Sunday, February 20, 2011

eBooks and eBook readers and the death of the PC

I have a smartphone - Motorola A855 (Droid). On my smartphone I have several ebook readers. Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Nobel Nook, Kobo, and Aldiko. On my computer I have all these ebook readers and Calibre (an ebook manager and converter) and Adobe Digital Editions. Like everyone else I've thought of buying a dedicated ebook reader. Most of my ebooks that I have bought are in my Nook reader. A few are on the Kindle reader and one is on Kobo and one on the Adobe Digital Editions reader. Now, if I were to buy an ebook reader, which one would it be? Nook? Kindle? Sony? I'm not sure. Are eBooks and ebook readers any good? I've looked at the reviews and videos of both the Nook and Kindle. Each has specific features. I can see buying an ebook of something that I want to read once, but for reference books I can't see the benefit of the book being in an ebook format (except for search of course). I know the arguments about saving the trees. But to spend 140.00 - 384.00 for a reader then also having to buy the books - does that make economic sense? I know that both Amazon and Barnes and Nobel have many free books and book previews that can be downloaded, and I have previewed a few books then bought the ebook or even the paper book because of the preview. I also know that ebooks are somewhat less expensive than paper books. I am currently reading an ebook that cost 2.99 but the paper book is 19.95. Quite a difference in price. I enjoy going into a bookstore and looking around. I don't really enjoy going to a website and looking at ebooks as much. The browsing experience is quite different. Clicking on a book to read the synopsis then loosing my place in the listing of books is a unnerving experience. I once welcomed the computer age. I have had a computer since the 1980's. I enjoy the diversity that the computer embodies. Once I thought it was ridiculous to watch a movie on a computer. I have a DVD player and TV for that, but now I watch Hulu and catch up on TV show episodes. I enjoy watching TV and Movies on the computer. Some Smartphones have Kickstands so that you can lay the phone on its side and watch a movie on the phone, but in reality battery technology has lagged behind the other components in smartphones, so its not practical to watch a movie on a smartphone unless it is plugged into a charger the whole time. Technical writers are saying the the PC is dead. That people will be using their smartphones for functions that once were the specific realm of the computer, but I don't believe it! My computer as well as my smartphone search the internet, but its a royal pain to use the hyperlinks on a webpage on the phone even with a slide out keyboard. It's much easier to navigate webpages and hyperlinks using my computer. Yes the smartphone runs applications, but its does not have the power or storage capacity of my computer. My smartphone can not play Crysis! And Plants Vs Zombies looks great on my 19 inch monitor - on a small iPhone or DS or PSP screen - not so much! My computer powers my phone through USB. It transfers music and videos to my smartphone and PSP. It converts video formats. There is so much that my computer does that a smartphone or a Tablet cannot do. I think the "death of the PC" quote is hogwash! Sure there are game consoles like XBOX 360 and PS3, but the computer still continues to be the game machine of choice for all lovers of the Keyboard and Mouse. Tablets - like the iPad. What are they? Just larger iTouches and Smartphones. So, back to dedicated ebook readers. Do they have a place or not? For people who are on the go; yes they can be very beneficial. The Kindle has a Text to Speech function where the book can be read to you through earphones which the Nook lacks. America has always been about choice. Yes, we have choices in Smartphones and Tablets and computers. Time will tell which technology will rule out the others. Remember Betamax and VHS? Remember HD DVD and BluRay? Someday we will be talking about iPad and something else with one coming out the Victor. Same with Kindle and Nook and all the other ebook readers. What do you think? Are ebooks a valid replacement for paper books? Are ebook readers worth the expense? Do you think the PC will be DEAD in 2 or 3 years? Technology does move fast. 3D TV's , BluRay players, Smartphones and Tablets give us choices today , but what will tomorrow bring? I like the Best Buy commercial where all the new tech devices are obsolete as soon as they are bought. 3D TV being brought into a house and COMING SOON 4D on the deliver truck. My smartphone has a 500 Mhz CPU. Soon after I bought it the new smartphones had 1 Gig CPU. Now they are producing phones with dual core CPU's, but battery technology is still lagging behind.
I am not down on new technology. I just wish that people would discover the cure for hatred, wars, crime, man's inhumanity to man, neglect and indifference. Technology cannot solve the most basic human need - a new heart. Only Jesus Christ can change the human heart. And in an ever changing world with its fast paced technology and exploding knowledge base its good to know that Jesus is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever!

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