Barnes & Noble: I’m sorry your Nook sucks, I still love you!

Lately I’ve found myself at Barnes &’ Noble a lot. For one thing, it’s the closest, least crowded place with fast, free Wifi near my house. Plus, they don’t seem to mind if I bring my own coffee into their store. I’ve found myself there on most of my Mother’s Day Out days when I need to do some focused writing.

They also have a great kids’ area. Yesterday when I forgot it was a state holiday, we couldn’t go to the library so we headed to Barnes &’ Noble where Little Sir played with their Thomas the Tank Engine train table for at least 20 minutes straight (which is a record for him).

Train table at Barnes & Noble

This past weekend, Christian and I were blessed with an overnight date night getaway by my parents, who came into town to stay with the kids. After we had an early sushi dinner, we found ourselves at Barnes &’ Noble looking at books and reading things to each other. We used to love to do this while we were dating.

While we were there, I got to try out several of the demo Nook reader options. I have a Kindle and Christian has an iPad, so I guess I expected the Nooks to work similarly. At least, that’s what I thought I’d heard.

Boy, was I disappointed! From what I could gather without the help of anyone at the store (the first time there was no one around and the second time there was an employee there who made it clear that she had no idea how these things worked, and couldn’t actually make a sale either, even though another customer was trying to buy one. I guess that employee was just required to stand beside the Nooks?), there appear to be three levels of Nook: the SimpleTouch, the Color, and the Tablet. I could not tell the difference between the Color and the Tablet by playing with them. Apparently the difference is the memory and the additional capabilities of the Tablet.

The touchscreen response of the Nook Color and Tablet both seemed seriously under par in comparison to iPad and iPhones. Half the time, no matter how hard you tapped on something, the screen didn’t respond or it responded by overcompensating. Christian and I both tested this poor response on multiple demos by attempting to play the Ms PacMan game that came on the machine. It was literally impossible to play the game with such a poor touch response.

In all 3 of the models, the usability of the menu navigation was terrible. At least with the SimpleTouch, the navigation was a lot like the Kindle so I was able to figure out how to least read a book. But with the Color and the Tablet, I never could figure out how to close an app that I was using. There was no “X” inside the app and the “home” button only took you to different parts of the app itself, never to the home screen or a menu.

I would like to give you a more in-depth analysis of the Nook models but honestly, I gave up after about 10 minutes. If I have to spend more than 10 minutes figuring out how something works, or if it requires me to take a class or read a manual, that is not a well designed device. I’m afraid that owning Apple products has spoiled me in that regard. I know that easy-to-use, flexible products are possible so I am not willing to waste my time learning more confusing products.

If you have a Nook, feel free to defend it but for me, I’m happy with my Kindle, even if it is a 1st generation model.

And Barnes &’ Noble: I still love you, despite your inability to create a good e-reader. I will see you again on Thursday!

How to subscribe to my blog!

I’ve had a few friends tell me that since Google Buzz has gone away, they don’t get my blog posts in their email anymore. This is true, so I thought I’d give you a few other ways to get the blog without leaving your Google email/Gmail. I am going to list them for you based on how you use the internet.

If you really only read this blog.
Aw, ya’ll are sweet! Really, though, this mainly applies to my family. If you liked getting the blog posts in Google Buzz so you can keep up with me, all you have to do now to keep getting only this blog in your email is subscribe to my email feed. Here’s a special box:
Enter your email address to subscribe to Conscientious Confusion:

Every time I publish a blog post, it will be emailed to you. Almost exactly the same as Google Buzz except without the “Comment” feature right at the bottom.

If you are keeping up with several blogs and no longer have time to visit every one individually.
I’ll tell you my secret: Google Reader. It’s an RSS reader, but don’t let that terminology worry you. All you have to do is go to when you are already logged in to your Gmail. It is part of your existing Google account, so you won’t have to register – you just tell it what blogs you want to follow by using this button:

Just type into that box and you’ve got my blog!
You can even copy-and-paste that bold text above if you are having trouble spelling “conscientious”!

I hope that Google Reader helps you discover and follow lots of new bloggers – I know it’s been a lifesaver for me as I’ve discovered more blogs that I love over the years. I also love that it works great on the iPhone or other smartphones – you can access from your phone and have the exact same interface that you have on the computer.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Blogging from my iPhone

…sucks! I can’t wait to get out internet back, hopefully tomorrow! So far, my iPhone has survived it’s bath, although the music no longer plays. It’s a good thing it did survive because the wait for a 4G is apparently still around 2 weeks, even though there are something like 4 Apple stores within 15 miles of my house. I’ve also tried Radio Shacks, AT&T stores, and Best Buy. Hasn’t this phone been on the market for around 3 months?! Why the shortage, Apple?!

Do you prefer to use a pen or a computer?

Yet another NaBloPoMo writing prompt.

Answer: computer

A long time ago, my typing speed surpassed the speed at which I am able to write with a pen or pencil. If you know me in real life, you know that I talk fast. I think fast, too. So if I want to get something written down quickly before I forget it or get distracted, the fastest way for me to do it is to type.

Another fun fact about me: I hold my pen or pencil weird. I hold it completely vertically.

I hold my pen weird when I write

 It looks really weird and it hurts to write that way for a long period of time. I have tried and tried to change it but I can’t write the “correct” way. And why should I? That’s what the laptop is for!