Ebooks and EMagazines from UK Libraries

Recently, I got an opportunity to live in a small village called “Leek” in Staffordshire Council, for few weeks.

It is very small, peaceful, but modern village. Walking around the streets itself will give great peace to the mind.

Library is the first place I like to explore on the places I do. To my wonder, this village has a great library filled with books in all genres, computers for public usage, various activities for toddlers, reading groups, IT training for adults etc.

Spent most of the times with the magazines and rare collections there.

one day, I shouted “Wow” on seeing this poster.

Announcement on Free Digital magazines in Staffordshire Council Library, UK

Announcement on Free Digital magazines in Staffordshire Council Library, UK

 

hehehe. Not about the girl on the poster.

How can a library lend digital books and magazines?

I asked the staff  and they wanted me to become a member of the library to avail this facility.

“Oh Sure.”  I said, as the membership is free.

Got membership card and PIN number to login to their site.

https://www.yourlibcat.staffordshire.gov.uk/web/arena/welcome

http://www.rbdigital.com/Staffordshire/service/zinio/landing?

These are the links that provide great collection of digital books.

E-magazines are only in PDF format. But we can read them with a big tablet. The collections of magazine is great and they are adding more. We get very latest magazines in all genres.

Most of the Ebooks are in epup format and few in PDF. Both the ebooks and emagaines are DRM enabled. We have to use “Aldiko” app for ebooks and “Zino for libraries” for magazines.

The ebooks and emagazines can be lend for 21 days maximum. They disappear after the specific days.

Though I hate DRM, I like these facilities that Staffordshire library is giving for the public. It seems the department of libraries is paying for the publishers. The public get free, latest ebooks to read on their devices.

I explored libraries of NewCastle, Nottingham, Manchester. They have great libraries. but they dont provide ebooks services. Staffordshire libraries are very innovative on this. They provide membership only for people living in UK.

Thinking on when will we get such systems in India? What we have to do to for this?

Is it possible to get free ebooks in India, but authors and publishers are paid by dept of libraries?

Share your thoughts in comments.

Free from Facebook

Past few weeks, I am calculating the usage time of my smartphone using the app – Quality Time.

It  shows that I am staring this screen for 30 hours per week. 😦

Decided to reduce it.

Did the following things.

1.Quitted Facebook

2. Unsubscribed to non reading mailing lists, converted to digest mode for few lists.

3. Removed all social media apps from mobile. The apps I have now are gmail, maps, clock, Firefox, calendar, camera, WhatsApp, camscanner, hangout.

4. Quitted most of the WhatsApp groups, except few personal friends group.

 

I am writing on the following blogs.

1. http://goinggnu.wordpress.com – tech

2. https://onroads.wordpress.com – life in English

3. http://tshrinivasan.blogspot.in – life in Tamil

http://kaniyam.com and http://FreeTamilEbooks.com are the sites I contribute.

subscribe to these sites or visit them often.

 

 

Will blog here on how the experiment goes. I may miss many updates from friends.But you can always mail me on tshrinivasan@gmail.com to reach me.

Send some personal mails. It has been ages I send or receive any personal mail.

Let us restart the culture of personal mails. Believe me. We will become more closer on personal mails.

 

See you in Email.

 

Welcome to the Real World – Measure and reduce the smartphone usage

I realised that I am using the smartphone too much. I started to use to kill my leisure time, but now it is killing all my time.

 

I was using my phone for 33 hours in last 7 days.

 

I always think that I dont have much time to spend on the items in my to-do list. But from where did I get the 33 hours/week. It is more than one full day. 😦

 

On my process to reduce the virtual life and to start living in the real world, with books, dance, music, talking with people, clearing my to-do items, writing etc, I measured the usage of the mobile with the app “Quality Time”

 

Found an alarming statistics.
See below for the details.

 

I request you to install this and measure the time you spend on virtual world with your smartphone.

 

It will free you from the high amount of smartphone dependency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reduce your internet addiction and live a real life.

 

Welcome to the Real World.

 

Exploring the Smartest Phone – Nokia 130

I was using the smartphones for past 2 years. Started from Samsung, then Sony and HTC one X+. I could not do many things with the 512MB RAMed Samsung and Sony Phones. Though it was so much costly, I decided to buy 1GB RAMed HTC One X+.

https://i1.wp.com/cdn2.gsmarena.com/vv/pics/htc/htc-one-x-plus.jpg

It helped me to do many things. Most of my online activities were from phone only.

Email and Twitter are the most used applications. I used to reply to emails and twitter notifications as soon as possible. Many people appreciated me for the immediate replies.

And then WhatsApp came.

Met all my friends there. Became addicted to that.

I am in more then 25 groups. Office Team, Schoolmates, College Department, College Batch, Areamates, Linux users group friends and more.

It was so much informative, much fun to see the videos, read stories and messages. It gave a feel that living with all my friends. I got never bored. I have something to read on mobile, ALWAYS.

Everyday morning, some 200 messages will be waiting on my mobile.

I was checking for updates even in traffic signals, shops. Many times, I had forget the things I bought on the shop.

I stopped reading books and my Kindle took good rest. 😦

I had to be online always to be connected and to get updates, at the cost of battery. My mobile turned into a landline as I used to charge it daily. I have to take the charger, wherever I go.

On long travels, I phone would die and I had to ask my next seater, for updating home my arrival.

I wanted to stop this addiction but could not make it.

ONE FINE Day. Dec 4, 2015.

The battery was dead. As it was inbuilt battery, we have to change the entire inner things on the phone. For that cost, we can buy 2 really good smartphones.

Will this situation help me to get out of the internet addiction?

Decided to explore the basic phones.

It is taking much time to get a nice Basic Model Phone.I dont want to spend more than 2000 INR.

After 2 days search, bought Nokia 130.

Nokia 130 durable

It is a nice smartest phone. It lets you to do all the things in the real world.

Not in the virtual world.

Yes. We can only speak with people. The extra things we can do are to text, to hear music, to know time, to set alarm, as torchlight.

The days are so peaceful without internet on phone.

I started to read books on Kindle.

The BATTERY itself a power bank. It stands for a week for a one full charge. Here, Kindle wins. It withstands for a month. But, one week charge seems a blessings.

I started to like this smartest phone for the same reasons I like Kindle.

It follows the Unix Philosophy. “Do one thing at a time, and do it well”.

https://i2.wp.com/image.slidesharecdn.com/webhooksnotes-090622023832-phpapp02/95/webhooks-glue-for-the-web-32-728.jpg

I have a iPad mini for taking photographs and reading articles from Pocket. It helps to manage my online life, when the laptop is closed.

Good thing is iPad does not have whatsapp.

I am much distraction free now and living a happy life.

What do I do now?

  • I check emails only twice in a day. There will be delay in replies. Thanks for your patience.
  • I am interacting much with the real people around me.
  • Heard the story of the watchman, shop keeper, talking more with office friends.
  • Observing people on the signals.
  • Writing on a real notebook for ToDo lists and completing most of them.
  • Calling my friends and hearing their voice.
  • Making a habit of calling atleast one friend a day and talk something.

Started to live a real life, happily.

Nokia 130 music

I like the USA Lifestyle

“Shall we go out somewhere tomorrow? Shrini !” Mohan asked.

“Sure. With Pleasure”. “Where?”

“Come. Will show you some mystery around here”.

“Mystery? Any black magic?”

“See it yourself tomorrow”.

Next day morning, I got up early and got ready.

“Get into the Car.” Mohan is waiting for me.

Glad to see there are another two people.
My friend Logarajan and his wife.

“Do you show once again, some green trees and scenic areas?.
I am bored of them. Show something different”. She asked.

“Fine. Today well be loaded with activities.” Mohan said.

We four, started in the Car.

Mohan entered some address in a small gadget.

IMAG3703.jpg

“What is this, Mohan? Is this car drive automatically to the address we set?”

“Hahaha. No. This is just GPS. [ Global Positioning System ] We use this to know the the shortest
or economical or fastest route to reach any place.

All the streets, places are known to GPS system.

As we will be riding fast, we can not stop in the middle
and ask someone for the route.
Most of the places, we can not see people too.
GPS is the only solution for the easy transport”.

“Thats nice. Long live GPS”.

The roads are wide. 4 lane and 8 lanes.
There is a separate lane for people who does car pooling.
They are called Freeway.
Walkers and bicycles are not allowed in this routes.

They have to take alternate routes.

The lengthy freeway is called “101”.
It connects the North and South San Fransisco.

The roadsides are filled with Trees and green meadows.

புகைப்படம்

“How the local politicians keep the trees living here?” I asked.

“These are maintained by Govt. Here also Politicians do nasty things.
But the Govt Servants are really good and they work honestly.”

“Well”.

The Country is huge and population is low.
So still there are huge lands for agriculture.

Except the inner cities, all other places have beautiful
individual houses. Streets and connected well.

If there is a stop sign on the road, every vehicle comes to 0 speed.
Check for any other vehicle, then starts again.

Walkers have special respect.
If you walk and cross the road while the walking signal,

All the vehicles stop and give way.

“Why all people follow traffic rules strictly, even when there is no one in signal?”

“Hahahah. Rules are to be followed. Not to break.
These rules are just to make sure that human life is greater then anything.

Police will be watching us from roadsides.
Signals are with camera to capture any issues.

Police will send you notice to pay a huge amount.
Just to avoid losing that huge amount, most people follow the rules.

You can be captured two times. On Third time, the license is canceled.

Getting driving license is very tough.
The Inspector will sit with us in car and give various directions to drive.
He will watch all our activities. It is very very tough to satisfy his rules.

We have to know all the traffic rules, sign boards, hand signals,
driving and parking methods.”

“Interesting. Dont the police get few dollars to release from the case?”

“No. They will give bill and go away.

We have to pay on the court.

If not paid, the credit score will be damaged.
Credit score keeps all our financial transactions.
With a damaged credit score, we can not get even a credit card or loan.

So, people are conscious enough to drive safely on the roads”

Mohan was explaining all these things patiently.

It is good to see people following the rules.
Somehow, the govt makes it.

I can not resist from comparing with Chennai.

Even I have bribed for crossing signals in chennai roads.

“Hei. You crossed signal. You have to pay 1000 Rs for this crime.”

“Oh. Sorry sir, I just joined with the gang of bikes who crossed the signal”.

“Yes. But still, you have to pay the fine. Pay 1000 Rs Fine or give me just 100”.

I paid 100 Rs just to escape from him.

https://onroads.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/24806-06.jpg

Source: http://www.indiaoutsidemywindow.com/2010/12/pay-up-or-shut-up.html

It seems all these are not happening here.

The police is not getting money from people.
People are not paying any bribe.

They pay the Fine amount.

Moreover, they follow the rules very carefully.
They made it as it is in their blood.

I wont say it is the problem with the police who asks for bribe.
Changes should start from us.

If we follow the traffic rules and if we pay the fine, when commit mistakes,
the situations will change for sure.

Many people want to live a lifestyle as a USA citizen.
Lifestyle is not with the dress, fun or language.
It is all about the manners and habits.

If anyone of you want to live a USA citizen lifestyle,
start with being honest and follow the rules.

I can not change the entire country in a single day.
But, I can change myself in a moment.

I will stop at every signal.