Greetings folks. You might note that there are some links missing to my books from my link list on the side here. I am changing publishers and currently only Curt’s Slaves is available from the new outlet. Office games should be up at some point — I don’t know exactly when, and I’m trying to get Training Jenny into actual print. Not sure how that’ll work — it’ll probably end up on the ebook site. Here’s the link to the main site, by the way. Looks like they have some good stuff there, so if you’re interested you should check them out.
Now… about that Kindle thing…
Yeah, I’m a gadget slut. Yes, I bought one of the damned things. Yeah, I like it — quite a bit, actually.
Some of the write ups on the Amazon site are spot on, some are not. I’ll give you my brief impressions, including why I went with the Kindle as an ebook reader.
First of all, despite what Amazon was trying to do when they designed it, they kinda failed. It’s pretty comfortable to hold, but the bottom right — and probably the bottom left — could use wider and rounder edges. And fer cryin’ out loud, there is no damned way to pick the thing up without hitting a ‘turn-the-page’ button. I know they wanted to make it convenient to turn the pages, but I think they went over board. Eventually, I learned to pick it up with out hitting the buttons — mostly — but it does take some getting used to.
Secondly, the book management software on the unit is… challenged. Which is a polite way of saying non-existent. I suppose it’s that way, because they want to force you to buy books off of their site, but if you already have a ton of ebooks you want to put on the unit (and it will hold a lot — literally tens of thousands of you add a 4gig SD card like I did), you really need a way to sort the damned things. Sure, you can sort by author or title, but that’s only if you’ve correctly created that information when you converted the book to Mobi format (I’ll get into that later). One should be able to tag books as SciFi or Smut and author and title should be easily edited (they’re not). Then, if I only want to see the SciFi books, I should be able to do that. Currently, there is absolutely no way to sort using anything other than Author or Title. Plus, I want to be able to do sub sorts, like SciFi/Author/Series. This cannot be that hard to implement.
Now for the good stuff.
It’s very comfortable on the eyes to read. No, it doesn’t have a back light, but then, I don’t like to read in the dark either. I know that some folks here have mentioned they’d like that option, but that isn’t the way epaper works — at least as I understand it. Page turn times are a wee bit slow, but nothing onerous. It seems to be quite good on battery power — however, I almost never have the wireless turned on.
I did order an ebook from Amazon, and it was quick, easy and painless and the price wasn’t bad. Now, I’ll be very straight with people. One of the major drawbacks of the Amazon ebooks is the DRM, and you probably all know how I feel about having stuff I buy infected with crippleware. Amazon offers to keep your books so you don’t have to back them up on your own, and, in fact, they won’t work on any other Kindle but your own (until someone gets fed up and breaks the DRM). I’ll point you to the MLB people who lost all their DRM infected videos when MLB decided to cut off their access, as well as M$ graciously deciding to keep their DRM laden music servers running until 2011. It’s not that I don’t trust Amazon to keep my books for for me, but well, I don’t trust them. Corporations will fuck you as soon as blink, so I like to protect myself.
But that left me with a dilemma. I can get lots of ebooks with no DRM for free. I can convert them into a format that the Kindle will read, and never pay a cent. However, as an Author myself, I’d like it if people paid me for my books, so I have a really hard time (morally — yeah, yeah, stop laughing) doing that. I came to what I consider a good compromise though, and no, I’m not going to tell you what it was. I am, however, paying for the books that I’m reading, and I’m happy about that.
I should state for the record that the MPAA, RIAA and publishers in general can go fuck themselves if they think that I’m going to pay twice for the same product (once, for instance, for a paper copy of a book, and once for the privileged of putting that same book on my Kindle). Corporations survive by fucking over creative people, and I’m not going to help them.
Conversion to Kindle format is easily handled by the Mobi pocket reader. However, unless you’re more adventurous than I am — or more of a pain slut — I wouldn’t use their software for anything other than that. It has crashed my computer and my phone when I tried to use it to transfer ebooks onto them using the software. It’s way easier just to plug the Kindle into your computer, then drag and drop the newly converted files onto it. If you’re handy enough with HTML, you can make changes in that before you convert it, and your titles and authors will even come out correctly. I will also add that Mobi is full of bugs and as soon as I find something else that works, I’ll probably switch.
Aaaannnyyy way, I really like the Kindle. I think it’s a great solution to the number of ‘candy’ books I read, because I’m really out of physical space to store the things. Books like the new one I’m really anticipating from David Weber, I’ll buy in paper format, cuz I’ll want to keep them, but I’m just fine with just getting LK Hamilton’s stuff in ebook format.
Yes, I have more Avatar on the way, in case you were wondering.