Monday, May 28, 2012


Noon Position: 37 11' S, 142 36' W, SOG 6.5, COG 055, Day's Run 150nm.
I've replaced my crippled Kindle2 with my mom's old kindle which I
carried as a backup, and have been informed by sources of no ill repute
that it is best designated as either a "Kindle 3" or a "Keyboard
Kindle." It's certainly smaller and lighter than my kindle 2,
particularly as the replacement does not reside in a plastic
water-resistant housing, but in a gallon zip lock bag. From seeing it
before I left, I thought I would be bothered by the smaller buttons for
changing pages, but I don't mind them, and actually kind of like that I
can now change pages by squeezing the side of the kindle in addition to
the push from on top - this is of course made easier by the narrower
width. I am not at all happy with the relocation of the power switch
from the top left corner to the bottom right - maybe it's just because
I'm left handed, but I could pick up and turn on my kindle 2 one handed,
which despite all my awkward fumbling I have been unable to accomplish
the the "keyboard kindle." The only thing I can think of that might
work would be to display the text upside down, then I could use the
whole device upside down and hit the power switch left handed like I
used to. Another thing that bothers me is the lack of numbers on the
keyboard. I really only used the keyboard for occasional dictionary
references and going online with my kindle 2, the latter usage obviously
having been neglected the last several months. But I did use the number
keys frequently, too frequently actually, for typing in locations in the
book. This was necessitated by a feature-turned-flaw in the
interactions between my kindle 2 and its case - because of how the case
interfaced with the little joystick nubbin, a funny look or the brush of
a blanket when I put the kindle down to go deal with the sails would
frequently send the kindle off on a chapter-hopping spree, often leaving
me with no way to return to my starting point when I returned, other
than typing in locations in 100 unit increments to zero in on my spot.
With the Keyboard kindle this seems to have been obviated by the little
square arrow buttons instead of a super-touchy joystick poking through a
rubbery sleeve in a housing, but has created a new challenge. The back
button is directly underneath the down arrow, and I've noticed that any
number of times my fat thumbs have inadvertently hit back instead of
scrolling the cursor down a page to look up a word, leaving me in the
same straits as before, but with a difference. With my Kindle 2,
depending on what seemed to be whimsy (but I suspect may have in fact
have something to do with the format of the ebook, whether it was a
.mobi from a non-amazon source or whatever the DRM'd amazon format is
called) I could sometimes use the back button to undo all my joy-stick
driven chapter hops, but with the keyboard kindle, one cannot use the
back button to undo it's own actions, leaving me awkwardly trying to
type in locations without a number pad. To be fair, I suspect that
there must be some method of returning to the furthest page in the book
that has been read, known to those who are kindle-savvy (or at least
read the manual), but in my curmudgeonly way I just poke away at the
keys. I feel a little bit like I imagine my mother does when she's
using a computer, mystified and surprised as lights flash and things go
"beep!" I don't really have any excuse for not reading the manual other
than sheer Ludditery, to use a word that greatly angers my
spellchecker. But, I figure that I'm sailing around the world by myself
on a 35 year old boat, so I figure I've got a little bit of an excuse,
computer-science degree or no. A lot of the books I had on my kindle
were from non-Amazon sources, primarily Project Gutenberg and Baen
Publishing's e-book store, which I have reason to be grateful for in
this instance. Since my mom's kindle is still registered as hers, it
has a whole slew of new books on it, but I can't transfer any of my
amazon purchases between kindles. Fortunately Baen is an enlightened
publisher and has had success selling non-DRM'd ebooks (and in fact
offering up a significant free library), and project Gutenberg obviously
does as well, so I was able to finish the book I was in the middle of by
transferring it to the new kindle, along with a few others I had been
planning on reading soon.


  1. From one Luddite to another, at least you know about Kindle -- still reading newspapers and paper books here. I'm glad you're able to read so much; envy you! Stay safe...

  2. One has to re-register the new device to your own account, then you will have your archive available. Of course you have to be within whispernet range, unlikely in your case.