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  • Andrew Mercer 6:23 am on November 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: apple mac, books, iPod/iPhone, kindle,   

    come in kindle 

    Tomorrow should see the delivery of our new Kindles, one each for my wife and I. I have internally debated whether I should acquire one, with the competition being the long rumoured Apple tablet, as I was really keen to see what Apple would do. The debate was finalised when the rumours began declaring that the price for the tablet would be over US$1,000 – some suggested as high as US$2,000.

    kindleWe have literally hundreds of books – the legacy of a pastor married to a librarian, and space has become premium so the transition to digital books has been a no brainer for me. Over the past few years I have been buying eBooks for my various PDA’s that I have owned, so I already have a good collection to place on the new Kindle even without buying any new books from Amazon.

    A great way to convert existing eBooks (PDF’s, Word Files etc) is to use Mobipocket Creator (Publisher). It’s a Windows-only application which is drag and drop for file conversion. The only problem I have encountered is that it doesn’t appear to work under virtualisation on my Mac. No dramas as I bring my work laptop home – the only time a dedicated Windows machine has been in my house for years!

    The thought of having upwards of 1,500 of my books with me is a bit staggering, but I must confess there have been times when having access to my library when away from home would have been fantastic. Just as the iPod changed the way people listen to, and in many cases, purchase, music, I think the Kindle will ┬ádo that with books. The fact the Amazon is now producing an international version of the Kindle will only increase the usage of digital books – only time will tell if society embraces digital books as they have digital music.

    Over the years I have also subscribed to Time magazine as well as many others. I generally keep about 10-15 issues before I think that I need to throw them out (again due to space constraints), now this becomes a moot point as there are many magazines that can be subscribed to on the Kindle which I will be able to keep as reference material for years to come and can also keep on my laptop and desktop through the Kindle for Desktop application.

    My two requests to Amazon are:

    1. Please finish developing the Kindle for Mac app
    2. Make available the Kindle for iPhone app to people outside the US

    As the Kindle also allows for the spoken word as you drive, it could also diminish the need for the purchase of Audio Books. What is certain is that due to the close parity of the Aussie dollar to the US$, the cost of Kindle books has become about 50% of their print equivalent – another fine reason to add to that of the space saving benefits for purchasing and using a Kindle. So in summary, my key reasons to acquire a Kindle are:

    1. Portability
    2. Cost versus print equivalents
    3. The ability to be an audio book
    4. Storage

    I will give you my initial thoughts on using the Kindle after I have tried it for a couple of days – unfortunately you will have to wait. My wife says I can only use it after I open it for Christmas! I wished she believed in early presents.

    Until then then, I will stick with reading my print books – I do have a few to get through that I have recently purchased.

  • Andrew Mercer 10:36 am on November 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    an open view of things – part 1 

    A couple of days ago I started reading Andre Agassi’s autobiography Open. It’s really well written and so far I am about half way through the book – he has been dating Brooke Shields and just won the 1995 Australian Open, so I haven’t read the confessions of his drug taking yet, but I have read about his infamous wig.

    A number of things have stood out to me in the first half of the book, including:

              1. How well it is written (a pleasant surprise)
              2. Agassi had a difficult, dysfunctional childhood
              3. His candidness as he writes.

    But all of that pales into his explanation of how he hates tennis, and hates it with a passion. What is telling is that he still manages to play the sport at such an elite level. How often do we say how we hate our jobs, and that we’d really love to do our hobby, sport or lifestyle pursuit as a profession, whilst looking at musicians and sportspeople through envious eyes. Clearly Agassi didn’t enjoy the where he was in his life.

    He had a fair share of the world watching him “work” and he hated being there, yet he still persisted. Agassi certainly did not have the ideal childhood, it was clearly far from normal and his adolescent years took place in the public eye, yet he has grown into a fine human being.

    It’s refreshing to see now, the man that he has become, and to read his confessions of how he tried to hide from himself, as well as the public.

    When I finish the book in the next couple of days I’ll share Part 2 with you, but until then, consider reading it yourself – you will learn a lot about Andre Agassi, and I dare say that you will learn a little about yourself.

    In the meantime, here is a video of Agassi sharing some of the reasons he wrote Open.
  • Andrew Mercer 10:17 pm on September 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply  

    everybody wants to go to heaven 

    This is not what you think it is. A great book by David Crowder – dealing with bluegrass, spirituality and death not being the ultimate bummer.

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