The new toy is an impressively compact little Asus Eee netbook, which turned up on one-day sale at deep discount yesterday. The local chain running the ad evidently wanted to blow out its remaining stock (such as it was); the clerk at the second store I visited said I'd scored the very last one anywhere in their regional inventory. (It's also, of course, a dinosaur of sorts, what with netbooks being rapidly supplanted by tablet devices, but for those of us who actually use our computers for wordsmithing, there's much to be said for a machine with a proper keyboard and enough disk space to actually install one's word-processor software.)
And so I join the ranks of those who can sit in a Starbuck's or a library and patter away on their magnum opuses (opi?). I say again, Wheee! And now to work....
As I periodically have occasion to note when the blogosphere waxes ecstatic over some cable/satellite TV series or other, I am among the
technologically backward retro folk whose TV signal comes over the air. At present, I have one TV in the living room (analog plus converter box plus antenna) and a digital USB TV tuner plugged into my computer in the computer-lair (with an antenna attached to that tuner). The latter allows my computer to function as a DVR (with a fair amount of room, as I got a 1TB external hard drive for Christmas this past year).
But I've noticed an odd phenomenon on those occasions when I have both the TV and the computer-TV on.
It's this: the signals on the two devices are out of sync by a second or two -- just about the length of a full spoken word. Which creates a really odd echo effect if I happen to have both devices tuned to the same channel, since the apartment isn't that big.
Which doesn't make sense to me. We're talking about the same TV channel, broadcast from the same tower, beaming into the same apartment, being picked up by two comparable antennas, displaying on two essentially similar screens. The only explanation that seems even faintly plausible would be that the USB tuner might process the digital signal just a hair faster than the converter box -- but the thing is, I recall the exact same thing occurring before I'd bought the USB tuner, and instead had two analog TVs with two similar converter boxes.
So, O tech-literati, why should there be a time-lapse between the two signals? Or am I merely losing the remnants of my mind?
No, it's not what you think (but I bet twilight2000 fell off her chair just reading the subject line). Through the friendly and very kind auspices of the mistresses of Smart Bitches Trashy Books, I'm spending a chunk of my summer as a guinea pig.
I have here on the desk a Sony PRS-505 Reader, which I'll be "test driving" through the end of September. I've already loaded some two dozen titles on the device (not counting a handful of odds and ends and the gadget's onboard user's guide). Over the course of the next couple of months, I'll be putting the Reader through its paces, and the 30 of us in the Test Drive group will be reviewing both the device and a wide variety of romance titles (since SBTB is, after all, a romance readers' blog/site) over on SBTB.
It's going to be a very interesting ride. Despite having published two ebooks, I haven't been an ebook consumer before now, and I've read relatively little category romance (though that's been changing a bit over the last year or two, as a number of writers whose work I enjoy have begun writing and publishing in the romance genre). I'll certainly be linking to my SBTB "Test Drive" entries from here, and most likely posting additional observations (very likely including book-notes) in this space.
And so it begins....