Monday, January 7, 2013

Keeping Connected When Confined

Everybody gets confined now and then, sometimes to bed, such as in virus or flu season.

How do we keep connected?

What I do is keep away from others as much as possible physically, but keep in touch.   That usually does not mean by phone, especially if I have an attack of laryngitis, as recently.

I hate telephones.   They almost always interrupt.    When ill, I like to rest without interruptions.    I do that by communicating online with my doctor and others.    That avoids the big telephone annoyances---either end of the conversation can respond when ready and there is a printed record of everything.  

You get a chance to think before responding.  That saves office visits and everybody’s time   The local LGH site is wonderful---they respond quickly when necessary and when ready and able.   Click or tap to see one such website.

It is the importance of such web tools that make it desirable for me to help seniors learn to use tablet computers.

While recuperating, I still like to keep otherwise connected.   The world does not stop.

That means using a portable device.   That also means lying down sometimes.  If really sick, I like to “sleep it off” and get back up and mobile quicker.   

There is a choice of devices convenient for use in bed.    The keyboard Kindle will read out loud.    It does not have a backlight, although there is a case with one.   Instead of that light, I prefer the Mighty Bright. which clips on the flap of a case.  Click or tap for the Mighty Bright.

Size is important, and there are smaller devices.    I have the Nook Simple Touch, which can be had with a back light, as also the Kindle Touch.     The iPod Touch 4g is very small indeed and is backlit.    More important, It also has the ability to read out loud using an app called SoundGecko.    It has a small monthly fee but renders print into spoken words very nicely.  It collects from sources you identify.   SoundGecko works with both Apple and non-Apple tablets.  Click or tap for SoundGecko.

The same devices, used with AppleTV, can send videos to your TV.    Although the Apple devices work together, a tablet such as the Nexus 7, can also work with AppleTV, using an Airsync “app”.  Click or tap for AirSync.

Many of these devices can also play movies, such as from Netflix, or PBS shows, such as Nova.    Many work as radios.

For sound you may need earbuds.   The latest Apple earbuds cost $30, far more than competitors, but also with outstanding sound.  I have to recommend them.  Click or tap for Apple earbuds.   For wireless I like the LG with neck band, also with outstanding sound.     The latter can hide under a collar when out and about.    I had an awful time figuring out how to wear them, but it was worth the trouble.     Click or tap for the LG device.

You can also send the sound to a plug-in larger speaker and even manage your TV from bed, but you need a tablet like the Samsung Tab 2 7 for that.  This works as a full TV remote and enormously simplifies finding TV entertainment.   Click or tap for such a speaker.

One thing I could not manage from bed was writing this posting.  With laryngitis, I could not dictate it.      Here, an old unknown wonder from, yes, Microsoft, came to the rescue, Windows Live Writer.   Designed for the purpose, it makes posting easy.    Why are Microsoft’s freebies some of the best, like its AV software, and Microsoft Word Starter?  If you have a blog Click or tap for Windows Live Writer.