A little more than a decade after Amazon introduced the Kindle and turned the eReader market on its head, Knightwise reminisces about some of the earlier reading experiences and provides recommendations for a bunch of great reads.
Episode produced by Keith Murray
Image courtesy of Constance Wiebrands on Flickr
Books : Some like the smell of paper, the sounds of gentle footfalls in the hushed silence of libraries, some like flipping though pages and the rustling sound of paper turning in the night … I’m not one of those persons. To be honest : I’ve been reading digital books since the beginning of this century. From devices as primitive as the Palm to my much beloved Sony PRS-505 I am proud to say that I only read about 2 paper books in the last 12 years. My latest device of choice on which I have devoured many a book was my iPad mini. ( I had ‘loaned’ my Sony eBook reader to my 86 year old gran .. and she’ll never ever give it back). But where the iPad mini shines in the dark (its active screen is great for reading in the bedroom) it gleams in sunlight (its reflective glass is terrible for outside reading). So with my holiday coming up and plenty of reading to do .. I thought I would try out something new.
It was in fact Niejana who pointed out the Trekstor Pyrus Mini on our last visit to our favourite geek-friendly store in Aachen. Three things immediately made me fall in love with the device : The size (It reminds me of my trusty Palm devices) The color and texture (It has this rubbery enclosure thats a dark blue) and its price : 49 euro’s ! I mean : What could go wrong for 49 euro’s ?
The Pyrus has a 4.3 inch 800 by 600 Pixel E-Ink display. It has 2 gigabytes of onboard storage that you can extend by shoving in a micro SD card. There is no Wifi, Bluetooth or 3G connection. Just some buttons to navigate pages and adjust things like character size and the language of the interface. In the end this device is horribly horribly simple .. and that is just brilliant ! The Micro Usb connector is used for charging and adding titles to the onboard memory and since the screen is pretty small .. the battery time will last you quite a while. It can read all popular formats (it does have a hard time with large PDF’s) but can not read .mobi (Epub is fine though).
But aside from the price, the one thing I love more about this gadget is that its so small, thin and light that you can just slide it into your coat pocket and whip it out anywhere without having to bother with lids and casings and having enough room on the bus to read your book. At the size of a smartphone it might appear to small to read on, but the variable character sizing does make up for that. The screen has a very good contrast ratio and not a micron of ‘glare’.
Sure its not as robust as some of the ebook readers out there, sure it does not have all of the functionality of a Kindle or a Fire .. But for 49 euro’s this is the “paperback novel cousin” to the “hardcover collection” ebook reader that you can find on the market today I’m NOT afraid to use it, loose it, break it or get mugged for it. It just lets me read my favourite collection of Justin Bierbers Fanfic .. anywhere.
The internet is a valuable source of information but the question is : How can we get the most out of it ? In this show we take a look at the possibilities of gaining knowledge and experience from the wide wide web. We look at the different sources of information that are out there and how you can streampunk these informationstreams into your way of life. Last but not least we give you some essential tips on where and how to consume your carefully selected information to “curate the library of your mind’.
Music by Aes Dana : Principles of Gravity.
This weeks question of the week is quite simple : What three books do you think are essential for a geek to read. Answers in the comment section or via the hashtag #kwpow on twitter.
Our top 3 list.
– Dune, by Frank Herbert.
– 2001 quadrillgy by Arthur C. Clarke.
– Ghost in the wires by Kevin Mitnick.
A long time ago, when podcasting was still young, I found out about a writer who was nuts. This author, instead of just writing his book, decided to narrate every chapter and publish it as a podcast BEFORE the book got published. The first book – podcast series he did was called “infected” about a young football player who is infected by an alien spore that turns him violent. A vivid memory in my imagination is getting goosebumps all over as I was listening to one very well written graphical scene in the book .. while the actual outside temperature was 30 degrees C. Telling you about the books and about the author is pointless. You just have to listen to some of the books. Earthcore, Infected, Contaigon, Ancestor, Nocturnal … these titles are not only available as books and ebooks but also as free audio podcasts .. That you cannot miss out on. Scott is a master in reading his on work, getting the voices of every character just right .. Scaring the crap out of any listener an entertaining you for hours. Find them HERE. (and if you dare : watch the video interview with the dark overlord himself)