Amazon have just released the Kindle I have been waiting for: one with a backlight integrated into the unit, touchscreen and smart cover! The new model is called the Paperwhite and its features include:
- Evenly backlight display.
- Touch screen with multi-touch.
- 62% more pixels for sharper text.
- 25% more contrast.
- More hand tuned fonts.
- Excellant battery life.
- Smart cover with auto wake/sleep.
I was particularly excited by this new model as I have a trip to Antarctica at the end of the month that will involve an epic amount of flights! So I had a friend bring me one back from the states as the Paperwhite is not yet available in Sweden.
The screen is amazing the combination of even backlighting, more resolution and increased contrast really improves the reading experience and make the device easy to read in all lighting conditions I have encountered so far.
Going from the older third generation Kindle with Keyboard to the Paperwhite has been a bit of a revolution as the touch screen interface feels significantly more responsive than the old physical keyboard. The device itself is smaller and more streamlined with the removal of the headphone jack and volume bottoms which I never used.
The smart cover is a case that complete enclosed the device when closed leaving only the power botton and charging socket exposed. The cover has a magnet in it just like the iPad smart cover so opening the cover will wake up the device and closing puts the device to sleep which is a nice touch.
The only gripe I have is there is no way to see the books cover art without losing the bottom third of the screen to Amazon’s shop highlights which is annoying as I paid extra for the advertising free model.
This Kindle is a real upgrade compared to the previous generations: highly recommended!
I finally bought an iPad in April after wanting one for quite some time for showing my photographs on but six months later I find myself thinking about selling my iPad2. So what happened?
Its another device to manage, I only have a single computer at home as I can’t be bothered to keep multiple computers configured, synced and updated. Same thing turns out to be true with mobile devices, I simply can’t be bothered to manage an iPad and an iPhone!
The size of the iPad even in a slim case is about the same size as my Laptop without a case, while this is small for a computers its big for a mobile device. Especially when I have an iPhone that almost always carry that can run 99% of the same apps but is a fraction of the size..
One of my original main reasons for wanting an iPad was for showing my photographs on it and it is fantastic for this but I find that as I’m not carrying it with me its not really getting used much for sharing as I am making do with the iPhone.
While I will miss the big screen browsing experience on the iPad and the iPad optimised versions of the apps I frequently use. I have found that as I am not taking the iPad with me much any more and its been relegated to weekend couch browsing duties which my laptop can do better.
Maybe a Kindle sized iPad would be the sweet spot for me size wise..
I use Dropbox as an offsite backup to complement my Time Machine backups that I have on a pair of external hard drives, however backing up my entire Lightroom catalogue contents to dropbox is impractical due to its sheer size. So after a bit of searching I figured out how to backup only the good pictures in a structured folder hierarchy of Year/Month/Day in JPEG format to dropbox:
- Install the DateExport Lightroom plugin, you can find it here on GitHub.
- Filter the photographs you want to backup in Lightroom. I use the star rating system built into Lightroom so its as easy as selecting the entire catalogue and filtering out all un-starred images.
- Export the photographs you’ve just filtered using the DateExport plugin, I have highlighted the two important options in the export dialogue.
The First important option is to use the DateExport plugin for the export and the second controls how the files are exported in this case into a folder hierarchy of Year/Month/Day into my Dropbox.
Backup up Lightroom in a structured manner like this becomes very simple with the DateExport plugin, so I’d recommend using it. You can export using all the normal options with this plguing e.g. DNG, RAW, sharpening etc but for me right now having an extra backup of the JPEG files is enough as I have a double backup of the RAW files else where.
Inspiring video about getting started by the comedian zeFrank. I watch this every few weeks as a pep talk to myself as he makes some excellent points about getting started and letting go of the fear of starting which can be closely tied to the fear of failing.
An Invocation For Beginnings from ze frank on Vimeo.
I think too often we hold ourselves to a higher standard than we hold other people to and pretend this is a virtue. I think that instead of this being a virtue it can turn into a handicap as it makes us too scared to fail, so scared that we don’t even start. Failure is a natural part of creative iterative process without it we will stale and not progress, I know I need regular reminding of this.
To follow on from ‘How to Make work-life balence work‘ video Alison Morris from Online MBA has a pretty interesting inforgraphic regarding the effect of the current trend in America to work more than forty hours a week: it is pretty sobering stuff!
While Europe tends to better at work-life balance than North America there is still room for improvement on both sides of the Atlantic. I believe it is in an employers best interests to not over work their staff if they want to get the best quality of work.
There are several PDF modules available for python, so far I’ve found Slate to be the simplest to use and PDFMiner to be potentially the most powerful but also the most complicated to use. For the problem I needed to solve: extracting text with whitespace characters intact I found the following fragment of PDFMiner code on StackOverflow to be only solution:
"""Extract text from PDF file using PDFMiner with whitespace inatact."""
from pdfminer.pdfparser import PDFDocument, PDFParser
from pdfminer.pdfinterp import PDFResourceManager, PDFPageInterpreter, process_pdf
from pdfminer.pdfdevice import PDFDevice, TagExtractor
from pdfminer.converter import XMLConverter, HTMLConverter, TextConverter
from pdfminer.cmapdb import CMapDB
from pdfminer.layout import LAParams
from cStringIO import StringIO
rsrcmgr = PDFResourceManager()
retstr = StringIO()
codec = 'utf-8'
laparams = LAParams()
device = TextConverter(rsrcmgr, retstr, codec=codec, laparams=laparams)
fp = file(path, 'rb')
process_pdf(rsrcmgr, device, fp)
str = retstr.getvalue()
If you don’t need whitespace to be left intact I’d strongly recommend Slate over PDfMiner as its significantly easier to work with, although it does offer a smaller feature set.