Three Things: Part 2

Three Things: Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about twitter, today about the Kindle. Rarely do I start using devices that fundamentally change the way I operate. Ones that come to mind are Tivo, DV cameras, iPod, HD video conferencing, iPhone, and now the Kindle.

I got my Kindle2 in March (thanks to a birthday present from my wife). I love to read, and will typically have a stack of books scattered around my side of the bed. Lonna’s main motivation was probably to reduce the clutter, but it hasn’t solved that problem yet.

Similar to the way the iPod put “A Thousand Songs in your Pocket”, the Kindle puts hundreds of books in a slim notebook form factor. I’ve read close to 20 books on my Kindle since March, and while I can’t say that it’s allowed me to rediscover reading (which I can definitely say about rediscovering music on the iPod), it has changed the way I read.

Traveling is obvious. No backpack full of bulky books. And buying books is a snap. On more than one occasion, I’ve gone through the airport bookstore, found an interesting book, and immediately bought it over the built in (and free) Whispernet EVDO service and a minute later have the book ready to read. It feels like I’m gaming the brick and mortar bookstore.

Reading is quite natural. There are even electronic tools that allow dog earring, notation, and highlighting passages. Quite a brilliant little device, and it will even sync back to my iPhone so I can pick up right where I am in the book if caught waiting somewhere for a few minutes.

It is not without flaws. No backlight. I’m used to a touchscreen and the mechanical controls seem retro. Pictures and detailed diagrams don’t always look good. No color. Some of these are good tradeoffs (backlight), because the way the e-ink works is that the battery life is incredible.

All in all, highly recommended at the new Amazon price tag of $299.

What does this have to do with video conferencing? The Kindle changes the way you do things. We should always be looking for ways to fundamentally change our perception on how to solve problems, improve efficiency, improve balance, and have fun in the process. HD video conferencing certainly fits in that category.

Arthur C. Clarke formulated 3 laws of prediction. One was “Advanced Technology is Indistinguishable from Magic”. Lifesize, Kindle, iPhone … Magical.

What’s on your Kindle?

One Response to “Three Things: Part 2”

  1. Les Record

    I bought my wife a Kindle not long after they came out. I watched her enjoy it for a year before I bought the K2 for myself. Kindle is a really nice product but you have to be careful about the books you buy, especially old books – formatting may be poor. The “try before you buy” feature helps with that.


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