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I don't use eBay a lot, but I do some. I buy the plastic rolls for my Foodsaver there. I don't sell a lot, but every one in a while I do. With the purchase of my iPad and the accompanying Kindle app, I knew I wouldn't be using my second generation Kindle anymore. Likewise, with the purchase of my Nikon P500 I didn't need my pocket Canon any longer. I decided to sell both on eBay, thinking it would be a nice idea to generate some cash to help feed my combined iPad and Kindle addiction.
The Kindle sold to a fellow in New York who paid immediately and left feedback suggesting that he was going to really enjoy it.
The camera seems to have gone to someone in East or South Asia (even though they gave an Orange County shipping address) who took a while to pay. I expect that it will end up in the Far East somewhere.
One can't select one's buyers on eBay and one probably shouldn't care. But there's a part of me that wants those things I'm letting go of to find a "good home." Just won't happen every time.
I subscribed to the New Yorker for a number of years, but then discontinued it a few years ago as part of an overall program of scaling back when our then CEO cut everyone's pay. Likewise, I'd been getting The Nation since the start of the Bush II administration, but discontinued it when they undercharged my credit card auto renewal and then sent me a bill for the difference.
But when there is an iPad app, it is easy to forgive all. Both The Nation and the New Yorker have iPad apps and both provide a facsimile of the print edition. The New Yorker app is especially slick and easy to navigate.
Everything's all on one device, you don't have to worry about second class mail taking its time getting to you and receiving two issues within two days of each other, and there's no paper to recycle when you're done with the issue.
My Motorola Devour sort-of Android phone has been behaving badly of late. Some apps, like Facebook, keep blowing up on me. Add to that the fact that some apps, such as the New York Times and the Merriam Webster Dictionary, won't run on it at all, and I'm interested in upgrading.
So I went to my local Verizon store on a vacation day when I didn't need to be anywhere anytime soon. (You know what it's like going to your friendly, local wireless phone store.) I'm not due for a new phone until November, but I thought they could do something for me. They couldn't. At the time I was annoyed, but now that I'm an iPad owner, I'm thinking that that is a good thing.
My intent was to buy a proper Android phone, but I really didn't see anything that impressed me. Now, however, my thought is I'll get an iPhone. Might as well keep everything in sync, right? Add to that the fact that USA Today says that the iPhone 4 is due out in October. So I can get a fancy, cool new iPhone 4, or an iPhone 3 for a much lower price.
And I think I'll order over the Web. I have better uses for my time than sitting in the Verizon store waiting for my turn.
After getting past the anger and betrayal (scaled back to a level appropriate to the particular situation) of HP's early exit from the TouchPad business, I went out and bought an iPad.
There's a reason why it is dominant in the marketplace. Easy to use. Lots of apps.
I will say that I liked the TouchPad's "card" model of keeping all open apps available, but the iPad keeps apps in the state in which you left them, which is almost as good. The TouchPad would print to any printer on your wireless router, while the iPad requires a printer using the AirPrint protocol. Annoying.
There is no Facebook app (only for the iPhone) but the TouchPad Facebook app for some reason ignored some of my favorite friends, so I'm happy following Facebook from the Safari Web browser.
And there are apps, apps, apps. I have my lectionary app, my Episcopal calendar app, the New York Times, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, and San Jose Mercury News. I have the Merriam Webster dictionary, a text editor, and of course my news reader app to sync with Google Reader. I have a crossword app and TED videos app.
And, of course, the Kindle app, fully functional, unlike the TouchPad. (Except, of course, for the buy from app function, turned off due to Amazon's tiff with Apple over the stiff cut that Apple demands for purchases made that way.)
I tried to be a loyal employee. I didn't buy an iPad. I waited for the HP TouchPad. And I bought it full price, not wanting to wait for the employee discount by mail order, and not knowing the price would drop by $100 less than a month later. Terry even got me a cover for it for my birthday.
Then last Thursday, less than a week after getting the cover, HP announced its third quarter results and hit us with this news: they're walking away from the business. So I go iPad route and have a very expensive doorstop.
So much for loyalty.
You know that I bought the HP Touchpad on July 1st, the first day it was available. And you know that I was extremely disappointed to find that the Amazon Kindle app was just a placeholder. There was no
Officially it is still in beta, but it is nonetheless quite nifty and very usable. Based on the comments made to online stories announcing its arrival, it is, apparently, very similar to the iPad Kindle. I love that the book covers appear in color. Presumably drawings and diagrams will be much sharper than on the actual Kindle device.
You can read a book in portrait mode, which gives you one page at a time, or you can read in landscape mode, which gives you two pages side-by-side. That's actually a very nice way to read, even though the amount of text you get is the same either way.
By default the controls don't display, but all you have to do to get them to show up is to tap at the bottom of the screen in the center.
At this stage in the beta process, not all of the features of the physical Kindle are there. You can't look up the definition of a word. And although I can create notes and highlights, I can't figure out how to access them for use elsewhere. As in this blog, for example. In my 2nd generation Kindle device there is a file called MyClippings.txt which I can copy to my PC when the Kindle is connected to it. My 2nd gen Kindle also lets me share a passage on Facebook, a feature that is not yet on the TouchPad. I hope that will be added by the time we get to the full production version.
Overall, however, I am very pleased with my TouchPad Kindle app, and I know it will only get better by the time it exits the beta phase. Both my old 2nd gen Kindle and Angry Birds on my TouchPad are, I am afraid, going to experience some serious neglect.
I wrote a while back about how much I enjoy the magazine Books & Culture. As I wrote at the time, even though the magazine is published by the publishers of Christianity Today, Books & Culture "takes a balanced and even nearly academic approach. It is not by any means a bastion of liberalism, but the essays are intelligent, balanced, and well thought out."
I did have a couple of logistical problems with B&C. First, about one issue in three never showed up. Second, as much as I enjoyed the articles and reviews, the magazine is oversize and difficult to hold in my hands and read. I think the second point may be related to the first. Such odd-sized publications often don't make it through the postal system particularly well.
I solved both problems last week. I cancelled my print subscription and subscribed to the Web edition. And you know what? When I read the articles on my new HP TouchPad, I can increase the page size so the type is nice and crisp and clear, and I don't see the ads.
That is, I hope, a preview of what my experience will be with the Kindle for TouchPad, which is due out in, I am told, in a couple of weeks. Those predictions, I sincerely hope, are accurate.
UPDATE: I wrote this on Sunday. On Monday evening, minding my own business, my TouchPad notified me that the Kindle app was available. I of course downloaded it immediately. YES! It is there. It looks great! I am delighted. Hope to have a review for you next week. Angry Birds, you are going to have to take a back seat.
In July 2006 I bought an external hard drive. It had a 160 Gigabyte capacity and required external power. It had been acting badly and throwing error messages over the past few months, so I ordered a new external drive, which arrived last week. It has a 640 GB capacity and draws all the power it needs from the USB port. It's a fraction of the size and weight of the old one.
I really shouldn't be surprised, but looking at the two of them side-by-side, it still amazes me how technology continues to advance.
I wrote the first draft of this blog entry on a text editor I downloaded for my new HP TouchPad. I've always wanted a tablet device, but being a loyal HP employee, I waited for the arrival of the TouchPad rather than buying an iPad. I decided to forego the mail-order employee discount (which they didn't tell us about until the very last minute) and was at Best Buy at ten a.m. on Friday to get mine the minute they were released.
I love it. It integrates beautifully with Gmail and Google calendar, and pretty well with Google Docs. There's not a New York Times app for the TouchPad yet (there is one for the Palm phones, which works, but not well, with the TouchPad), but the NYT Web site looks great in the browser. There's a USA Today app that is slick, a solid NPR app, and a Facebook app that works great. There's a dedicated TED app that is way cool, and provides full-screen access to those mind-stretching TED videos. (If you're not familiar with TED, click the link.) I love the "card" multitasking metaphor, as well as the convention of flicking cards off the top of the screen to close a document or app. The built-in spell checker is great.
And the TouchPad supports Angry Birds HD! Wow!
Certainly the TouchPad is way behind the iPad and Android in number of apps, but that will change.
Biggest gripe? No Kindle app! ARGH! It's there...as a placeholder. They promise a Kindle TouchPad app "very soon."I sure as *%Bleep%* hope so!