First off, the first thing you notice with the Kindle is just how nice the screen is. Amazon designed the kindle so that it would disappear in your hands as you are readying and that is certainly true. The screen is clear, crisp, and renders detail in photos exceptionally well considering it only has 16 shades of gray to work with.
Whisper net seems to deliver books as fast as I would expect it to, purchasing a book from amazon.com on my computer, then turning to my kindle a few minutes later and the book was showing in my list already. Wireless delivery is very handy as I don’t have to search for the USB cable and copy the books manually.
Starting with Version 2.3, the Kindle now supports native PDF reading without the need to convert. There is a catch however, and that is you cannot zoom the text. Most of the PDF files that I read are formatted to fit an 8.5×11″ sheet of paper, not a 6″ screen. You can rotate the PDF and hold your Kindle horizontally, but this only goes so far, as some PDF authors seem to be using 6 and 8 point font as standard text. The solution is to use an application such as “Calibre” (http://calibre-ebook.com/) which is free. Once I converted my PDF files to .mobi, I can zoom the text and read them comfortably.
Being a commuter, spending countless hours behind the wheel of my car stuck in traffic I need a versatile sound system. For my money, that turned out to be the JVC KD-R600 head unit for my 2002 Volkswagen Golf. One of the nicest features of this head unit is iPod and iPhone control support via the front faceplate’s USB port. Now that I have an iPhone 3GS, my battery is always topped up, and I don’t know how I did without this feature before. The unit also plays back audio and MP3 CD’s, in addition to USB thumb drives and USB hard drives.
I wanted to not love the iPhone, really I did. All those smug apple fan boys, all the glowing media reports, it couldn’t be that good right? Its just a phone people, and the app store is evil and draconian in its review of applications. I wanted to be different and choose a phone that was completely open, so when the last upgrade cycle came around, I avoided the iPhone (at the time it was just before the release of the 3GS) and went with the Rogers HTC Dream Android based phone.
Android, Google’s Open Source OS for smart phones has finally come to Canada in the form of the HTC Dream (T-mobile G1 in the USA). Roger’s Android phone features some changes from the default Android 1.5 (Cupcake) OS that makes it unique to Canada, most notably, built in support for ActiveSync, allowing you to get push email from a Microsoft Exchange server.
There are some caveants, the most important being, if you want to use your Rogers HTC Dream with an Exchange Server, it must be running Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 with Service Pack 1 applied. In our testing, we discovered that HTC has formatted their https commands differently than the iPhone, and other ActiveSync devices causing a “Sync Protocol Error” to be displayed on the phone.
Overall, I quite like the device, and I am quite fond of its ability to run an SSH client full screen, and allowing me to use the 5 line qwerty keyboard to control servers and routers that I need access to remotely. Web browsing is also nice and fast thanks to built in HSPA 3.5G support (7.2Mbps download, 2Mbps upload). The built in mail client is very similar in operation to the Apple mail client that comes with the iPod touch, and iPhone. I really like the built in Calendar’s ability to sync with Google Calendar, as well as exchange, showing the events in both calendars in different colors. This allows me to keep my personal calendar separate from my work calendar.
As expected, all of the Google apps really shine on Android, Maps, Talk, Youtube and Mail all work seamlessly with Google, and are activated with the very first setup screen when the phone is started up for the first time.
The Rogers version of the HTC Dream comes with a 2GB micro SD card already installed in the phone.
So far, I’ve only had the phone for 6 days, I’ll be posting a more detailed post on the phone after I’ve had a chance to use it for work for a month.
Post a comment if you have a question that you’d like me to answer.
I’ve had a couple of small hiccups with the integrated intel video and my widescreen monitor, but this is nothing new. A quick installation of ’915resolution’ and I was up and running in widescreen once again. The built in Intel graphics work very will with the integrated compiz fusion graphic features enabled by default. Hardy Heron exibits a level of polish that is on par with OSX. The extra graphical features are not of the gee-whiz variety, like OSX, they provide a pleasing and integrated level of animation into the desktop.