Posted tagged ‘Kindle 2’

Kindle man

July 8, 2009

My posts on this blog generate a certain amount of off-blog email and letters; usually about university matters or higher education. However, one topic has produced a bigger postbag than any other: Amazon’s ebook reader, the Kindle. I have written about the Kindle three or four times here, and each of these posts has attracted a bigger readership than almost any other. The top ranked post – this one – is probably the one thing I have written in my life that has brought me more readers than any other, literally thousands. It has also been linked to by a number of other websites. And so, apparently, I have become recognised as the world’s number one expert on the use of the Kindle in Europe.

It is one of those curiosities: you start off aiming to be recognised as a key authority on education, pedagogy, modern thought, innovation and intellectual pursuits; and you end up being recognised principally as an expert on the use of a gadget outside the United States. Ah well, it’s something, I guess. But I am still going to work on the educational stuff.

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Gadget time: the Kindle 2

March 5, 2009

As I had announced in an earlier post, I have acquired (and have now taken delivery of) the second generation Kindle, the e-book reader sold by Amazon. It’s too early to offer any very detailed review, but first impressions are good. It is actually slightly larger in terms of footprint than the original Kindle, but the screen is the same size. But critically, the device is much thinner, and aesthetically rather more attractive. The buttons have changed, both in terms of their functionality and in terms of how you press them. You still ‘turn the page’ by pressing pretty much where you did so before, but the key is pressed differently, and this took a little getting used to. The screen display looks (to me at least) much like before, and is easy on the eye. A little innovation is that when you switch the device off, you are left with a picture of a famous writer on the screen.

There is now a combined charging and data transfer cable, slotting into the USB port on your computer. The downside is that this is a unique cable, not the standard USB one that was used for data transfer on the first Kindle. And if you want a spare or additional one, get ready to be charged rather more for this.

Overall: so far I like it. But I’ll need to review that when I have spent a little more time reading.

And for those who have no idea what I am talking about: the Kindle allows you to store electronic versions of books (which can be bought on Amazon) on the device, and then read them there. The appearance of the page on the device is intended to look as nearly as possible as it would on paper, and the advantage of the device is that, on one bit of equipment the size of a very thin book,  you can actually take with you a whole collection of books, dozens of them. I don’t think this will replace ‘real’ books, but it’s a useful substitute when travelling and in similar situations. Apart from Amazon’s Kindle, there are also other devices, including one from Sony.

Gadgets, gadgets – the new Kindle

February 10, 2009

Today I received an email from Amazon telling me that they are releasing the second generation Kindle later this month, and offering me, as a ‘valued customer’, the opportunity to get into the line early. And of course I can never see a gadget without wanting it, even if I already have the thing; and so I duly placed my order for the Kindle 2. I tell myself that it’s worth it because I have someone willing to take the original Kindle off my hands for a small amount of money.

Since I have never seen or held the Kindle 2, I cannot tell whether this is worth the money. But it is, according to the specifications, much thinner, with better screen definition, much more disk space and longer battery life. As I did find the original Kindle just a tiny bit bulky, this seems good to me. I shall offer a review when I have received it towards the end of this month.

Once again, this is for the US market only. I get round this by having it sent to a US address. Also, I imagine it won’t let me connect wirelessly from Ireland (though it’s now running on G3, so it’s a theoretical possibility); I’ll have to download to my computer and transfer the books from there.

On various Kindle-related discussion lists, a large number of users are expressing anger at the new release, as they feel they should have been told when they bought the original Kindle. That seems to me to be naive; of course there was going to be a new model.

Will I use this gadget? Well, I certainly have been using the first one. Not as a substitute for paper books, but as a replacement mainly when travelling. Which is why the bulk and weight matters. And the battery life.

More on all this when I have it. And this being a recession and we all having to tighten belts and all that, let’s hope there isn’t going to be any other enticing gadget for a while.