I wrote previously about two of my sub $300 IT purchases. The Livescribe continues to amaze and delight – amazed that it’s not simply taken over universities and everywhere where notes are taken. the Kindle continues to amaze with how clunky it is. I had bought it without worrying whether it would work out on the grounds that I could (surely) use it to sit in an armchair and surf the net, read newspapers and files I want to read.
Alas it is not so. I guess there’s a way to read files on it, but I’ve done what I’ve been told which is to email it to my Kindle email address and nothing happens. In the meantime, just to give the think a workover I bought Alexander Pope’s translation of the Odyssey. It should be for nix, but it seems all the free books are not available in Oz, and so I paid US$2 which I can’t complain about even if it has been in the public domain for a while.
Anyway, it seems to have been thrown together from some open source project on the net. It has no table of contents. It has an introductory essay, but it’s quite difficult doing the equivalent of ‘flicking through’ a Kindle book, so it’s very hard to pick where the introduction (prose) stops and the book (poetry) starts. Amazing non? And you can see in the picture that the formatting is absolutely shocking, with some lines starting inset, others starting at the margin and no additional space between paragraphs, verses or whatever.
The picture I’ve shown you is actually on my ‘Kindle for PC’. They’ve ensured that despite the fact that it’s on a PC, it’s as difficult to navigate as the horrid little white box itself. I can’t easily browse zooming in and out with multiple pages on the screen for instance. Perhaps this is all not true. Perhaps it’s all really easy and friendly and I just haven’t figured it out, but I’m amazed at how bad it all is.
I read in a write up of the Man of the Decade himself, that the question they asked themselves at every turn of designing the Kindle was “What would Steve Jobs do?” I can only conclude they asked this in order to do the opposite. Roll on Apple’s tablet. (It’s odd that there isn’t something about the size and shape of the Kindle with a nice colour touch screen. It wouldn’t have to be all that flash to get me buying it to surf the net and read whatever I want in my armchair. Is that too much to ask?