Consumable computers


More from Nicholas Negroponte (and others). Electronic paper, consumable computers for health checks, computers with common sense, and other more down to earth stuff. Apparently the world's biggest producer of tyres is now Lego.

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As someone who has bought hardcovers for most of his life and treasured them, I've suddenly had an epiphany.

I live in Australia but I've been buying my books from Amazon (and its other overseas counterparts) since the year dot. I've paid little notice of the Kindle since it was first released, convinced that it could never match the experience of reading a real book. However, I didn't think it was right of me to dismiss the Kindle entirely without first having tried it. So when Amazon announced an International version I ordered one straight away. I received it today and I cannot believe how much I have enjoyed using it.

I've already downloaded a few books that I've been wanting to read for quite some time now - I was amazed at how many books are already available to Australian customers after running a few searches. I love how you can browse through the Kindle Store on the device with ease. The books downloaded in less than a minute. I've also downloaded samples of other books as well - this is such a great feature. How often have I bought an expensive hardcover only to find that I hated it. Now I can avoid the risk simply by reading a sample before committing myself to buying it.

And now to the Kindle itself. It took me less than my first chapter to forget that I was using a Kindle - I was immersed in the words. The E-Ink screen is so much better than I thought and yes, I've read about the concerns people have raised about the Kindle screen and its fonts. For me, it was no problem at all, no eye strain after reading for a few hours. Others have also suggested that the Kindle is not sexy looking - for me, I think it's quite a modern looking device. Much better looking than the pics and videos on the website would have you believe. The buttons and the controller work smoothly. I bought a leather cover with the Kindle and together, they feel 'right', natural even. I don't care that it doesn't have a touch screen (who wants fingerprints?), I don't care that it doesn't have a colour screen (would colour be a distraction anyway?). And the weight of the Kindle feels perfect - please Amazon, don't ever release a Kindle that weighs more than 10.2 ounces.

Sure, there are a few things that it should have but it doesn't, like folders for managing your collection and the Kindle for Australia doesn't come with a USB power adaptor. But that hasn't stopped me from enjoying the Kindle so far. Yes, I will still buy the occasional hardcover but at least I know that book storage won't be a problem for me now with the availability of e-books.

It has been quite a revelation to suddenly find out that I don't actually have to be reading a real book to escape into an imaginary world - I can do it on a device called the Kindle. I've been converted.

I have had the Kindle 2 for three weeks. I am on my fourth book. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is so much easier to handle than a book and turning pages.

I bought the leather cover for $30, it is perfect because I can lie on my side while reading, the leather cover stands like an sideways easel. I can read for hours lying on my side just pushing a button to turn the pages. Life is good.

A feature I had not thought of before is the privacy. No one can tell what you are reading. It's like a secret garden!

If you are a reader, you will love the Kindle.

To me, it's like Gutenberg came up with a new printing press...the Kindle.

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