Thursday, January 28, 2010

E Books, Be Books & Other Kindle Alternatives

It took a long time for me to get used to cell phones. My kids got them before I did. One day I punished one of my kids by taking his cell. Then I got hooked. It was useful for work, shopping and all kinds of things. What I still don't like is the fact that my children can get phone calls and the person calling never has to worry about the old man picking up the phone. I make up for this by getting bills which show incoming and outgoing calls on all lines that I pay for. As my father used to say "It's not that I don't trust you, it's that I don't. He was a wise man, my father.

Computers have enabled me to sound off and have people read my articles all across America and around the world. That never would have been possible in the days before computers. Additionally, I can shop for my obscure musical tastes, as well as share them with the world, posting videos of Norwegian, Assyrian and Ghanaian pop music. I can track down books and order them with ease. But I am in no hurry to upgrade. I have a 30 gigabyte hard drive. When it gets cluttered, I burn and delete files in 700 megabyte increments. My computer repair man keeps me going when Windows gets corrupted or slow.

I have no interest in an iPod or iPad. I use a CD player that plays MP3's and wma files as well as regular cds. I can carry discs with thousands of songs. Why upgrade? I have other expenses. My only exception is a cheap 2 gig mp3 player that I can click and drag files onto to transport to other computers. I use the MP3 storage device to carry around podcasts of Radio Canada, as well as biblical and American history.

I would get a Kindle 2. But a big sticking point is the incompatibility with library e books. I went to the Brooklyn Public Library web site to check this problem out. They have a link to a page that lists devices that support a multitude of file types, including the e books lent out by libraries.
I found a review of the Hanlin e reader that almost sounds like it's made to my specifications. Although it does not have wireless access, you can download files from your personal computer on to it. Unfortunately, you have to order it directly from China. via a bank transfer. There has to be an easier way. The BeBook, on the other hand has similar file flexibility and can be ordered with a credit card. The Brooklyn Public Library site is a very good place to research the e book reader if you are budget minded. Perhaps other libraries also offer such information.

I like to collect articles from the internet as well as books. I am out to get the biggest "bang for the buck". I don't need the latest technologies such as wireless access everywhere. I am willing to use my laptop as a springboard and do without wireless access if I can read more file types. There are manufacturers out there who have people like me in mind.

If you see me on the road, I will not be driving the fanciest car. If you see me on the train, and I'm reading an e book, it won't be the flashiest one. I use store brand and not gourmet coffee, and it gives me my caffeine buzz all the same.

Kindle of Amazon did a big favour by creating the concept and design of the e reader. To sell the concept to a guy like me who is slow to adopt new technology is no small feat. But I have to look at the field and see what's out there. Outside Manhattan, we have to watch our money. We need to make it to the next paycheck. Sphere: Related Content

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