Amazon Kindle eBook Reader

Following in Sony’s footsteps, Amazon has just launched their “Kindle” device.

Like the Sony Reader, the Amazon Kindle uses an electronic paper display.

Here’s a comparison of the two:

  Sony Reader Amazon Kindle
Price $299.99 $399.00
Screen 6″ 8-grayscale 600×800 E-ink 6″ 4-grayscale 600×800 E-ink
Storage 256MB? 256MB
Expansion SD card SD card
Native Formats BBeB Book, TXT, RTF, PDF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, MP3, AAC Kindle (AZW), TXT, Audible, MP3
Weight 9 oz. 10.3 oz.

6.9″ x 4.8″ x 0.3″ 7.5″ x 5.3″ x 0.7″
Inputs 0-9 keys, page next/back, 4-way d-pad keyboard, page next/back, scroll wheel
Wireless none EVDO (free access)
Text Sizes 3 6

At first glance, the Sony Reader looks better, with a $100 cheaper price, a newer version of the E-ink screen, a sleeker design, and support for more file types natively. However, by adding free EVDO wireless and a keyboard, the Amazon Kindle lets you buy books and download content from the reader itself. Plus Amazon may have the weight to get more publishers on-board with the idea of eBooks than Sony can.

Either way, some competition is a good thing, and will hopefully drive the price down and the quality up. $300 and $400 are still too pricey for the average user.

Preparing for Tev 2.0

So I *finally* (after meaning to for 15 years) filed for a legal name change.

It’s only a petition, I still need to wait for a court date for a judge to sign off on it, but if all goes well I will have a new legal name by the end of the year.

Old name: Tevia
New name: Tevye

It’s a subtle difference, but I much prefer the other spelling.

Since there are more steps to changing your name than just filing a document, I’m taking this opportunity to take inventory of all of my accounts, everywhere.
It’s actually turning out to be a good way to get organized.

But it feels good to finally get around to doing it… it’s something I’ve wanted to do for… a long, long time. I wrote my name “Tevye” from like grade school, up until college, where I put my legal name on student loans and things. After that I just went by “Tev” and all my accounts were in the name “Tevia”. It will be a fair amount of work to get all my accounts everywhere updated to the new name, but it feels refreshing, like a mini-rebirth.

The only thing I feel bad about is that I waited this long to do it.

“Le Tevia est mort. Vive le Tevye!”

One laptop per child

So the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) program finally launched!
Yay for Nick Negroponte!

XO computer

For two weeks they are running a “give one, get one” program. The OLPC machine isn’t available to consumers, just developing nations – but for these two weeks, if you order one for a developing nation, you can also buy one for yourself at the same time.

They didn’t hit their mark of the “$100 Laptop”, ended up coming in at $200, which is still damn cheap for a laptop. And I would think costs would come down over time.

While not at slick as the $400 Asus Eee PC, the OLPC XO machine is still pretty nifty.

It might seem silly to some people to supply laptops to children in developing nations, but think about it this way: $200 would only buy, what, 10 schoolbooks? You could easily put 100 books on a laptop. There are thousands of public-domain and otherwise free texts that could be used.

Not only that, but this will be the first step in connecting them with the world.

I’m not saying it’s a panacea or anything, but it certainly couldn’t hurt to give some education technology resources.

So I put in an order, and bought one for me and one for a child somewhere.
Hopefully they’ll make good use of it.

Projector Crossroads

So I’m at a decision point for my projector.

The blue is messed up on it.

It could be the blue polarizer, in which case it’s a $100 part.
It also could be the blue LCD panel, in which case the entire optical block needs replacing. A new optical block is prolly around $1000.

It would cost $100 to bring it to a shop to find out which thing is wrong.

On the other hand, a new DLP projector is around $900.

Do I bring my projector in for $100 and find out what’s wrong, or do I sell it for $100 (it still has some life in it), and buy a new one?

Minor update

So yeah… went to Dave’s for pseudo-halloween (11/3). It was a fun party but devolved into a bunch of drugged-out teens, so we left around 1 or 2. Guess they kept partying till 6am. Ah, youth.

Sarah and I went as American Gothic, thanks to Sarah’s quick thinking and owning of overalls.

Sarah went with me to DSW and helped me pick out new shoes!
They are Børn Radshus…

They were pretty expensive ($80, the most I’ve ever spent on shoes) but they seem pretty comfy so far.

I’ve started watching what I eat again, I had gotten up to around 153 pounds.
I’m using CalorieKing rather than WeightWatchers… it’s a more complete view, since it is based on the FDA values, but also more complex than WeightWatchers… but I like lots of data to look at…

This morning I weighed in at 148.5, so seems to be working. My target is to get down around 140-145. Right now I’m eating right but need to exercise more.

One thing I noticed from looking at CalorieKing is sugar intake.
Nutritional recommendations are for no more than 40 or 50 grams of sugar a day, which is very difficult based on American foods. A small container of yogurt has 24g of sugar!
But now that I’m aware of it, I’ve been eating a lot less sugar. I haven’t been under 40g a day, but I’ve been under 70g, and down around 50g on some days.