burning kindle

February 25, 2009 under Internet

Amazon is now shipping version 2 of their Kindle ebook reader. Many of the blogs and Twitter-ers that I follow are espousing the latest Kindle and mention how quick they are to order one of the $350 USD little gadgets to “try it out”.

I know I’m not part of the blogging and Twitter elite – I’m a scrubby Z-lister blogger and Twitter-er – so I’m clearly doing it wrong. Yet I could not fathom a need to drop that kind of cash on a device to “try it out” or even out of a want for the thing, and here’s why – if Apple starts selling books on iTunes or the App Store, it’s game over for the Kindle.

The Kindle is a little device that allows you to purchase ebooks from Amazon via a built-in 3G-style wireless and read them. That’s all well and good, but what about books with full-colour images and illustrations? To me, that would be like ditching your Nintendo DS and picking up the original GameBoy. The other knock I have against the Kindle is its inability to display monospaced fonts. Almost anything I read is related to software development and reading code in a proportional font is unacceptable – you be the judge:

Monospaced Code:

// You should see this in a monospaced font. Yay : - )
using System;

public class HelloWorld
{
   public static void Main(string[] args)
   {
      Console.WriteLine("Hello, World!");
   }
}

Proportional Code:
// You should see this in a proportional font. Boo-urns : – (
using System;

public class HelloWorld
{
public static void Main(string[] args)
{
Console.WriteLine(“Hello, World!”);
}
}

It’s a no-brainer.

Which is why I say Apple can destroy the Kindle if they decide to sell ebooks on iTunes or the App Store. The iPhone and iPod Touch have beautiful full-colour displays, can render monospaced fonts and feature full 3G and 802.11 wireless connectivity complete with Web browsing abilities.

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