Saturday morning

My Acer netbook is slowly downloading Natty Narwhal. I’m typing this on my Macbook Pro. My iPhone is elsewhere, minding its own business. And I have my Kindle open to the Economist’s World This Week column, which I just Facebooked the best quote ever from:

“A young man and his fiance were expected to get married in central London on April 29th. Millions of Britons took advantage of the opportunity to take a foreign holiday.”

I am a gadget fan, so I am fond of all of my gadgets, even the netbook, which I’ve taken to calling my Fisher Price laptop. But I love the Kindle and am always happy when I put it down after reading something from it. A delightful mystery to me. Or is it?

iPad Today over on the lovely TWiT network had a comparison of the new Moleskine iPad app with Notability, another note-taking app. Moleskine, not surprisingly, is trying to sell paper notebooks, so you get a million options for exactly reproducing the paper product: pages that look like graph paper, or with lines, or blank. Skeuomorphs, things which are made to look like familiar things which they aren’t, are increasingly annoying for me. Like the future iCal, which is designed to look like a desk calendar down to having a fake leather border, they are meant to remind you of a thing you already know. Except, I have plenty of options for paper planners if that’s what I want.

The Kindle is the opposite of that. Amazon has taken the book experience, addressed the resolution problem with a kind of electronic screen that feels like paper to the brain (it works with reflected light, like a book, rather than a backlight, like a laptop or tablet). But having done that, there aren’t fakey page-turning graphics—they take the text and turn it into something that works in its new form. The Economist on Kindle fixes my major problem with magazines, which is that I’ve essentially paid for a glossy collection of advertisements with some content scattered through—here I can just read what I want, free from things trying to get my attention.

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Published by

cstrauber

Boston area academic librarian and instructional designer. News junkie. Fan of marine mammals, October.