Kindle Fire

Fire!For the first time in my life, I seem to be the first person I’ve talked to to have the latest electronic toy, one of these. It doesn’t have the enormous coolness factor of something shiny and made by Apple, but still.

Overall I’m loving it. I’m using it more as an extra-portable and convenient web-browser/time-waster than as a reader and Amazon-content-delivery system (its obvious purpose), more cheap-and-small iPad than expensive Kindle. Which was pretty much my plan. It works great for that. It even works for some things I honestly didn’t expect it to, like reading powerpoint presentations (I wasn’t surprised so much that it tried as that it succeeded).

Of course there are some annoying things about it. Many would (I assume) apply to any mobile touch-screen toy—typing is painful, mobile websites are missing bits I take for granted (e.g. formatting in gmail). Some (many? most?) android apps don’t seem to be available in the amazon appstore—that is probably changing even as I write.

But the single most annoying thing is something I had expected to be trivial. I had figured it would be trivial to download a free ebook—from Project Gutenberg, say—and start reading it immediately. Not so! You can download a .mobi file, and then it just sits there refusing to be read. The quickest way I’ve found to get the demmed things to import is to

  • open QuickOffice
  • Documents/Downloads
  • Hold your finger down on the file, and pick “Send” when the menu comes up
  • Email it to your kindle account
  • Wait a while. Wait some more.

Isn’t there a better way to do this? If not, for the love of heaven why?*

On the subject of free ebooks, I’d like to give a shoutout to someone calling herself Cthulhuchick for digitizing the complete works of H. P. Lovecraft and making them available in a nice free edition. Also for picking a great nom d’internet.

* Maybe I’ll answer my own question: Amazon has no interest in my reading stuff I didn’t buy from them.


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