With apologies to Walt Whitman for that title, my Amazon Kindle arrived last night. I ordered it on March 3rd along with one for my brother for his birthday. So I have been anticipating it eagerly for about six weeks.
It is a fairly stunning little machine. It's packaging was Apple-esque. Not as good as Apple, but not techno-industrial like so many other tech toys. The instructions and set up were a breeze and somehow, the device knew who I was right out of the box. In other words, it greeted me by name and my recommendations were based according to my Amazon history without me having to input any personal info.
The device itself is smaller than it appears on Amazon's site and it can't weigh more than a few ounces. It is about the spec of a Reader's Digest. Again, design-wise, it's pretty nifty. Not Apple but closer to that lofty standard than to Dell or HP's lack of standards.
The screen is great. The controls are simple to get. The ordering and download facility a snap. I don't love how the NY Times and the WSJ are interpreted on screen and the relatively small screen size (probably about 3"x4.5") is smaller than a standard book's page, so you have to flip pages frequently. But flipping is a tic of the thumb.
Not sure that I'd damn the machine in the way Lincoln Steffens damned the USSR back in 1919 ("I have seen the future and it works.) But the Kindle seems to work. I don't intend to read books on this thing--I like paper and I love books. But to have the newspaper delivered immediately and painlessly at 3AM every morning no matter where you are in the world, seems cool.
I don't think the Kindle will change my life. But I never thought I'd be the author of America's third most popular blog either.