Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fire Bugs

Elroy Jetson on his way to the Little Dipper Elementary School
When I was little there was an episode of The Jetsons which stuck in my head. A naugthy classmate of Elroy Jetson was watching a rerun of the Flintstones on a TV wristwatch while the robot teacher--Miss Brainmocker--wasn't looking. My TV-obssessed little self was fascinated with the possibility of having a tiny TV set you could carry around. This was in the days when most sets were in black and white and enormous. I remember being excited at going to an aunt's house for dinner and getting to watch Lost in Space in color on her gigantic console.

Anyway, the new tablet e-readers such as Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are the closest I'll probably ever get to a miniature TV I can sneak into English class. My partner Jerry got me a Fire for Christmas two days ago--I opted for the Fire over the Nook because he already got me a regular Kindle for my birthday earlier this year and I already have an Amazon account.

Since Christmas Sunday, I have been playing with it, covering the glass screen with my fingerprints, and have discovered the pros and cons. The pros are the convenience and breadth of options. I turned it on out of the box on Christmas morning and after registering it all the books from my regular Kindle were transfered to the new Fire. You can download and stream thousands of movies, videos, and music as well as comics, but you have to pay a $79 annual membership fee to Amazon Prime. There are plenty of free videos, but you can only stream them while you are near a Wi-Fi hot spot. I did download a paid video--Episode 9 of Season Two of Nurse Jackie for $2--and theoretically I should have been able to watch it while offline. I was not able to do so--Bug no. 1. I did watch it once I was back in Wi-Fi Land. I want this to get straightened out so I can watch TV while on a train or the subway just as I have fantasized about.

I experimented with apps, buying a game called Doodle Jump for $1--sort of fun but the second time I played it wouldn't open. Bug #2. It's okay now, I got it to work and I scored over 5000 points.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with it and so far I have newly downloaded Willa Cather's My Antonia (free), a Doctor Who comic book on the Comics app (free), that Nurse Jackie ($2), Doodle Jump ($1), the current New Republic ($3), and an episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle (free). Next is getting into the Netflix app so I can stream ever more stuff for free (There ware lots of shows and movies on Netflix for which my NF membership pays which are not free on the Fire. Examples include 30 Rock and the animated Star Trek.)

No comments:

Post a Comment