A Look at the Kindle
The Kindle is underpowered, especially with larger books or when it's busy indexing or doing some other background task.
Next, the Kindle crashed a few times during my testing. Granted, I was running several apps that don't officially exist, but I don't feel I should have had to use the reset button as often as I did. Amazon still has some work to do there.
The Mobipocket format is another annoyance. It is an old binary format from the days when the Palm was known as the Pilot. It's not a very well documented format, and all of the tools for converting documents to it are proprietary and Windows-only.
The big question regarding the Kindle is whether it is actually worth $350. My thought is it is, if you read a lot.
And, I do. I carry around lots of books and printouts and miscellaneous scraps of paper—some for enjoyment and many for my job. I used to try reading things on my computer, but found my eyes quickly tired, so I switched to printing out longer articles and documentation I wanted to read. Apart from being environmentally wasteful, all that loose, printed material has to be organized or it grows into a big mess.
The Kindle has eliminated a lot of the mess. Now, when I head back to the server room, the only thing I need to carry is the Kindle—no stacks of notes and no reams of product documentation. It's all in the Kindle, along with a new novel to read while waiting for the server to finish its install. And, my desk is cleaner than any time in recent memory.
Is it worth $350? For me? Yes.
A Discussion of the .mobi File Format: www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16514
Hacking the Kindle, Parts 1–3: igorsk.blogspot.com/2007/12/hacking-kindle-part-1-getting-console.html, igorsk.blogspot.com/2007/12/hacking-kindle-part-2-bootloader-and.html and igorsk.blogspot.com/2007/12/hacking-kindle-part-3-root-shell-and.html
MobileRead—a Forum Devoted to eBooks: www.mobileread.com
Daniel Bartholomew lives with his wife and children in North Carolina. His normal on-line presence is at daniel-bartholomew.com, but he also can be found on Twitter as daniel_bart and on identi.ca (and Jaiku and Pownce) as bartholomew.