February 3rd, 2008

TIME:  In Rod We Trust

I don't want to set the world on fire...

So far I'm seriously loving my Kindle book reader. I've subscribed to a newspaper (the San Jose Mercury News), a magazine (Reader's Digest) and a couple blogs (Ars Technica and AP Strange). I rather like being able to receive a newspaper, and having one with no messy ink and no stacks of old papers is even better.  I go to bed at night, and when I get up the next morning, the latest newspaper has already been downloaded and is ready to read.  And a month worth of the Mercury News is only $5.99, or less than 20 cents per issue.

The screen is really incredible. You have to see it to believe it. The letters are so crisp and clear that you don't feel like you're looking at a computer screen, it's almost as good as paper. (Not quite as white as a good, acid-free paper, but more like an old pulp paperback.) It's clear enough that I keep the font set on its smallest setting.

I'm absolutely amazed at the wireless signal strength I'm getting here. I live 15 miles as the crow flies from the edge of the city, out in the middle of corn and soybeans, yet I'm getting an EVDO signal with all 5 bars! Meanwhile my Verizon RAZR phone only gets 1 bar, if I'm lucky. The Whispernet service actually seems faster than our ISP!

I've tried the web browser, and while it works fine for some sites, like LiveJournal and Weather Underground, it's a bit wonky for some, like Wikipedia (unless you reduce the font size to minimum), and a few sites won't work at all. Pages with lots of graphics really slow things down. FurAffinity loads, but it's so graphics intensive that I gave up waiting for everything to render. Strangely, VCL would not load, though I've managed to load that site on my PDA, cellphone and Nintendo DS.

I've downloaded about 100 books from manybooks.net and WebScriptions.net, all free. I've managed to find many of my favorites, like Sherlock Holmes as well as some new books (like the sequel to Rats, Bats and Vats). I was pleasantly surprised to see that Amazon is offering The Fox Woman and Turning Point, both books I already have in dead tree version, and both wonderful anthropomorphic books that I highly recommend.

I hope these electronic books catch on; they'd be perfect for school textbooks.  The first month or so in my Senior year of high school, we didn't have any lockers, so we had to carry all of our books to every class, then drag them all home again at night.  I'd have killed to have one of these back then.

These pictures don't do the screen justice.

The Kindle without its cover.

The Kindle with its leather cover, displaying a page from Reader's Digest

One of the Kindle's Easter Eggs, Minesweeper! I won!

And yes, I managed to put furry porn on it. I'm really amazed at just how clear that screen is, despite being only 4 shades of gray. Again, the pictures don't do the screen justice.
Grandfather Marine

Old old old family pictures

I was formatting my grandfather's autobiography for use on the Kindle when I came across a cache of image files, scans he'd made of old family photos.

My Great-Great-Great-Great-Uncle Zachariah Lewis.

My Great-Great-Great-Grandfather Malachi Lewis (seated near the center) and his family.  My Great-Great-Grandfather John Douglas Lewis is standing in the back row, far left, with his wife (and my Great-Great-Grandmother) Lillie seating in front of him.

My Great-Great-Grandfather, John Douglas Lewis.

John Douglas Lewis and family standing in front of their Garfield, GA home.

John Douglas Lewis' children, clockwise from the tall girl, Luck, Ottis, Byron, Albert (my Great-Grandfather) and John.

My Great-Grandfather, Albert Chapman Lewis.

My Great-Grandmother, Tevis Thelma Grubbs Lewis.

From left to right, my Grandfather's sister Betty, my Grandfather, my Great-Grandmother Tevis and my Grandfather's brother Robert.

Four generations of the Lewis family, my Great-Great-Grandmother Lillie, my Great-Grandmother Tevis, my Grandfather and his daughter (my aunt) Linda.

My Grandparents and their children, oldest to youngest, my uncle Roger, aunt Linda and my mother, standing in front of their new 1955 Chevy.

A photo taken of my Grandfather in Korea, 1952.

A newspaper clipping showing my Grandfather's promotion to Gunnery Sergeant.  He is on the left, shaking hands with his commanding officer, Col. Carl L. Sitter.

My Grandparents all dressed up for a formal function.