Thursday, November 1, 2012

Working on the Fire HD

Before my Kindle Fire HD arrived, I bought an Azio KB334B Mini Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard.  Since the Fire HD models all have Bluetooth, I wanted to give the Fire a try as a work device.

I already knew that I wouldn't like the Fire HD for serious writing- I don't like to write on my Acer netbook either. The minimum computer for serious writing for me is my Dell 15" laptop.

But writing books involves a lot of documents that are not book length, such as photo shoot lists and caption lists, map revision notes, and just plain notes of all kind, not to mention a lot of Internet research. Maybe the Fire HD plus keyboard would work for that- the same kind of work I do on the netbook.

It doesn't. At least not yet. The keyboard works better than I expected, especially since the last Fire HD software update. The main problem I have is that it's difficult to cut and paste- there's no consistency between apps such as Mobisystems Office Suite 6 which have an awkward menu-based cut and pastle, and the Silk browser, which has no cut and paste, as just one example.

In contrast, my three computers which all run Kubuntu Linux, cut, copy, and paste are very consistent across the desktop and applications. (I still have a couple of Windows applications that have no Linux equivalent, so I run those in VMWare Workstation and Windows XP on my Dell laptop and my desktop computer. I intend to switch to Virtual Box, an open source alternative to VMWare, but it will takes so long to re-install Windows XP and my applications that I've been dragging my feet.)

Cut and paste are consistent on Kubuntu Linix and Windows XP- all use the common keyboard shortcuts CTRL-X, CTRL-C, and CTRL-V for cut, copy, and paste, and I use them without thinking.

That's just one example- there are other little things that interrupt my established workflow. So for now, I'll stick to my laptop and sometimes my netbook to work while traveling.

To be fair, the Fire HD is not intended to be a work computer- it's an entertainment tablet. Still, the third party app developers have added a lot of capability to the Fire HD. It's great for checking and replying email, browsing the Web, and even reviewing documents.

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