Archive | December, 2009

24 Hours with the Kindle

My Kindle arrived yesterday afternoon and I’ve spent the last 24 hours trying it out. The packing was overly simplistic. In fact I was a little surprised…just a standard Amazon cardboard box and a protective liner on the front screen.

After plugging it in and getting a little battery power I began to put it to use. Since I purchased it for myself it was already linked to my Amazon account. In the last 24 hours I’ve ordered 4 books. The purchasing and downloading was straight forward. The Kindle did lock up while downloading the ESV Study Bible. I’m not sure how big the dowload was but it choked and I had to turn the Kindle off and on again to get things back to normal. Other than that minor hiccup everything else has been performed as expected.

Pros:
– Unbelievably easy on the eyes. The E-ink screen is really nice. I had read other reviews and didn’t really believe them, but it is just like looking at the pages of a real book. The screen is the biggest plus for me.
– Easy purchasing capability. You simply choose the Amazon Store from the menu, type the book you want in the search bar and choose Purchase. That’s it. In under 1-2 minutes you have the book on your Kindle and can start reading.
– Bookmarks and Highlights. While you’re reading you simply click the little joystick which starts a highlight, move the joystick right and/or down and then click again to end the highlight. It’s then added to your list of highlights for that book, which can be found under the Menu in the “My Marks” section.

Cons:
– I don’t really care for the keyboard. The buttons have a funny shape with a slightly raised center. It doesn’t feel natural at all. And while I know how to type I felt the need to search for keys instead of intuitively finding them.
– The little joystick seems like it could break easy.
– No backlight. While I appreciate that this greatly improves battery life it would be nice to have.
– Navigation seems to lag a little. As you’re reading if you push down on the joystick it places your cursor at the top of the page. With every downward push of the joystick it moves your cursor down a line, naturally. It just seems to me it could be a little more responsive. I have found myself wanting to touch the screen at the location I wanted to place the cursor.

One other thing I’ve tried, which worked well. I have had a book in PDF form sitting on my computer for quite a while. I emailed the PDF to my Kindle email which converted the PDF to the Kindle format and emailed me back a download link. I downloaded the file, connected my Kindle and simply dropped the PDF in the Documents folder of the Kindle. The PDF is now listed along with my other books for me to read. Pretty cool.

The first 24 hours have been great. I’m looking forward to trying it out in “real-life” scenarios…flights, doctors offices, while driving, etc.

*Full Disclosure: the links to Amazon are through my Affiliate account. Purchases made through my account go towards the projects and work we do through our charity, CommunityOne.

Reminders From Woods and Chandler

Two things have caught my attention in the past several days. One, the bizarre story of Tiger Woods and his meeting with the fire hydrant and tree. And two, the news that went out on Thanksgiving that Matt Chandler, pastor of the Village Church, had a seizure and was found to have a small mass on the frontal lobe of his brain which will require surgery this coming Friday. These two stories, on seemingly opposite ends of the spectrum, I can’t help but compare and contrast as I go throughout my day(s).

In Tiger Woods we are reminded yet again that excellence does not mean perfection. He may be the greatest golfer to ever walk the earth, but he’s not a perfect man, nor a perfect husband. We hold these types of men on pedestals that are so high they can’t help but fall. We put our kids in golf camps at the age of three in the hopes that they become the next Tiger. We cheer for his wins and we groan in his defeats. But what he showed us in the early hours of the morning is that he is fallible, that he has issues, that he, just like you and me, is normal. I’m not too concerned about the details of his marriage. I’m not even concerned about what actually happened the other morning. I am concerned that the media, and by default you and I, put so much stock in his life. Why do we care so much? Why is this a story? Because we’ve made much of a man…a normal man.

In Matt Chandler we are reminded that life can change in the blink of an eye. We are reminded, that in all reality, we aren’t guaranteed our tomorrow. In fact, it’s not even ours. I’ve read with great interest Matt’s Twitter updates, Lauren’s (his wife) updates, and the updates given on Facebook by the elders of the Village. What I read in their words is what I’ve heard in Matt’s sermons time and time again. I am of the opinion that Matt is one of the best speakers in America today. He brings passion, and conviction, and compassion, and best of all, the Word of God. If you listen to Matt long enough you’ll come to understand that He places the glory of God above all things. He places it above the church he pastors, the children he has, Lauren, and even his own life. He knows for certain that when Paul says in Romans that God works all things together for our good that the all means even the bad things. Matt knows that this mass in his frontal lobe is there so that he can bring glory to God. Why do we care so much? Why is this a story? Because Matt has made much of God…a great God.

I’m not sure what will happen in the lives of these two men in the coming days. The Tiger story will grow faint and may, someday, be a tiny little asterisk on a fabulous career. The next chapter in the Chandler story will be his upcoming surgery this Friday. I know which story has me on the edge of my seat. It’s not the one that makes much of man, but the one that makes much of God.