My take on the Kindle

For those of you kept in suspense since my last blog post – I bought the Mac! Managed to pick up a second hand Mac Mini from eBay on a second chance offer that was a bit of a steal! Got it fully up and running using Synergy and a KVM switch, but that’s another blog for another day…

Latest purchase is the new Amazon Kindle. They’ve really nailed down the price (nearly under £100 for the WiFi only version now), and the quantity and quality of books on there seems to be going from strength to strength. Basically, I wanted a device that I can sit in bed and read on without messing up my eyes, and also carry with me for odd moments where a book would come in handy. Having textbooks on there as well would be a huge bonus, saving on weight and cash! I’ve been meaning to get back into reading books for a long time, and am really glad I bought a Kindle – I’ve hardly put it down since!

First book I bought was Nikki Sixx’s book – ‘The Heroin Diaries‘ – it’s an absolutely fascinating view into the mind of a drug addict, as the main bulk of the book is a diary that he was keeping at the time, interspersed with stories and dialogue from the people close to him. I’d thoroughly recommend it! The buying process on the device is nowhere near as awkward as I anticipated either, the menus do flow quite nicely. I’m yet to try it with any textbooks (waiting to see what I need to read up on this year!), but I’m sure that even if I can get one course textbook on it, it’ll be a lifesaver in terms of weight!

A lot of people tried to dissuade me from getting one (Seb Payne & I were going to argue it out on Tech 107, but life got in the way!), saying that the Apple iPad was the way to go forwards, or to wait 12 months to see if colour e-ink displays come into the market. Buying an iPad is something that’s never even crossed my mind to date, the technology behind it is no different to my iPhone, which I have on my person most of the time, so buying a slightly steamrollered device that does the same job doesn’t make much sense to me! I do, however, want to see if colour e-ink displays will start to come of age soon, but I guess that (as with the Kindle) they’ll be extremely expensive on launch.

Well that’s my £0.02 on the matter of tablet computing (or whatever market you’d classify these devices in!), I’d better get doing something vaguely useful as opposed to writing blog posts. Dads & Lads camp with Cubs next weekend, and back up to Durham the week after to get prepared for the onslaught of Freshers week – can’t wait!!

To Mac or not to Mac

As you may know, I am the extremely happy owner of an iPhone. I also happen to be doing a degree which has something to do with programming (apparently…), leading me to wonder what would happen if I were to try combining these two!

I’ve previously had one or two ideas put to me for iPhone software, and also have thought of some myself. Objective-C looks like a bit of a pain in the backside to learn, but challenges are fun! The only obstacle left in my way is Apples decision to only let you run their iPhone development software on their own OS.

This leaves me with a couple of options. Firstly, I could put together a hackintosh on some old hardware, providing I’ve got some hardware lying around that it will work with! The only downside of trying that approach is that this is likely to happen. The other option is to buy one, I’ve been having a look at Mac Minis, which would probably cost somewhere in the region of £600 with student discount.

I don’t know if I’m ready to give up my Mac-hater stance and actually buy one, but I’m tempted…