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Kindle isn't kind anymore
books : by Tommy - June 3rd 2010, 11:29PM
books
I don't "get" the Kindle anymore. It's been almost 6 month since I got it, almost a dozen books later and I think I'm at the end of the road with this neat little device.
At first, I liked the idea of having free 3G internet available. Then low price point of books made it great for buying books without having to wait for the local bookstore to order them, or worse, paying the retail markup.

A couple months ago, Engadget broke this story which I just saw in the NYTimes: Target will begin selling the Kindle 2 in stores nationwide beginning on Sunday, June 6.

Funny, I was just at my local Target earlier this evening and found a book I've been wanting to read. I had read through the first chapter on my Kindle as a "sample", but never went beyond that. I checked the latest Kindle edition price... $12.99. Target's price for the book? $12.80!
Why would I want to buy the Kindle edition that I can't sell or share?!

To add insult to injury, I checked the same paperback on Amazon: $9.99. Amazon is selling the paperback for less than the electronic version! Now, they're going to sell the Kindle at Target in a matter of days and the electronic version of the book costs even more than the same book in the store!

I think the Kindle's business model is falling apart (and has been). I believe the Kindle is headed for the same fate as the other innovative e-ink device: The OLPC (XO) laptop. Both situations are sad, because each had so much potential. Neither will grow beyond a neat concept without completely reinventing itself (which the OLPC seems to be doing with its tablet).

Amazon has been too slow to act on customer ideas, lacked any sort of customization, and failed to cash in on an exploding community of Kindle owners.

Continue reading...

tags: kindle books amazon

( Comments : 2 | Full article )

 
Kindle v iPad
books : by Tommy - February 6th 2010, 10:46PM
books
I figure it's high time I publicly weighed in on this whole ebook wars thing. I was just reading and article over on Wired about the whole pricing dilemma currently plaguing Amazon.
I'll start off by saying that I am a Kindle owner/user, so take that as you will.

I was initially unimpressed with the launch of the iPad. the iPod blew us all away when it was announced, the iPhone blew us all away when it was announced. The iPad will take some getting used to. The screen still isn't e-ink like the most successful ebook readers, but it does have touch screen - something Amazon just realized customers want. It doesn't have the battery life of a Kindle, but it does have brand recognition.

The redeeming value about the Kindle, and I've said this all along, is that it adopts the UNIX mentality: "Do one thing and do it well". The Kindle is perfect for reading books. The great part is you can download the books via Whispernet wherever you happen to be. The iPad kinda offers this, but you have to pay more for the 3G device plus you have to pay for the data plan. (The Kindle data plan is free!) [sure, the basic iPad has wireless, but wifi may not always be available. it's not something I have to think about with the kindle]

Ok, so the iPad will let you surf the web, i'll give you that. Yes, the Kindle is essentially the links browser and Whispernet is slow compared to wifi, but remember, the Kindle is an ebook reader, first and foremost. It does that and it does it well, web is an after thought, the same way that iBooks was an afterthought to the enlarged iPod Touch.

There, I said it.

Continue reading...

tags: kindle ipad ebooks amazon

( Comments : 3 | Full article )

 
Beautiful Code
books : by Tommy - July 6th 2007, 05:40PM
books
I just received a hot-off-the-presses copy of the new O'Reilly book, Beautiful Code. The book is a collection of some of the foundational blocks of code that has defined modern programming with each entry being discussed by one of 38 master coders in today's market. The expert takes into account the block of code, walks us through the code and explains the elegance of the code as well as the when/why of how rules were bent to make the code magic.

Believe it or not, it's not simply another boring textbook with a few comments written by experts. This is more of a commentary on programming by some of today's leaders. A great read that I'm going to enjoy.

( Comments : 0 | Full article )

 
Running Linux, 5th Ed.
books : by Tommy - January 6th 2006, 03:52PM
books
I just received a copy of Running Linux, 5th Ed. (ISBN: 0596007604) to review. So far, I think it's an improvement over 4th edition. I always preferred 3rd Edition to the 4th. Geez, what's the difference? Glad you asked. In 3th edition, the author(s) covered most aspects of the GNU/Linux operating system, independent of any specific distribution. Everything was covered from the command line, and a bit was covered over the use of X, the graphical user interface for linux.

4th edition took it a step further (too far, in my opinion). With the rise of linux's popularity, many users hopped on board and stayed with the GUI. That same crowd may have felt overwhelmed with the introduction of the command line (many users aren't used to dealing with a command line at all!). 4th Edition covered more GUI-related aspects and approached most system processes and daemons from their GUI perspective for users that could care less about the command line. I didn't feel this really helped the new user truly understand what was going on in their system.
I feel to truly use the system to its full potential, you must understand the system from the command line (after all, that's where all the action is). It seems that 5th edition has a delicate balance of the two. It covers the GUI portions of the system to get you up and going and also covers command line functions for reference once you figure out how to actually use your linux system and want to know more.
Of course, this book isn't the end-all solution for your linux needs, but it will definately get you up to speed and explain much of the system's operation to the newbie.

I cut my teeth on Running Linux I took it with me everywhere I went, when I had a moment, I was reading another page in the popular linux introduction book.

Continue reading...

( Comments : 3 | Full article )

 
Lookin' for Books?
books : by Tommy - July 10th 2003, 12:02AM
books
I'm sure most of you know what a book worm I've become. Some kind of computer book junkie. Well, I buy quite a bit from Amazon.com and I typically find what I'm after in their Used Books section. I'm also a big fan of Halfprice Books. I also check out are the sales tables at book stores and stuff. For some good deals, not just on books, check out Overstock.com. Anyways, without listing too many more sites, I found most of them linked from ISBN.nu. What you do, is find the book you're after, give it to isbn.nu and it will search all of the best online book retailers and give you the breakdown of the pricing. (kinda a searchable-salescircular.com for books)
FYI: PHP Cookbook is freaking awesome!

( Comments : 0 | Full article )

 

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