My Amazon Kindle arrived today. I'm still figuring it out but so far I like it. Riley Cooper likes it too.
That's Riley's Just-As-Soon-As-This-Camera-Is-Pointed-In-Another-Direction-I-Am-Going-To-Bite-The-New-Kindle face.
Riley Cooper is teething. He bites everything these days...
The electronic paper is something to behold. It reads like paper and there's no glare. The engineer in me finds it fascinating that once the electronic ink is rendered, no power is consumed by the screen. The screen flashes when you change pages, but according to the manual that is the electronic ink "setting". I will have to find out how this works!
It's lightweight - maybe too light. There's a full keyboard and I can add notes. It came with 180 MB of RAM free, but I added a 2 GB SD card to beef that up some. One note about adding the card: to get the device to recognize it, I had to reset it.
I ordered three books. First up was Flatlander by Larry Niven. Then Foundation by Isaac Asimov. Finally I ordered The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I thought I was getting the audio book of Old Man and the Sea, but I didn't. I will check with customer service about that in the morning.
The Kindle uses WhisperNet - an EVDO network that can fall back to old school cellular in a pinch - to manage connectivity. So it's not using my home network, it has its own. Each download took 15 - 60 seconds and I live in the woods. We're so far out in the sticks in Farmville, VA we have to pipe in sunshine (but the moonshine comes in Mason jars...).
Yes you read correctly - audio books. The Kindle does audio. I even loaded some MP3's using the USB cable (the Kindle shows up as an external drive named "Kindle") and was jamming on some Now eye See Why (who is that guy singing Simon's Song?) while reading about Beowulf Shaeffer's first meeting with Elephant. But I really want to hear Charleton Heston read Hemingway while driving to Richmond later this week.
My first impression: This class of device has the potential to change everything, and I believe it will. The vision of a device that "disappears in your hands" is a tall order indeed, but I commend Bezos and company - I think they pulled it off.