Friday, February 20, 2015

Amazon Freetime Quick Review

We have a Amazon Fire HD 7 tablet and have set up profiles for the kids and started a free trial month of the freetime book subscription for children.  It's cool, but the Kindle reader app is insanely sensitive.  They are twitchy little kids and keep randomly turning pages or failing to zoom the text.  They need to severely limit the possible inputs when a kid is reading.  Pages should only turn if you swipe, not if you tap.  Zooming the text should be much easier than the rapid double tap it requires now.  The orientation should lock automatically.  It should be harder to get out of the full screen and show the android buttons and the dropdown menu.  As it is, we're unlikely to continue the subscription, but if they address the problems so that the kids can actually read the books, I'd consider paying for it.  Also, it needs a voice reader function like the FBReader TTS+ or at least a word assistance function that helps kids sound words out phoenetically or just reads the whole word for very long words (I don't care if my 6 year old can sound out "disqualification" yet).

Monday, February 09, 2015

Lacrosse Weather Station Pairing Fun

We have two Lacrosse 8418 "atomic" clocks that also tell you your indoor and outdoor temperatures which were like a buck each because they were missing the outdoor weather station.  Without the outdoor sensor, they chewed through batteries in about a day trying to find it.  So I ordered a single replacement outdoor gauge and did the pairing procedure (pop the batteries for both things at the same time) for the sensor with both clocks at the same time.  It took two tries, but now the sensor has been talking to both clocks for two weeks.  I was pleasantly surprised since I don't think using pairing multiple devices is even mentioned on their support site.  Might not work for anybody else and it's definitely an unlikely use case since these things are usually sold in pairs anyways.