#186 April 1, 2014 from http://www.don-guitar.com Here it is again y'all, another mostly-monthly edition of one of the web's only surviving non-commercial, non-topical, agenda-free ezines. Ok, I do have an agenda, of sorts, in that I try to draw your attention to things you didn't know or haven't seen but I'm saying 'Isn't this cool?' not 'You should buy or try this!'. Two years after Lisa bought me a Nook (Simple Touch), when I finally decided to try using it, the darn thing had quit working (and was, of course, a year out of warranty). I spent most of another year trying to decide if I really wanted to replace it and, if so, what should I buy to replace it. Newer electronic book readers from Amazon, Barnes & Noble (and other companies) also come with web browsers and even offer limited access to Android apps. All the major publishers also offer apps for Android tablets and an actual Android tablet is considerably more versatile than any device that's sold as an eBook reader but the best of Android tablets (Google Nexus) are fairly costly. After months of waffling over it, my final solution was a 32 GB, factory refurbished Nexus 7 (2012) from Walmart.com. The first one they sent me crashed about five hours after it was delivered but I sent an email to Walmart Customer Service and they emailed me a return label so it cost me nothing to return it and, two days after I mailed it, a replacement arrived. It came with Android 4.1 but upgraded itself to Android 4.4.2 as soon as I allowed it online. I found almost a thousand books I liked (for free!), in epub format, on the Project Gutenberg site and have found several hundred more by visiting this website each, and every, day. http://www.ereaderperks.com/ I'm pretty sure I won't live long enough to read all the electronic books I've acquired since purchasing the Android, even allowing for the fact that I may find I don't like some of them, yet I've spent less than $20 on downloadable, digital books which works out to somewhere between one and two cents per book. In fact, even if I add in the cost of the Nexus 7 ($129) it works out to less than ten cents per book. That makes me a Happy Camper. :) Let's get started... Archives: //www.freelists.org/archives/donspatch/ Contact us: http://www.don-guitar.com/contactus.html Don on... Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Don-Crowder/1321324044 Twitter: http://twitter.com/eldergeek Google+. https://plus.google.com/u/0/106370117092434105137 Lisa on... Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/Lisa-Miller/100006947013567 Twitter: https://twitter.com/lsmiller221 Google+: https://plus.google.com/+LisaMiller/posts Our email group is a (very) low traffic, non-topical, 'hanging with friends' sort of email discussion group available to our friends and subscribers. If you'd like to join the discussion, or just lurk and 'listen in', send us a message from our contact page and let us know what email address you'd like to be subscribed under. --- With over 65 million views (so far) chances are good you've seen Pharrell Williams video of the song, Happy, which he wrote for Despicable Me 2 (he scored the movie). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Sxv-sUYtM If you saw the video, you may or may not have seen the website where he uploaded ALL the video he shot of this song, playing consecutively, in real time, 24/7. http://24hoursofhappy.com/ [click anywhere for next video] Of course people all over the world are making their own Happy videos. So many, in fact, that a website has been created to index them! http://wearehappyfrom.com/ And if that isn't enough, I'm sure there'll soon be plenty more awesome videos like this one... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxODzxY6AvI ...or this awesome acapella cover by Duwende... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0kYRHrACLU ...or these... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ4diEohODE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5I51C-U8Og https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHBrrEAWK9g I'm a 'Trekkie' from way back so this looked interesting. http://www.startrekcontinues.com/ Who doesn't like Dilbert? http://dilbert.com/ A virtual tour of the Smithsonian. http://www.mnh.si.edu/vtp/1-desktop/ A friend of mine who isn't particularly computer literate wanted to convert a youtube video, of a song he wanted to learn, to an mp3 file which he could listen to on a small portable mp3 player. The thought of installing a browser plug-in was too intimidating for him so I found a website which he had very little trouble figuring out how to use. http://www.youtube-mp3.org/ Worked ok by clicking my mouse on it but didn't work at all on my Android tablet. http://femurdesign.com/theremin/ I don't know if its worth a hundred bucks but it's cool. http://dna.ancestry.com/ Are you up for some odd reading? http://goo.gl/ppACmm [lrb dot co dot uk] Brendan MacFarlane isn't prolific but he is talented. https://www.youtube.com/user/BMacFarlaneMusic/videos Ecology is both simple and incredibly complicated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa5OBhXz-Q Some good instrumental music with my friend James Bradley Junior providing excellent percussion. https://www.youtube.com/user/MrFelipator/videos Two awesome cello players. https://www.youtube.com/user/2CELLOSlive/videos A cool nerdy Public Radio program. http://hackerpublicradio.org/index.php Lisa's been learning how to create and edit videos for youtube. One of the things she needed to find for her videos was sources of free (and royalty free) music to used as audio background for the video. I found more sound effects than I did music. Here are some of both. http://www.freesound.org/ http://www.soundjay.com/ http://www.freesfx.co.uk/ http://www.grsites.com/archive/sounds/ http://www.stockmusic.com/ http://www.mediacollege.com/downloads/sound-effects/ http://soundbible.com/free-sound-effects-1.html http://soundofpicture.com/ This was, for me, a frustrating game. http://www.gamesheep.com/game/five/ Are you Jewish? Do you have Jewish friends or relatives? http://www.onlyinamerica.info/index.shtml She calls herself simply 'juliana'. I call her talented. https://www.youtube.com/user/julianaeveryday/videos If you've ever looked at a piano and wondered exactly what sort of piano it is, this site is for you. http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/types.html This one is for hardware junkies. http://machinedesign.com/ It's about math. http://leanmath.com/blog/ More stupid things on the web. http://www.playbuzz.com/ He's still a wild-and-crazy guy and this video is very much worth listening to all the way through because it all comes together at the end of the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lFMK3UIa74 If you're a guitar junkie, you'll enjoy Nick Caiano. https://www.youtube.com/user/thefungai1/videos If you're a fuddy-duddy like me, this will be a treat for the grandparent in you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dezpM0QoOwg Whether or not you like pop music (I don't, much) it's really hard to dislike the Pentatonix. They are one extremely awesome acapella musical group. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MteSlpxCpo Scott Bradlee is an extremely talented musician who likes to 'brand' songs with his own unique signature. https://www.youtube.com/user/ScottBradleeLovesYa/videos Not long ago I made Lisa a Guiro (it's a hand percussion instrument, check it out on youtube if you're curious) using a dried gourd I bought on eBay. The band loved her Guiro, it sounded awesome, but it got stepped on and shattered by an inebriated singer. I couldn't find another, similar gourd on eBay 'my old pal' google helped me find Wuertz Farms, where I bought three perfect gourds for about the same price I paid for the first one, so now we'll have back-up Guiros. :) http://wuertzfarm.com/ Wow, what a boring way to put things in perspective. http://goo.gl/2ImxzS [joshworth dot com] Windows XP has reached the end of it's support. If your computer is running Windows XP you need to start considering your alternatives. This site will answer the question 'Are you running Windows XP?' for you. http://amirunningxp.com/ Of course if you are using XP and you're happy with it you can just stay with it, if you're careful. http://goo.gl/TTYeVm [techrepublic dot com] Or, if you're ready to change horses altogether, email me and I'll help you get started with Linux. Darn, now I want a Wombat. http://goo.gl/nKNZMT [andreasjakwerth dot exposure dot so] One of the most pervasive and insidious scams going in the US is the Microsoft Support scam. Don't fall for it. http://goo.gl/v7lBah [maravais dot com] Investing is like gambling. I don't gamble. That being said, here's a good resource for small scale investing. http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/investing/ A crossword resource for lazy puzzlers. http://www.findtheword.info/ Early on, before the web became the web, there was Gopher. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gopher_(protocol) Some folks are trying to keep Gopher alive. http://gopher.floodgap.com/overbite/ Got a song stuck in your head? Replace it with something equally atrocious (then you'll feel better, right?). http://unhearit.com/ --- This publication is only mailed to verified double opt-in subscribers, and is brought to you by me, Don Crowder, and freelists.org with occasional help from my wife, Lisa Miller. At the time this issue was posted, the current subscriber count for this publication was 358. Contributions from our readers and/or friends are always welcome and you can even write your own link descriptions if you wish (just tell me when you send them if that's what you intended). Guidelines are available here: http://www.don-guitar.com/descriptivetext.html From our web-sibling Patrick Barden. Patrick (like me) has discovered the Pentatonix. https://www.youtube.com/user/PTXofficial/videos I'm not homeless but I wish I had one of these. http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=WGLDWWNX Some pretty cool craft tutorials with Jacy. https://www.youtube.com/user/liveacraftlife/videos A pretty cool suit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0tE67dRaGo Restful, natural sounds can be useful for insomniacs. http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/discover-sound-nature-youtube/ Thanks Patrick! --- Today is April 1st, my least favorite day of they year, mainly because I don't like pranks of any sort, at any time. The words 'harmless prank' are, as often as not, an oxymoron and it seems like every year, one or another website creates a lot of stress and/or anxiety in folks with what was supposed to have been a 'harmless prank'. That's just my opinion. $.02 See you next time. Don --- The Internet: A Weapon of Mass Instruction.