Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Blogger HMT said...

Dr Helen, didn't you recently get a Kindle? How do you feel about the Amazon releasing a new version? How do you like your Kindle in general?

The "DX" version is both bigger and more expensive so I don't see it as a "ripoff" move by Amazon. It's a different product. I'm used to getting outpaced by technology. Laptops, MP3 players, game consoles, video equipment. You pick your time, find the right product and jump on. Knowing full well that withing weeks you're behind the curve. If you wait for the end all, be all best you'll never get anything (or go broke trying to keep up).

7:08 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...


Yes, I recently got a Kindle for Glenn and he loves it. I ordered it when the old version was out and they sent the Kindle 2 so I was very pleased with that. The Kindle is easy to use and the screen is clear--mainly, it is very compact and easy to carry around and you no longer need lug a bunch of books with you.

5:09 AM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger Bill said...

This is a grim fact of all Mac fanboy's lives. I'll never forget the outrage of my friend Sam, who bought the first-gen iPhone for a mint of money, and the a month later it was available for half off of that.


11:10 AM, May 07, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

clearly electrons last but a very very short life before being replaced. To put off buying is perhaps to save but then why buy what comes next when soon that too will be replaced. I suspect--and I know nothing about such things--that the new Amazon Kindle--may find its way into college classrooms as a way of cutting (sharply) costs of many heavy and expensive texts. They will of course gereatly reduce costs of printing large numbers of newspaper and thus perhaps keep the MSM alive.

11:20 AM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Fred, your post reminds me of the electronic scores that I have heard about. It is a touch screen device that displays the symphonic score and allows a foot switch to change the page so that the musician can focus more on playing and less on page turning. You can write notes freehand and make changes and such. Both devices sound very cool.

I felt the same way toward Apple that the writer did about the kindle. I got an Apple IIGS many years ago. It was shortly after the "Apple II Forever" campaign. 6 months after I bought the computer, apple ditched the campaign and the apple II.

I will never buy an apple computer. Never. It still irks me that my iPod is so damn good because apple is cursed in my house. Except for my iPod.


1:02 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger HMT said...

TMlink: Apple II Forever was definitely a consumer misdirection. Microsoft pulled a similar trick when they came out with the "Microsoft PlaysForSure" certification. This was supposed to provide MS device compatibility for MS purchased music. Then MS came out with the ZUNE player. Was it PlaysForSure compatible? Nope. Brilliant!

2:15 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger DADvocate said...

In the late 1980s when I sold computers, customers would often ask about obsolesence. We would tell them that in order to have the longest time between purchase and obsolesence buy the best computer you can afford. But, no matter what, there is probably something better coming out next month.

3:26 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

HMT, I had not heard about that one! Good thing I got an iPod dammit!


4:39 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

Fred - I just read about a university that's doing that.

My kid is ticked off that she went to resell her books at the campus bookstore, and they won't buy them back b/c the teachers are using a different edition next year. She's even more ticked off that they never used the books this semester, even though they were required to buy them.

Re: technology - we usually wait until a new model comes out and then buy the one that's just been superseded. For instance, we bought our first computer, a 486, when the Pentiums were just coming out, and the price on the 486 had plummeted. You don't have to feel like you got ripped off that way, and there's been time for bugs to be found and reported so you know what you're getting. And the new technology frequently isn't earth-shatteringly different anyway.

6:25 PM, May 07, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One nice thing, though abuot the swift change in electronics. My daughter got an IPod. Soon after, she got for birthday the Itouch thing (films) and I got her now useless IPod...sort of a nice reversal of hand-me-downs.

college texts are a racket. When we read about legal drugs, we are told they can not be bought from overseas because they may not be safe! Now, though, we learn that college texts sold overseas can be shipped here at substantial savings. I assume they are safe. Publishers merely ask authors to change a few things to bring out a new edition; then profs tell students they must have the latest edition...all make out financially but the student.

8:00 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

You know, I can clearly see being upset about hardware and software advances that render previously-developed and already-purchased hardware and software worthless. However, I can't see being upset about new hardware and software advances that add to the total available options. A new edition of the iPod doesn't render an old one useless just as a new edition of the Kindle doesn't render old ones useless.

11:27 PM, May 07, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

I get your point JB. I was angry about being lied to and snookered. Obviously, I still am!


8:22 AM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

I loved Kindle 1, right up until it was stolen. No doubt to be resold on ebay.

Since Amazon won't even build in the most basic anti-theft deterrents into their device (aka cellphones), there's no way I'll get another one, even though I loved it.

At $400-$550 a pop (Kindle 2 or Kindle DX with case), these things are just too expensive to replace if broken, lost, or become obsolete. The amount of books you'd have to buy at their slightly-reduced prices on Amazon would have to range into the hundreds before it became cost effective.

Have one Kindle stolen, and now it really becomes $$$-stupid. The fact that Amazon won't put in ridiculously simple anti-theft programming just burns my backon.

10:39 AM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Big Frank said...

I guess I just don't understand the level of ire some people have over the DX. And that is as a Kindle 2 owner for the past 2 months. The Kindle 2 and the DX are different beasts designed for different purposes, meant to COMPLEMENT each other, so obsolescence is not (or should not) be a factor.

The Kindle 2 is a near perfect design for book reading...the screen is the right size, the form factor makes it both comfortable to use and easily portable, but that form factor also limits the readability of certain types of documents (newspapers, chart heavy PDFs). The limited size of the screen ensures that such data would be hampered in both readability and resolution, unlike the simplicity of the text-only book.

The Kindle DX is a much better design for handling things like textbooks, newspapers, and graphically heavy documents. The screen size makes such things easily readable, yet the form factor is still such that it is much more convenient to carry than a textbook, tech manuals, etc. However, the increased size also puts it out of the level of portability of the Kindle won't be able to shove the DX into a purse or a jacket pocket, and as such it is not really designed for a "book-primary" purpose.

Where Amazon wants to go with the Kindle 2 is clear as day from their presentation. By nature of the device being a "Kindle" design you get the book reading functionality, but their focus is on newspapers and textbooks. They want to break out into those markets from the perspective of selling more devices but ESPECIALLY for the publishing aspect, and frankly (no pun intended) the Kindle 2 is really inadequate to that specific task. They needed a new design that would be able to work for those particular purposes, ergo dunc thus...the Kindle DX

I'm not exactly crazy about the price, but I'm seriously considering one as it would make my geekly pursuits much more convenient....carrying a DX offsite is much easier for access to mounds of tech documents, and I could just dump PDFs of all the books I need for RPG sessions onto it.

11:35 AM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger Falze said...

A YahooTech blog reports the following:
Amazon's vaunted Kindle can't properly pronounce the name of the President of the United States.

That's a bit of a problem when you're positioning your product as a replacement for newspapers -- where coverage of the President is a daily event -- and touting its read-aloud system as well.

The New York Times (no stranger to writing about the Prez) says that the name "Barack Obama," when read aloud by the Kindle's computerized text-to-speech system, sounds something like "Brack Alabama."

4:29 PM, May 08, 2009  
Blogger kentuckyliz said...

"Barrack" like Army barracks
"Obama" rhymes with (Ala)bama

Barrack O. Bama

I'm used to it.

8:53 AM, May 09, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:45 AM, May 24, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:46 AM, May 24, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:47 AM, May 24, 2009  

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