As some of you know I just had some complicated Eye Surgery. I developed a hole in my Macular and lost 80% of my vision. The prognosis without surgery was grim. The good news is that one of the best Retina Specialists in South America is in Cuenca. The surgery was performed under local anesthesia(without any pain) at 1/3 of the cost of a U.S. surgeon. He also inserted a lens for my cataract issue.
So what does this have to do with an iPad you ask. The recovery time is 8 days and for 12 hours a day I have to lie prone with head down. A friend loaned me a portable massage table and I have the iPad Mini on a table 8 inches from my one good eye. In those 12 hours I do the following on my iPad
- Read books on the Kindle App
- Listen to Books on Tape on the Audible App
- Play Bridge on Bridge Base
- Listen to music on my Amazon Music App
- Listen to Podcasts on Itunes
- Spend way too much time on Facebook
- Skype with Friends
- Catch up on my irregular verbs in Spanish
No, because of the position of my body I could not do this on my computer. I highly recommend anybody that is coming down to Ecuador to have a tablet. And, it the choice in the budget is a computer or a tablet. I vote for the iPad.
My guess is most readers use the Google Search Engine. This link will show you 10 very interesting Google Features. The three below are my favorites.
- Google Flight Search – I quickly found the cheapest flight and went to Orbitz to book the Senior Fare.
- Atari Breakout – I am not a big gamer but this game brought back memories from when I first started using a computer.
- Conversions – just type in your two variables
The whole list is worth a long look
I buy all of my tech products in the U.S. The most important reason is that 99% of the time the item is cheaper and comes with a reliable warranty or recourse if something goes awry. I am aware that one may not be able to return to the U.S. or Canada to buy the product or they need an instant replacement for family or business reasons.. I have been watching the “for sale” tech items on Gringo Post for over a year and have been amazed at some of the prices being charged. Yes, I know there should be a small premium built into the price since some of the items can not be purchased here but the other day I saw a used laptop compouter being offered at $900 +. The same item with a warranty can be purchased on Amazon for $320 less
Here are some guidelines when purchasing a high tech item.
1. Make sure you have the model # of the item. An Acer laptop doesn’t fly since there are many confiqurations of that computer.
2. When buying a smartphone make sure the phone is factory unlocked and ready for a sim replacement. Jailbroken phones have to be jailbroken with each new upgrade in operating system.
3. Plasma TVs need to be a model specially manufactured for high altitude or you will have problems.
4. Make sure there is someone in Cuenca that can fix it. My wife brought a computerized sewing machine from the States and there is noone in Cuenca that can fix it.
5. Look for reviews on Amazon.com, Cnet.com, pcmag or just google the product with the word “review”
6. Find the product on Ebay and see what it is selling for
For those of us with smartphones there is a new app called Poachit.
If you can wait then inquire if someone is going back to the States and offer them an incentive to bring back your item.
I have stopped posting to CVL and have invited the subscribers to join CTL. Once a month I’ll post a video of some interesting aspects of Cuenca.
This video features street art and Cuenca working people. Enjoy
Pop Quiz CTL subscribers. Can you name 6 websites other than the usual suspects (google, yahoo, msn, apple, etc) that you go for useful information.
- screenr.com – record movies of your desktop and send them straight to YouTube.
- otti.org – scan any suspicious file or email attachment for viruses.
- wolframalpha.com – gets answers directly without searching – see morewolfram tips.
- e.ggtimer.com – a simple online timer for your daily needs.
- join.me – share you screen with anyone over the web.
- marker.to – easily highlight the important parts of a web page for sharing
Want to find out the other 95 then run don’t walk to Digitial Inspiration and give yourself at least an hour to peruse through all the sites.