Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Technology: The Kindle 3G

Part 1: The Struggle

I love books.  I really really love them.  I love the smell and the feel of them.  I couldn't imagine not want to read books - the nice paper kind.  I mean they even smell good.  I mean the title of this blog lets you know how much books are a part of my life. 
Very small selection of my books - multirows deep
Technology is taking over.  I love technology.  I really really love it.  I love figuring out how it works and the optimization of function.  However, I love technology with function.  Technology that improves the activity or makes the activity possible at all.

I fought the ipod.  Oh yes I fought.  I'm pretty sure I was the last, the very last person at my University to get and ipod.  I'm pretty sure that the ancient grounds keeper got one before me (I went to a small school that had a master grounds keeper- Beloit College (it is a good one you should visit the site)).  I lost this fight.  My father - great technology lover that he is - forced it on me as a present after years.  That is right, I held out for years.

I love my ipod.  When the original one died 1) I tried to fix it with the powers of the internet 2) I brought it to the mac store 3) they were like wow it been a long time since I've seen one like this 4) I bought a new one that day . . . .
Technology always gets me in the end . . .

ebooks are the future, like eeverythingelse.  Why?  It is easier.  In my defense I will point out I still send out mail, not email (okay I do both).  I hand right with mail with pen and ink and seal it.  Often the post people have never seen such a thing before.  I enjoy it, so I do it.  Old things survive - it is not my main source of communication.

Part 2: The Justification

To me technology needs to be justified (that is for my own personal use - not for its existence, I like that robots exist - I don't have a use for that yet).  The great cost must out weigh another way of doing things.  Or must form a practical function that cannot be achieved in another way.

Case A: I'm going to be in Japan for over 1 month this summer (working, but you know you get some time off).  Obviously buying books in the tiny island I'll be on . . . in English . . . is not really an option. Plus, if I buy a book I want to keep it.  They are heavy when you get a number of them together though.  I don't have the room to pack it full of books.  When I was in Greece (also for a month) I brought a few books.  They weren't the right books.  I ended up not wanting to read them and just carried around a heavy load. It was a fail.  I don't like packing fails - I like packing success.  Japan with be my 3rd continent this summer.  I spend a lot of times on planes etc.  I don't like be a pack mule.  Possible solution - kindle with many multiple books loaded on

Case B: I live in a foreign country, currently.  Who knows where I will live next.  I move a lot.  It is the nature of being academically focused.  I read a lot.  Some might say I collect old and new books.  They pile up.  Come moving day I need to pay a lot to move them.  Make someone carry the heavy box.  Or discard (o_0) some.  Functioning things should not be discarded - very not optimal.  It is a dilemma I face everything time I move - be it to a new apartment or a new country. Possible solution - kindle with many books on it, but not taking up physical space

Case C:  I live in Canada.  The land or crazy high book prices for not known reason.  I mean crazy stupid high.  Like twice as much as US books sometimes.  It makes me ill sometimes.  Even used books sell for more.  It hurts my practical soul, tears it in two right along the line with my book buying obsession.  Possible solution - kindle has many many free ebooks. It also tends to sell books a bit cheaper than their paper copies. Not much of a deal really, but it is something.

Part 3: The Verdict?

I just accepted a Kindle 3G (the free 3G option is really pretty cool . . .) as a birthday/congratulations present from my parents.  I have a lot to celebrate this year.  I have received 6 grants this year - 2 of which are huge prestigious research grants.  I have to academic publication coming out - one journal article and one book (yeah that's right). I'm steaming ahead on the dissertation. And I'm teaching my own class.  Its been a really good year.

Accepting was a big thing. I don't like to waste money - even if the money was part of a gift.  I'm committed now.  If I can't adjust to this thing . . . I will not be pleased.  So, what is the verdict?  I don't know.  I just got the thing yesterday. It took me a bit to be swept up by the ipod.  I can say it has a nice weight to it.  It is a good size.  It is pretty intuitive.  The screen looks good. I have some classics loaded on that I really enjoy/always wanted to read.  I also have some of my pdfs for school on there as I hate reading it on my computer and feel it might go better.

I'll post an update then I'm through the trial period.

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