Kiwix

One of the things I really liked about my old iPod touch was an app called Wiki Offline that included a download of Wikipedia (3 to 4.5 GB, it is constantly growing). I could update the download for 99 cents, but on my DSL lite connection it took all night to download such a huge file. And still it was missing some things. Images were out because that would greatly expand the file size, but so were tables, info boxes at the top right of most articles, as well as some types of links and numbers with units. Still, most everything that mattered was there even if I was in a subway tunnel or out on the open seas, far away from wifi or cellular service (the touch can’t get data over cellular service, but iPhones can). When I got the Nexus 7, I looked into getting a similar app, but didn’t find anything at first. Then eventually I found Kiwix, but it involved a 16 GB download of Wikipedia (on a 32 GB Nexus 7 I didn’t have room at first, but recently I wiped out the memory to speed it up and it would just fit).
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iPod Touch 6G

I’ve had my iPod touch for almost 5 years. It still works fine, but is getting slower and I’ve started having problems getting new apps since it will only run iOS 6 and they are now on iOS 8. If they had introduced a new improved version of the iPod touch last year when they rolled out the iPhone 6, I probably would have bought it, but Apple doesn’t sell too many iPods anymore and so they don’t refresh them very often. In fact, in the nearly five years I have had it, the only improvement is the 5G version introduced in 2012. I like the larger screen of the iPhone 6 and hoped maybe this Fall they would come out with a larger screen version of the iPod touch. Instead, Apple came out with a new iPod in July. That’s perfect because I broke the screen in June and was going to wait until September to see if there was a product refresh or if I should just have the screen repaired (again, I also broke it a couple of years ago).

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iPod Touch 4G and 6G

Apple didn’t go with a bigger screen on the 6G iPod touch, but they did improve the camera, already greatly improved over the camera in my 4G. And they have dramatically improved the processor speed. The screen is about a half inch taller, so there is a slight improvement there. And they also lowered the price of the 64 GB version by $100. So pretty much I knew I would buy one that day. The only question was the color. They have space gray, silver, gold, blue, pink, and red. If you buy the red version, they make a donation to fight AIDS in Africa and I bought a red iPod nano a few years ago. The silver, gold, and gray versions are all too stately, so I bought the blue one. If you buy from Apple’s website you get free engraving, so I had it engraved with my name and phone number in case I lose it. That meant it took another week to arrive, but it arrived from Shanghai on Wednesday.
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Risk 2210 A.D.

While on vacation I was able to play Risk 2210 A.D. with my brother and nephews. Andrew brought the game board, which originally came out in 2001, but it was new to me. This variation of Risk adds underwater territories and continents (2 or 3 territories per continent) and the moon with 3 additional continents, plus there are small changes to the land territories including most of the names of territories. Using energy tokens that you earn by controlling territories at the beginning of your turn, you can buy specialized commanders which are required if you want to take over water or moon territories. The commander also lets you use an 8-sided die for attacking and they always defend with an 8-sided die. An opponent with a 6-sided die can never roll a 7 or 8, so this is a pretty good advantage. There are also cards that you purchase with energy credits that allow you to do special things like reinforce a territory when it is attacked, give you points at the end of the game, and other things, some of which can completely change the game, like stop an opponent from attacking you (or stop an opponent from using cards against you, both big changes on the last turn).
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