Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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29/2/12b: my kindle and preparation

29th February today, the date that come round just one in four years.  One consequence of this is that my kindle version of 'read the Bible through in a year' doesn't have any readings for today, so instead I used a sample copy of 'Prayers to start my day' by David O'Malley, which was certainly a good change, may buy the full copy shortly.

Which leads me to my kindle.  It was a joint Christmas present from my parents and myself to me, partly with this trip in mind.  I expected to enjoy it, and it has far exceeded my expectations.  The quality of the screen is amazing, very clear and no flicker.  The battery lasts the better part of a month if wifi is switched off.  It is very easy to buy books from Amazon, or download them for free from the Gutenberg project.  Also, as mentioned above, it is possible to download samples of books for free before deciding whether to buy them, a very useful feature which I've used to build up a wishlist of books I think I may wish to buy but not just yet.

Perhaps the best thing about the kindle which I'd not been expecting is that classic literature is extraordinarily cheap.  Complete Sherlock Holmes, works of Dickens, Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, etc. all for about £2.  And of course, when away from home for a period, having a large number of books in one small device is ideal.

So Mum and Dad, if you're reading this, many thanks once again, very much appreciated!

One reason I'm using the kindle as much as I am is that I was somewhat wrong footed to discover that I can't access BBC iplayer and equivalent here, nor the streaming service of 'Lovefilm'.  Had I realised I would have brought more DVDs with me.  Have tried to find DVDs in shops, but so far unsuccessfully.  What I'm finding is that supermarkets are supermarkets in the classic sense: food, drink, cleaning materials, a few household items like light bulbs, but no stationery, books, DVDs, computer equipment etc.  Which is my memory of supermarkets in the UK from childhood.  Similarly, I went to the post office today expecting to be able to buy envelopes, but no, it's stamps only.  Once one gets used to this, it's fine, it's yet another adaptation to make.  Actually very sensible, really, for supermarkets to be supermarkets, stationers to be stationers, etc. etc.  To take another example, does it really make sense for electricity companies to be selling gas?

Day spent mostly on preparation for tomorrow.  So it really makes sense to write about the results of the preparation once the day has occurred.  I'll be back soon!

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