Monday, October 31, 2011

Putting It to the Test

I have had my Samsung Galaxy tablet for a few months now, and have really been able to put it to the test.

Using a tablet for school
Aside from everyday productivity, one of the main things I use my tablet for is my theology studies. It is really great for this, because I can carry all my course material on it, all my books and keep all my notes on it with Evernote. It is much nicer to read off of than a laptop - much more like a real book in shape and size.
The only problem I have run into so far is that my course material gives me page numbers from my text books, and the Kindle app only gives "location". You can navigate by page number if you use Kindle on a laptop, but not on a mobile device. So I'm not totally lost, but sometimes I have to open up my laptop - like people used to do in the old days :) - to find out what location relates to a given page number. I hope that Kindle will add page number navigation to their tablet and mobile apps soon. I think more people would be interested in using Kindle books for reference and school if they did.

Traveling with a tablet
The trip we took to Colorado a few weeks ago was the first time I have traveled without a laptop in about 10 years, and I must say that it was a great feeling. The battery life on the tablet is great. I was able to use the internet, study, read books to my kids, watch movies on the airplane, all from a single charged battery, which was still going strong for a whole day after we arrived. The key to saving the battery on the tablet is to turn off the wifi when you are not using it.

Preaching and teaching from a tablet
This is probably the thing I use my tablet for most. I have been teaching Bible studies 2-3 times per week for years now. It is great to have all my teachings stored on my tablet, so I can access them any time I'd like, and I never have to print my notes any more.
A few weeks ago we visited another church. We walked in late: the service had already begun, and the pastor walked up to me and told me that he had scheduled me to preach! I didn't know that when we arrived, but I was ready to go nonetheless, and I asked the Lord what message he wanted me to share with the church.
Having a tablet adds a new dimension to 2.Timothy 4:2 -"Preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season".

This week I am going to Ternopil, Ukraine to teach a course on church history for their school of missions. This means I will teach for about 20 hrs over 4 days - and I will do it all from notes on my tablet.

One of the only weakness I see so far is that Google Movies hasn't been released for all Android tablets yet. The release is rolling out, and there are other apps like Netflix and Redbox that you can watch movies on, but if they want to compete with Apple, Google really needs to fix that soon.

Was there life before tablets?
I look forward to the future, when all the bugs will be worked out. These things are great tools.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Go to Sleep, Sister!

When we got back from our visit to the States last week we moved Felicia's crib into Nate's room, which seemed like a great idea at the time, and both kids were excited about it.

But since then, partly because of jet-lag - which Nate got over faster than Felicia because he went back to óvoda - Felicia has been waking up in the middle of the night and yelling "NATE!" to wake him up.

Sometimes she is successful at waking him up, and sometimes he talks to her and they laugh and make silly noises at each other, but other times he is just annoyed with her because he is tired and wants to sleep.

Tonight we overheard him telling her: "Go to sleep, sister! Be quiet! It's night time! It's dark outside, we have to go to sleep!" - in other words, all the things we used to say to him when he didn't want to sleep :-)

So in the end we made Felicia sleep in another room.
It's hard to be too frustrated with them when they are so cute :-)

**Update** - Tonight when we went to put the kids down, Nate told us: "Don't let her sleep in here. She is going to talk!"