Thursday, 25 March 2010

Plot hole in Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Basically, I have this objection to the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit:

Bob Hoskins (Valiant) says to Jessica "What do you see in that guy [Roger Rabbit]?". She replies "He makes me laugh".

Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but not once in the film does Jessica laugh at something Roger Rabbit has said or done.

It's clear then: She just wants him for his money.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Amazon Kindle 2 - First Impressions

Why did I buy it? Well I found some ebooks that are hard to get in paper form. I also don't know anyone who's bought one, but I like to stay ahead of the curve (I spent £200 on a DVD writer in 2001 for this reason) - this Kindle cost £193 (plus £7 postage).

First off, mine came with a US power adapter wall wart. But I live in the UK where it's a different plug. But the Kindle comes with a USB cable which means you can charge it from a computer or laptop's USB port (approx. 3 hours a week needed to charge).

The screen is fantastic, and as much fun as reading a paper book. It's not as big a screen as a paperback, but it's sufficient. PDFs look pretty good at 600x800. The best way to describe the screen technology (called eInk) is it's like light grey paper but with sharp black text. You can read it in dim light, or in sunlight (where it looks white), but this is the clearest screen of ANY device I've used, even clearer than some ancient browning paperbacks. I could even describe the eInk screen as being like a newspaper page - same colour paper (light grey), same black text.

Finally, the formats. It supports only PDF and TXT natively (it appears as a drive in Windows and you copy files onto this drive or delete them). If you want to read an RTF or DOC on it, convert to TXT first. Or you can do the silly 'Send doc to Amazon to convert to PDF'. Or get a PDF printer driver for Windows (these are available for free now). [Additional] If you rename a HTML file to filename.HTML.TXT it will show it as a plaintext file and do HTML conversion automatically!

Oh, and content... You can buy a PDF, or use the Kindle store, or use pirated books (uploaded to Kindle in TXT format), but pirated books tend to have a lot of typos. But I think this is the problem: I tried to buy The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett, for $7.47 - a price I was comfortable with - and it just said 'Not available to UK buyers'. A prominent UK author and I can't buy his books? I have to get a illicit copy?

The verdict? Well worth the money, and I love not having to flip the book on its side when reading in bed. In fact, it's so much like a book, that when I've finished a page, sometimes I try to turn the page! A button to advance is something you have to get used to after 25 years of reading.

Postscript: I read somewhere that the Kindle 2's battery can't be replaced easily - there's no panel for it. But you CAN replace it... If you buy a Kindle 2 battery off or (just search for 'kindle 2 battery'), then here's an install guide (it's easy): - the tool in this video can be bought at - you get 2 of them, but only need 1 to open the Kindle.

Postscript: I've been exploring the non-USA web access facilities, and here's what I found:

*Most of the web is out of bounds.

*If you want to buy a book from the Kindle store from the menu, you can - it loads it over the whispernet (regardless of if you have a mobile phone account).

* is out of bounds.

*If you go to in the web browser (Settings -> Experimental -> Basic Web) then you can look at any Wikipedia page. It's basically like a hitchhiker's guide with Wikipedia, if not actually the entire web. Not bad for free though! It goes over 3G by the way, and thus is global in scope.

*That's it unless you're in the USA.