A bit of tech banter with Labour activist ((how demeaning to reduce a person to one trait. I’ve never met him or spoken to him in person, but I know he’s also a beer drinker, a cricket watcher and Scampi Fries enthusiast – and I fear that if I say anything even vaguely positive about him it will end up in a leaflet with TOP LIB DEM RECOMMENDS LABOUR VOTE all over it at the next Council elections)) reminds me to share the news that I have made one decision after my tech wavering, leaving plenty more up in the air.
So, I convinced myself that I do, in fact, need an Amazon Kindle, and have plumped for the Wifi version, which I have pre-ordered and hope to receive before Lib Dem conference.
I can’t possibly carry that many books with me on our honeymoon, and so a technological response is called for.
If I’m canny, I could even subscribe to free fortnights worth of trial magazine subs and cancel them on my return.
An entirely technological response however, won’t be feasible, as I will still be buying some books. The basic compromise I have made with myself is that those books that I would normally pass around the family, that can be bought cheaply second hand, will still be bought as books. I shall need the latest secondhand paperback Evanovichs and Graftons and Reichs. ((I still wouldn’t spring for the hardback prices)) And I’ll always have a quick look at prices across multiple formats to check there aren’t cheaper alternatives.
So in preparing for my new arrival, I have already bought a few books to put on the Kindle. I thought I would go for stuff I know I like, because I can probably get absorbed into that quickly enough to get over the weirdness of a new format.
The four titles I’ve paid for for my Kindle are:
Monstrous Regiment – a Pratchett. Haven’t read any pterry for ages, so now is as good a time as any to catch up.
Girl with a Dragon Tatoo – Stieg Larsson, I think I remember reading somewhere, has made a massive milestone in terms of ebook sales, so I thought I would help out.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – well, why not?
4-hour Work Week – I keep buying self help titles and then ignoring them. I read Getting Things Done
when we were on holiday, so why not this too?
In addition to paid-for titles, there is a wealth of free, classic texts available for Kindle, including anything available on Gutenberg. So the following have also made their way onto my Kindle, when it finally arrives:
- Adventures of Sherlock Homes
- Treasure Island
- Homer’s Iliad
- Heart of Darkness
- The Detective Stories of Charles Dickens
- Chocolate and Cocoa Recipes
- Dracula’s Guest
- Life on the Mississippi
- The Captain’s Toll-Gate
- Welsh Fairy Tales
- The French Revolution (Thomas Carlyle)
- A Rogue’s Life (Wilkie Collins)
- Prisona of Zender
- Beasts and Superbeasts (Saki)
- When William Came (Saki)
- The Toys of Peace (Saki)
Unresolved tech decisions
Still no decision made about new laptop – and I still need it before Conference in late September.
I have totally ruled out an iPad. Nice, but too expensive.
And still no decision about a new phone. Orange have confirmed that I am now entitled to a free upgrade, although it would be another few months before I could freely leave for another network.
I think I have decided to go for an Android phone not an iPhone as the latest iPhone is so expensive and not readily available.
I’m seriously considering changing networks – only really for better reception in the vicinity of Nottingham city centre, and London. It’s all but impossible to connect to the internet on 3G anywhere in the city centre and anywhere in London. There’s a point on the Mansfield Road coming home from town, usually around the General Cemetary, when all the text messages I should have had during the afternoon suddenly arrive at once, as I change cell towers. When I came home from London after the week singing, all the photos I’d been trying to send to the internet for a week just magically uploaded in a few minutes, when it wasn’t possible to send them at all before.
Having looked closely at tariffs, it doesn’t appear any other company can beat what I currently have on Orange, particularly now they are rewarding my decadesworth of monthly payments, so the only question is – is it worth the hassle of changing networks for the unknown carrot of better 3G reception on another operator? I can’t know whether I will get better reception until I’ve already committed to a two year contract with someone else!