Kindle Paperwhite - Differences between first (2012) and second (2013) generations

The older Kindle (and its box) is always on the left.

Kindle Paperwhite - Front of the boxes

The front of the boxes

Kindle Paperwhite - Back of the boxes

The back of the boxes

Kindle Paperwhite - Top of the boxes

The top of the boxes

Kindle Paperwhite - Front

Front of the devices

Kindle Paperwhite - Back

Back of the devices

Kindle Paperwhite - Home screen - Minimum Light

Home screens with the backlight on lowest setting

Kindle Paperwhite - Home screen - Maximum Light

Home screens with the backlight on highest setting

Kindle Paperwhite - Reading - Minimum Light

Reading screens with the backlight on lowest setting

Kindle Paperwhite - Reading - Maximum Light

Reading screens with the backlight on highest setting

And now the backstory, or how I ended up owning two Kindle Paperwhites.

I had a second hand Kindle Touch for 2 months equipped with a book light I bought off eBay. But since I read almost exclusively in bed in the dark I used the book light a lot and it just wasn’t cutting it and I sort of decided a short while after getting it that I’ll upgrade as soon as possible. So on Wednesday when the Paperwhite appeared in stock on the website of one of the biggest Romanian electronics stores I quickly ordered it. This was in the morning, then I went in to work and put my Kindle Touch up for sale on the internal mailing list, explaining that I’m selling it because I did an upgrade. A colleague contacted me and asked if the Paperwhite is first generation or the second, I told him it’s probably the first and he proceeded to explain me about some illumination issues which were confirmed on Thursday when I received the device. By the way, by noon on Wednesday I have sold the Touch - long live the internal mailing list!

Then one day later Black Friday came and a friend showed me a link on another webshop, I said hey, this is the same price, to which he said, yeah but this is the second generation Paperwhite. About 5 minutes later I made an order… So now for a short while I’m the owner of two devices, but I’ll return the first gen on Monday.



Știu că a trecut Halloween-ul dar mă gândeam că dacă tot am mâncat niște raze nu foarte benefice și am dat o juma’ de milion pe imaginea mirifică de mai sus măcar să vă “bucurați” și voi de ea. Apropo, ăia e căpățâna mea.

Un an!

Noi doi, cu inele pe degete.

Nu am scris anul trecut despre marele eveniment, fiindcă eram într-o pauză de postat cauzată de nu-știu-precis-ce, dar voi scrie anul acesta.

Așadar alaltăieri, pe 27 octombrie 2013, am aniversat un an de căsnicie cu Ioana.

Anul trecut imediat după eveniment m-au întrebat mulți “cum e?” și le răspundeam în glumă că s-a schimbat totul radical. Având în vedere că ne știm și am fost împreuna cu Ioana 9 ani înainte de pronunțarea marelui ‘Da’, e clar că nu s-a schimbat nimic. Atât doar că suntem oficial, în acte, soț și soție. Și nu se poate zice despre noi că ne-am fi hazardat să luăm decizii pripite. :)

Problema cea mare este că nu știm data exactă în care ne-am întâlnit. Anul trecut când aveam deja plănuit evenimentul am săpat puțin prin arhive și am găsit prima poză ce o am cu ea, datată 17 august 2003, dar știu că a fost făcută în tren în drum spre Apa, după concediul meu din Bușteni din acel an, concediu în care deja comunicam de zor prin SMS-uri. De fapt, ne-am întâlnit cu puțin timp înainte de aia (în iunie sau iulie 2003), la, atenție mare, discotecă și am fost împreună neîntrerupt de atunci. Dar am scăpat și de formalități și le-am dat prilej de bucurie părinților și prietenilor care au avut ocazia să ne vadă odată în viață la costum. Hehe.

În jurul aniversării am primit cadou cetățenia maghiară (pe 25 octombrie 2013) și de la natură o toamnă lungă și frumoasă.

Logitech H390 USB headset - quick review

In a nutshell: do not buy this headset.

That being said, here’s some context: I was (and actually still am) a big fan of Logitech, considering their products top quality, so this particular case was a big disappointment.

And the story: I needed a good quality headset for my MacBook and since Macs don’t accept double 3.5” jack plugs that are pretty much the standard way of connecting headsets nowadays, I needed one that connects via USB. I quickly narrowed down my choice to the Logitech h340 but since that wasn’t available at the local electronics store, I grabbed the h390 which was slightly more expensive and better looking. So I bought it yesterday and went home to test it out. Plugged it in, my laptop recognized it instantly, I set up Skype to work with it by switching the microphone and audio output to the ‘Logitech USB headset’ entry and then called echo123. To my disappointment when Skype played back my message I heard a pretty loud hum along my voice. A couple of other tests followed and I noticed that if I was touching my MacBook (which is made of aluminum) the background noise was close to nonexistent but once I let go it returned. I tried distancing myself from the computer, I tried connecting and disconnecting my laptop’s power cord (the hum was stronger when it was connected) and I tried connecting it to my desktop PC. The same issue persisted: if I was grounding the computer in some way there was no hum but once it wasn’t grounded the hum returned. Googling around I noticed that I wasn’t alone with this, there were at least two people with videos (one and two) demonstrating the same type of behavior. There was also a blog post which said that if you moved around the hum would eventually disappear but I tried this and couldn’t find a “silent place” in my room. So I packed it up, returned it to the store and got my money back.

I decided to go the old fashioned way and have two separate devices which do one job and do it well. I’m well covered in the headphones department, owning one of the best consumer level headphones available, a pair of Sennheiser HD 518’s, now I’ll just have to shell out for a dedicated mic, a Blue Microphones Yeti. Hopefully I’ll have better luck this time.

Starting a Ruby on Rails project from existing data

Ideally when you are starting a Ruby on Rails project you’re starting from scratch and most tutorials and guides you’ll find on the Internet assume this. I found very little information about starting a project from existing data and I thought I’d share the solution which I found and consider the simplest.

So, we’re supposing the already existing database is called library_development and you can access it with the joe user having password secret and that you have created a new rails app which should be able to connect to a mysql database.

The first thing you should do is configure your database, by editing the development section of config/database.yml to look something like the following (please note that the highlighted lines have the same values as above):

[code highlight=”5,7,8”]development:

adapter: mysql2

encoding: utf8

reconnect: false

database: library_development

pool: 5

username: joe

password: secret

socket: /var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock[/code]

You are now ready to dump the schema (structure) of your database by issuing:

rake db:schema:dump

This will generate db/schema.rb. Now you need to copy the contents of this file and save it as your first migration. So let’s create an empty migration file. Run:

rails generate migration create_database_structure

Move the contents of db/schema.rb into the up method of this first migration. Now whenever you will run your migration the database’s structure will be created. But the database will still be empty. So let’s populate it with your existing data.

I found the best option for this task to be the yaml_db gem. Let’s add it to your project. Edit your Gemfile and add the following line:

[code]gem ‘yaml_db’[/code]

Now run:

bundle install

The yaml_db gem should now be installed. Try running:

rake db:data:dump

If all goes well you should have a db/data.yml file containing your data. Now we want to restore this data by a migration, so let’s create your second migration:

rails generate migration import_data

This second migration’s up method should be the following:


And you’re all set!

Take a deep breath and reset your existing database and run the migrations. If by any chance something goes horribly wrong you still have the original database dump file stored somewhere safe, right?

rake db:reset

rake db:migrate</code>

Tadaaa, your database should look just as it did before you reset it.

Now you can go ahead and create your models. Bonus tip: once you created your models, use the annotate gem to add the structure of the associated tables as handy comments at the beginning of your model files.

Reference: Creating a Rails Instance from an Existing MySQL DB.

PS. As a test, I also posted this article to Medium.