Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

Kindle Fire vs. Nook Tablet! Fight!

2011/11/19 Leave a comment

I pre-ordered the Kindle Fire when it was announced. Only to un-pre-order it when the Nook Tablet was announced. Today, after playing with demo units of both at the local mall, I decided on the Kindle Fire. Kindle fire wins. Read on to find out how I made my decision.

The Setup

I don’t have Amazon Prime. I don’t have Hulu+, I don’t have Nextflix. I also don’t have plans on buying digital content. Some reviews gleefully argue for the Kindle, saying that you get FREE content from Amazon when you have Prime. That’s ridiculous. How could it be free when you already paid for it?

Anyway, this means I will be comparing the two devices as they come straight out of the box. No extra services or add-on included.


6gb usable storage with Fire. 1gb with Tablet. Fire wins. Sure, you can expand the Nook’s storage with microSD, but then it’s not a out-of-the-box comparison. 6gb is plenty. I don’t like storing stuff locally anyways. The other many gigs of storage that the Tablet is storing for exclusive B&N content? Why don’t I have access to this? And why so much space?  B&N has the worse appstore between the two.


If you have disposable income. $50 price difference isn’t that big of a deal. I would just buy the one I like better. But there’s no way I would let my nook sit with 1gb usable storage. If I plan on side loading anything, the price difference becomes greater. It’s not so much that microSD cards cost that much money, I just don’t like the idea that I have to make a purchase on top of a purchase to feel like I got a fully functional product. It’s like paying for floor mats when you buy a car. Shouldn’t that be included already?

On the other hand, I also feel that, from the majority of the other reviews out there, having Prime content on the Fire is an indispensable part of the experience. So after the month trial is up, what am I left with? Fortunately, my media consumption isn’t severely undercut with the absence of Prime.

Test Drive

I’m not special so I have to go to the mall to test drive the unit. This has no bearing on owning the unit, but after all the reviews and spec comparisons, I was still undecided. The hands-on is important.

Kindle Fire: I saw this at Target. The interface is different, but I can figure it out pretty quick. Settings, wi-fi, and the browser were all disabled for the demo unit. This is lame, because I really wanted to dig through the settings. There was quite a bit of software installed already. The navigation wasn’t silky smooth, but it wasn’t horrible.

Nook Tablet: I went to the B&N store to test drive this, and seeing it side-by-side with the Nook Color really made me wonder why I shouldn’t just buy the Nook Color for $50 less. and if I was going to do that, why wouldn’t I just buy a Kindle Fire? The demo unit was running low on battery. But it was on wi-fi, so I was able to test out youtube and flickr. The connection was a bit slow, but I think a lot of people are online.

Both units are pretty reading-centric. But the book-shelf metaphor seemed to work better than the ‘big pile of icons’ metaphor.

The Display

The Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet both have the same resolution and dimensions, but the Nook Tablet is supposed to have a Vivid View something something and be better at video playback. Honestly, unless you are going to be using both units side by side, all the time, and the only thing you are doing is to compare the two, the differences won’t make much of a difference. They are both good.

Hardware Design

This is a big one for me. The Kindle Fire just looks a lot better. The glass from the display extends all the way to the bevel, like the iPad, and the backing has a soft rubber coating on it. I feel as if the only thing I need to do is slap a screen protector on it and I can use the Fire as is.

The Nook Tablet, aside from looking too similar to the Nook Color, also feels plasticy and cheap. The Nook Color on display next to the Tablet was an older unit, and you can see the paint wearing off at the edges. It feels like I would want to buy a cover for this, because it doesn’t seem like it would wear well. having a physical button for home and volume is nice, but again, the buttons feel plasticy.

Kindle Fire wins.

Other Hardware Capabilities

In terms of hardware, Nook Tablet wins out. The ability to expand storage, and a microphone is nice. Too bad it doesn’t do anything for me. I am hoping for a skype app for the Nook Tablet, but out of the box, it doesn’t make a difference right now.

The Apps

Both devices offer a curated app store instead of the full Android Market. Amazon has more apps, and more free apps.

Kindle Fire wins.

The Verdict

So, it’s the Kindle Fire for me. More apps, better better looking device, lower price, and a supposedly better browser makes the Fire the winner!


Vanishing Point Perspective Is Just Another System of Representation

2011/02/20 1 comment

I thin I’m done with Illustrator Perspective for a while. I just want to stress that the Vanishing Point Perspective System is a  system developed to mimic and represent how we see things, and has its own very conventions and language as far as systems of representations go. That said, if you don’t follow these conventions, the illusion of depth and space can easily be broken, often to humorous effect! I pinch your face!

The Blackboard

2010/10/07 Leave a comment

  • OMG it’s 2014 2016! 2018!
  • Mao Mao, Mao, Mao…..
  • Been really busy, eventually plan to have content more frequently.
  • Creative Cloud! Now it’s the only option!
Categories: Commentary

Windows Live Writer

2010/08/20 Leave a comment

Sunset Windows Live Writer is a blog manager. It lets you sign into multiple blog accounts much like Mail would let you sign into multiple email accounts. From there, you can create new posts, update old posts, etc, as if you were logged into whatever blogging service you already use.

Even though I only regularly update this blog, I can see how this can be really useful. I may even update more often… or create other blogs!.

It does the same type of work that I think Adobe Contribute does, except this is free. So, I can’t complain about the price.

More Posts Soon…

2010/08/10 Leave a comment

I’ve been lazy reading up on CS5, but I’m in an InDesign Seminar right now and I’m having information crammed into me. Lots of good information, lots of new information for CS4, CS5, etc. Will update with some posts as I digest some of this information.

The presenter is Diane Burns, BTW, who is very good.

Categories: Commentary

InDesign Wishlist: Don’t Add Space Between Paragraphs of the Same Style

2010/07/02 2 comments

I wish inDesign had an equivalent of this checkbox as a part of the paragraph attributes. It’d be great for those times when you have two headlines in a row, or say, a bulleted list sandwiched between body text, or something. If anyone knows what I’m talking about or knows how to make inDesign do something like this I’d love to know.

Dear Adobe…

2010/06/17 Leave a comment

Dear Adobe is a website where people can voice their complaints about Adobe programs. While most of the gripes involve some form of “lower your prices” and most of the rest are made by people who don’t know how to use the program well enough to address their own issues, there are still quite a few legitimate complaints posted. It’s nice to see other people share your frustrations!

I’m finally posting this up because I just found out the website has an “adobe responses” section. This is a great area to visit because it addresses the most valid issues, and you feel like Adobe is talking to you. You also get a sense of what their priorities are and what direction they are trying to develop a program into.

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