Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kindle Field Test Part 3

Okay, okay, I take it all back. Well, most of it.

I've spent a few hours reading on my Kindle and I've now read the User's Manual and some websites done by hackers who "Reverse Engineered" the Kindle and found all kinds of cool, completely useless (to me) stuff buried in its code.

Like this one.

Holding it. Well, I've found ways, comfortable ways, to hold the unit now. Part of my breakthrough in this area came from reading the manual. (Hey, I'm a guy. It's the last thing we do, after fiddling with the new toy for a few hours.) There's a metal clip on the leather binder and that clip holds the Kindle snug inside the leather cover and makes reading it while lying down a whole lot easier. Finding hand holds that don't trip the page turn or page back buttons is a whole lot easier now.

I've also downloaded my first book. It took about ten seconds or maybe twenty. It's a book I've got somewhere on my shelves, but I wanted to read it again on the Kindle. An old Raymond Chandler novel. It's kind of funny to read the somewhat archaic tough guy speak on this modern device.

The battery life is pretty good. I can read for several hours without a recharge. They've made that part very easy.

I wish the on/off switch were on the front so I didn't have to take the Kindle out of the leather binder to turn it off, and back on.

I've now made notes in the text, which is pretty easy, though the keyboard is ridiculously small (an inevitable thing, I suppose) and I have trouble pecking out the note because I forget where all the letters are on a keyboard when my fingers aren't actually on the keyboard. When you just look at those letters and have to hunt down an A or B, it's harder than just touch-typing.

The note feature is cool, though, and answers one of my worries, that the book wouldn't be interactive enough. I'm a habitual margin-writer in whatever I'm reading, finding phrases I like, or things that stand out and noting them. Or writing down an idea that is jogged by some passage. All that you can do on the Kindle.

I've also gone online with the unit. Getting onto the web is easy. You simply hit the Search key, then type @web in the search line and you're there.

I've looked at a couple of websites, but it's all in black and white and has pretty poor resolution. But I can see it's possible to check a weather forecast, or even to google something, as long as the graphic needs are minimal.

Anyway, I'm starting to find I prefer reading off the kindle more than off the page. It's easier on my eyes and there's a feeling that the thing is alive in a way that a book isn't.

More later.

1 comment:

multiple addresses for one contact. said...

A very reasonable comment by -- surprise surprise -- someone who actually owns and has used a Kindle for what it was designed to do. Read books.

One thing seldom mentioned is that there are literally thousands of free ebooks that work on the Kindle for out of copyright books all available from ebook vendors who offer them as a service, and to get you to also order for sale ebooks. I love the classics, and they are all there for the taking. Just go to or to many others to see this fantastic resource.

Charles Wilkes, San Jose, Calif.