Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Digital Newsreading on the Stationary Bike and Treadmill

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Remember when newspaperboys used to yell those words in the movies? Nowadays newspaperboys or girls or men or women, just toss the paper in your front yard or gate. They don’t even print extra editions anymore when there is breaking news. And when I read all about it, it’s now done in a different way. I’ve written about cutting back on my newspaper subscription and getting the Sunday edition only. That means less tossing for my newspaper delivery person. So how was the transition from hardcopy to digital? Believe it or not, easier than I thought. It has helped that I’m still getting the digital edition, because it is arranged exactly like the hardcopy. It actually might be more convenient to read the news now because a whole article appears on one page rather than continuing on another page (mostly the front page news). I mentioned before that I might miss the comics section. Well, I’m still getting that with the digital version. What I don’t miss is dressing up for the early morning cold so I can limp my way to the front gate to pick up the newspaper. My ankles don’t work very well upon waking up. All I have to do now is boot up the computer and open a browser in the indoor warmth. Cold weather boots not required.
Now, about using the netbook to read the news while indoor cycling. One time last week while on the spinning bike, I almost knocked the netbook off the bookrack  when I bumped it after wiping sweat off my brow and returning my hand to the handlebar. It feels easier to use it on the recumbent bike since it’s positioned in front of my face thus making it easier to read. I’m also getting used to manipulating the touchpad and using the arrow keys to scroll up and down (I’ve hardly used those keys in the past because the mouse has spoiled me). I haven’t tried using the netbook on the treadmill yet. If I walk, it might not be much of a problem but bouncing up and down while jogging might make it impossible to use the touchpad. Either the computer would fall off the treadmill, or I would. I’ve been considering buying a tablet PC but in spite of the touch screen, I don’t think that ‘s going to help if I use the treadmill for running either. I’ve read suggestions on the web about attaching Velcro strips to the tablet case and a bookrack, and there are also dedicated tablet holders which you can clamp on the treadmill. I’m going to try running while netbooking or vice versa soon and I’ll let you know how that turns out.
For now, I may be able to hold off buying a tablet PC because I can make do with the netbook while stationary biking. It’s hard to justify the expense since I only ride the stationary bikes an hour or less a day. When I got last Sunday’s newspaper and started reading it, I actually missed reading the news on the computer. Well, that was a quick transition!
Quick update: I used the netbook on the spinning bike for an hour and five minutes on Tuesday afternoon and did a few stand ups during the workout. The computer remained steady on the bookrack, and I almost finished reading all the news for that issue.

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