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newfangled handheld electronic items

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by Mrs. Krabappel, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    I am in the market for a couple of things I don't really know how to shop for, so I could use some input from those more savvy. I mean, I don't own a microwave or a dryer, so in many ways we are very 19th century here and I'm fine with that.

    On the other hand, I *think* that there are some things that might be worth having. For example this laptop.

    Situation #1 My old basic cell phone is dying. I love the smartphones and have patiently waited for this one to croak. I want to carry around a second brain that is more capable than mine of remembering the brilliant notions I come up with :lol: and then forget in two minutes. Something with a touch screen that I can jot notes to myself. I want internet so I can check ebay prices on things when I go to an auction. I want it to be on the bigger size. I don't want to pay a lot for this second brain, though I realize there is a data service fee monthly. I have US cellular and am under contract, so I assume I have to choose one of their phones?

    Situation #2 The boy is at that age when toys become TOYS. He wants a nook for Christmas. I have mixed feeling about this because we buy plenty of books for la cheap at yard sales, etc plus use the library. But I am open to it, and am thinking about getting him something that plays music. So if I'm going to do that, maybe I can get something that plays music and movies, but also is for reading books and just maybe games too. Can I get nook/kindle books from the library?

    Any ideas? What to look for? What to avoid? What is worth paying for?
    On both items we will probably have them until they die, so I'd like to get very current items with an eye towards the immediate future even if the cost is a bit more.

    TIA

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  2. dswitham

    dswitham Member

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    Something to consider for this situation is an ipod touch. You can get free apps to read ebooks from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and several other places. I get a lot of ebooks off Gutenberg for free as my kids enjoy the classics. Also you can listen to music, watch movies and play games with it. One thing that I have found is that sometimes you can purchase books cheaper in the store than you can ebooks. I don't know about your library, but one of our local ones offers ebooks as well as audio books.

    And it handles being dropped well. :red:
  3. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    I have an ipod touch, I have a smart phone (HTC with android software) and I still use my laptop for everything except text messages, phone calls and listening to music in my car. I have the kindle app for the laptop and read books on it all the time. Also have the nook app. I am getting ready to buy an iphone 4S. That will consolidate my texting, phone calls and music into one device. My boss dropped his iphone in the river, twice. Once for a couple seconds and then another time for over 10 minutes. They called it and could hear it ringing in 8" of water, he dried it off and still uses it. You can get kindle and nook apps for the iphone or any smartphone as well, so maybe getting your son one of those wouldn't be a bad idea. Plus you can usually get a BOGO from cell phone companies when you upgrade to the smart phones.
  4. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Wish I could help you, Kathleen, but my electronic purchases usually involve me thinking "OOOOH, pretty lights" and then mindlessly putting down money on the counter.
  5. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    sounds about right



    Doesn't the ipod feel a little small to read from?

    I think the phones us cellular has are androids.
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Amazon FIRE for a pad for the kid and family - $199 and it does more than read books.
    The good news - there are LOTS of free and low cost books available for the kindle.

    For you - an iphone, of course. Android is cool, but unless you are a geek it probably is not the better system for you....

    Regular kindles are better for reading then either the FIRE or the ipad and phones - they use E-ink. So if you want a dedicated reader, spring for the lower cost Kindles - less than $100.

    Nothing wrong with Android (FIRE uses a version of it), but if you get an Android phone, try to find one of the newest versions. The new Android system, called Ice Cream Sandwich, is supposedly far superior than earlier ones.
    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19736_...andwich-first-impressions-a-bold-new-android/

    If your phone does not have that, make sure - in writing - that it is upgradeable (many phones use a custom version of Android and upgrading can be tough).....but, if it were me, I'd buy a phone with the Ice Cream standard...even if it means waiting a month.

    My phone just got wet. I'm trying, for the first time, an old iphone that the family had laying around. The price is right (free- $15 a month for the lower data)....I doubt I will use it much, but if not I will just go back to a small flip.
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh, the nook looks cool too! But I'd probably still get the Amazon FIRE because it is tied in specially with all Amazon services (will run movies, media, etc. etc. easily)
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Don't have any of this stuff but if ya need to know about dryers I can help. :red:
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The latest gen phones have a dual-core processor. It makes the user experience a lot more pleasant and using the browser much more responsive. Be open minded and understand that this field is changing rapidly. Whatever you get, it will be just about obsolete by the time your contract ends. :( US Cellular has Android phones and one Windows phone, the HTC 7 Pro that a coworker of mine has had for several months. He likes it a lot. US Cellular's Android phones are ok, but last generation mostly. Looks like no iPhone love from them.

    Here are some reviews. Be careful when reading, they can get very geeky and often ignore what the primary purpose of the phone is for. Making phone calls! Get a phone that works well as a phone (good reception and sound quality) and has the best battery life. Many of these phones need very frequent recharging if you are using all the features, especially 4G.

    Some guides:
    http://reviews.cnet.com/smartphone-reviews/
    geeky, but helpful: http://www.mobiletechreview.com/smartphone.htm
  10. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    I am liking the sound of that amazon fire. I could forego a newfangled phone altogether and just use that. I am an amazon prime member. I only pay about 20 bucks a year and it's totally worth it. BG most of that terminology makes me :ahhh:

    Can I buy the boy a cheaper mp3 that the apple product? Is it worth the bigger price?

    Thanks for all the feedback!
  11. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    How old?

    If he's of cell phone age, get two iPhones and don't look back. If not, get him an iPod Touch and yourself the iPhone.

    Nothing like them out there, and I've heard and seen all the arguments. My kids all have Androids, and they gave me all the compelling reasons why they went that way. Now they visit and it's like, "I wish my phone did that", "Wow, that screen looks life-like", "Geez, your browser is so fast", etc. Now with the new Siri application, you can make your phone do just about anything with voice commands.

    http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/siri.html

    My wife insisted she wanted a Kindle for her 50th. I persuaded her to get the iPhone instead. She's out in my recliner right now, tethered to the dang thing. Book reader, Facebook, YouTube, mp3 player, wireless web browser, 8 MP camera, HD video, Google maps, GPS, and some of the most user friendly native organizer apps you'll ever use. Makes phone calls as well. Plus, the Retina display is absolutely gorgeous to look at. It's so easy and intuitive to use, it's the perfect tool for a technophobe. I'm not one for newfangled gadgetry, but I'm embarrassed to admit, I love my iPhone.
  12. dswitham

    dswitham Member

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    It is a small screen but I have no problem reading on it and my eyes aren't getting any younger.

    Also I like the fact that I'm not tied down with one place to get my ebooks versus buying a nook or kindle. I don't know if the kindle fire allows you to get books from other places.
    Plus the ipod touch was free when I opened a checking account. ;-P

    The touch is small enough to fit in my pocket which comes in handy for me, but might not matter for your son.
  13. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    I priced the iphone :gulp:

    Plus I don't get verizon or at&t service in my house and I don't have a home phone.

    The boy is not getting a phone. He might get a pre-paid, as he has been staying home by himself more.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yes, I hear you. Not sure the Fire is going to substitute for a phone. It's going to be awkward slapping a 10x8 slab of plastic against your face.

    Can you get a cheaper, yet great mp3 player? Hell yes. Sandisk makes some great units. Check out the SanDisk clip or Fuze.
  15. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    No, just replace my basic phone with another basic phone. Will check out the mp3s you mentioned.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Smartphone plan 86'ed?
  17. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    No, I'm just at a familiar impasse. To cheap and to undecided about what would best suit the wants of this household. It looks like the smartphone would have to be an android based on my cell contract and the reception in my home. I was hoping to get in to uscellular yesterday to talk to them, but have been struck down my an evil multiplying microbe.

    Stay tuned...
  18. Wallyworld

    Wallyworld Member

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    The thing with a smart phone is its expensive. I want one also but the monthly fee stops me. I pay enough for a basic cell phone now. Maybe down in NC you get a better price but in Maine its around a 100 bucks a month for a smart phone(i'm on US Cell also). I have a Ipod Touch, its great but its not going to do what you want unless you are always around a wireless provider. and I just ordered the Kindle for 199 for a Christmas present:).

    the other thing about a smart phone, everyone I know who has one, has it in their hands all the freakin' time. Addictive I think
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, when you are paying all that money you have to use it, right? Personally I don't like the antisocial aspect of smartphones. It used to be on my commute we were a lively, chatty bunch. Now everyone is busy stroking their pet phone.
  20. Wallyworld

    Wallyworld Member

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    I was working on a construction site the other day, the big wigs had a meeting in the building, all of them had a blackberry in their hands checking emails the whole meeting. Its was funny to watch
  21. GAMMA RAY

    GAMMA RAY Minister of Fire

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    One thing I like about my Droid....I was grocery shopping today and I failed to put an item on my list. The recipe is a fairly new one I made only once or twice. I googled the recipe and found the amount of the ingredient I needed in a couple seconds flat. It is simple stuff like that makes me love it. I think I pay about 78 bucks a month which I know is a lot but it does serve all my needs at this time.
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Hope that was some meal. It just cost ya $78. :long: :eek:hh: LOL Just kidding, but I do see this a lot. People seem to use this as an excuse for planning and remembering. I've seen people that can no longer do simple math without their phones, nevermind remembering someone's phone number. It's spooky. I just don't know how we managed our lives a decade ago without these things.
  23. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    $78 month? Jeez I thought the $45 & change Verizon charges me was steep.LOL I hear ya. I've had my basic Samsung flip phone since Aug 2006.Its pretty tough & still going strong.Been stepped on,dropped in sand/dirt,bounced 20 ft off a scaffold plank & hit the pavement.Few scratches on it now & faded a bit,works great though.I'll use it until it dies & I cant get a new battery.I've been eligible for a "$50 upgrade towards new phone" since Aug 2008.Told Verizon "Since I'm such a good loyal prompt paying customer who's not been late even once,why not just send me the 50 bucks instead?" They didnt see the humor in that,go figure. :lol: I know people my age & younger who have no idea how to read a map or look in the phone book for an address or phone number,they're tethered to that thing.I've seen them when network is down or some other problem - they literally panic & dont what to do next. Hilarious.
  24. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    Hell I don't even know how to text and don't want to! Barely know how to read one if I get one! :cheese:

    Gary
  25. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    pfffft. I just found the caluculator on my phone today and I've had it for 1.5 years. People have used external items forever to help them plan and remember. Just not electronic. I truly hate agenda books, calendars, paper of any kind. I keep track of stuff in my head and, well, it's getting kind of full. I need an external drive that is not paper, especially with grad school starting.

    That being said, yeah I priced the data plans and they are about double what I pay now. Hard to justify unless I use it to make money. Which is a possibility.

    Anyway, my phone is back on track so it may have been just a pipe dream.

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