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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Saturday, November 23

Ipad Magic

On Thursday, I went to Best Buy to get some kind of tablet for my birthday. After all, this year is a major benchmark in my life and I felt that I deserved an expensive present. In the old days, a tablet was a cheap spiral-bound notebook in which one wrote stuff, a quarter or half a buck at most. No longer. Now it’s a really expensive thing one can write in or do all sorts of things, and it costs about one and a half arms and legs. At first I thought I’d like an IPad Air, the latest Apple to fall from the tree, but I changed my mind when I finally found all the tablets on display, about twenty from various IPads to Windows to Samsungs to Kindles to Nooks, all in differing sizes and capabilities. And every one of those had two or three or four people checking them out, everyone looking much smarter in their examinations than I. I’m not a novice when it comes to computers, but I’m less than a child when it comes to these new, tiny things that seem able to perform magic on their tiny screens. I sort of wandered around, trying not to look too stupid, checking prices, reading the descriptive blurbs about each one. I assumed all of them would have a manual that explained how the magic happened. So, since I’ve always been a quick sell, I grabbed a geek and told him I wanted an IPad Mini, 16 gigs, for just over $300, up to about $360 with a leather cover and tax. I wonder how many spiral-bound tablets I might have bought with that much money. About seven or eight hundred. Then I raced home like a little kid with a new toy. But, I discovered, what a really complicated toy, sort of like that piece of elaborate furniture we bring home in a box, umpteen pieces with umpteen different sized screws and bolts and nuts with the directions in Chinese. I found that I first had to hook it up to my computer, then connect to my Qwest broadband and WIFI. But I didn’t have a password that would allow me to continue the setup. Duh! So I called for help. Since Qwest was a part of my Century Link account, I called them, spoke to Edna, who asked me for all my account details and put me on hold for a transfer to the tech squad. Then, after ten minutes, I got through to a technical support geek named Leonard, who asked me all the same questions about my account. I’m not sure what nationality Leonard was or where he was located, but it sure wasn’t anywhere in the U.S. Oddly, though, he didn’t sound Indian. Is it racist of me to say that? Most technical support for electronic gadgets is in India. Are there young men named Leonard in India? So Leonard, way too fast in language I could barely understand, finally managed to give me a password that would work with my Qwest account. What should have been simple became much too complex—a nearly incomprehensible geek spewing way too many words at me, trying to sell me way too many upgrades to my internet service. I finally interrupted him and said, “Thank you, Leonard. Goodbye,” and hung up. Was that rude of me? I hope not. Then it was back to my IPad with my new password. Yay! It worked. And I suddenly had bells and whistles and sleight of hand stuff I couldn’t begin to decipher: a camera, an Apple apps store (475,000 apps to choose from, some to buy and some free, none of which struck me as something I needed), the ITunes store, maps, magazines, free books (none of which I wanted), access to my e-mails, internet access to any site I might want to visit, a tiny keyboard for texting or filling in information requests. Oh, yes, and the manual? I went to the Apple site and downloaded 137 pages of instructions on how to use this magical platter. That’s right, one hundred and thirty-seven pages for this tiny toy. Now I have to figure out how I can transfer some of my music from computer to IPad, how to download e-books, how to transfer photos, how to take pictures and videos. I’ll tackle all that tomorrow.

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Any comments? Write me at jertrav33@aol.com