Back again

I’ve decided to return to the world of stationery and bring back my regular posts to Instagram as well as my semi-annual website posts about my current setup.

Stay tuned for more details – and follow @desk_of_jules on Insagram! ✌

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2i9D3mDLNP/
https://www.instagram.com/p/B2yiEwhDgtY/

Kindle Oasis

I recently got myself a Kindle Oasis to replace the Kindle Paperwhite I got back in 2012. While the Kindle Paperwhite still works, the reason I got myself a Kindle Oasis was not that the old one was defective or broken.

I wanted a new Kindle for one reason: I wanted to read more.

When compared to my previous Kindle the hardware improvements are obvious:

  • The screen is larger and higher resolution
  • The backlight is brighter and much more evenly distributed
  • The device is thinner and lighter, even with the cover on
  • The cover is made of real leather
  • Physical buttons are back
  • The metal construction gives a more premium feel
  • It is finally waterproof

While I didn’t have a 2016 version of the Kindle Oasis, I did think it was a little odd that it wasn’t waterproof. Amazon has rectified the situation with the 2017 model. At last, people can use the Kindle Oasis in the bath* or by the pool.

The cover for me is a big part of what I like about the Kindle Oasis. I enjoy the way it feels. However this appears to be one of the most controversial parts of the device from a hardware point of view; I’ve seen people dislike it because of the magnets that connect it to the back, as well as complaints about the leather being easy to mark.

Personally, neither of these two issues have been a problem for me at all, the way I use the device has never resulted in the cover coming off by mistake, and I love how the leather looks and feels. Your mileage may vary.

On the software side I’m pleased with the new features compared to my previous Kindle:

  • More typefaces
  • Text alignment
  • Better skipping and navigation
  • Improved PDF support
  • Landscape mode and automatic rotation
  • Inverted mode
  • Automatic brightness

Like the hardware, there’s also a controversial aspect to the software too. I have seen comments on the Audible integration not being as good as it is on the iOS/Android mobile apps. Personally, I haven’t used this feature yet, and I probably won’t use it at all. I do use Audible regularly, but I tend to use it on my phone or computer.

Overall I’m pleased with the Kindle Oasis as an eBook reader, and if you were wondering, yes, it has made me read more. It turns out the change in the physical device was indeed the catalyst I needed to change my reading habits.

* I’ve used my Paperwhite in the bath many times over the years, but not so much recently. So I’m not sure if/when I’ll have the opportunity to try it out, but making the device waterproof was the top requested feature for the Kindle, and I’d expect to see it come to the other models over time.

Mavis Podcast

From pencils and paper, and each-others “weird quirks” to the current and future of technology, the hosts discuss whatever they like.

I thought this year would be busy for me, and I can safely say (in November) that it was even busier than I expected. Phew.

One of the new things I decided to take on this year was a podcast… and I’m really pleased with the results. While I haven’t had enough time to do as much writing on my website, I’m glad I have the podcast an outlet for some of my ideas… and excellent co-hosts to discuss them with.

I’ve enjoyed doing the first ten episodes of Mavis, and I look forward to doing more.

You can find out more about Mavis at mavispodcast.com, or follow @mavispodcast on Twitter.

Episode 1: I Hope I Won’t Be Dead in 5 Years

Starting with why Jules says “bing it” and doesn’t like Google, it doesn’t take long for the guys to discuss device authentication and Essential phone. Swiftly moving on to where the big-5 tech companies get their revenue from, and where it could go in the future.

Episode 2: A Coke Problem

Does a Lemsip count as a hot drink? The ongoing debate is sparked again, in a discussion of why Andrew doesn’t drink hot drinks. Then moving on to an introduction in to the hosts stationery, notebooks and daily-carries.

Episode 3: Package Full of Mess

Messy fountain pens, a Bing notebook, a review on the Kuru Toga Advance pencil and a discussion on how the hosts stay productive day in and day out.

Episode 4: Emojay

After clearing up some stationery follow up, including a revised review on the Kuru Toga Advance from Jordan, the guys discuss Windows Phones, Julian considering a temporary iPhone and a heated discussion on iPhone’s and Samsung Phones vs their release cycles.

Episode 5: It’s Not a Problem If You like It

Why wouldn’t someone clean out their tabs, and why would you use a handful of browsers at once?! Jordan and Julian try to explain. Andrew gets a new machine, but finds himself in a predicament. Slack vs Teams, why both and how do they compare?

Episode 6: Money Plus Sunset Deluxe

Recapping the Lemsip & hot drink discussion following Andrews brief illness, before moving on to follow up with the use of tabs, Jordans new Sharbo LT3 and the new Campfire Field Notes. Andrew then discusses his new iMac, the setup process and how he’s finding the trackpad. Finishing up with some casual talk about personal financial management, modern banking and how AI’s could help with management and investments.

Episode 7: The Notch

Julian fixes his Lumia 950 XL in a “smart” way. The iPhone 8 finally gets it’s discussion, back to Touch ID nightmares and more importantly, how will The Notch turn out?! Ending the show with a good old chat about gaming histories, feeling nostalgic and getting stupidly close to relapsing our addictions with games.

Episode 8: I’m Actually Daredevil

Follow up with RuneScape, did the hosts play it? Take a guess. What’s the difference between Redstone in Windows and Minecraft? Given the news of Microsoft and Amazons collaboration, how will Alexa and Cortana mingle? What are the pain points and how we’d prefer to interact with them. Jordan and Andrew are having sleeping problems, what’s good for sleep and what’s bad for sleep? How can we resolve our sleeping problems?

Episode 9: The Functionality? Stupid.

New Apple TV, Apple Watch, iPhone 8 and iPhone X. Issues with iOS 11 GM. Jordans new Baron Fig notebook set. Finishing up with some stories on how we got in to software engineering.

Episode 10: That’s When I Stopped Doing Birthday Cards

Welcome to the 10th Episode of the Mavis podcast! After the celebrations, we turn to hating on Facebook and discussing our issues with their stupid notifications. We also discuss the social ethics of birthday messages. Jordan picked up a new iPad Pro 10.5”, In which we then hate on iOS 11, or at least Jordan does. Initial thoughts for the first 2 episodes of Star Trek Discovery and finishing up with a surprise Field Notes review!