iPad & Tablet Thoughts From Your Friendly Neighbourhood Irrelevant Internet Guy

Let me preface this by saying that I do not own an iPad nor do I own any other “tablet” like device. I’ve played with an iPad and some of the older generation of Windows tablets (Laptops with swivel screens and stylus input running a “Tablet Edition” of Window) but I have no exceptional experience with anything I’m going to rant about. That said, I’m still going to talk about them.

I’m going to try to address various talking points I’ve been reading in articles, comments and blogs but don’t sue me if I miss anything.

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Books24x7: Not Impressed

That’s right, you read it correctly: I’m not impressed with Books24x7.

It’s not their collection (plenty of stuff for various fields of interest) and it’s not their price (I’m using it under a campus subscription so what’s to complain about?). It’s their interface.

Could it be anymore annoying to read a book than the Books24x7 experience? Was this website designed in the 90s?

What frustrates me the most is that you cannot usefully navigate/read a book on Books24x7 without the use of a mouse. Sure, I can use Spacebar, the arrow keys or Page Up/Page Down to navigate on a single page, but because each “page” is just a small chunk of text, you need to constantly be clicking the “Next” link. Tab key link navigation, you say? There are so many links at the top of the page that tabbing through all of them to reach the “Next” link takes longer than grabbing for the mouse.

This is just a terrible book reading experience. Perhaps I’ve just been spoiled by… I dunno? PDF files and Preview.app or Stanza? I want to read some of these books but Books24x7 just makes it so unpleasant that I’d rather just find the hardcopies at the library or pay for a decent ebook version that I can read on whatever device or with whatever software that might actually be designed with some thought regarding the reading experience.

iPod Touch Woes – Part Deux

The problems with my iPod Touch haven’t gone away just yet.

I was able to replace the headphone jack without too much trouble, in fact I would say it was a pretty easy fix. The old ribbon cable stub left from the snapping of the old ribbon cable came off the PCB without too much trouble at all. Just applied a bit of heat and up she came. Soldering the new ribbon cable+headphone jack assembly was very straight forward as well. I just made sure to clean the four pads off nicely, add a tiny bit of solder to each pad then put the ribbon cable down on top and apply some heat. From there I added a bit more solder to the top because the ribbon cable pads have little holes in them to allow the solder to flow through from the back to the front. All said and done, I think I did a really good job.

But, and here’s the kicker, I think ruined ANOTHER battery! Arg! These things must be ultra sensitive to shorting out or otherwise because I can’t figure out what else might have caused my THIRD battery to die on me. Yes, I’ve accidentally shorted it momentarily while fixing the headphone jack AGAIN.

Alas, perhaps it was not meant to be. First battery died because I tore the casing by accident, second battery because I got the damn thing wet. And now the third battery because I appearently cannot keep the red and black leads apart at all times…

At this point I’m not sure what to do. Give another battery a short? These things are cheap, so why not?