Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Kindle Fire Review

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

OK, ever since I got my Kindle Fire, people have been asking for my review. I’ve had it for a month and a half now so here it goes.

Bottom line: I like it. It’s perfect for what I want. First, I like the size. I think I like the size better than I would the larger tablets that are out there. It’s much more portable. I’ve been able to put in my pocket as I was walking around. Second, the battery life is better than I expected. I’ve only charged it three times. Now, I don’t use it daily. I use it pretty regularly but not every day. The Amazon App store is quite comprehensive. I have yet to come across an app I want that’s not available. Finally, it’s a great e-reader. That’s mainly what I was looking for when I bought it. I wanted an e-reader that was compatible with Kindle books I already own. But, I didn’t want solely an e-reader. I wanted a tablet so that I had the ability to do more than just read.

There was an unexpected bonus to the Kindle Fire. The first week I owned it I went to London for a conference. The first day I was there my laptop crashed. That was incredibly frustrating for many reasons. One of the main reasons, however, was that I was planning on taking notes on the computer. I never carry a pen and paper with me anymore. I even to my daily Bible reading and journaling digitally. The Kindle Fire turned out to be a great note-taking device. I use Evernote for all my note taking. I was unsure about the touchscreen keyboard. I’m one of those weird people that still like to feel the keys when I type. I had very few problems taking notes on the Kindle Fire using the touchscreen keyboard. The only think I don’t like about the keyboard is where the period is in relation to the spacebar. I typically use my right thumb to press the spacebar and on the Kindle Fire I find myself hitting the period a lot instead of space.

Overall the Kindle Fire is a great device. There are a couple things that I would like to see improved. My only real frustration is the lack of connection between the books and social media. I don’t know if there’s a copyright issue, but there are often times I’d like to post a quote from the book I’m reading to Facebook or Twitter. There is no way to do that with the Kindle Fire. I can cut and paste with the Kindle App on my Mac Book so it seems to me that the same functionality should be available on the Kindle. The other thing I’d like to do is move smoothly between apps. It’s a little thing but, it’s frustrating to have to go to the homescreen when I want to go to another app. I was using my Kindle Fire during one an Agape Community Gathering. Because I couldn’t seamlessly switch between a book and my Bible app I had to pull out my phone so that I could have both my Bible and the book I was using during our gathering. The other thing I don’t like is the location of the power button. It doesn’t make sense to have the power button on the bottom. I was using it as my Bible when I was speaking at a church and it powered down when I set it on the stand and I didn’t notice until I picked it up to read from it. (Fortunately I had the Bible text printed in my notes so I was able move on pretty quickly.) Yes, the screen automatically adjusts orientation but the opening screen to unlock the device is static. It’s a minor thing but it was incredibly inconvenient at the worst possible time for me.

If you’re looking for an e-reader that will provide additional functionality, the Kindle Fire is a great choice.


Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Most of my readers have probably never heard of Tyler Perry or Madea. You’ve probably never seen any of Tyler Perry’s movies or stage performances. If you haven’t seen anything by Tyler Perry, you don’t know what you’re missing. In my opinion he is one of the best artists of our time able to seamlessly move from stage to screen. He is both an amazing playwright and screenwriter along with a wonderful director and producer. Mr. Perry can do it all.

Last Thursday my wife and I went to see Madea’s Big Happy Family, the latest offering of Tyler Perry on stage. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. The tears weren’t from sadness. The tears were rolling because we were laughing so hard. I laughed so hard my face hurt. The writing was incredible. Tyler Perry’s whit and way with words make his comedies a laugh riot. I haven’t had that much fun watching a show in a long time.

While Mr. Perry is a phenomenal comedic artist that’s not the thing I like most about his work. The thing I like most is how he seamlessly weaves his faith into his work without it sounding forced or trite. Madea’s Big Happy Family was written by Tyler Perry, in large part, to help him process his grief after his mother passed away. The theme of the show was the influence that mothers have on their families.

The show opens with the lead character learning that her cancer has returned and she doesn’t have long to live. The hi-jinks begin when she invites her family including her kleptomaniac brother and family friend Madea, a 6’ tall 60 year old pistol packin’, ex-stripper, ex-con over to tell them the news. The entire first act is a laugh riot as we watch many failed attempts to get the family to slow down long enough to learn what’s going on. Yet, the comedy is light-hearted. This is not a dark comedy and you forget the morbidity of the situation as you enjoy watching the dysfunction of the family and laugh as you see elements of yourself and your own family in the hysterical situation.

The true theme of the show develops in Act 2. By now the family has learned the fate of their matriarch and they are working through the grieving process. The tears of joy turned to tears of sadness as we all grieved with the family at the loss of their saintly mother. (Even as I write this, I’m starting to feel the emotion all over again.) But the roller-coaster ride of emotion wasn’t over at this point. Our sadness turned to joy as we saw Tyler Perry’s vision of the death of his mother. We saw her weep for her children that were losing their mom and rejoice as she was raised to be with Jesus whom she had served faithfully.
The show culminated with the family sharing the influence their mom had on them and how through her life she pointed them to Jesus.

Madea’s Big Happy Family is one of the best stage performances I have ever seen. If you haven’t seen anything by Tyler Perry you need to check him out. Go out today and rent Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Daddies Little Girls. After you watch them, come back here and tell us what you think. I guarantee you’ll enjoy them. And if you get the chance, go see Madea’s Big Happy Family.