Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Gear: Overcoming Kindle Fire Challenges

I bought my Kindle Fire with two functionality expectations:

#1: That I would be able to buy some of my books on it, thus saving me hassle and back ache.
#2: That I would be able to use the wireless functionality to supplement my laptop both in my residence and on campus.

One out of two ain't bad, right?

So, the University's Internet provision is all routed through a proxy server. Beyond playing a bit of havoc with the security software on my laptop, this presents a problem, as the Kindle Fire provides no support for proxy servers. There's apparently a roundabout way of making it work, but it's probably not worth the effort.

So, what we do when we encounter a hiccough? Simple: we adapt and overcome.

My Kindle can connect to the wifi at Starbucks (and I can also download the virus definition updates for my laptop there as well), so if I head in for a cuppa or some weird sandwich thing, I can download whatever books I may need - in addition, of course, to those I already picked up when I was back in the States. The Union Square mall - which, coincidentally, is within spitting distance of the Northlink Ferries terminal that will take me to Orkney in a matter of weeks - has a Starbucks, as well as several other shops of one use or another*, plus a bus station that can get me back to my digs when I'm done.

Two of the things I intend to study on a weekly basis are physical security, and Arabic language. Once I've finished with The Design and Evaluation of Physical Protection Systems, I'll move on to the US Army's FM 3-19.30 and ATTP 3-39.32. So, I downloaded those yesterday at Starbucks. I also downloaded the zipped PDF of the Defense Language Institute's Libyan Basic Language Survival Kit. Unfortunately, the Kindle Fire doesn't provide any automatic provision for unzipping files. Fortunately, a right smart bloke like myself can find the PDF, unzipped, at another website. So, now I have the three documents I'll need to start being effective at several of my goals, without having to lug my laptop all the way to campus in order to study all of it.

Adapt and overcome, friends. Adapt and overcome. And, let's be honest, it would be great if the Kindle Fire came with proxy support, but as far as I'm concerned, it's the University's system that's at issue, rather than the Kindle.

Right, then, back to work.

* One such shop is Boots, the chemist (pharmacy/drug store) that appears to be Aberdeen's leading employer of fit birds (attractive young women). On that note, I'm going to introduce another feature on the blog, entitled "Separated by a Common Language", in which I'll note differences in speech between Americans, Brits, and - as necessary - Scots.

No comments:

Post a Comment