Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How I finally landed in the 21st century

Well, it seems I blinked and have landed smack dab in the middle of the 21st century.

Hope you and yours had a Merry Christmas. Mine was fantastic. Even got some snow. OK, so I got a migraine, too. Nothing is perfect.

But back to this new century business. I guess I got the ball rolling by asking for -- and receiving -- an Amazon Kindle as a Christmas present. I had hesitated for a long while, waiting to see where eBooks were headed, saw a demonstration and decided I wanted one. Jennifer bought it for me.

Early verdict: I love it.

After a few pages you forget you're holding an electronic device. The screen's font isn't like a computer's. Think back to the Etch-A-Sketch. No glare in sunlight, either.

It's lightweight. It holds a ton of stuff. Purchases are backed up on the Internet. Books can be yours in less than a minute.

I am also trying out the New York Times free for two months. That is especially handy given that finding a copy of The Paper of Record in Halls is a bit like finding an atheist in a foxhole. It ain't easy. I am mulling over giving up my printed version of The New Yorker magazine when it comes due in May in favor of the Kindle edition. We'll see.

Downloaded and read my first book, an excellent Sherlock Holmes pastiche. Yesterday, I found a copy of Gibbon's "History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" for a whopping 88 cents. A bunch of titles, slipped into the public domain, are free or close to it. A nice feature is the ever-present dictionary. All you have to do is move your cursor to the word and, presto. So much for keeping that telephone book-sized college dictionary on the coffee table.

The good news is that the Kindle (and Nook, and iPad, etc.) appears to be complementing, as opposed to replacing, traditional books. Not every novel will appear in Kindle form. Some books you're still going to want to collect, or put on the shelf, or just hold in your hands.

If that weren't enough, pal Dean Harned went overboard and bought me a Blu-Ray player. Still can't believe it.

Bought a documentary on Hawaii that Jenn and I watched over the weekend. It looks stunning. Haven't yet bought a feature-length movie that was originally filmed in HD. But I have to say that "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" and "Elvis On Tour" both look fantastic -- and even standard DVDs look better on the Blu-Ray.

Then, to beat it all, Jenn brought over the Nintendo Wii that she's yet to take out of the box. Haven't felt like hooking it up yet, but I'm going to get the Wii Fit and try to lose 15 or 20 pounds. Plus, I want to bowl and play baseball, too.

Something old, something new, something borrowed -- but it's made me anything but something blue!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

By reading the daily New York Times and The New Yorker magazine you cause your friends to be greatly concerned for the state and spiritual health of your soul. Next you will be following the philosophy and writings Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Morrow.

2:43 PM  

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