Software Update from Amazon

Written: March 17, 2013

Two years ago I bought my first e-book reader, the Amazon Touch, and have enjoyed reading books on this portable device. Many people today are asking if e-book readers are still relevant given the popularity of 7″ color tablets like the Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire devices. Since I own both a color Nexus 7 and Kindle Touch, I can tell you that my immediate preference for reading is the Kindle Touch because of how easy the text is on the eyes with the Kindle Touch compared to the glossy screen of the Nexus 7.

Today my Kindle Touch had a new document from Amazon and it alerted me to a new software update from Amazon where they updated the software. I was impressed that Amazon even bothered to update a 2 year old device, because most companies never update their devices with improved software features, instead they hope that you upgrade devices to get the new features which is certainly most costly for us as consumers. New features include:

After I read the notice from Amazon and let my Kindle Touch go to sleep then the update started.

Software Update

Software Update

Next, the Kindle restarts:


Kindle Restarts

Kindle Restarts

Finally, we see the update User Interface with icons for Back, Buy, Search, Settings:

Updated Kindle UI

Updated Kindle UI

Opening a book and clicking the Settings show some new features, like how much time to finish reading the book:

New Kindle Settings

New Kindle Settings

I have to commend Amazon for adding new features to the Kindle Touch, they really do care about their customers and continue to support us.

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New Facebook Timeline = Google+

Written: March 7, 2013

I try just about every social media at least for a week or so, just to see how it feels and to learn something new every day. Well, today Facebook launched a new timeline and instantly I had deja vu, because I’ve already been using Google+ and it appears that Facebook copied the Google+ look. Enough talk, here’s a comparison and you can decide:


The similarities:


“Imitation is a kind of artless flattery.”

Joseph Addison, 1776

From a user perspective I find that more of my high-tech, geeky, Google-loving friends and professionals are attracted to Google+. My personal friends and family tend to be using Facebook. There you have it, both social media channels will continue to grow, innovate, imitate, and on occasion innovate.

If you want a visual treat, then give Google+ a try on your iPad or Android tablet, it is gorgeous with how the images are positioned on the display.

iPad version of Google+

iPad version of Google+

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Miller Insurance

Written: February 28, 2013

Ryan Miller really knows how to throw a party. On Tuesday they celebrated with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony after moving to a new location in Tualatin. We had Lou Ogden, mayor of Tualatin, Linda Moholt, CEO of the Tualatin Chamber and dozens more interesting business people in attendance.


I help Jim Ruiz at Miller Insurance with their WordPress web site questions.



Staples – That was Not Easy

Written: February 19, 2013

I’m a big believer in making backups of my computer hard drive so that I can run my business with the minimum of disruption when the main hard drive fails and I need to recover it. Staples offered my a $25 Coupon when spending $75 or more, so I went online and tried to order a Western Digital 1TB hard drive that support Firewire 800.


The first challenge that I encountered was that logging into is separate and not related to finding and adding a Rewards coupon. I found my login for but couldn’t remember my login for Staples Rewards. They had a link for forgotten username and I was able to supply an account number, so they gave me my forgotten username. Of course I didn’t know my password, however they let answer a challenge question, so good, now I have my proper Staples Rewards login and password.

I was able to find my coupons, add the $25.00, then start shopping for the hard drive. Western Digital had good reviews so I easily added it to my cart, then started the checkout process. Here’s where it gets frustrating. I typed in my Visa card info, but the web page came back saying that it didn’t match the address of the card. Uggh. I removed the company name, nope that didn’t work. I next removed the zip+4, and I got one step farther.

WD 1TB hard drive

Now it wanted to show me the complete order, for a final review, I accepted, uh oh, another error message about an address mismatch. Re-entered my address and card info three more times.

Fed up I called the 800 number for Staples, pushed the 1 button to get help with online sales, then waited. While waiting I gave the online checked two more tries, on the fifth try it finally accepted my credit card. Folks, that was Not easy.

I could’ve just jumped in my car, drove 2 miles to the Tualatin Staples, bought the hard drive and been back home in less time. I won’t use the Staples online system ever again, never, ever.


Moral of the story: Staples needs to review their online checkout experience because it is sorely lacking. Also, they need to have a single login, not two that are independent and unrelated.


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