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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Linux runs my life! And a review of the Kindle 2.

I'm happy to announce, that as of December 25th 2009, Linux, quite literally, does everything in my life.

My laptop runs Arch Linux.
My phone (Samsung Moment) runs Android.
And my new Kindle 2 runs off 2.6.22 Kernel (after update).
The only exception to this is that I work on an XP machine at work...

Oh, did I mention that I got a Kindle for Christmas?

It's pretty amazing I must say. I've already downloaded the KJV Bible (by mistake. I meant to get the NKJV) and Dune. I'm so happy I'll finally be able to read Dune. I've been meaning to for a long time, but even just reading the first chapter takes time. I had to re-read certain parts to understand what was going on. Frank Herbert Jr.'s vocabulary is extremely rich which brings me to my favorite part of the Kindle.

Built in Oxford dictionary with real time search.

Or at least that is what I'm calling it. I come across words like "fief" and instead of wiping out my laptop to search Google, or finding the one dictionary that my family owns, I simply use the little nub to point the cursor next to the word, and at the bottom I get a definition!


Anyway on to the rest of the review.

Taking the Kindle out of the box reveals a rather childish looking device. It looks like something you'd buy for your three year old to learn their colors or something.

Next, you'll notice the weight. It weighs next to nothing but has a good solid feel to it.

Let me preface this next part, my best friend got the Kindle DX for Christmas and he did the exact same thing. When you first look at the screen, it has a nice little welcome page that, honest to God, looks like a sticker. You know those stickers they put on LED clocks so it can show you what it is supposed to look like? Yeah, it looks exactly like that. I spent about a minute trying to figure out how to take it off...

But now I realize how amazing it is. The soft matte screen allows you to read it regardless of sun glare and it is really easy on the eyes. It's really fantastic.

Of course, as soon as I figured out that it wasn't a sticker... I went ahead and started playing with it. It has some features that I find interesting. For instance, the web browser. According to the browser is NetFront which seems to be based off of Mozilla 4.0 (Although IE will tell you it's based of Mozilla 4.0 as well).

It also has support (so I'm told) for audio books and text-to-speech (although recent controversy has been an issue with this). Dune doesn't have this feature, but youtube shows that it's a very unnatural voice anyway.

EDIT: My bible supports this feature. It sounds like a slightly better Microsoft Sam and it turns the page and keeps on going. Not a terrible feature, but I think I'll stick to reading.

There are some graphical "glitchiness" while moving the cursor quickly, but it really isn't bothersome.

The battery last for freaking ever. I partly charged in Christmas morning. And this morning it still has over half it's life left.

Anyway, if you have a Kindle or another product of the like, tell me how you feel about it. What features do you like or dislike?

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