May 2008 Archives

The Digital Mixtap

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 So I got into this project, and ended up creating a digital mixtape, it even shows the old cassette being played.  I tried to throw a decent range of styles and artists, but I eventually gave way to boredom and exhaustion. Lets see if this works..





if that doesnt work, heres the link the site and my mixtape

http://www.mixwit.com/widgets/dfae453e426e0e1b1503115151e061cb

THE KINDLE!

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  Alright, last one here, and lets say this was the one I was most excited for (although I hope that doesn't convey that I hated each reading and so forth), but yes, I was a little "geeked" about the kindle. I really hadn't read any reviews or encountered anyone who has used it, or even owned one, but I suppose Amazon's target market is for those who need something more aside from their laptop, palm pilot, Ipod etc. Meaning, that poor young America really doesn't have the resources to get one. But enough of that, lets starting reviewing the product.

 

Aesthetics:  The kindle comes in a protective cover, with a strap that secure the cover from opening, The cover is visually reminiscent of   those out-dated and "old-school" books. The cover is black and sleek, which provides a sense of professionalism and sleekness.  Which really translates to you wont look like that big of a dork carrying one around, well no more so than carry your average paperback. Alright, lets open it up.

 

   Ok, the kindle itself is white, which works, because the original Ipods and Macs were white, so personally, I already have accepted the Kindle to this point, although Im sure the next generation will have Black! or even Creative Skins! (OMG!) .Anyways, the kindle itself is thin, under an inch here (take that Mac Air), and yes, its light. Light enough were you might be nervous to drop it if it did have a sleek protective cover! Right, the page options of the right and left work, although I often find myself bumping the page accidently while looking the thing over, or trying to turn it on/off. Im technologically clumsy, leave me alone...

 

     The use of the scroll wheel works, and simply having to push the wheel as the new "enter" bar creates an easier flow among the item. The actually screen is plain, so if your looking for color Ipod screen you might want to rethink how important your screen is. Its boring..yes, but also extremely practical. The screen is suppose to imitate paper, not a computer. This is to help reduce the strain on your eyes, so if you enjoy vision, get away from the optically damaging computer and pick up the new relaxing, vision aiding Kindle.    Oh, I just realized that you can't read in the kindle in complete darkness, so it is more akin to a real b ook than your computer, what a drag (Kidding).  Alright, home screen--> Its easy to use, its the scroll wheel!, and you can flip through your items by hitting next page or previous page. Selecting works is easy, and finding the table of contents or chapters within those books is simple.  I enjoy using the smaller screen to read, simply because it makes me feel like a speed reader, and in this age of quickness and ADD, who doesn't want to hit the "next page" button every 10-30 seconds. Marking your page (aka Dog Ear...classic idea) is a practical way to save your page, although the kindle remembers where you left off regardless. You can also highlight lines, add notes, or look up those "oh too confusing" words you've always skipped over.  Im surprised the Kindle has pictures, although I wish they were in color (no big deal), but I suppose that option was needed so you can read over the comics in Pittsburgh Post Gazette, which you receive daily from your subscription via the Kindle! You can also subscribe to blogs and so forth.

 

    Sadly I did not look into the Kindle Store, although I imagine it would be easy enough. I mean the purpose is to buy, so the store should allow one to navigate with ease. You can also throw Word Doc's onto there, which would help for those who want to review or read papers while actually riding the bus to class. Ya, pretty limited here since I didn't connect it to the internet, sorry reader (s), you'll have to fund raise and send me one before I start buying. 

 

   Would I buy this product? For 400 bucks... not yet. Perhaps if amazon teamed up with half-priced books (haven't they already?) or something like that and had all my school books located on their site; then I would buy one. The device is practical, especially for those who take public transportation or ride in planes every other day.   Although those would be the two most practical users, I found myself oddly comfortable reading from the Kindle, and without much time found it just as relaxing to hit "next" as oppose to flipping those technologically odd dated "paper text". If I received one from a family member or extremely generous friend, then I would of course use it almost daily. It really is practical, but Im still cheap, so unless you notch down the price I aint budgin. A friend of mine, who has expressed  contempt for reading, was sincerely interested in the Kindle, and was impressed by the overall format and style of the product. He even went as far as to say he might actually read if he had one, but lets not get carried away. The point is the Kindle sparks interest among readers and non-readers alike. Just think, a world where technological not only brings books together, but people... (I know I know,  corny, but only slightly sarcastic).  Heres my review, now go buy me a Kindle!

   " Instead, it appears that electronic publications are generally either read by different people than those who read printed works, or are used by them differently. " (WM Kim Pang 344)

In this article, Kim Pang takes a closer look at the effects the digital age has had on publication, manager, editors, etc. He has seemed to conclude that books and digital text seem to coexist without either really competing against the other.  Personally, on a daily basis I use both forms, although i often favor print because it forces me to focus on the subject  matter, as oppose to the digital text in which i often find myself browsing the internet and becoming easily distracted by links featured on the page. Which do you prefer? And why? Do you prefer one form for academics over leisure? Does anyone have any online subscriptions or accounts? How about newsletters online? 

"The important exception is the encyclopedia" (WM 344)

Kim Pang focuses on the decline of the encyclopedia, and how the digital age, specifically the internet, although users to download the encyclopedia, or simple look up the information using the search engines. Do you or anyone you know own an entire encyclopedia set? How about a digital version? Do you often use the encyclopedia? I personally almost never use one, and often look up information on the internet first.  Also, Kim Pang mentions the economics involving encyclopedia ;price, printing, market demands; and how these factors have created a decrease sales.

I also looked at Twain and his letter regarding his use of the typewriter. His concerns for dehumanization echo in todays culture regarding email and word processor. Twain eventually went back to hand writing his letters, but his passage doesn't seem to give a negative reflection upon the typewriter, rather he prefers hand written letters. 

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Dennis G. Jerz on The Digital Mixtap: David, in order to make that c
Kayla Sawyer on Doc. The end: I thought their only fear was
Rachel Prichard on Doctorow: THe BEGINNING : an emotional way of looking at
Daniella Choynowski on Doctorow: THe BEGINNING : I feel your pain David. I was
Jeremy Barrick on Doctorow: THe BEGINNING : Such as cyber culture, it is e
Gretchen on Doctorow: THe BEGINNING : Hello, I like this book a lot.
ChrisU on Hitchhiker : Baio calls himself an "indepen
ChrisU on Kirschenbaum: END: Digital culture made text some
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Daniella Choynowski on Hitchhiker : Verifiyng is key. Maybe there