Armen Chakmakjian

Archive for January, 2011|Monthly archive page

You need to enter the drawing by March 4!

In Random on January 26, 2011 at 1:15 am

The books have arrived here at my house, 20 fresh copies ready to be sent to the winners…but as the saying goes, you gotta be in it to win it!



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Urtaru (Volume 1) by Armen Chakmakjian


by Armen Chakmakjian

Giveaway ends March 04, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Follow up on Kindle DX

In Random on January 19, 2011 at 4:31 am
  1. PDF’s look awesome.  Just wish I could annotate them.
  2. I loaded an issue of the NYT on it and read it from cover to cover, avoiding the Sports section since it was the day after the Patriots’ loss.  Enjoyable nonetheless
  3. The patagonia case arrived today.  It is a fine case, a bit stiff but roomy.  There were a bunch of complaints on the Amazon reviews, but I was able to load the thing quickly into the case…just takes an engineer I guess.  I was worried that in some cases a shoehorn was reportedly used.  I had no such trouble, but it is a tight fit.  But that’s good too.

There’s only one ask from me.  When I load a directory of PDF’s I’d like to automagically have all the stuff in a collection.  If I load 6 or 8 files, I have to do all the manipulation on the kindle.  I did see that the collections used a JSON file  with some sort of hashed ID to represent each file in the collection (rather than file names).  But that seems like a lot of work to find the ID then modify the JSON file.  It could be easier.  I truly do enjoy the new kindle DX and I’m using the KII and the KDX interchangeably.

Free book?

In Random on January 16, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Book Giveaway II is still in progress…380 people have signed up for a chance at one of twenty free copies of my book…have you? (It’s half-time in the patriots game…so I figured I’d do something to distract myself)

Urtaru (Volume 1) by Armen Chakmakjian


by Armen Chakmakjian

Giveaway ends March 04, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

My new Kindle DX and why I didn’t get an iPad for school…

In Random on January 15, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I had a little bit money in the form of amazon gift certificates to be cashed in.  So I had to make a decision.  I pondered the situation.  I’d like to stop buying printed textbooks for my classes where possible.  I’d also like to have a larger view of PDF files that I get from the professors.  I had been trying to use my Kindle II to do this and the screen size of just too small for either textbook or pdf file formats.  pan and zoom on pdf’s really just didn’t cut it in that format.

I did try the iPad.  We had one at work that was for the team to use and I did use it for a while and loaded excerpts of my textbooks into it.  What I found was that I was using that more as a browser than for reading.  Hell I could read books with no eyestrain on my KII and in a pinch I could read on my droid.  And now that the kindle droid app allows reading magazines, I was able to read my subscriptions anywhere and anyplace even if my kII wasn’t with me.  Yes, there are apps in for the iPad that are REALLY cool….but that’s apps and not reading.  and yes there is the ibookstore and the nook and kindle apps for the ipad…but since I already have a mac, I just wasn’t enamored with it.  The one experience on the iPad that i did enjoy was the WSJ app.  But since I have a subscription to the website, it was “and that too”.  Not enough to compel me to spend double what the DX cost me.  Also, knowing that the iPad was going to be updated in the next few months with possibly cameras and a retina display, I’d feel really bad having the older one.  My technology expectations are much lower for the Kindle.

The other thing is that with Verizon’s imminent iPhone, at some point, if I bite the bullet, I might get one to replace the droid, so I can have my music with me.  and I’d get apps…and for the most part I already have apps in the droid marketplace.

So when I added everything up, including the price I got the Kindle DX.  I already loaded next semester’s books into it, and it is a pleasure to read the books and not have the paper heft.  I’m about to load the pdfs into it next, if there’s anything interesting (good or bad), I’ll update it here.

Truly, when it comes to reading, I’m not talking multimedia extravaganzas that look more like a website than a book, I just like to hold the text in front of me without the distractions.  I’m not a Luddite, I already have all the other devices beeping and going “DRRRRROID” all around me.

One other thing, I ordered a cover from Patagonia which got decidedly mixed reviews.  I like holding the dx without a cover, so if this thing doesn’t work correctly for me, I may return it (but they are sending it in a separate shipment so I’ll wait to review that).

I will say one thing about the DX.  The new pearl screen is REALLY nice.  I loaded a bunch of stuff on both.  The blacks are much bolder and the contrast is better.   It does refresh a bit slower than I had anticipated, but well enough given my expectations of the technology.

I may even re-kindle (aha) my subscription to the FTL…I really enjoyed reading that…

Have fun…

Goodreads Urtaru Book Giveaway II is open for business!

In Random on January 5, 2011 at 8:47 pm


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Urtaru (Volume 1) by Armen Chakmakjian


by Armen Chakmakjian

Giveaway ends March 04, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Goodreads book giveaway a success!

In Random on January 5, 2011 at 12:49 am

I was very excited that 717 people were willing to put their name in to have a chance at one of ten copies of my book in my Goodreads book giveaway.  Today I sent off the 10 copies of my book Urtaru.

In the process I’ve requested from the powers that be at Goodreads to try a double-sized book giveaway, and I’ll get approval in the next day or so.  So stay tuned.

To the winners (selected by Goodreads and not me) I hope you enjoy your copies.  I will say that the guy at the post office who processed the packages thought it was a great idea.



2010 in review (from my wordpress blog POV)

In Random on January 2, 2011 at 4:34 pm

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Minty-Fresh™.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,100 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 42 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 203 posts. There were 2 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb.

The busiest day of the year was September 28th with 33 views. The most popular post that day was JetBlue = JetBoo!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,, Google Reader,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for livescribe evernote, livescribe ocr, chromium update, evernote livescribe, and livescribe and evernote.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


JetBlue = JetBoo! September 2010


Follow up: Pulse Smartpen and Livescribe Software (specifically handwriting recognition) January 2010
1 comment


On the iPad = Horus, Kindle = Osiris and my evaluation of Newspapers on these devices… April 2010


iWork ’09 and (beta) Review January 2009


CC on Youtube March 2010