Well, I write to you emerging (slowly) from a tech-induced coma. After having gotten lost at every possible point in the last few years, plus being really cranky when I can’t check e-mail for even hours, plus the fact that I am sort of the world’s cheapest gadget-head…I now own a smartphone, running Android.
Oh my giddy great-aunt (to borrow a phrase from Stephen Fry). I adore it. I adore everything about it (except for the problems I had actually getting it to talk to Orange’s network but ASIDE from that). I have maps of nearly everywhere in the world at my fingertips, and as long as I don’t mind killing the battery I’ve got GPS, so finally, finally I won’t have to plan an extra half hour to keep from getting lost anytime I go somewhere. REJOICE!
Ah, but this is a writing blog, so I should probably gibber about the ebook software I grabbed. Firstly, I’ve got to say — it’s much, much easier to read a book on a 3.5″ screen than you’d think. It really, really is. I’ve got the font size set, frankly, larger than what I’m typing right now, and with black text on a sepia background (and white text on black for reading in the dark), it’s very, very easy on my eyes. Probably not up there with eInk, but I also didn’t have to buy another device.
I’ve been playing around with a few different readers, and my impressions (because I’m sure you all care!):
OH GOD OH GOD I WANT TO HAVE ITS BABIES. Not so much the actual act of reading — I mean, it’s good, it pulls the books up, I can navigate it — but oh my God, I’m in love with the Kindle store. It’s so easy. It’s blissful. It’s dangerous. It’s really, really rare for me to find a piece of software that is written totally naturally, and I’m admittedly really high-maintenance about all this, and I’m incredibly picky. And it’s just. that. simple. I’m doomed, if I don’t keep tight control of my spending habits, too…
(Are the files still DRM’d out the ass? I’m crossing my fingers and hoping not, and I’m afraid to research this…)
Pretty basic, and nice for having lots of links to free ebook sites. (Like, ten or fifteen links.) Easy to navigate, but it doesn’t read .pdf’s, which is what every single one of my current downloaded ebooks is. (I read a lot of ebooks on my computer. Like, well over a hundred at this point, I think? Counting short stories, novellas, etc.)
One thing that sound silly but that I really like is that you have an actual image of a bookshelf that you use to navigate. It’s just really lovely, and pretty easy to deal with, at least when you have only a couple of books.
A like like Laputa — it’s got a ‘bookshelf’, but with a different way to browse it. Also lots of links to free ebook sites (hooray!), the O’Reilly tech books (which would’ve been awesome when I was programming) and — much to my very pleasant surprise — All Romance Ebooks!
Yeahhhh. About that last one: the nav sucks, the search sucks, and it’s not perfectly synced with the online store. I had pulled up a book on my laptop that looked good, and I wanted to buy it (as a kind of tester), but literally could not find it on the linked store. Not really happy about that. (I wound up buying it through Kindle.) So, I like the free stuff, but ARE leaves something to be desired. (Haven’t played around with O’Reilly; maybe if I decide to take up Python properly…)
And a sort-of-works solution to having tons of .pdf’s and not being entirely happy with converting them — ThinkFree Office opens them just fine, and remembers the last screen you were on. It’s not fancy, but it does exactly what I need, so I’m a fairly happy gal.
Anyway — it’s great fun to play with in a lot of ways, and I hope this little mini-review was useful to someone 🙂 I’m off to figure out why my cinnamon bread is baking in half the time it ought to be…ciao, loveys!