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Do People Who Love Real Books Still Like Kindles

This Christmas an Amazon Kindle sat waiting for me underneath the tree. I wasn’t expecting it; hadn’t hinted at even the merest desire for this technological alternative to the traditional book. In fact, I was rather opposed to it. For even though the Kindle is not exactly new these days, I had never really warmed to the idea of reading my books on an electronic device. I have always loved real books. I like turning the pages; the smell of new paper; the glossy covers.

One of my favourite things tablets baratas to do in town, if time allows, is to browse the aisles of the local Waterstones at my leisure. I feel very much at home in a book shop. I like to pick up a book and read the blurb; to flick through and absorb the writing style, allowing myself a general feel for what’s inside. My favourite place to read is in the indulgent solitude of the bathroom during a relaxing soak – the one place where I am not disturbed by anyone else in the family.

And water and electronics never mix.So, you might wonder, does all this mean that I did not unwrap my gift with enthusiasm? I might like real books made with printed paper, but I do like reading very much. So a Kindle must surely be a thoughtful gift, for a true lover of the written word? Maybe one just has to adapt, I decided – although I really wasn’t sure that this new way of reading could ever be the same.

The truth is, I like turning pages. Still, reading via a Kindle has obvious advantages – for one thing, no trees need to be felled. It also eliminates the issue of what to do with books once enjoyed, yet now gathering dust on the bookshelf. Some books are meant to be read again and again; most are simply not. Of course, there is the local charity shop or secondhand book store, but nowadays even most of those seem to be bursting at the seams with other people’s cast off books. If a book is in decent condition and a popular title, it might find another owner.

Some books, though, never will – at the local fete there is always a pile of books left at the end that no one has even looked at. Reading by means of a Kindle is therefore a great way to avoid contributing to the pile of unwanted books in our world.Keen to get to grips with my new Kindle, I purchased my first digital book sometime on Christmas afternoon. It was a fiction book, one I had always thought about reading but somehow never had. It was actually no cheaper than a traditional book – the price of a Kindle version does seem to be rather inconsistant.

However, later on that evening, I purchased two more books for my Kindle – a biography and another non-fiction title. Both of these were cheaper than the paper versions, and the biography was only 99p! This, I decided, was a real bargain. I thoroughly enjoyed the biography, which concerned a famous singer/songwriter and which I might well have not ended up reading at all had it not been for my new Kindle.

I have discovered I am much more reckless with my purchases when it comes to the Kindle versions of books. Usually, I do not venture out to purchase a title unless I am really sure that it is something I definitely want to read. This has meant that many books I thought might have been ok but which I wasn’t really excited about have bypassed me altogether. I am unlikely to go out and buy ten books in a month in Waterstones, but this might well be something I might do with my Kindle (particularly if I can find some bargains, like the 99p one).

My Kindle unintentionally leads me into a more diverse world of reading – don’t ask me why, it just does.Four days after Christmas, I have already finished reading the biography and I am partway through my second ebook. This is actually the most reading I have done in a long time. I have found myself picking up my Kindle in the kitchen while I wait for the vegetables to cook. I have taken it out in my handbag – it sits very nicely in the middle compartment. I don’t often travel alone by bus or train, but if I did I would look forward to taking along my lightweight, slimline Kindle.

It would be the perfect, space-saving way to transport multiple books – ideal for breaks and holidays away from home. I can’t read it in the bath, of course, but I am discovering that reading via a Kindle is extremely convenient everywhere else. What’s more, it is very easy to use – even for a self-confessed technophobe like me. It remembers your place, you can flit back and forth if you need to (although flicking back a long way is less easy), and it doesn’t get tatty around the edges. So then, am I converted? Is the Kindle really suitable for lovers of the real, print on paper book?I have certainly surprised myself.

I am falling in love with my Kindle despite the fact that I don’t think I would ever have purchased one off my own back. I could never have imagined reading a book on a screen, but actually it was something I got used to very quickly. It isn’t bright, like a laptop. so there is none of that tired-eye feeling or a headache – in fact, you can’t see it at all in the dark (unless you buy a little light for it). I have shelves crammed with books of all genres and have no intentions of getting rid of them – but shelves can become too full with books that are rarely read and are not loved and in the end no more will fit. I have never desired a Kindle, yet I am very happy with the one I have been given.

It sits beside me on the sofa at night, like a new friend. It can contain more information inside it than a whole bookcase of novels ever could and yet it weighs about as much as a small egg. This morning when I woke, the kids were still asleep. I reached for my Kindle and read a few pages. I also downloaded a free sample from a book I might or might not want to read. It was there in an instant.

Does this mean I am completely converted? Will I ever again go into Waterstones and buy a ‘real’ book, the kind made with paper? As far as the Kindle goes, yes, I think I am a convert. I do really like it. I will definitely be buying a lot of books to read on it, including many that I would simply never have ended up buying in the local bookstore.

And yes, I know that I will still purchase the odd ‘real’ book, although not as many as before. Sometimes the physical book is cheaper than the Kindle version for some unknown reason – especially if it is on sale. Also, a few books are just so special that you really do need to have something to hold; pages to turn; perhaps beautiful pictures to look at.

Most, however, are perfectly adequate stored in the memory of the Kindle. This new revolution in reading can be welcomed, even for people who love ‘real’ books. If I can love a Kindle, I think anyone can. And it’s not all or nothing – you can enjoy the best of both worlds. But no, you cannot read your Kindle in the bath.

Building the Ultimate Budget Linux Tablet part 1

I’ve been playing around with Linux systems for some time now, and in recent years have grown very fond of Ubuntu and Ubuntu based distributions. Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu, Linux Mint and all of the other distributions based on Ubuntu (and there are a ton of them out there) have shown how versatile Linux systems can be. (And speaking of versatile, I’ve even set up some dual boot systems, just libros baratos so I could continue to use Windows programs that WINE couldn’t handle.) All of this brings me to my latest project, building a convertible tablet running a Linux OS.

For the past few months, I have been using a Dell Vostro 3350 as my travel laptop. This was an upgrade from a Dell Latitude 2100 netbook which hadn’t served my purposes well (I’ll explain later). For the most part, I really liked the Vostro. It had a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a fast 80GB Solid State Drive, and a 13-inch widescreen that straddled the gray line between too-small and too-big screens. Unfortunately, my wife’s archaic Dell Latitude D430 began experiencing problems, and rather than try to repair it, I decided to scrap her laptop and giver her mine. This left me without a laptop, which is where this story really gets started.

Being on a budget, I wanted to keep my costs down. At the same time, I had experienced budget laptops in the past and was often disappointed. This meant buying used, but not just any used. No, what I would want is to take yesterdays premiere laptop, add a little this and that, and have the ultimate laptop… at least the ultimate for my needs.My Laptop Requirements

The “ultimate laptop” is going to mean different things to different people, all depending what their needs are.
Keyboard Most of my time at the laptop is spent writing. That means I need a comfortable keyboard that isn’t cramped. Keyboard flex can be a major annoyance when writing, so a rigid keyboard was a must. I also needed a track pad that would be easy to manipulate. A touch screen would be nice, but not a necessity.

12 to 13-inch screen I have had everything from netbooks with a tiny 8.9-inch screen to laptops with 17-inch screens. I love big screens (my desktop computer uses a triple monitor display), but since this laptop is for working on the go, I needed to balance screen size with portability. I didn’t want to go too small, as my eyes aren’t what they used to be, and straining to look at a little netbook screen gives me a headache. My Vostro had a 13-inch widescreen, and that has seemed like the perfect compromise between screen size and portability.

Speed When I had the netbook, I was often irritated by how slow it was. Since I mainly used writing software (which isn’t very resource-intensive), I was fine once I started writing. But waiting for everything to boot, running photo software, and anything that required much out of the computer was agonizing. Never again, I had said.

There are a few things that can contribute to a slow computer, and I decided to try and address as many as possible. For starters, I wanted a dual core processor of at least 2 GHz per core. I also wanted plenty of RAM… 4GB at the minimum. And finally, I wanted a fast hard drive. I had been impressed with the speed of the solid state drive (SSD) in my Vostro, so I knew this was something I would want.

Durability While I am not one to abuse my computer equipment, I also don’t want to treat it gingerly either. To that end, I was willing to put up with a little added expense, weight and bulk if it meant a more durable laptop.

Convert to a tablet I read a lot of books, and over the past few years, I have been buying more and more eBooks. At home, I usually read my eBooks on an android tablet. So I have a desktop computer, a laptop computer, and an android tablet. I began to think about how nice it would be to eliminate the tablet and make the laptop do double duty. This would mean a convertible laptop, one with a swiveling or flipping screen for switching to portrait orientation. There are plenty of eBook reading programs available, so on the software end, I would be fine.

Integrated SD card reader This may seem like a small thing, as SD card readers that plug into USB ports are cheap and widely available. They also tend to be rather fragile, and I can’t count the number that I have lost or broke over the years.

Armed with these specs, I began my research. I found several models that were a few years old that seemed to fit my needs, so I headed over to EBay and began to search. I soon found what seemed to be the perfect base for my project… a Fujitsu T5010 that was lacking both hard drive and RAM modules. After viewing the images of the laptop, I decided it looked to be in good condition. I also checked the seller’s EBay feedback, which was over 99%. Satisfied, I purchased the laptop for $100, shipping included. I also purchased 2 4GB DDR3 RAM modules ($46) and a factory refurbished 500GB Seagate hybrid hard drive ($65). This brought my total for the laptop to $211. While this is certainly not cheap, this is a far lower price than what a comparable new laptop would cost me.

I would like to take a moment to mention the hybrid hard drive, as not everyone may be aware of what this is. A hybrid hard drive combines a traditional hard drive with a small amount of flash memory. This allows you to have a relatively large storage capacity (in this case, 500GB) while having read/write speeds nearly equal to that of a solid state drive. The price of hybrid drives is also much lower than that of a solid state drive, making it an excellent way to achieve near solid state performance at a fraction of the cost.

After receiving the laptop, I was happy to see that it was in great shape. The finish was nice and clean, with only an occasional scuff mark; no chips or deep scratches. The keyboard was niche and stiff, with no loose keys. The battery seemed to be in prime shape. All in all, this was a great find.The Fujitsu T5010 Specs

The Fujitsu T5010 is a business/student convertible tablet that first hit the market in 2009. When new, these units were priced between $1700 and $2100 depending on options. Sporting a rugged black alloy casing, the T5010 looks and feels very utilitarian. There is a very solid feel to this laptop, and everything feels well made. They keyboard is white and is said to be spill-proof. There is not even the slightest hint of chassis or keyboard flex… a very good thing.

The screen is 13.3-inch that is geared more toward writing and viewing documents than watching widescreen movies, which is perfect for me. Screen reflections are not a problem, and the color rendering is great. The screen is attached to the chassis of the laptop via a central swivel which allows the user to quickly switch from laptop to tablet mode. There is also an included digital pen for use with the touch screen (the touch screen only works with the pen, not your fingers).

The T5010 came with a variety of processor speeds. My particular laptop came with an Intel core 2 duo T9550, operating at 2.66GHz per core. There are two slots for DDR3 RAM modules, which allows for up to 8GB of RAM. An 80GB hard drive was commonly installed, although other hard drive options were available. The hard drive sits in a shock protected bay. The optical drive, which sits in the bay next to the hard drive, can be swapped out for an additional hard drive or an additional battery.

Plenty of ports were included. There are three USB ports, a SD card slot, wired internet, monitor, and mic/headphone jacks, and an express card slotInstalling RAM and Hard Drive

As I said earlier, I purchased this laptop separate from the hard drive and RAM modules, so these would need to be installed before I got the laptop running. I did a little searching on the Internet, and found some hard drive installation instructions. Simply flip the laptop upside-down. The hard drive/RAM area is accessed by removing a large black panel which is held in place by 13 small Phillips-head screws. Remove the screws and the panel lifts out.
The hard drive resides in a caddy. The caddy simply lifts from the laptop, revealing the four screws that mount the hard drive to the caddy. I removed these screws, placed the hard drive in the caddy, and then re-install the four screws. After that, I put the caddy back into the laptop
The DDR3 modules were ridiculously easy to install. Like many laptops, there is a mounting point on the motherboard for the RAM modules. In the case of the Fujitsu, the RAM mounting point is in the center of the laptop. I simply pressed the RAM module into the mounting point and it snapped in place. I repeated this step for the second module, and then replaced the back cover to the laptop. The entire installation process took less than fifteen minutes.Click here to go to page two…