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Old 02-04-2008, 04:55 AM   #16
HarryT
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I think there may be good reasoning behind NOT having gone international yet. Given that others have commented on the risk Amazon took even entering the hardware market with an e-reader, if Amazon recognized this risk from the beginning, then a limited release would make sense.
Oh yes, I agree with you entirely. An international release is my wish for the future; I understand entirely why they did a limited release initially.

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Does anyone think the Kindle is a success yet or that it may be too premature to make that determination? Yes, they seem to have sold lots of units in the first few months, but I think it takes a little longer to determine the staying power of the device and their ebook market.
Given that all eInk readers are in short supply due to the capacity limits of the screen manufacturer, I think it's too early to say. All the readers (Sony, Gen3, Kindle) are selling every unit they can get hold of at present. The test will come when manufacturing capacity has increased and supply could potentially exceed demand.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:39 AM   #17
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The test will come when manufacturing capacity has increased and supply could potentially exceed demand.
I agree. I would add the component of the ebook sales will matter as well. I haven't personally compared prices, but I have read that the $9.99 price point undercuts many other content providers of newer books.
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Old 02-04-2008, 09:41 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic View Post
Those of you who own the Kindle -- would you actually want to change it?
1. Allow user-defined folders for content. So I can put all of my various genres together. That's my highest priority change (all others are in no particular order).

2. Better cover. The included one works well enough, but I do wish it were more secure without having to add velcro (which I've not done yet). I'd love to have a decorative leather cover like you'd find at a renfest. Either way, I find that the cover interferes with my left hand when typing, unless it's bent back, which is better, but still not as easy as with my right hand.

3. On-off switches on the top of the unit, instead of on the back. Barring the top, then the front.

4. Shift keys on both the left AND the right side of the keyboard.

5. The ability to adjust the fonts of the menus and such (I don't need this, but the visually-impaired folks of my acquaintance would really appreciate this).

6. Make it water proof. I've sat in my hot tub with it sealed in a clear zip lock bag, and it works fine in the bag, except for the scroll wheel, which can be used, but with difficulty. So I select whatever book I'm reading BEFORE sealing it in the bag, put it to sleep, then put it in the bag. But, it would be better if the unit were just waterproof.

7. Add more shades of grey (why didn't they? The screen handles it - it's just the controller that doesn't) so that photos turn out better. Color would be nice, but I'm really not finding the lack of it to be a problem. The things i would REALLY want color for, wouldn't go well on the Kindle anyway (like photography/art books).

8. Make the contrast between text and background a little greater. It doesn't need to be stark black text on stark white background, but a bit more would be appreciated.

9. Make the casing some other color than white. It's going to look grungy in no time.

10. Improve the web browser.
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Old 02-04-2008, 01:09 PM   #19
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3. Need to be able to download samples of books as well as full purchased copies. Right now you can't download samples if you want them.
4. Need to be able to buy a specific book for a friend's Kindle. How else am I going to send specific Christmas presents to friends who have Kindles?
I'm curious about the sample thing. I live in the US so I get my samples over Whispernet. Does this mean that you can't download samples to your PC and load them over USB like you can with other publications?

I really wish they would improve the gifting aspect, too. Apparently we can put Kindle content on our wishlists but only if they have reviews. The link for the wish list is available from the review page but not the main page. I haven't heard from anyone if it actually works to get you the book or if it was just a mistake on the webpage.
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Old 02-04-2008, 02:40 PM   #20
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Content management --- folder capability. 20 pages of index is a bit much to wade through! I guess I could offload the ones I will read later, but it's been so much FUN collecting books that mobilereaders have cleaned up and uploaded!
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:13 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Alisa View Post
I'm curious about the sample thing. I live in the US so I get my samples over Whispernet. Does this mean that you can't download samples to your PC and load them over USB like you can with other publications?

I really wish they would improve the gifting aspect, too. Apparently we can put Kindle content on our wishlists but only if they have reviews. The link for the wish list is available from the review page but not the main page. I haven't heard from anyone if it actually works to get you the book or if it was just a mistake on the webpage.
When browsing the store from my Kindle, there is an option from the menu to save for later. Is this not a wishlist?
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:58 PM   #22
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"Save for later" is like a wishlist for yourself. Amazon also allows you to have public wishlists. That way if someone doesn't know what to get you for a present, they can search for you on Amazon and get some ideas.
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Old 02-04-2008, 06:31 PM   #23
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I have a Cybook, my brother has a Kindle. So while he's visiting, we swapped for a few days.

My comments:

1. How about a cover that opens at the top! And an arrangement for using the cover as an easel so it can stand up. I used a flip top 5x7 pad cover to make one for my cybook--it's great. The strap has two snaps, one for closed and one for an easel.

2. How about a cover for the keyboard buttons at the bottom. It would be nice to hide them when just reading.

3. Page turning buttons, could I lock one side or the other "off" so I don't accidentally turn pages.

4. Of and on, for network and device in a more convenient place. It would be nice to velcro the unit into a cover solidly.

5. Screen is nice, battery life is good, but all those buttons are an annoyance when I'm just reading.

6. A cover that stays closed and protects the screen, but doesn't increase the size of the unit much.
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:36 PM   #24
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The way the Kindle fits into the cover, very poor design. I use some velcro now to keep it in. The better half says she wants page numbers also.
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Old 02-05-2008, 01:49 PM   #25
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1. Open up the damned system. Just open it. No one company can provide everything that anybody might want in a device like this.
2. Make it bigger. Much bigger. I'd like something that can display full letter-sized pages size-for-size; some extra display height would allow the same ability for A4 content. (I'm one of those fiftysomething crackpots who cannot abide reading the classics five words at a time on something half the size of a business card.) I've carried a legal-size pad around with me for almost thirty years now, and my mind likes room to move when both reading and writing.
3. Ditch the mechanical keys. Add a touch pad with software to implement a virtual keyboard taking up the lower 1/3 of the display (another reason to make the whole thing bigger) that you can invoke as needed and put away when done.
4. Upgrade the SD card slot to SDHC.
5. (Perhaps a little outre) Put a solar panel on the back so you can set the device down on a windowsill for a few hours and top off the charge.

This wouldn't make it perfect, but would make the Kindle experience hugely better.
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:40 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Duntemann View Post
1. Open up the damned system. Just open it. No one company can provide everything that anybody might want in a device like this.
2. Make it bigger. Much bigger. I'd like something that can display full letter-sized pages size-for-size; some extra display height would allow the same ability for A4 content. (I'm one of those fiftysomething crackpots who cannot abide reading the classics five words at a time on something half the size of a business card.) I've carried a legal-size pad around with me for almost thirty years now, and my mind likes room to move when both reading and writing.
3. Ditch the mechanical keys. Add a touch pad with software to implement a virtual keyboard taking up the lower 1/3 of the display (another reason to make the whole thing bigger) that you can invoke as needed and put away when done.
4. Upgrade the SD card slot to SDHC.
5. (Perhaps a little outre) Put a solar panel on the back so you can set the device down on a windowsill for a few hours and top off the charge.

This wouldn't make it perfect, but would make the Kindle experience hugely better.
sounds like you should have bought an iLiad. It is much closer to meeting your needs. What you want would certainly cost much more as is indicated by the iLiad price. You don't get all those features for free.

By the way the SD card slot is SDHC already.

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Old 02-05-2008, 04:36 PM   #27
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3. Need to be able to download samples of books as well as full purchased copies. Right now you can't download samples if you want them.
5. I would like international wireless support but if I could d/l samples & full books then I would be happy.
Damn... I am about to have my kindle and I was wondering about that exact thing... We should somehow make amazon aware of this.

Do you know if its possible to ask our friends in the US with kindles to dl it and send it to us?
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:43 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Jeff Duntemann View Post
2. Make it bigger. Much bigger. I'd like something that can display full letter-sized pages size-for-size; some extra display height would allow the same ability for A4 content. (I'm one of those fiftysomething crackpots who cannot abide reading the classics five words at a time on something half the size of a business card.) I've carried a legal-size pad around with me for almost thirty years now, and my mind likes room to move when both reading and writing.
Personally, I wouldn't want to see THE (as in the only available version) Kindle be that big. I would not object to different models of Kindles of differing sizes. The size of the current Kindle is useful to me because of it's portability. If I wanted something the size of a laptop, which appears to be the size you are suggesting, well I'd probably read on my laptop instead. Also, the Kindle is not half the size of a business card.

I also concur with DaleDe that the cost would likely be considerably more, and perhaps prohibitive to a larger segment of consumers. I was surprised people were willing to pay 800-1000 bucks for Kindles that had a retail price of 400. But one has to wonder how different that reaction would have been if the Kindle had a retail price starting at say 800-1000 bucks.
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Old 02-05-2008, 05:07 PM   #29
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Yeah. I think an A5-sized reader like the HanLin V9 would definitely have some appeal especially if you're reading a lot of technical and academic PDFs. There are people that would be willing to pay a premium for a screen that size if there were enough of them in production and being marketed. 6" is nice for recreational fiction reading, though, and I'm glad that it's available to me at a lower price. It's a great size for when I'm out and about, too. Now when the screens get a whole lot cheaper and there's more variety, I'll probably have more than one.

It's fun to talk about our wishes for the future, though, even when they're not practical just yet. I'd love a total Info Pad with a much faster screen, better contrast, maybe color, with a responsive touchpad and all DRM-free books that rarely cost more than a few bucks. Oh and it would be half the price and work everywhere on the planet, too. If I'm going to confine my list to what can practically be done right now with the technology we have and the pricing scale of the moment, here's my short list (many of which have been mentioned):

Content subfolders
Switches on the top rather than back
Thinner
Darker case color
Built-in Lightwedge-style front light (this could be done in the case instead)
Ability to flag typos, formatting errors, etc. in the content
More formats supported
Single book search
Multiple dictionaries
Ability to highlight a phrase and copy to search function
Ability to gift content
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:17 PM   #30
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How about a "textbook" version with a bigger screen.

I'd love a textbook version with a bigger screen.

I was a professor for many years, wrote some textbooks. Can yo imagine how wonderful--8x10 screen, able to put all your textbooks on board.

Able to download as needed for research. I used to have to put up to 200 books on reserve because so they would be there for students to do research from.

I weighed the average Electrical Engineer's semester books one year, here's from freshman year:
Calculus
Logic systems
Intro to EE
English Lit I
World History
Physics 1

This came in at a whopping 24 lbs just for books. The average backpack (weighed 200 students at the door) weighed 16 lbs. (don't carry all books all the time) Some students carried as much as 35 lbs of stuff around.

I think most publishers would be OK with ebooks because the audience would still be there, errata correction and new editions would be much easier. Custom textbooks (all the rage now) would be incredibly easier.

Wouldn't it be great to be able to carry around your reader, a notebook, and maybe a laptop? It could be phenomenal.

Amazon could become the biggest college bookstore in the world.
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