A long time ago I bought a Palm Pilot V to see how I could use it, what things I could do with it and sadly it became just another entry into Brad’s gadget museum – I used it a lot at first – and used to sync my Outlook to it all the time, and the handwriting recognition was actually pretty good but it wasn’t enough to become part of my every day habit and soon was forgotten about – except for those few occasions where my kids would see it and decide they wanted to play some of the old games it still had on it.
So I do have the fear that with every new gadget, there is a chance it could join the Palm Pilot V in the dead pool……but the odds were with the Kindle since I LIKE TO READ. If ever a gadget was perfect for my habits, the Kindle was it. So I have been quiet about the Kindle the past 3 months since I originally received and blogged about it here.
So after 3 months, I am proud to say that the Kindle 3 is a keeper and has been great.
Things I like
Form factor – it fits my hand perfectly and its lightweight enough to read with one hand whether I am waiting in a clinic, riding in a car, lying down on a couch or bed – while I initially feared the 6” screen would not be large enough, the overall size is perfect.
Fits coat pockets – bigger than this, I don’t know what a person would do – carry a backpack or man-purse everywhere? (I have the same question about the iPad which I would love to have but don’t know how it could realistically be a portable solution thoughout the day and I think I would spend most of my time worrying I would forget it somewhere)
Its flexibility – Thanks to sites like:
I am finding so much more to do with the Kindle – I mean, once you have made the decision to buy and carry the Kindle with you – you may as well maximize its use. Google Map Directions, checking out Twitter & LinkedIn, viewing news from USAToday, CNBC, checking portfolio moves, stock quotes – well, I am actually using it quite abit more than I ever thought I would – sure, its not the iPad experience online but for getting info from the web from the device I keep with me for reading anyway – its not bad at all.
Lets start with my favorite – Instapaper ( http://www.instapaper.com/u ) – a buddy of mine at work showed me this site (thanks ChrisO) and now its indispensable for me….first you download the Instapaper toolbar named “Read Later” to your browser as seen highlighted here
Now every time I visit a website with an interesting article, I simply visit that article and click the “Read Later” button – at any time, I can visit the Instapaper website and see a catalog of all articles I was interested in, hit the Download to Kindle button and have all of these articles packages like a magazine and downloaded to my Kindle Front Page – awesome – when done, I delete the magazine from my Kindle. This alone has been a great find.
And all websites optimized for mobile phones are your website – my starting bookmark when browsing the web from my Kindle is m.google.com (the Google Mobile starting page to jump me to the Google mobile start pages for search, maps, and everything else.
Add in favorite links to mobile-optimized pages for CNBC, Marketwatch, Wikipedia, Amazon, Twitter, and LinkedIn and I am all set to check a few favorite websites at night from bed after or while doing some reading
Google even provides a decent transcoding service to take non-mobile optimized webpages, strip out images if you would like and turn that page into a more friendly top-down more easily read site on the Kindle (or any mobile device). For viewing regular web pages, visit google.com/gwt/n from your mobile phone, type the site’s address and hit Go.If you like to follow your favorite blogs on mobile phones, open google.com/gwt/n and type the URL of any blog.
Next click the link near that orange XML icon and the blog will automatically open inside Google Reader – the display is highly optimized for mobile phones and you can also use keyboard shortcuts.
Other must know-abouts:
Calibre – Its ability to convert many different formats to Kindle friendly formats is awesome
KindleFeeder.com – still learning how to best use this but know enough already to see that this site will be a good friend to have as well for the Kindle
And the Kindle keyboard that I thought I would originally hate for taking up space – love it, now that I am doing more on the web with the Kindle, its hard to be without.
Have a good Christmas season