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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Traveling - Then and Now

The way we travel has changed significantly.  And I don't just mean from a long, long time ago when we traveled by horse and buggy.

I don't even mean those family vacations we took when we were kids and played all those backseat games with our family.  Remember keeping track of how many out of state license tags you could spot?

And I'm not even talking about back when flying was fun.

Nope, I mean in just a very short time.

Our traveling has changed from loading up the car with this -

and this -

and this -

to this -

Don't you love it?!

Everything.  On one sleek and slim piece of technology.

Books, music, games, videos, and movies.  All right here. 

Want to store some of your favorite photos to show folks?  They have never looked sharper than they look on an iPad.  

All this, along with the convenience of checking email and browsing the web.  

Want to read a magazine or a newspaper?  Right here.  

Want to tour a museum?  Yep, that too.  

Want to know the answer to the most frequently asked question on any car trip - Maps will not only give you directions on where you're going and tell you how long it'll be before you get there, it can even (in some cases) show you a satellite picture of your final destination and give you a little bit of information about it.
Several of you have written since I did my earlier series of iPad posts asking me if I still love it and many want to know what applications I've added.

I do still love it.

One of the first things I bought for it wasn't an application, but a cover for it.  As much as I love the sleek sexy  design, I was worried about it getting scratched up.  I wanted to protect the screen and the metal casing, so I bought a package of screen protectors, and a pretty red leather cover (which I found on sale for a really really good price by doing some comparison shopping on-line).

As far as applications go, there are TONS of freebies out there.  And if you keep an eye on the AppStore and AppAdvice you can snag some apps that are free, or deeply discounted, for a short time only.

But you may as well face it, you are going to spend some money on books, on movies, and on music.  And on apps.  You're just not going to be able to help yourself.  Just go ahead and add the figure you're comfortable with into your monthly budget.  Just saying . . .

Here are some of the applications I love.

My favorite?

It's a silly little fun guy called Talking Tom Cat.  Yep.  My very favorite.  Tom the Talking Cat is a scream.

Here's a description from iTunes Preview:  "Tom is your pet cat, that responds to your touch and repeats everything you say with a funny voice. You can pet him, poke him or grab his tail.
Record your own videos of Tom, save them to your library and send them as MMS, share them on YouTube & Facebook or send them by email."

Another "just for fun" app I like is Pottery HD, which allows you to "create" your own virtual pottery, decorate it and even virtually sell it.

You get the idea - there are so many game applications it will blow your mind.


I was one of those who swore she'd never turn her back on "real" books.  Well, I haven't.  But I have embraced the wide world of eBooks in addition to my real books. 

In addition to iBooks, I've downloaded the Kindle App and the Nook App.  Again, you can find a lot of freebies.  Don't forget to check out the wonderful Project Gutenberg for over 33,000 free ebooks.  Another feature I love about ebooks is the ability to download free samples.  If you hear about a book you think you want, read the free sample before buying it to see if it's one you really want.  I'm using this a lot to check out "new to me" authors, and to catch up on some backlists.

We've all had one of those instances that we really wanted to access a document only to realize it's on "that other computer."  Take a gander at Dropbox.  From the Dropbox home page: "Dropbox allows you to sync your files online and across your computers automatically.  It allows you to backup your files on-line.  A copy of your files is stored on Dropbox's secure servers. This lets you access them from any computer or mobile device. Dropbox uses military grade encryption methods to both transfer and store your data. A free application for iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, and Android that lets you access and manage your Dropbox on the go. Shared folders allow several people to collaborate on the same files. Automatically create shareable online photo galleries out of regular folders."  What can I say - it's great!

Another favorite is Evernote, which is very similar in that you can access your files from any of your computers or phones.  The first thing I did with Evernote was switch about 300 notes (a lot of recipes) from my Palm to this program so they would be on my iPad and my laptop.  It's an easily searchable program and,  for me, the perfect place for quick notes and little memos. 

AND - you can also put Dragon Dictation on your iPad.  This from iTunes Preview: "Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application powered by Dragon® NaturallySpeaking® that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. In fact, it’s up to five (5) times faster than typing on the keyboard. With Dragon Dictation you can also dictate status updates directly to your Social Networking applications (Facebook and Twitter) or send notes and reminders to yourself….all using your voice.  So when you’re on-the-go, stop typing and start speaking – from short text messages to longer email messages, and anything in between. Dragon Dictation supports a multitude of global languages. For a full list of currently supported languages visit"

And, if you just want to read a magazine, or a newspaper while you're in the car on this trip - easy peasy.  If the trip is getting kinda dull and you want to drift away for a tour of The Smithsonian or MOMA, they're right there at your fingertips.  Want to tour something other than a museum - well, oTAY - take a virtual tour of Venice, Athens, or Tuscany.  Or you might just need to check your friends' statuses at Facebook . . . 


Vicki Lane said...

Sounds pretty nifty! Maybe someday...

LJ said...

There is a delightful book entitles "When We Went First Class" written by Ellen Williamson which is available for free download at It is humorous and delightful.

Jill said...

You are right! Things have changed. So glad you love that iPad! With things all in one place; you will never forget to pack a book.

Patty said...

So Kaye, tell us how you really feel about your iPad. (-;

I don't have an iPad but do have a Kindle which doesn't do as much as the iPad but does keep me from having to haul a bag of books with me when I travel. And a good friend gives me Amazon gift certificates so I can keep it well stocked. . .

Darla said...

What a FUN post! :-) And I loved that you ended up at the iPad because mine is usually with me and I even bought a purse that is exactly the right size to bring my iPad along! LOL "Talking Tom" is delightful; I adopted him right before I took a road trip to visit Mom (from Maine to Missouri) so he kept me company AND had Mom and I in stitches, with tears running down our faces from all the laughter! Thanks for a great post and all the pictures...