Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Best Friend

...actually, my second best friend (right, Honey?) is my little Acer Aspire One netbook. It's my connection to the outside world, the one outside my bedroom. It does have this unpleasant hobby of just freezing from time to time. Annoying, really. Monitor freezes. Keyboard freezes. I have to turn the thing off, then on, to fix it.

I don't know why this does this or have any idea of what to do to prevent it. I e-mailed Acer and they told me to run it in safe mode. I did this and it ran coutinuously for four days. And, then just as I said Eureka!, it crashed. I e-mailed Acer and never heard back. I should follow up with them. I will. Someday.

But, I've dropped it several times - it falls down the crack between the bed and the night stand - and lost the Enter key (which I was able to find and press back on). And I carry it from room to room when I want to change my view by lying down in front of the fire in the living room or upstairs in front the TV pretending to take an interest in sports.

It's not really good for remoting (verb? hey, winningest is a word) into work. The screen is great but if I really want to be productive I need a mouse and a ten-key number pad. Two monitors would be even better but at that point I might as well go to w**k.

I've discovered it's good for reading the paper.

I have always had a subscription to the local paper - The Seattle P-I, before it ditched the paper and went online only, and now, the The Seattle Times.

I've never liked getting my news oline. I don't know why. Maybe because it's endless and I could never possibly read it all. I don't like department stores for the same reason - too big, overwhelming. Sure, it got my hands dirty but there's something cozy about it with a cup coffee.

But when I gave up walking as a viable mode of self-propulsion, the papers starting stacking up outside. (Honey gets his news online and he wasn't about to go out in this weather to get it if he didn't have to.) So, I decided to put my subscription on hold for a little while until such time as I'm more likely to actually read it. In the process, I stumbled upon Seattle's Times e-Edition. As a regular subscriber, all I had to do was sign up.

I love it! It looks just like the paper version complete with photographs and advertisements. (Yea, I know, welcome to the 21st century.) It has all the sections of the regular paper. I can search, preview, and "turn" pages. Read articles as they appear in the paper, or read as a text document. I can e-mail them, print them, or save them. I can read back issues. The only thing I can't do is share it (as in, You want the Sports section, Honey?) - although I haven't tried logging in on two computers simultaneously. And, I can't wrap my coffee grounds in it.

I like it so much I think I may cancel the paper edition. I'm actually thinking about it. I'd be saving trees and money. (Factoid: U.S. "paper" currencys is made of 25 percent linen and 75 percent cotton so I'd be saving that too!)

I like the e-Edition better than Seattle Times' website.

I recognize that both the e-Edition and the paper edition are static. Often by the time I read the paper (in either format) the news has changed. There's new news and updates to the current news that I can't get until the next edition.

But this a slippery slope, I know. Just in writing this post, I've rediscovered the P-I's website. It's vastly improved since it first went live. And it's layout is appealing to me. (Although the food column they used to have still isn't on their online version.) It still feels bottomless to me compared to the static version but I'll give it a try.

I've already "googled" e-books and taken a quick look at what e-books are available at the library. Egad! I could be on to something here!

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