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2 PDA Tuesdays

PDA Tuesdays: February 10

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What is a PDA Anyways?

We keep hearing about PDA this and PDA that. What are these devices and how do we know when a topic is related to a PDA device that you own? This is not as difficult as you might think. PDA stands for “Personal Digital Assistant”. As the name implies, any electronic device that assists you can fall into this category:

- Electronic dictionary.

- Voice/memo recorder.

- Netbook or laptop.

- GPS Device.

- Ebook readers.

- Handheld device with a touch screen.

- Smartphone

PDA Tuesdays will try to keep you informed on the above sub categories plus others while trying to minimize confusion. How we will help to minimize the confusion is to use more specific terms when dealing with a sub category:

- We will specify the operating system supported like: Windows Mobile, Symbian, Palm, Android, Linux, Java

-  We will specify the compatibility when a connection to a PC or another accessory is mentioned.

The term PDA is very broad and generic but is certainly becoming more specific to a handheld device that runs an operating system and is expandable with more memory. Down the road, terms like Smartphone or other newer terms may over shadow PDA. For now, PDA Tuesdays will cover anything we feel is of interest in the handheld electronic device category to keep PDA Tuesdays interesting each week..

Amazon Kindle 2

Amazon Kindle 2 Book Reader - Image: Amazon

Amazon Kindle 2 Book Reader - Image: Amazon

The Amazon Kindle 2 book reader was announced yesterday and many sites including www.technobrains.com have blogged about this new device. It is my personal opinion that the Kindle 2 is a real stepping stone for avid book readers. Many blogs online are negative about the Kindle 2. Here are some comments I have read:

- Too expensive @ $359.00.

- Screen is only black and white.

- Limited file format support.

- Books can only be purchased from Amazon.

- Too big to carry around.

Too expensive: The price of the Kindle 2 is $359.00 including shipping to anywhere in the United States. I feel this is very reasonable since I am putting this product into the right perspective. The Kindle 2 is a specialized book reader. Not a general purpose PDA or multimedia reader. Hard covered books range in price from about $30 – $60 each with some being more expensive. Amazon has available over 230,000 books at a price of $10.oo or less for the Kindle 2. If you read only 1 book a month, the cost of the Kindle 2 after 12 months will seem very little.

Screen is only black and white: Traditional books use black text on a white background therefore color on an electronic book reading device does not require color. The screen is very clear and allows for good reading outdoors. Most PDA screens are hard to read outdoors in bright sunlight.

Display: 6″ diagonal E-Ink® electronic paper display, 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi (pixels per inch), 16-level gray scale.

Limited file format support: The Kindle 2 is not a general purpose ebook reader therefore multi file support is not a huge benefit. Books are downloaded wirelessly from Amazon thus all the reader needs to know is the title of the book to download. Newspapers, magazines and information from www.wikipedia.org are also supported. What the format of the actual files are underneath are not critical for the elderly and non techie Kindle 2 users.

Content Formats Supported: Kindle (AZW), TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; PDF, HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion. The file format is not as limited as many people think.

Books can only be purchased from Amazon: Amazon is a huge online book seller that has been around for years therefore can be trusted to provide reasonable price points, a great selection of book titles and proper online security. No need to search numerous other online sites for titles. Very easy to search, select and download a book quickly. Apple does this also with music files on the iPods and programs for the iPhone and iTouch devices. You go to the Apple store for all your media files used on Apple mobile products.

Too big to carry around: Hard covered books are carried by thousands of people everyday on the bus, train, subway and read at coffee shops and bars. The Kindle 2 is lighter, smaller and thinner over hard covered books but is held like a hard covered book and turning pages are intuitive like a regular book. We live in a backpack generation therefore the Kindle 2 fits nicely into a backpack.

Size (in inches): 8″ x 5.3″ x 0.36″.

Weight: 10.2 ounces.

Battery Life: Read on a single charge for up to 4 days with wireless on. Turn wireless off and read for up to two weeks. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as shopping the Kindle Store and downloading content. In low coverage areas or in 1xRTT only coverage, wireless usage will consume battery power more quickly.

Connectivity: EVDO modem with fallback to 1xRTT; utilizes Amazon Whispernet to provide U.S wireless coverage via Sprint’s 3G high-speed data network (check wireless coverage). See Wireless Terms and Conditions.

USB Port: USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) for connection to the Kindle power adapter or optionally to connect to a PC or Macintosh computer.

Audio: 3.5mm stereo audio jack, rear-mounted stereo speakers.

Included Accessories: Power adapter, USB 2.0 cable, rechargeable battery. Book cover sold separately.

Documentation: Quick Start Guide (included in box) [PDF]; Kindle 2 User’s Guide (pre-installed on device) [PDF].

Warranty and Service: 1 year limited warranty and service included. Optional 2 year Extended Warranty sold separately.

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