Kindle? why do you hate freedom! /s

Two kindle reviews now abd the question I keep asking myself is why? For a bunch of free software linux guys the fact that you all buy the most closed ebook reader blows my mind. Have you guys never heard of the nook? Everything that was so great about the latest kindle my nook simple touch has been doing for years now while supporting open ebook formats!

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Your first mistake is assuming we are “a bunch of Free Software Linux guys”.

Speaking personally, in the scheme of things in life, the software running on my Kindle is pretty low priority. I care that (a) it works well, (b) I can easily buy all the books I want, © is durable, and (d) is cost efficient. It delivers all of these in droves.

While I am passionate about Open Source and Free Software, I don’t subscribe to the view that everything I use has to be free. This is why I have a Mac in my studio, a Roku in my living room, a Kindle next to my bed, and an Android phone.

Sure, these are all replaceable by Free Software equivalents, but I couldn’t do what I need to do as well.


Its not about the software its about the fact that the kindle has a locked down proprietary BOOK format. For example you cannot just put an epub on a kindle it has to be formatted to the kindle format.

I think it would be a good idea to do an actual comparison. The nook for example can check out books from many libraries, the kindle cannot.

That and like i said the features that where oh so awesome about the latest kindle where on the nook years ago, literally years ago.

I agree, this sucks about the Kindle. You can though publish work easily to it - I wrote Dealing With Disrespect in DocBook and pretty easily converted it for the Kindle. They even have a tool that runs on Linux for doing this.

We would love to, but someone needs to send us a Nook first. :wink:

Speaking personally, I care less about this. The thing the Nook lacks is the library. All I want from an e-reader is the ability to (a) buy books, and (b) read them simply and effectively. While the Nook may be a better reader (which would surprise me as the Kindle is so nice), Amazon has the library.

Also, with Amazon I don’t have to worry about them going out of business. :wink:

Here is my problem. I like to read books. More than is good for me, probably; I read all the time. But saying “why use the Kindle! its book format is proprietary!!” does not help because, you know what? So is everyone else’s. EPUBs with Adobe DRM are just as locked down. Mobipocket format is open and documented. The Kindle reads unencrypted mobi quite happily, and calibre will produce them just as much as it produces epubs. There is no legal way for me to get, say, Patrick Rothfuss’s latest book in any unDRMed unencrypted format. So precisely which lock-me-down sell-me-DRM store I tithe myself to hardly matters, in my opinion. In general, I prefer epub format because it’s slightly easier for me to edit (because it’s just HTML), and I quite often inhale a whole website into the world’s biggest HTML file and then epubise it with Calibre so that I can read it (which I do on my phone, with Aldiko (Android) or iBooks (iPhone) or Beru (Ubuntu)). But shouting at Amazon for only selling you DRMed ebooks when that’s what everyone else does too is pretty disingenuous, in my opinion. And if you say “ah! but I only read obscure Jacobean plays from the 1700s from Project Gutenberg!” then you can still have a Kindle, just have Calibre convert them to .mobi files for you if you want.

If someone wants to send me a Nook or a Kobo or any one of the dozen other actually-Linux-based-but-you-can’t-alter-any-of-the-software hardware readers (Kindle included), I’ll happily review it.

not sure about that. It is from Barnes and Noble, after all; I admit Amazon is probably bigger, but they’ve got all the books you’d actually wanna read :slight_smile: There is a network effect here, though; the Kindle sells more, so Amazon have more money, so they can pay better industrial designers and bring cool new e-ink products to market sooner, so they sell more, ad nauseam.

I have to agree with the Bad Voltage hosts here. One of the things that initially made me stay away from the Kindle was the impression that I could only read Amazon books on it. However, once you discover that you can easily transfer PDFs and other media (fb2, mobi, etc) to it, it becomes really nice. I use it, for example, to store PDFs from my college (for example, homework assignments).

I believe the problem is not the Kindle itself, but DRM.

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Dont get me wrong its mostly tongue in cheek regarding the DRM issue poking fun at guys with extensive backgrounds revolving around free software. Use whatever you need, frankly when my nook dies i will probably get the newest kindle because im a long time prime member. You did hit the nail right on the head though its DRM everywhere so pick your poison. Like i said tongue in cheek with the /s

I was just laughing to myself listening to this weeks episode at the gym every time he talked about a cool feature thinking “yeah my nook simple touch did that in 2011 wtf” Although it does seem the newest generation of E-Ink displays are quite something though.

Either way long live e-readers and anything that promotes reading.

Keep up the good work guys.

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The one problem I would like books / E-Readers to breach is the fact that reading books for long periods of time is hard to keep comfortable. Eventually I get tired of whatever position I happen to be reading in.

I would actually kind of love to read my books on some kind of heads up display, that reads my eye movements and scrolls the text interactively.

So just as an update i finally did order a kindle. The paperwhite is on sale for $99 and i had some rewards built up from my CC so i got it for under $80. Ill give a brief comparison of it to my older nook simple touch if anyone cares.

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I’d like to see such a comparison!

I am curious @mkvaladez after about 2 month, what is your verdict?


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