Archive for the ‘Tech-o-drama’ Category

A tale of two e-readers

So, a while back I bought myself a pretty silver Sony reader.

and for my birthday, my always awesome friend Jo, gave me a Kindle (and a pretty blue cover).

So now that I’ve been using the Kindle for a bit, I thought I’d do a comparison post on the two.

Stuff that I like about my Sony:

  • The touch screen
  • The ability to organise stuff more easily via Calibre or the reader software
  • It’s prettier
  • It takes more formats
  • The books live on my computer and my backups as well as the device

Stuff that I don’t like about the Sony

  • Having to sideload stuff isn’t that much of a chore but it is one more step before I can read my brand new book (yes, yes, we all are horribly impatient here in the future)
  • Sometimes it’s a tad small (I have the smaller version) to hold
  • Not wild about where the page turn buttons are
  • Taking notes on the touch screen is kind of awkward (not that I take many notes)
  • Geographic restrictions on content (yes, I know, not the Sony’s fault and yes, I understand why they exist but it still frustrates the heck out of Mel-as-reader)

Stuff that I like about the Kindle

  • The keyboard (not that I’ve used it much but typing notes seems easier to me
  • The free 3G/wireless bizzo (haven’t actually browsed the web but automagically appearing books = good)
  • The oh-so-seductive one click and automagically a book appears on your kindle transfer of stuff

Stuff that I don’t like about the Kindle

  • Being tied to the Amazon store/format
  • The fact that once in its pretty blue cover, it’s actually a little heavy
  • To re-iterate – geographic restrictions on content (yes, I know, not the Kindle’s fault either but frustrating as hell anywhere)
  • I think the battery life is shorter…maybe it’s the 3G/wireless but I haven’t read a heap on it yet and have had to recharge it once (and have only had it two weeks)
  • The fact that the books are really stored somewhere in the mysterious bowels of Amazon and I can’t back them up etc and really, Amazon can automagically take them away from my device should they ever want to.

To sum up, neither is my perfect e-Reader.  That device would have wireless/3g free delivery, e-Ink touch screen plus a little keyboard and take all damned format and let me store my books where I wanted as well as having them stored in my accounts in the respective booksellers’ stores. (Don’t tell me an iPad lets me most of that…I do not want to read e-Books on a backlit screen as I spend too much time on computer screens as it is…I will however someday buy an iPad for videos, games and knitting pattern use : ), it is just never going to be a great book reading device for me and my over-computer exposed eyes).

Which one would I recommend?  Well, as an Aussie, if you can only have one, I’d probably still lean towards a Sony because it gives you more flexibility in formats and most stores that sell to Aussies other than Amazon seem to lean towards ePub as the format. I also like the touch screen a lot.

The Kindle is certainly very convenient in terms of purchasing stuff wirelessly and Amazon do seem to be working hard to make stuff available in more areas (unlike Sony who won’t sell anything Aussies in their own store –at least last time I tried–though as I said, there are many retailers who will.) And the Kindle is cheaper (will be interested to see what the Aussie Kindle retailers do now in the face of the price drops).  Although, I cannot for the life of me understand why Aussies can’t buy Kindle books from when Aussie rights usually go with UK. I’m sure there is some obscure legal reason tripping things up. Also I do not like having all my eggs in one basket so to speak format wise and retailer wise. Your mileage may vary on that front. If I lived in the US, I’d probably still have both (or a Kindle and a Nook or something) but I can see why it’s pretty hard for US-ians to go past a Kindle, particularly at the new prices and with the intro of the Kindle Touch (which Amazon aren’t selling to we poor downunder types).

If you don’t mind the backlit thing and have the moolah and don’t mind a heavier device, I’d say go an iPad which gives you many reading options plus does other stuff to boot. I can’t see the point of a Kindle Fire in Oz, even if they’d sell me one as Amazon don’t sell most of the other content they want to push to Fire users to Aussies. iPad definitely wins that one.

So there you go, possibly clear as mud. Mel’s verdict is two e-Readers best option right now, neither of them is exactly what I want and let us hope that the geographic restrictions schemozzles get sorted sooner rather than later. Until then, the majority of my book buying will still be in paper. Everyone is happy to sell me that at least!

On the way

Last post for the month.  Not sure where that went.  In two days I head off to RT with Keri. Tomorrow’s post will be the April contest and then blogging will be as I can (depending on whether internet is a reasonable price in the hotel and/or proximity of wireless).  I’ll participating in Aussie Author Month when I get back, so there’ll be two contests next month!

And to keep this short, because I’ve been having some blog weirdness tonight and need to try and see if this post works, I’ll sign off with that.



Have spent the morning fighting the technology demons.  Net result, Mel victorious by a narrow margin and only with a blow to the credit card in the form of a new modem.

Now I must tackle the evil paperwork demons.  Where’s a Slayer when you need one? Will have to settle for a good audiobook to listen to while I sort out tax stuff.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures


Whose bright idea was that again?

Cleaning up 700 odd blog posts officially takes longer than one might think.

Still, it’s done now and (fingers crossed many many times) I shouldn’t ever have to do it again! Please let me know if you do come across any weird links or missing pics but hopefully I’ve fixed most of it and the feed should be safe to subscribe to and not coughing up random old posts!

All I can say is thank goodness I’m off to the chiro tomorrow.  How I’m going to explain my neck and shoulder being fairly borked is another matter entirely!

The final destination

And here we are at the new blog.  This one is sticking around until the new site is launched but that won’t be for a while.

I’ll be leaving the old blogger blog up for awhile to point people here but if you were lovely enough to link to my blog, or subscribe, or otherwise follow me, please update to the new version.

The feed may still be a bit weird for a bit as I’m still cleaning up imported posts a few at a time, so apologies if old stuff gets coughed up in the feed.  If you come across any broken links etc, please let me know! I’m cleaning up the titles and the odd weird > which seems to have been inserted as the first character of every post in the import process and re-aligning photos.  Obviously links within posts to other posts will go back to the blogger blog, I’m cleaning up recent ones I can remember like my contest posts but am in no way guaranteeing any others! Other than that the new blogger export to WP import seems to work pretty well. For some reason, when I exported from and imported to I lost my comment counts on some posts (though the comments themselves are there), so I’d recommend maybe skipping that middle step if you can avoid it. The comment counts imported to okay. So if anyone’s thinking of moving to Blogger to WP, my experience has been pretty good so far!

A change is as good as a holiday (or necessary, even)

I’m currently in the process of getting a new website designed (early in the process but still). I’m pretty sure that the new site will be WordPress based and that pretty much means converting the blog to WordPress as well. After some poking around the internet the less than exciting news seemed to be that one can only import blogger content to WordPress if your blog template is new blogger based.

Phooey. So, I have finally had to give up my claw hold on my classic template and convert and this is the result. I’m sure there will be tweaking etc in it’s future but it’s about as close as I can get to the old blog for now. Hopefully the white posts backgrounds are easier on the eyes anyway. So welcome to the new (for now) look Crossed Wires! Short may it reign and let me know if there are any issues you find!

Still marooned

Still without home adsl. Apparently it’s meant to be fixed tomorrow. At this point I’m sceptical but fingers crossed. On Thursday I got sick of trying to keep up with everything online via the iPhone (not to mention was getting concerned about my data allowance for the month) so I decided to go buy a prepaid mobile wireless internet modem. Have to say, so far it works pretty well. Pity that we get so severely ripped off for mobile data in this country. But it will come in handy for travels within Australia in the future plus I guess is tax deductible, so not a complete loss.

In other news I have given myself a week to ponder my plot and the best the girls can come up with is “it’s mostly right but we don’t know much more than that” so I’m going to just keep writing while I’m waiting for my revision letter (eeek!) and see what happens. (The joys of pantsing!) In the meantime the muse has wanted to watch Gossip Girl and Bones and read J.D. Robb. No idea what that combination is likely to produce in the brain but should be interesting.

Yesterday was the first ballet of the year – The Silver Rose – which was interesting but not the world’s best music I have to admit. The costumes were gorgeous (all art nouveau inspired) and the dancing was fab but the music was just a bit meh which spoils some of the drama. And it’s a very “operatic” (as Terry Pratchett would say) plot. Given it’s inspired by Der Rosenkavalier this makes sense but the plot doesn’t, really. Never big on the “man dresses as woman and another man falls for him instantly” plot. Still, well worth a look if you’re ballet inclined and in Australia.


>Thanks to the gods of communications who decreed that fixing my landline = breaking my adsl I am without Internet at home and can only get online via the iPhone (have I mentioned how much I love my iPhone?)

So I’ll be tweeting a bit and checking emails but otherwise scarce as things like blogging are tricky on teeny screen. Plus I can’t update my template on the phone so here’s the latest wordcount….45k!!! Yay that is hopefully over half way of first draft page count! Aiming to get to 50k by tomorrow night which should be doable given have less ways to procrastinate with no Internet on the computer!

More when I’m back in the land of the wired.

After some technical difficulties

I’m back blogging today at Nobody Writes It Better (now that we’ve defeated a virus attack, honestly…aren’t there better things to do with your time?) on gadget love, stationery love and balancing the two!

Come visit me!


For some reason blogger ate the first version of my “The Sound and the Process” post after saying it was published. And now that I’ve republished it, it doesn’t seem to want to let me set the time to before the audiobook post or alter the audiobook post’s time to after the soundtrack post. So the start of the audiobook post now doesn’t make sense. Methinks blogger is throwing a tanty but thought I’d post this as an explanation!

Stupid technology.

PS Fixed by deleting and re-posting them. So now this post kind of doesn’t make sense but I’m leaving it in case anyone else ever has a similar issue.