. However, this was the final straw, and it followed my wife not having any bars anywhere she went last Saturday when I was out of town, which left us unable to contact each other.

Last night we went back to the mall knowing we were going to switch from AT&T to Verizon. The picture you see above is the phone I have now. Actually, it’s almost the same phone I had before. This is an odd thing but both phones are from the same company, HTC, and when you look them up on Google they’ll appear as the same thing. But AT&T calls it the Inspire; Verizon calls it the Thunderbolt. And there are a few other changes as well. There was a $200 price difference for each phone, which was kind of irksome, but that’s because the Thunderbolt comes with a 32G SD card; sweet! It also comes with unlimited internet access, whereas the Inspire came with only 2GB; how does one measure how many GBs they’re using online anyway?

The Thunderbolt is slightly smaller, so all the accessories except for the carrying case are too big, and thus we have to get new stuff. The off/on buttons are on opposite sides of each other, as are the volume control buttons. But almost everything else is the exact same. I’m not sure why they do that but so be it. Oh yeah, the Thunderbolt also allows you to take pictures on both sides of the phone; yeah, I won’t be taking many pictures of myself, and y’all probably need to be happy about that.

As far as canceling the deal with AT&T? You get 30 days once you sign a new contract to cancel, and that’s a great thing. And for once, even though it was in the contract, this guy didn’t charge us for the restocking fee, which I think he just forgot about because he didn’t even ask why we wanted to cancel out. If we’d had the same guy we bought the phones from I think it would have been different.

As to the new people? Well, because of all the traffic, strange for a Monday night at this particular mall, we were actually there past closing time, but the two people there showed us a few things we could do with our phone that we hadn’t figured out over the week we’d had them. And some strange anomalies that had occurred previously with the other phones seemed to solve themselves as well.

But the most important thing… we have bars in the house! I don’t have all 4 bars, but I have 2 bars, more than I had most of the time with my other phones over the course of years. I should have done this years ago, but it’s that loyalty thing again. Loyalty needs to be earned from all corners; I need to start holding companies as accountable as I do people.

But I’m happy today, and my wife is happy, and at 14 years together it’s a nice thing. đŸ™‚

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell

Social Media, SEO And Your Business in 90 Minutes

I close this week of advertising my products with the one that probably ends up having the stupidest name of all, yet was probably the most fun.

The title of this one, Social Media, SEO And Your Business in 90 Minutes, was also the title of the webinar I did in June 2009 along with RenĂ©e Scherer of Presentations Plus! In case you’re wondering about the exclamation point, that’s part of her business name so it has to go there. She’s also going to hate that I used this picture of her. lol

It’s strange how I met RenĂ©e. I met her at a sales presentation that this other guy was giving, where I was actually asked to do a 15 minute presentation on leadership. In retrospect it was kind of goofy because it had nothing to do with anything that the guy giving his presentation was talking about, but I got free food and a chance to talk in front of people so I have nothing to complain about. A couple of months later RenĂ©e actually called me out of the blue, and for the life of me I can’t remember what we talked about at that time, but we decided to meet. During our conversation she happened to mention that she had paid for a program that allowed her to do webinars, but that she had yet to do one and want to know if I wanted to do one together.

I decided that talking about social media, which is a new direction I wanted to go in, would be somewhat interesting to do. In the course of my putting the outline together, something told me that I needed to talk about the SEO prospects of doing social media, and thus it became a big part of the presentation. If we had ended there, the title might have been kind of cool. But for some reason we added the “90 minutes” part to it, and in my mind that makes it sort of goofy. But the presentation went 84 minutes, including a few questions, and overall it was fun to do. We actually had people who signed up and showed up and participated, and as part of my 2011 goals I’m going to be planning more webinars because they are really neat to do.

At the end of the presentation, RenĂ©e indicated that she was going to have her friend put it together as a file so we could look at it to see what we thought. Once we had a chance to review it, after he cleaned it up, I thought it would be a great product for us to sell, and as you can see it’s up there in the second spot at the top left. We actually just made our first sale of that product at the end of October, and it’s pretty neat. We put a great price on that because if you ask me it’s worth a lot more.

Why would I say that? I actually showed a lot of things in that webinar, and I gave real information. The people who participated in the webinar said that they got a lot out of it, and that’s always important for me. I’ve written on this blog before about spending my time listening to things that never told me anything and basically started trying to pitch another product before it ended. Of course those things are always free, and you tend to get what you pay for.

This is it for all the products I have at the present time. Every single one of them has been created as a digital file, so if they’re purchased people just have to download them when they get sent to the URL attached to each product. My book is the only product that you have an option of getting a physical copy of at this point, and one of these years I’m either going to sit down and recorded myself so it can be an audio book or I’m going to pay someone to do it.

I thank all of you for indulging me this past week in promoting my products with a second daily post. These probably won’t get a lot of response, and I may not make any sales out of them, but at least no one can say I didn’t try and that they didn’t know I had products.