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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.

Thu 16 Sep 2010, 10:54 AM
As many of you know, I am not really a gadget person.  While others walk around with iPhones and Blackberries and other whizgizmos, I tend to stick to my laptop for work and to a paperback book for reading pleasure.  Thus, I had slightly mixed feelings about receiving a Kindle for Father's Day.  On the one hand, I had expressed an interest to my wife.  On the other hand, I wasn't sure how I would feel actually using it.

The model I got has the 3G network, and it is wonderful to be able to sit on the beach and order a book.  Realistically, most of us don't spend that much time on the beach, so I probably could have gotten away with the wireless model, since I am usually close to some wi-fi, either at my office or on the road.

As for actually using the Kindle for reading, I have been pleasantly surprised.  Gabriella Davis had warned me that it felt "un-book-like", but I have been very pleased with both the readability and with minor details like it keeping track of the page you are on.  The biggest surprise to me though was how much I use it for more than books that I have bought, and I have bought several.  I use it for PDFs for technical topics.  I use it to review stories and novels sent by friends.  I use it to review my own writing, both business and non-business writing.  To load all this onto the Kindle, I use the very handy and free Calibre software to synch and convert to Kindle format.

Now, I take my Kindle anywhere where I used to take books, but it has books, magazines, articles, work-in-progress, technical documentation (e.g., ODF manuals), and they all fit in the size of just one light book.

It doesn't overheat.  It is easy to read in bright sunlight while sitting outside.  The battery lasts for days and days, about a week to ten days if I turn off the wireless.  I could almost get to be a gadget person if gadgets all worked this well.  (Of course, one feature that some of you will hate is that it does not have a browser.  For someone who wants to get work done, this is a plus, but I also have my laptop for any real browsing.)

All this, and you can get it in the wireless, non-3G version for $139.  I recommend it, if only to save in chiropractic bills since you won't have to lug as much around.

Click to see Kindle 3G at $189

Click to see Kindle Wi-Fi at $139


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