Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kindle-ing a New Flame

So my loving family gives me a Kindle 2 for Father's Day. I've been watching the Kindle since it first was announced, but was waiting until they got the kinks worked out, they dropped the price, or both. So being the proverbial "Person for Whom There is NOTHING TO BUY", they broke down and got me one.

For those that don't know what a Kindle is - it's a new way of reading books from Amazon. This amazing device stores thousands of books and has some sort of magic electronic ink which requires very little power. The thing reminds me of the old Etch-A-Sketch toys. It is just fantastic. Amazon did a great job on this device and the packaging, form factor, operations, and usability are very close to an Apple product. Glad they made it almost idiot-proof. The only area that could be improved is the user site at Amazon itself where you purchase books and manage your items - iTunes it ain't.

Here is a picture - notice the high quality that can be read, even in bright sunlight. I can sit on the patio in the evening and read just fine. I love the ability to change the font size. I can make it big enough to read without "cheaters" (a.k.a. reading glasses).

Another feature is that you can add free books that are available on the internet for downloading to your computer. Mostly these are older, out of copyright, works but I've found a few good ones. Transferring to the Kindle is pretty easy. Plugging the Kindle into your computer turns your Kindle into just another removable drive - much like the ubiquitous USB thumb drives. Just copy files to or from the Kindle using a file explorer and you are in business.

Another picture that really makes it clear how nice this little device is. Pretty easy to hold in one hand - much easier in some ways than a "physical" book.

The WhisperNet function which is the built in wireless connection back to Amazon works flawlessly, as long as you can get a signal. I haven't had an issue connecting yet and downloads are extremely fast. I usually turn the wireless off to save battery life when I'm just reading. I know that the first battery charge lasted over 15 hours so that is great for long distance plane rides.

Note - I got a nice leather cover as a gift as well. I wouldn't want to use the Kindle without some sort of cover as I'm afraid I'd scratch the screen. I can just look at the abuse my video iPod recieved and know what this thing would look like in a month.

I've got a lot to learn about sending documents and what the limits are for pictures, but I'm very satisfied - now I have to get back to my latest book.

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