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Discussion in 'Electronic Devices' started by Gryphon, Mar 2, 2009.
Good question - it's worthless to lock the stable after the horses have escaped.
Just like a GPS for your car, once you try an electronic reader you will probably love it and wonder how you managed without one.
I have the Sony PRS-505 and it was the best gift I have ever received. Instead of traveling with a bunch of books, I have cut my travel weight down by a few pounds and a lot of space. I also have some technical manuals on it which I would never normally carry around with me but I have used them many times now simply because I could.
I have hundreds of real books but it has made my life so much easier not having to lug them around. I have my laptop with me all the time when I travel so I dont need the wireless of the Kindle but I can see how some people would like that feature. My only wish would be a better website from Sony and more of the authors I like. Battery life has never been an issue and the lack of a backlight is also irrelevant to me.
Well, my family surprised me for my birthday with a Kindle. So far, I like it a lot. There are definitely things I would change about it, but no show stoppers so far. Book prices are generally cheaper than "real" book prices, and many classics are public domain and free (or dirt cheap as you're paying for formatting).
I bought my Kindle 1 when they went on sale for $299 at the end of last year. Used it every day and did enjoy it but I was also displeased with some of its features. A few months later, when I bought an iPod Touch, I found the Kindle App and installed that. What a difference.... the books look so much better on the iPod and you get a color screen unlike the Kindle black on gray. I eventually sold the Kindle on eBay and have been reading on the iPod since.
I am still really on the fence. The best I ever had was a Palm m505. It was tough at times back then to find good formatted books. What was nice that I can hold it with one hand. The thumb was at a nice rested position to move along the pages. It disappeared a few years back and I never found a replacement that was as comfortable to use.
It's not so much the text but illustrations, the cover art, etc. Illustrations, photos, and such do not come over very well on the Kindle. If you are just using the Kindle for fiction reading then this doesn't matter -- but I also have gardening texts, small engine repair manuals, and cooking on my list and they come over much better on the iPod.
Agreed. A lot of it has to do with how much care was taken with the formatting of the book. I bought the 1911 edition of the Boy Scout Handbook for the Kindle and it's a lot of fun, but the pictures aren't great. I also bought a guidebook to hiking Shenandoah National Park and had to get a refund because the maps were unreadable. I bought the dead-tree version instead.
$259 for the Kindle right now...tempted to give it a try.
interesting Kindle story today. trying to get into a new market it seems.
Since Kindle 2 is now international I ordered one and will write more here after some use.
I will pay much more for it the people in the US do but I pay much more for books I buy from Amazon. I live in Croatia and shipping for books that I buy is 4 to 10 dollars per book when I use the slowest shipping and group more then one book. The I have to wait 3 to 4 weeks for books to arrive. With Kindle I will at least get rid of the shipping costs and waiting period.
I will still buy paper books. There are books I just want to own and there are books I would be perfectly happy owning in digital form. Also not all books exist in Kindle format so buying paper on some titles will be mandatory.
I like the idea of carrying a lot of books in such a small package and since mobile network coverage in Croatia is like 95% I will be able to buy a book wherever I am. But I will report on the Whispernet functionality when I get my Kindle.
I think kindles are really cool yet missing some of their potential. Since they have an internet connection, I'd love to be able to read/post to forums and other websites (even in B/W) and use gmail. Are there any hacks or anything that allow this?
Why would you want to do that? There is a tool for that already and it is called computer and if you want to do that on the move buy and use a netbook - they are cheap.
Kindles e-ink screen is not good for showing moving stuff and that is okay becuase it was developed to show static stuff without eye strain. Using it for web surfing, posting on forums and stuff like that is like using a shovel to maw the lawn. There are just better tools for it.
I received my Kindle couple of days ago and I am very happy with the way it works. The screen is fantastic to read from and Whispernet works great in Croatia. Since Kindle is in roaming (AT&T), other Internet access is blocked. Wikipedia is the only thing that works but I am not dissatisfied with this since Kindle is not a good way to surf the net. For stuff that I need on the run I have my Nokia E51 and for other internet stuff outside my home I have my ThinkPad connected to WiFi or to my Nokia for 3G access.
One thing that dissapoints me is book offerings for us outside the US. US gets to buy from 350.000 books and we have 300.000 books on offer. Titles that are missing are mostly the newset bestsellers. Reason for this are publishers who want to have control when to publish something at different countries - something like DVD Region locks. I just hope they will see that our money is equally worth as anyone elses and offering books to more people will sell more books.
I am in the process of getting a decent protection for my Kindle. I already ordered mCover (http://www.ipearl-inc.com/) to see how this will work and now I am looking for a neoprene sleeve. Something similar to Belkin sleeve that Amazon offers for a hefty price. If I do not find nothing I will have to rethink that Belkin.
Anyone has any suggestion about Kindle protection?
As the OP, I haven't posted here for awhile so I'll pack a few topics in, here.
The Kindle has a built-in text-based browser similar to the old Lynx that I've heard of but never used back in the day. In a pinch you can get your email on it; I have done so. You might be able to post to a forum depending on how complex the forum software is. I agree that this is the wrong tool for the job, though. You would quickly become frustrated trying to do that stuff on its browser, or on a PDA browser for that matter.
A Kindle model for "official" (mobile download) European use has existed for only about a month, so having only 1/7 fewer books for it seems pretty impressive to me. I bought a Bookeen model that I learned of in Paris awhile back, but never really used it so I lent it to a friend, who disappeared it. That unit was similar to the Sony (see below) in terms of the service package (how to get books onto it), though mobi-based and with more stable firmware than the Sony.
The best cover I have found for the Kindle 2 is the M-Edge leather range, with elastic bands to hold down the unit's 2 outer corners. This is what I use, and the girlfriend uses the Kindle 1 version on her Kindle 1 (she still has a Kindle 1 because she doesn't seem to break electronics like I do, possibly because she has a huge purse while I fumble mine daily while juggling packages). I think they have a model coming up that accommodates a slip-in proprietary booklight; I had one of these for the first version of the Kindle and it was handy, but they are taking forever to put out the Kindle 2 version of the light and compatible cover.
In other news, I still use the Kindle constantly, and my girlfriend now uses hers even more than I do to the point where I have to yell or throw a pillow to get her attention half the time. My parents use theirs a lot as well, as evidenced by the number of books they have bought on my Amazon account (which I can also download for no extra cost, and vice-versa). Half my employees have gotten them as well, as the price has come down. I have bought maybe 3 paper books in the last year, and was annoyed to have to do so.
During a 24-hour period last week when I was awaiting a free replacement on another Kindle that I broke, I bought a Sony pocket model for the hell of it. It uses the newer epub format, which is cool and all, but it's quite lame that it doesn't support the mobi format at all for backward compatibility (Kindle uses a disguised, weakly encrypted mobi format). Mobi/Kindle formats are rather silly ancient Palm Database formats; Epub is a zipped XML file (or so I am told). Doesn't really matter in practice. Both readers will handle PDFs, which in my opinion make for horrible documents in general, and worse ebooks. Anyway, the Sony is a very nice piece of hardware, and the software on the unit is OK; it's comparable to the Kindle firmware, though different. However, the software for the PC that you use to get books onto the unit is so horrible that it's sad. It's Java-based (which is cheesy for a major manufacturer), slow, crashy and requires power user skills to use; but a power user would just download the hacker special "Calibre" which is also slow and not 100% stable but far more useful and usable than the Sony-provided piece of trash. Once I got my library converted to the Sony (took many hours of messing around) I dumped the books onto the Sony, the first iteration put the unit into an endless reboot loop before I could even get the unit to the point where I could load a book. After many attempts and much frustration, and a pass of reconverting (mobi to epub) with settings that let Calibre strip the cover illustrations, reformat the text and regenerate the ToC, I finally got (most of) my 350 books onto the Sony and was able to open at least the first one I've tried. From there I found it to be a usable reader, though I dislike the font it uses and can't figure out how to change the font (don't think I can).
I have no particular affinity for Amazon or the Kindle hardware/firmware, but I will say that as an end-to-end buy-a-book-and-read-it-now system, the Amazon website + Kindle delivery service package easily beats anything out there. Maybe the Barnes and Noble "Nook" will be similarly easy, who knows...that 2nd color strip screen seems like a frivolous battery waster to me. I would maybe cram the little Sony full of books and take it on a trip where space is premium. I see no real point to the touch screen Sony, though that technology is sort of cool. Oh, the bigger Sony units have expansion slots, which they took out of the Kindle 2 along with replaceable batteries (very irksome, though I guess I have to admit I have not quite run out of space with 350 books).
You can now read Kindle books on an iphone using a free app, and the text is pretty and all with color and backlighting, but my iphone (finally moved over when they improved, though haven't nailed, bluetooth, voice command and exchange server support) is already the worst battery-hogging phone/PDA I've ever had. If I were to read on the phone, even with the backlight at a 25-50% level, while listening to music, I would be very surprised to get 5 hours out of the battery. I don't need or want color to read a novel, and I don't mind using a booklight or dim flashlight to read with in the dark. Modern LEDs set to dim last for weeks on one battery, even if you leave them on all night due to falling asleep while reading (as I do all too often). Incidentally, they will soon offer a free Kindle reader for the PC, but the last thing I want to do is read books on a laptop. Handy in a pinch, I suppose.
anyone here read about the Barnes and Noble "Nook"?
looks like a step up from the Kindle; color touch screen among other things.
I'm looking forward to getting my hands on one to see how it stacks up to the Kindle.
Still not on the market. Also not an option for us European users since B&N did not say anything about an international version.
I like some of it's functions (book lending and WiFi) but that touch screen I do not like. First of all it glows and I do not want a light source directed at my eyes near my e-ink screen.
I imagine the touch screen shuts off when you read.
It would really be a crappy device if it did not. I was thinking somethin on the line of issuing a command (like dictionary access) then getting the light into the eyes and after that adapting again to no light screen. I may be wrong but I am afraid I am not. That touch screen does not seem too practical to me. I don't think touch screens are universal solution for every device.
I am a kindle owner and love mine.
I actually lent mine to my friends wife who is a monster speed reader and the kindle resolve to the next page to slowley for her.
I have had one for about 7 months now and love it. I pondered which cover to buy and ended up with one by Oberon Design ( http://oberondesign.com/ ) they offer both a velcro attachment or a mechanical fastening device. The covers are leather that is maybe .25 inches thick and offer a lot of good protection. Since the Kindle is not back lit you will probably need some sort of reading light. The one that Amazon pushes is a Mighty Bright and is fine but because of the long flexible neck does not travel well so mine is relegated to the night stand and middle of the night reading without disturbing my wife.