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Old 05-02-2009, 07:03 PM   #391
thorn
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??

i have been posting to amazon's fora for a couple of months 'without logging in' -- because i'm permanently 'logged in', at least for that purpose. if it 'knows your name' at the top of the screen, you are logged in to a point where you can post to the fora. to check your account or buy anything non-kindle-bookish, it prompts again for your email address & password.

i just tested this. i just clicked 'not [my name]' to logout totally, and tried to post a comment. the submit button at that point said "sign in and post." it will not just let anyone post under any old name.

that's why the kindle-forum troll couldn't just pop in under a gazillion different names. he did change his name once, and it changed the name on all of his past 'trolly' posts.

i believe this can be confirmed independently. give it a try and see if i'm not correct.
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:47 AM   #392
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Originally Posted by Alisa View Post
I frequently find myself turning here for things like this. It's handy little inflation calculator.

BTW, it's $21.51 and $633.53, respectively. So the Kindle is actually a little more than half the price of the old reader. That's not bad. Internet connections are a bit more now but you get a lot more functionality out of broadband so I would argue it's worth more.

Oh, and I'm curious. How much did ebooks cost back in 98?
I had dial-up until very recently. I got it for 13$ a month. So the price of that has come down quite a bit too.
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:07 PM   #393
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Miniaturization is also a big factor that you did not touch on. The Kindle is half the weight of the first eBook, and less bulky, which were major drawbacks of early eReaders.
Same can be said for notebook computers, which have fallen in price from an average of $2,000 in 1998 to around $700 today.
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:42 PM   #394
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This is an interesting discussion, however to be really meaningful all the dollar amounts would have to be translated into constant dollars. Because $15.95 in, say, 1995, bought a lot more than it does today. Ditto for $500 in 1998.
Ok, then let's be meaningful.

In 1998 the cost of a decent laptop computer was $2,000.
Today, the cost of a decent laptop computer is $700 (ignore netbooks).
In 1998 the cost of an e-book reader was $500

$700/$2000 = 0.35
$500 * 0.35 = $175


Once again, why haven't e-books progressed at a rate similar to notebooks?
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:27 PM   #395
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Once again, why haven't e-books progressed at a rate similar to notebooks?
Because the technology needed to make an appealing e-book reader wasn't commercially viable in 1998 -- that's one way of looking at it.

Example: computers today are so powerful, and so capable, that the basic model of computer is dirt cheap, and many people only need basic models to check their email and do basic web surfing. On the other hand, gamers are still spending $2000 on their hardware.

I believe it was entirely necessary for a better display technology. Unfortunately, the general population's view of available display technologies does not include eInk, generally speaking. When I show my eBook device to someone who has never seen or read about eInk, the first thing they ALWAYS say is "Wow, that screen is much better than I thought!" Even Bezos points this out in his K-DX message up on Amazon's home page at the moment.

But since eInk hasn't hit critical mass to make the panels cheaply, it still costs money. As does the EVDO modem, the Sprint wireless service, etc...

Once the technology for modern eBook devices hits commodity status, then you'll see the price drop that you're looking for.

Am I making sense?

Last edited by numindast; 05-08-2009 at 04:29 PM. Reason: to clarify that john-q-public has no idea eInk is so cool
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:29 PM   #396
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there were ebook readers in '98?
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:31 PM   #397
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there were ebook readers in '98?
Well, if you counted Palm Pilots ... certainly not like ebook readers as we have come to view them today.
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:32 PM   #398
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I don't know. were palm pilots a viable ereading device in 98?
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:34 PM   #399
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I don't know. were palm pilots a viable ereading device in 98?
Sure, they were viable. For the time. For people that didn't mind a tiny screen and hard-to-read LCD tech. But there wasn't any alternative, so...
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:32 PM   #400
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is this a fair comparison? did palm pilots function on e-ink? were they as similar to todays e-readers as 1998 laptops are to 2009 laptops?
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:14 PM   #401
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Ok, then let's be meaningful.

[...]

Once again, why haven't e-books progressed at a rate similar to notebooks?
One word answer: Volume.

One example: When you make a zillion laptop screens, all alike, you can drive the unit cost down. When you make 400,000 (or whatever it is) Kindle screens, on some weird-fangled e-ink, unit cost does not go down.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:04 PM   #402
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Palm Pilot, Newton, etc. But as numindast said, they weren't really commercially viable ereaders because they couldn't meet most consumer expectations. It's not really a fair comparison.

Still, why haven't ebook readers come down in price faster? Probably low demand at the price point. VCRs remained very expensive for years before they finally became cheap enough, and the supply became large enough, that the mass market could justify buying them. One this starts the pressure to make them more cheaply increases, which results in faster rates of adoption, and you get mass-market success.

Amazon has been successful in addressing the supply problem and in lowering the price, to the point that they've now sold more ereaders and ebooks than anyone else before. Once they've sold 2 million or so Kindles the price should start coming down.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:31 PM   #403
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I don't really feel that bad for people that get their account closed. I know for a fact there is a certain type of customer who is trigger-happy about returning stuff. They feel it is their God-given right to return anything and everything they buy. Target has had to substantially change their return policy because of abuse by customers. These people raise the cost of stuff at Amazon and other discount stores for the rest of us. Amazon is just protecting their viability by removing their worst customers, and let there be no doubt if you are returning stuff you ARE among their worst customers (because most customers don't return anything).
Yeah, I pretty much never return anything, but I had a coworker who used to return EVERYthing! and she bought a lot by mail order too. She'd buy a coat, send it back. Buy dresses, return them.

She had a major case of buyers remorse as a chronic condition, I decided; and she tended to feel generally guilty. I would guess guilt about spending money was part of the reason she returned so much.

I suppose a store system might try for a general purge of all high-rate returners.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:56 PM   #404
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I had the first Palm Pilot. You couldn't have paid me to read an entire book on it.
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:03 AM   #405
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there were ebook readers in '98?
Rocket Ebook (1998-2001?)

Last edited by Wetdogeared; 05-09-2009 at 12:08 AM.
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