Reading on Android

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I teased that I've been reading more on my Android tablet than playing board game apps, to my absolute surprise. I'm here to talk about my setup and maybe it will help someone out.

I'm using Moon+ Reader Pro. Yes the commercial version. It's worth it for the PDF files alone but these devs needs to be supported for their efforts. With a few tweaks, I don't miss my Kindle E-Reader at all. But it does take some tweaks.

I used this Reddit post to make the text look better. I like this setup – it suites me just fine. Syncing is also easy – you just use Dropbox. I'd like to have an open for WebDAV but for this, I'll take Dropbox. Once you set this up, it just works. If you scroll up a bit there, it will tell how to get books from your Calibre install, which is what I use to manage my ebook collection (using Calibre is worth at least a post in itself). And it has a built-in dictionary, similar to what a Kindle has. You have to set it up, but once you try to look up a word via long-press, it will step you through the process.

Of course, Moon+ Reader doesn't do DRM books like from Amazon, which is fine because most of my books come from Humble Bundle anyway. DRM free for the win!

What I really like about Moon+ Reader:

  • reads PDF(pro), Mobi, EPub, cbz, cbr files
  • displays battery life and time without getting in the way
  • tells you how many pages until the end of the current chapter (again, without getting in the way)
  • All my books look the same – have the same font type and size, margins, paragraph indents, etc. This always bugged me on Kindle.

In my two and a half months with my tablet, I've read three books on Moon+ Reader and I'm just completely happy with it.

Category: Android

New Printer

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We had to get a new printer this week. I was able to get it to talk and print from not one, not two, but three different devices in my house on the first try. Either printing is getting better or easier, or the anti-printing coalition forces aren't working against me as they usually are.

Category: quickie

My New Android Tablet

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Over the years I've had a lot of cheap Android tablets. I started with a Hisense Sero Pro 7, which was actually a good tablet until it decided to stop charging. I then started using my daughter's old (and no longer used by her Nexus 7), which also stopped charging not long after I started using it. And then I got a 2nd gen Kindle Fire. Which actually is still working but it's old hardware and it doesn't even run the latest Fire OS. If you can get a modern app on it, the tablet has to work so hard that the battery drains very quickly.

So for Christmas I bought my wife an iPad and myself a more top-of-the-line Android tablet – a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. It has a seemingly square screen but that doesn't bug me like I thought it would. The screen is very clear, and the colors are crisp. The tablet is understandably snappy. The battery life is amazing (and as of yet hasn't caught fire. ☺). And it has a lack of cruft on it – Microsoft Office apps and a news app. That's about it.

As an experiment, I haven't put anything work-related on it. I have one Google Account, but not my work one and have not configure my personal email account on there either. And no Slack, no social media apps. Not even a streaming app. It's mainly for "consuming" – lots of board game apps and reading (Feedly, Instapaper, etc). Surprisingly I've been doing the most is reading books, thanks to the excellent Moon+ Reader Pro app. That deserves it's own blog post.

It's been nice having a device that does what you want and it not always trying to get your attention with notifications.

Category: Android

Changes

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I wanted to do some changes around here and then got caught. I wanted to blog more but I didn't want to support any of the old blog. So i ripped the band-aid off, grabbed very few recent posts and then left 12 years of blog posts over there.

So I'll change some things around here but this is will help me blog more often. I hope.

Category: misc

Bad Phone is good

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My Android phone has been weird lately and in the midst of troubleshooting it, I did a factory reset to figure out if that would fix it (it didn't). After the reset I installed very few apps because I wanted to narrow it down. Now that I have done that and have a work-around, I figured that I don't miss having social media on my phone. Yes I have Slack but that's different. Not being able to check FB and (rare for me) Twitter on a whim is so freeing.

Category: quickie

Brew story

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My wife got my a little beginner home-brew kit for a late Christmas present. I was delighted and started the fermentation process that night.

As week later, I took a small sample from the fermenter and was excited by the result after such a short time. I gave a little more to my wife, who, upon tasting it, said "It tastes like warm, stale beer!"

Me: "I know, it's that great?!"

Wife: "No! Get me a breath mint!"

Category: quickie Tags:

Best Feature of the Nest Thermostat

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Our favorite feature of the Nest Thermostat is the lock feature. We found out about this feature after kids starting turning up our thermostat. One time up to 81 ℉! The nicest thing is what we can still adjust it on our phone without unlocking it.

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Interactive Fiction

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Once every few years I end up looking at Interactive Fiction and am surprised that it's live and well. People are making games like Zork for the fun of it. What a fun little niche that I'm glad is still going on.

Oh and if you have never played inkle's 80 Days you are missing out.

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Safari Books

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My fantastic employer let me put Safari Books towards my (ample) education/training budget last year. Just last night I remembered that I hadn't used it in a while so I fired it up and undid some books that were in my queue that I didn't need anymore. Then I had to think about what I wanted to get this time. Oh a book on JPA. Yes, they have one and yes it's already become useful.

Hooray for great employers!

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Star Realms Challenge

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Shaun Austin often runs solo challenges for Star Realms, which is one of my favorite games. The challenge for this month is especially good. Or I was really in the mood for a great game, which I got when I played it. I'm anxious to give it another go very soon.

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