Saturday, May 31, 2014

Welcoming a Kindle Into the Home

Our household finally adopted a Kindle. As I am an Amazon Prime subscriber, and I already do so much business with Amazon, it made sense to invite a Kindle into our home. When it came time for my family to decide whether to go the route of Kindle or Nook, we decided to go with the Nook. Our family frequents the local Barnes and Noble stores, so there was that congruent experience possible between retail store and eBook reader.

I haven't jumped on board the Kindle bandwagon all the way. Rather than a recent model, I stopped by the pawn shop and picked up a Kindle Touch for a little less than $40. This model is similar to the Nook Simple Touch in that there is a power button, a home button, and a touch screen. I like that about the Nook. The current base model Kindle has those stupid little buttons on the edges that I would most likely snap off some day.

The biggest draw to the Kindle, for me, is that it is much easier for getting work documents in it through the Amazon Cloud Drive service. In reality, I need the Kindle as a substitute for paper documents more than as a substitute for books, although I need books as well. In the long run, it would make sense to have multiple basic Kindle devices to act as avatars for individual documents or books.

I mentioned in yesterday's blog post that in the Star Trek Universe, with all their advanced technology, still delivered reports via individual P.A.D.D.s rather than just emailing the damned thing to the Captain. On the TV show, it was just for aesthetics; but, the idea does hold some value. If you have a report linked to a specific device, it's a visual reminder to process it and send it on to the next step. I'm not suggesting that they had one P.A.D.D. for each individual document.

Here is the scenario. First officer finishes his crew report and delivers it to the Captain. The Captain goes through the report, finishes, and has it sends the P.A.D.D. back to 1st officer. Then, the 1st Officer archives the document and dedicates the P.A.D.D. to the next job.

Having a file system with what is practically unlimited storage is great in that you do not have to delete any documents. The downside is that as your documents accumulate, finding stuff gets unwieldy, especially if you are working on multiple projects requiring different information.

It is much easier to isolate the few documents you need for a project on one or two devices, and use different devices for other projects. Thus, you reduce the amount of time spent searching for the same works every time you transition from project to project, as you would with a single device.

I think, as a family, we might benefit from having an e-ink device each for personal document representation and book reading.

I hesitate to use Amazon or other cloud services as a shared document archive because Amazon charges a higher price for their Cloud Drive than other services, firstly. Second, I am not clear that I could transfer my user account to a surviving spouse or child. I don't know if the TOS has changed the licensing terms, which basically state that Kindle books, and the account in general, is licensed to me only, and cannot be transferred.

In effect, I couldn't will my Amazon digital possessions to my children and hope that some day my great grandchildren would have access to my vast library. I think Amazon would eventually wise up that I'm not 150 years old.

After having said all that, it just makes sense that a Kindle should serve as a temporary document avatar while I'm working on something. Then, once I'm done, I could repurpose it to the next job. It would require more than one Kindle, of course, hence the pawn shop visit.
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