Friday, November 5, 2010

Kindle's grey screen, and keyboard

I've said this before, but I'll say it again: I would use my Kindle a lot more if the screen was not so dang grey.

It just strikes me: I read so much about the Kindle, but hardly anybody ever mentions this. But to me it's such an important flaw. To me it's like a fabulous million-dollar car that can't go above 20 miles per hour. 
I need such bright light to read on the Kindle, and even then it's not really a pleasure.
So I use my iPad a lot more. It also has the great additional advantages of easily being able to read all kinds of Net-delivered content, including web pages. But it's so heavy.
OK, I'm repeating myself. I'm sorry. But it's just: why does this not bother everybody?

Admission: when the Kindle 3 came out, I was very enthusiastic about it, because it had improved speed and yes, a little better screen contrast. But after a few weeks, well, I just sort of "fell off it" again. The improvement was simply not big enough.

I wonder if e-paper will improve drastically soon.
I can live without color for most reading. And I don't need snow-white for the background. That's actually too much. A light grey is perfect for reading, in my view. Good contrast, but not so much brightness that it is way over the surrounding environment.

Oh, while we are wishing: the Kindle's keyboard is not great. You have to really peck at it to use it. Sony Reader now has a touch screen which no longer hurts the contrast of the screen like on earlier SR models. The Kindle would be much more useful with this, and an on-screen keyboard for the odd time when you need to do a search or whatever. This could also make the screen larger without making the device larger.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bags for small machines

I made a video about fitting the iPad and the new 11-inch MacBook Air into bags from Waterfield.

MacBook Air 11-inch in Waterfield bags from Eolake Stobblehouse on Vimeo.
It fits in the Waterfield ( iPad Wallet, and in the 10-inch Muzetto bag, even with the thickest sleeve case.
This video was made when staff at Waterfield Design asked for a photo of how the 11-incher could fit into the iPad Wallet and Muzetto. I thought a video would give a better feel for it.

They are wonderful bags, by the way, best "look and feel" I ever bought.
Same goes for the 11-inch Airbook: *Nothing* slow about it, full sized keeboard, high-rez screen, but only weighs one kilo. This is a portable like portables should always have been made.

In the Muzetto 10-inch bag, I can fit an iPad, the 11-inch Airbook in the "heavy duty" Sleeve, *and* an Apple Wireless Keyboard, all at the same time (plus a few small/thin items)!
In the iPad Wallet bag, I can fit the same, only without the big sleeve.

Palm Your iPad with a Hand-e-holder

Palm Your iPad with a Hand-e-holder, TidBITS article.
Seems quite useful.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The eyestrain debate

The eyestrain debate, article.
So far there doesn't seem to be a lot solid evidence that LCD screens are more straining for the eyes than e-paper. I never saw the logic behind it anyway. The light hitting your eyes is just light, how can the eye know if it's reflected or projected?

Contrast might do it, so I think one should take care not to use too bright a white background. (I use light grey when I can.)

Also flickering might create a problem, but so far as I know, unlike old CRT displays, LCD does not have an issue with that.

One thing with eye strain is to remember to blink often. One sometimes forget while reading or working.