Monday, December 21, 2015

I took some pictures - 2015

There's this little valley south of San Luis.  Hidden down a narrow road or three, it's shaded by oaks and maples. I might be able to find it again next year. So quiet and calm and relaxing.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

USS Gravity Falls

A Work In Progress.

USS Gravity Falls, NCC-12600, is a battlecruiser, carrying nine type 10 phasers, 4 anti-proton cannons, 2 mass accelerator cannons and two photon torpedo launchers (for the moment), in a cruiser type hull.  Engines are low slung, mounted below the primary hull and close together.  This sacrifices some warp speed maneuvering, but compensates with a slightly higher acceleration curve.  The main impulse engine is mounted at the rear of the engineering hull with auxiliary units on the primary hull to assist in increasing the turn rate.  The shuttle bay is small, carrying four to six shuttles depending on the mission.  This vessels primary duty is to defend the core worlds (Earth, Vulcan, Tellar, Andoria, Alpha Centauri, and Axanar) within 15-20 light years of Sol.

Specifications as yet undetermined.

Other ships in this class are: 
USS Hill Valley              NCC-12601
USS Cabot Cove             NCC-12602
USS Mayberry                NCC-12603
USS Sunnydale               NCC-12604
USS Avalon                    NCC-12605
USS Watership Down    NCC-12606
USS Avonlea                  NCC-12607
USS Bayport                   NCC-12608
USS Godric's Hollow     NCC-12609
USS Lake Wobegon       NCC-12610
USS Malgundi                NCC-12611
USS Hogsmeade             NCC-12612

This class is named after fictional cities of Earth.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

I Bought an Amazon Fire!

A few thoughts on the Amazon Fire:

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and recovered for the naps.

Like I needed another computing device, the night before Thanksgiving, Amazon put their Fire tablet on sale for $34.99.  So I told mom about it and she said to order her one.  I got one for myself too.  We did pay the $15 to not have ads, so Amazon got a few more bucks.  The tablets arrived yesterday.  And I was not expecting much.  How good could a computer that only costs 50 bucks (regular price) really be?

Opened the box, the Fire itself is in an orange heavy paper box that can be hung from a peg in a store.  Rip the strip off and pull out the tablet which is in a black paper holder so it all just slides out.  The tablet itself is in a clear plastic envelope and the charger (a small plug with USB cord) is below the tablet.  Right there, it's really easy to get into.

Took a (small) chance and pressed the power button, mine came with a 75% charge.  Takes a little while to boot up, and then it starts the simple setup process.  It asks if you want to setup it up for a child (in my case, no), if you want to connect it to your social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook and something I can't remember off hand...).  I skipped that too.  But I did setup my email on it.

After all that was done, it goes to a Home screen that is populated with apps for mail, browsing, the camera, and much more.  Because mine is attached to my Amazon account, it synced to my books and downloaded those for me.  No intervention on my part.  There are also sections for music, movies and more, like Netflix and YouTube.

Okay, what is it?  It's a 7 inch tablet (1024x600 resolution, but very clear) with a quad-core processor, 1GB of memory, 8GB of storage, wifi, bluetooth, 2PM front and VGA rear cameras, supports microSD cards up to 128GB (Wow!!), It also does a couple of really neat things.  First is that no matter how you hold it, the volume buttons are -always- up and down.  So even if I turn it upside down, the volume buttons orient themselves correctly.  The other thing is that it can import pictures from your digital camera.  All but the microSD card slot are on one side.

And yes, it comes with the Kindle software.

Bottom line:  If you are looking for a "first tablet," this is great.  It does everything you need.  For 50 dollars (to get rid of ads that only show on the lock screen is an extra $15), can't really go wrong with the Fire.  The processor is responsive, the sound is acceptable (it's not stereo) If you need more storage, a better camera, or a higher resolution screen, you should look elsewhere.  Tablets from other makers would be a better choice, like the Asus MeMO pad ME302, a Samsung model or even Amazon's own larger screened Fire models.