Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble

I love my Nook HD+.  I have been having so much fun with it since I got it for Christmas, actually the week before Christmas.  Yeah we don’t conform to the traditions of opening your presents on Christmas day, or even on birthdays.  We open presents the day we get them.  Screw tradition lol.

My Nook HD+ has a 9” screen, so it’s bigger than the Nook HD in the sense that it has 2 more inches, but I’m telling you that because there are certain apps that work with 7 inches, but don’t work with 9 inches.  Like The Sims FreePlay and Viggle for example.  The Sims FreePlay is downloadable, you just can’t play it because you get this warning when you try.

The Sims FreePlay

I am not sure if The Sims FreePlay will even work with a Nook HD 7” tablet.  I know it works with the Kindle Fire because I’ve seen people taking pictures and video of it on that device.  I’m pretty sure it was the 7”, so if it runs on the Kindle Fire 7”, then it probably runs on the Nook HD 7”.  If so or not, please let me know.

Viggle on the other hand doesn’t even show up in the Google Play Store, so they don’t even give you the option.  I know it works on 7” tablets because I installed it on my partner’s tablet to see if I could do trivia when trivia wasn’t giving me any points with my phone.  It installed and looked great too, but the trivia was not working on his tablet any better than it was on my phone.  Although, just because it installed on his tablet doesn’t mean I know if it will install on a Nook HD 7” tablet.

Facebook isn’t great on the Nook HD+ when you use the app.  Using the browser is so much better because you get the full website that you get on the computer, but the only problem I have is when I use another tab to visit another website, or even if I use an app, like if I go check my email, when I come back to the Facebook tab, it goes straight to the mobile version.  If I wanted to use Facebook mobile, I would just use the Facebook app.

The Twitter app that comes with the Nook HD+ from the Nook store isn’t updated, so it’s better to let Google Play update it.  It’s easy to use and if you have multiple twitter accounts, you can switch back and forth very easily.  It’s actually better on the Nook HD+ than it is on my phone.  When I am using @xanapus on my phone, then try to switch over to another twitter name, for some odd reason it switches me back to @xanapus.  It doesn’t do that on my Nook HD+.

I didn’t like the Google+ app on my phone and I rarely ever use it on my computer, but it is great on the Nook HD+.  That’s one of the social media websites that I wanted to start using more often.  It has a much better look than Facebook does in my opinion.  Google+ doesn’t force you to look at ads or suggested posts.

One annoying thing that I noticed is that when I am in my library, I scroll down to My Files and see there are 564 files.  How the heck am I supposed to weed through all of those files to get to the ebooks I have downloaded?  Well, I discovered that if you click the words My Files, it brings up a new window which shows folders.  They are in the Download folder.  I have 6 ebooks that I downloaded from the EverQuest Next website that are fiction based books based on EverQuest the game, but they are all in PDF format.  Ebooks that I’ve downloaded in ePub format will show up with my Nook books, but the PDF files don’t.  I did download an app called File Manager HD which allowed me to create a new folder in my download folder so I could keep the EQN ebooks in there to keep that folder more organized.

PicsArt Photo Studio is a good app that I use on my phone to add stickers and frames and text to my pictures, but it’s such a small screen that sometimes it’s difficult to see what I’m doing.  My Nook HD+ doesn’t have a camera, but I can use Google Drive to retrieve my files.  What I really like most is that I can write on the screen with this.  I can do that on my phone, but it’s too small.

Happy New Year 2014

Okay, so my handwriting isn’t the best, it’s even worse on paper lol.

ChromecastSome useful apps that come with the Nook HD+ include Netflix and Hulu+ and if you have a Google Chromecast, you can watch them on your TV.  You don’t even need to have the Google Chromecast app installed to use it.  I know this because I bought it for my partner and I couldn’t get it to connect to his tablet.  I connected it with my CR-48 aka Chromebook, then was able to connect it to his tablet.  I don’t have the app installed on my Nook HD+ or my phone, but the icon is visible on YouTube, Netflix and Hulu+.  I guess any Android or Apple device that is connected to my network will have that ability.

Of course, other good uses for the Nook HD+ is actually reading a book lol.  You aren’t limited to Nook books either, you can read your Kindle books plus your Google Play books.  In fact, if there is a service that sells ebooks, you can read the books you bought from them, including pdf files and ebooks.  Some writers only publish their ebook with Amazon KDP Select because they get more advertising, and if they chose KDP Select, they can only publish with Amazon for 3 months.  That’s why it’s good to use the Kindle on my Nook, because some ebooks aren’t available on the Nook.

One of the features that I do like is the Nook app “Your Highlights and Notes.”  If you do a lot of highlighting and like to add notes, this is a good thing.  It had all the highlights from the Nook for PC when I got it, but it didn’t show any text.  When I add new highlights, it shows the page number and the first couple of sentences that I highlighted, and if I left a note, it shows my note.  That makes it so much easier to find every highlight and every note on every ebook you own whether it’s downloaded or in the cloud.  Highlighting and leaving notes on my Nook WiFi was so difficult and as soon as I started reading another ebook, all of the highlights and notes disappeared, which was very frustrating.

There is also a Nook app called “Your Lookups” that shows you every word you ever had to find the definition for.  That does come in handy if you ever want to find that specific word again.  The list of words you looked up are on the left, and the word, the book you found it in, the page and the date and time you looked it up are on the right along with the definition of the word.  WOW!  Now you have a record of the date and time you learned a new word.

Anyway, these are some of my thoughts on the Nook HD+.  I like it a lot and I will get a ton of use out of it.  I still have my Nook WiFi and I don’t think I will use it as often for reading ebooks, but if the occasion ever arises when I go outside to read, I will be able to use it.

AT&T’s New DSL Data Cap

I saw this story on Attack of the Show on G4 today and went over to Engadget to find more information on this oh so glorious (NOT) news. Apparently, AT&T has decided to give all of us DSL and AT&T U-Verse users a monthly data cap.

AT&T will cap DSL and U-Verse internet, impose overage fees – Source Engadget

So if you have regular DSL from AT&T, you have a cap of 150GB per month and if you have U-Verse you get 250GB which somehow doesn’t include video for U-Verse customers which I assume means they stream from the internet. I wouldn’t know, it’s not available in my area.

So I guess it had to happen sooner or later and I probably don’t have anything to bitch about considering I don’t even play online games anymore. Although, I had planned on starting again, this has squashed that idea.

The Engadget article says that AT&T will be sending emails to their DSL customers next week telling them of this new suckfest with instructions on how to check your data usage so you will be able to tell how much bandwidth you are using so you don’t go over. If you do go over you get charged a penalty of $10 per 50GB you use over your cap.  They send you an email warning you that you are about to go over a certain percentage so you can either turn off your computer or switch to the Verizon 3/4G on your phone or CR-48.

They say that 98% of their customers won’t have an issue with this because they only use maybe 17GB per month. Well, to that I say that those people must only check their email and maybe go onto facebook and twitter once per day unlike those of us who like to play online games for hours, watch movies, YouTube videos, tv shows on Hulu and Tweet about it all about the same time.

Since they haven’t emailed me the data usage tool, I won’t know where I stand but I’ll bet it’s almost at the data cap. I have my Desktop going for TweetDeck, Lord of Ultima (online game), MS Money and whatever else and my CR-48 netbook for email, FB, Blogging and looking at websites with.

And to think, I was going to cancel our cable for internet TV via the Roku box to stream our tv shows and movies directly to our TV’s. So much for that idea. I’m sort of glad it didn’t pan out for us now because I’m sure we would have gone over our 150GB data cap the first week of the month.

Ugh, I feel like we’re living in the electronic age depression now lol. I’ll be standing in the data lines instead of the 1920’s depression bread lines. Then in about 40 years, if I’m still alive, I’ll tell kids “why when I was your age we had to wait in line for our data and we had to walk 5 miles to school uphill both ways in the snow.”

I can’t wait to see my data usage, I will update this post when I get my email from AT&T.

News and Image Source Engadget.

Update: I finally got the email today and this is the url that they gave me to see my usage www.MyUsage.att.com but they say in there that my usage will not be calculated until I’ve gone over 70% so that doesn’t show me anything.

I’ve installed the “Lord of the Rings Online” MMORPG game so I’ll play that for a few days and see what happens.

GPS on CR-48

I’m browsing through the Chrome OS Help page under the “Chrome OS Known Issues” page and notice they have a “Can’t Use GPS” and when I click the + it shows “While the Cr-48’s hardware has GPS capability, we do not currently support this feature” and out of curiosity I open the Google Maps page and notice there is a thing above the little man you drag.  I mouse over it and it says “Show My Location” so I click it and boom… it narrows onto my house with a little glowing blue dot ON MY HOUSE!

Ok so I don’t know why but when I took the screen shot it moved away from my house but it’s still close lol.  So much for GPS not being supported because hello, it’s working.  Now we just need to take a little trip somewhere to find out how good it works.

I’m loving this Chrome OS netbook more and more every time I discover something new about it.

Gmail Video Chat with CR-48

I got my CR-48 in December the first week they were shipping them and I didn’t really mess with the video chat until Christmas day when a friend of mine got a webcam for Christmas.  We tried it but my mic didn’t work so she couldn’t hear me.  When we came home from San Diego after Christmas we tried it again but my mic still didn’t work.

I’ve been so frustrated that the mic didn’t work and that I had no volume control but realizing I wasn’t testing the laptop but the operating system I started to come to the realization that it might never work.

Whenever Google would do an update on the Chrome OS I would check the mic settings and it never worked, that is until yesterday when they did their update.  I immediately checked the mic settings and not only did the mic work but so does my volume control.  Finally!

I emailed that same friend about trying again and she finally got on Gmail today so I sent her an IM directly from the Gmail site using Gmail chat.  I started the video chat but her video didn’t work at all.  I thought, well let’s go to Facebook using the Social Plus extension.  That didn’t work either so we went back to Gmail but I waited for her to engage me this time.  I don’t know what she did but it worked and we talked for about 45 minutes I would say.

It was a success!  It was as good if not better than using Skype.  Since I’m on a cloud based computer I can’t install Skype so Gmail chat is the next best thing.

The only strange thing about it was that when she held something up to her webcam it looked like a mirrored image to her but it looked normal to me.  I held up a package of something and it was a mirrored image to me but she saw it normal.  It was a little strange but if you think about it, we’re sort of like looking in a mirror, she can see me as if I were on the other side of the glass and vice versa.  A bit weird but that’s fine, I’ll take what I can get.

I’m just really excited that I can video chat lol.

CR-48 Upgrade Today

Earlier today I was sitting here doing a survey on e-rewards on my CR-48 netbook and I look over at the wrench and see that it has a little dot on it.  That dot lets me know there is an upgrade.  I go ahead and let it upgrade which means I lose the survey (which was boring me anyway, no loss) and it reboots.

After it loads back up I immediately check my Gmail settings which I always do when there is an update so I can check to see if the mic is working yet.  Finally it works!  Not only does the mic work but the volume control works as well.  FINALLY!

So now when a friend wants to video chat with me either in Facebook or Gmail I can.  I was able to video chat before, I could hear them but they couldn’t hear me so now they can and I’m so happy.

Although, I sent an email to a friend of mine who has wanted to video chat with me and every time she asks I say no.  She has yet to return my email the whole day and now it’s after midnight so it’s too late cause she’s 3 hours ahead of me so she’s in bed lol.  Maybe tomorrow.

I know the mic works because I opened the Aviary audio editor and recorded my voice and it worked.  It wasn’t as loud as I would have liked for it to be but I’m sure they’re working on mic volume control.

Another thing I tried was Runescape and they still have yet to upgrade the missing plug-in for that game.  Oh and I hope they open a file structure soon too.   :p

I know, I’m like a child with this thing lol.

My Old Dell Inspiron 1100

Yesterday I decided that I wanted to bring out my old Dell Inspiron 1100 laptop and see if I can get it working. The computer works, it’s just that the screen doesn’t. When you turn it on the screen lights up and you can see everything but then it dims out and you can see shadows of what is on the screen but only if you have a bright light on it. I had to use my desk light so I could see the screen.

Normally I sit here with the CR-48 (the smaller laptop) and the desktop going so it was a bit strange having this bigger laptop on my desk taking up so much room.

What’s the point of bringing it out if it doesn’t work you ask? Well, I was trying to see if I could hook it up to my TV. I have a Panasonic HDTV that I can plug a PC into. The laptop has a monitor plug as well. In fact when Chips computer wasn’t working and he needed a computer, he was using the laptop until the screen decided to go black then we hooked his monitor up to it so he could still use it.

Well, it works great on monitors but not so great with my HDTV. In fact my TV didn’t recognize it at all. I think maybe because it’s an old laptop from 2004.

My point for wanting to hook it up to the TV was so I could use that as my internet tv box. I could have it hooked up to the tv and watch Hulu and Netflix with it. If it was slow (which it is) then I would reformat it so I could have a faster laptop for this purpose. Unfortunately since it doesn’t connect with my TV then there’s no real use for it so I may as well toss it back in its laptop case in the closet.

I would like to buy a new screen for it and while I’m at it upgrade the hard drive and give it more memory. If I couldn’t use it as my internet tv for my HDTV, then at least Darrin would have a computer to bring with him to work but that’s gonna cost a lot of money that neither of us have. He has a desktop at his job but I figured he could use a laptop as well for when he’s out and about.

The whole exercise wasn’t a complete waste of time though, at least I learned that it does not work on the tv and I got to give it some windows updates. One of the windows updates was for the video driver which apparently did no good since the screen is still black.

I paid $700 for this laptop in 2004 and today since the screen doesn’t work the laptop is probably worthless. Then again what else is new lol.

Lord of Ultima

Here is my latest obsession. I know that Lord of Ultima is not new, it has been around for several months but thanks to the Google Chrome Web Store, I have found it and am now playing it with my CR-48 laptop.

Today is only my 3rd day of playing so I’m not going to give a rundown of how you play the game but I will say that it is fun and kind of addicting. Not in a negative way because it does get boring after a while. You have to place buildings in your city and keep upgrading them which can take a long time. The more you upgrade things, the longer it takes to upgrade to higher levels.

When you send your army to raid dungeons, you have a long waiting game. You can’t actually be there with them, you can only wait until they get back to see what they brought you.

I wanted to play a game that was like EverQuest but something that was browser-based and although this is nothing like EQ, it is browser-based and works on the CR-48 laptop. If it can play on this computer then I’m good to go for a while.

The screenshots below are covered in snow because it’s winter now. If I had known they were going to do that I would’ve taken some screenshots yesterday when the ground was dry and green.

The one on the top is just an image of the center of my city. You got the town hall in the middle then a farm with the lake, an iron mine and a cottage on the bottom left and the right.

The one on the bottom is an image of the region where my city is. You see a dragon on that mountain, well it’s in the screenshot but it’s gone from the game now. I don’t know where it went but they removed it. It’s a good thing I already raided it lol. They had a minotaur dungeon but it was gone before I could even react. Oh well, my loss.

What I like about this game is that 1 its browser-based so it works on the laptop and 2 it’s FREE to play. So if you want to join me in playing Lord of Ultima, click the link with my referral number to make sure I get the credit for inviting a friend. If you already play the game, my name in there is Xanapus so say hi when you get in the game.