Friday, November 25, 2011


As Tam mentioned, I had a Kindle Fire before she did -- by about 12 hours: she saw mine, pre-ordered in October, and went to buy one of the less-expensive Amazon readers, assuming the newest (Fire) wouldn't've arrive yet anyway.

It had. She couldn't resist it.

I'm not going to make a rah-rah partisan case for any particular e-reader; I've had hands on the Barnes & Nobles "Nook" and liked it and any of the main contenders offer a similar reading experience. I'd been considering such a device for over a year. The Amazon product's price was the deciding factor.

I like books. My dining room is literally walled with 'em and at any given time or place, I will be carrying something to read, usually a science-fiction paperback. I'm not going to give them up. Print isn't dead to me and it's not going to be. (Among other factors, most of my old-radio library is seriously out of print, despite the very best efforts of Lindsay's Technical Books).

--However, the Kindle is, in any practical sense, a book. My first purchases were Carl Bussjaeger's most recent two books and there was no "adjustment" from paper to page-size screen; reads just the same.

It is not only a book, though, and that's where they got me. In the past four days, I have watched all of the British teleproduction of Terry Pratchett's The Colour Of Magic and made inroads into Hogfather. Both are very much labors (labours?) of love and have outstanding production values; while they do differ from the books, it's very much the Discworld I've come to love. Having those movies right there in my hand, without any herky-jerky download stutters, in crisp image and stereo sound, is a very new experience.

Add in the little Morse-code-trainer game that's getting my code speed back up to something useful (needs work but it doesn't cheat much) and I think I've had $199 in entertainment even before I use it to check my blog -- or yours.

If it sounds like something you'd like, you can buy 'em through the Amazon link at Tam's.


Dave H said...

I bought one of the original Nooks not because it replaces a book, but because it replaces a bookshelf. A big one. Plus I really prefer reading on the e-ink display. Reading for more than a half hour on a color display is uncomfortable for me.

I've wanted something like this for a portable reference library for a long time. It beats lugging around a sample case full of books, and the text search is better than the index in many books.

I just wish the Nook did a better job of rendering PDFs. I can get a lot of material in PDF (including the ARRL Handbook) that I can't get in ePub. But PDF files assume a particular page format and don't lend themselves to reformatting.

og said...

A book is not paper or data, but words. I want the words in the format that is most appropriate for me, at the time. The kindle does what i want it to do, and does it remarkably well- the E ink is perfection.

I can have an entire reference library in my coat pocket, all the time, everywhere i go, and the vast majority of what I desire for Kindle is free.

Ed Rasimus said...

Sounds like you got a Fire, aka "media delivery device". It finally takes Kindle where it needs to be with ability to support full color graphics. That's the one shortcoming of the earlier Kindles. For those who don't need a full-blown tablet like an iPad, it is a definite must-have. You probably never thought you could read more, but now you will!

And, should you be interested, you can find all of my books in Kindle ebook editions. Hint-hint.

Bubblehead Les. said...

However, there's been a disturbing trend with the e-readers. It's beginning to look like that, within a few years, the Printing Presses will be shut down, and the paper book format as we know it will fade away to a Speciality Niche Market. Kinda like the fact that a lot of new music is out there only on the Web, and there is no physical media for it at all.

Not saying that it's going to happen overnight, but now I know what a monk who spent all his life working on Illuminated Manuscripts felt like when he saw a shipment of Gutenburg Bibles show up.

Excuse me, but I think there's some kids on my lawn. Now where did I put my Garand....

Adaptive said...

Kindly tell me about this Morse code trainer. It runs on a Kindle?

Roberta X said...

Yes, there;s a code trainer. Called "Deluxe Morse Code Attack" (?!), it's in the form of a game. It teaches letters, numbers, punctuation and words, presenting four choices while (or after, at higher levels) playing the letter, number, symbol or word. It runs from very slow up through at least 35 wpm. Above 20 wpm, there is very occasionally a stutter, at least on my Kindle Fire; this is no problem in a word drill but it has tripped me up on single characters. 20 words a minute is pretty fast code speed, though.

I think it is a good trainer.

Roberta X said...

Les, printing on demand is where it's at for publishing -- and will improve efficiency. I don't think physical books will fade away, this isn't even a film vs. digital thing. It's too hard to make notes in an e-book, among other things, and you shouldn't read them in the bathtub.

og said...

"and you shouldn't read them in the bathtub."

Maybe not the fire, but the original Kindle was designed for the bath. I spent a good chunk of last vacation reading the kindle in the pool, just stick in a good ziploc and it runs for literally days and you can read until you get supremely pruny. And unlike a book, you can let it sit in the water as you read.

Drang said...

Typing in "waterproof k" on Amazon got me " waterproof kindle case: Sports & Outdoors" in Sports and Outdoors", some of which will allow you to use the device dryly, which is not necessarily related to snarkily.