Posts From September 2011
There are five models of Kindle: The Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard, Kindle DX, and Kindle Fire.
Only 2 of them matter: the Touch and the Fire.
So why the other models?
The Kindle Keyboard and the Kindle DX
I think these are still for sale because they are still in stock.
That family-of-Kindles banner that is on top of all the Kindle pages does not list the DX.
And if you go to the Kindle DX’s product page it is now outdated. The page doesn’t have the top banner showing the other Kindles, and in the table comparing all the Kindles only the past models are shown with their old names.
Surely it’s only a matter of time until the Kindle Keyboard and the Kindle DX are discontinued altogether. (Perhaps once the Kindle Touch or Kindle Fire start shipping?)
The plain Kindle
I think the “plain” Kindle — one with the 5-way controller — is in the product lineup primarily to help boost sales of the Kindle Touch.
If you’ve ever read about the paradox of choice, you’ve probably heard the wine theory. The idea is that someone is ordering wine at a restaurant and there are three options — an $8 glass, a $10 glass, and a $20 glass — they will most-likely pick the middle option.
The $8 glass causes the $10 glass to seem like a much better value.
Likewise with the Kindle and the Kindle Touch. The plain Kindle causes the Kindle Touch to seem like a much better value.
Why buy a Kindle that has a shorter battery life, less storage, and no touch screen, when you can upgrade to something with double the battery, double the storage, and a multi-touch screen for just $20 bucks?
At $199 the Kindle Fire is a killer product. Amazon is going to sell a ton of these. (Though I think the $99 Kindle Touch will be the most popular Kindle.)
The Fire is pretty much what we expected: a device that plays to the strengths of Amazon’s content library as well as many of the strengths that the e-ink Kindles have been known for.
For starters, just look at the main product image: it’s a lady holding the Kindle Fire by its bottom corner with just one hand. There’s no way you can hold the iPad like that.
The Kindle Fire is clearly positioned as a device intended for “consuming content” (ugh). Looking at the product page, Amazon brags on the fact that you can watch movies and TV shows, read magazines and books, listen to music, surf the Web, and download apps.
Towards the bottom of the list of things you can do with the Kindle Fire you’ll see that you can also check email and read PDFs. I guess my point isn’t that email and PDF viewing is something Amazon threw in just because, but that they are not emphasizing these some of the main features of the Fire.
The Fire is a portable media center, not a portable computer.
And that is why the Fire is not an iPad killer. Just because it’s a color tablet doesn’t mean it is competing directly against the iPad. Sure, on a sterile feature check-list there are a lot of similarities between the two devices (both have multi-touch color screens, both are tablets, you can use both to read books and watch movies), but the Kindle Fire is built as a different product with a different purpose than the iPad. The price alone tells you that.
My first mobile phone was a Qualcomm something-or-other. Later I had one those dime-a-dozen Nokias, and then another smaller Nokia that had a removable faceplate. (Remember when the cool features of phones included interchangeable faceplates?) Then there was a cool Motorola flip phone or two that I used and liked, and then I had a random Samsung candy bar slider.
Then 2007 came along and I got an iPhone. After that I got the iPhone 3G S (I held on to my original iPhone until 2009 because I thought the iPhone 3G was too ugly to justify upgrading). And then the iPhone 4.
I have now owned my iPhone 4 since the summer of 2010. And it blows all of those past phones out of the water. Sometimes I wonder if I ever even owned a cell phone before I owned an iPhone, and the 4 is the greatest iPhone to date.
Of course, a new iPhone is coming out in a few weeks. And, of course, I’ll be in line to buy it (that’s who I am and what I do). But by no means does that mean I find my iPhone 4 lacking in any way. Quite the contrary actually: the iPhone 4 is quite possibly the most amazing gadget I have ever owned or ever imagined I would own.
I carry my iPhone 4 case free — I’ve never used an iPhone case — and it is still scratch, crack, and dent free. I keep it in my front left pocket with the front facing in. I’ve dropped it once and it only suffered a very minor scuff to plastic edging up by the camera lens.
In fact, the back of my iPhone 4 has less scratches than the back of my 4th-generation iPod touch. The touch’s chrome backing practically comes out of the box with scuffs on it.
On every other phone I’ve owned the battery life was part of the cost of ownership. But with the iPhone 4, the battery lasts me for 2 days. When I’m on the road at events, I usually need a charge every night because I’m doing a lot of 3G data usage. But in my day-to-day, this-is-how-Shawn-uses-his-iPhone usage, a full charge lasts me 2 days.
On my past iPhones, when the 20% battery warning would appear it meant I needed to go into iPhone survival mode — keeping usage to a minimum to save as much battery juice as possible before I am able to charge it next. But on the 4, a 20% warning simply means charge at my earliest convenience.
The camera is just great. In fact, it is the only camera in our house that gets any use. My iPhone is my camera. My iPhone camera roll is my photo library. The photo-editing apps on my iPhone are what I use as post-processing software for the pictures I take.
The Retina display. Oh, the Retina display. A year and a half later and this display still doesn’t feel normal to me. It still strikes me how it looks as if the pixels are painted onto the glass and how the images and type are so crisp.
Form factor. The original iPhone will always have a soft spot in my heart as being one of the finest looking devices I’ve ever owned. But nostalgia aside, the iPhone 4 truly is a gorgeous device. The black glass and the metal band with matching buttons are a hallmark of industrial design.
The design of the original iPhone was great, except it hindered signal strength. The design of the iPhone 3G /S was a necessary evil to makes sure that signal strength was good enough. The iPhone 4 is finally that balance of form and function.
The iPhone 4 is the completion of what Apple originally set out to build when they launched the iPhone in 2007. This current model is the last page of this chapter, and I believe the next iPhone will be the opening of a new chapter for the iPhone.
It’s hard to imagine what the next iPhone will be. Sure it’ll have a faster processor, and a better camera, and probably a longer battery. But who knows what it will look like? Who knows what other factors — factors which are still unknown to us — that will come into play and will give reason for the next iPhone to be that much more incredible?
We are content with the current iPhone, and yet we suspect the next one will be another hallmark.
Who are you, what do you do, etc…?
I am a freelance designer, hobbyist photographer and musician. I am also the designer behind many ads found on the Fusion Ad Network. Recently I joined the team behind QuickCal as the app’s UI designer.
What is your current setup?
I’m using a 15″ Unibody MacBook Pro I bought in 2009, with a 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of Ram, and the 500GB 7200RPM HD. At home, the Macbook Pro is hooked up to the 27″ Apple Cinema Display. On your recommendation, I recently purchased the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 3G 115GB SSD. I’ve set up the SSD as my boot drive and use the HDD as my media/working files drive.
I’m using the short wireless Apple Keyboard for typing and the Magic Trackpad for trackpadding. I’ve tried numerous mice over the years, from the Mighty Mouse to the Magic Mouse and even a Logitech MX Revolution. The Magic Trackpad is the first input device that just feels right. For Wi-Fi and Time Machine I use the Apple Time Capsule.
I listen to music through an old Kenmore receiver I bought from a friend for $50 over 5 years ago. Listening to music through headphones for extended periods of time never felt right to me.
I take pictures with a Nikon D90 with a 50mm prime lens. My lighting setup currently consists of an Opus OPL-H250 strobe with a 48″ reflective umbrella, as well as a newly-purchased Nikon SB-600. I trigger my lights remotely using two PocketWizard Plus II transceivers.
Lastly, I can’t write about what I create without mentioning my music setup. I own two acoustic guitars: an old Cort acoustic I bought nearly 9 years ago and a Takamine Steve Wariner Limited Edition a friend gave me as a gift. For my Boss Rebel gig, I go between my white Fender Stratocaster and a custom Telecaster by “Ed’s Guitars”, both of which were purchased from Jonathan Steingard of Hawk Nelson. The signal is sent through my pedal board, consisting of the following pedals:
- Ernie Ball Junior Volume Pedal
- Boss TU-2 Tuner
- Line 6 DL-4 Delay Modeler
- Boss OD-3 Overdrive
- Boss LS-2 Line Selector
The signal goes through the pedals to my Vox AC30CC. I use the LS-2 Line Selector to switch between the clean and dirty channels and the OD-3 Overdrive to add a little compression/crunch for solos.
Pat Dryburgh. Photo credit, Edward Platero.
Why are you using this setup?
I purchased my first Mac while working at a church. When I started, I was given an old Toshiba laptop that didn’t have enough power to run PowerPoint (in fact, it had been discarded by the children’s ministry for being so terrible). About 3 months into my time there, I bought the 13″ white MacBook and instantly fell in love with the Mac ecosystem.
When I began working in design the MacBook was adequate, but surely not exceptional. I saved up and bought the 15″ Unibody MacBook Pro which was a huge leap forward.
The main reason I stick with the Mac setup is its ease of use and the quality of the software. Software from large companies like Apple and Adobe perform so well on the Mac, and obviously the Mac community boasts some of the best indie developers in the world.
What software do you use on a daily basis, and for what do you use it?
I absolutely love the Mac developer community and use a ton of different apps to make my work and play better.
Design work happens in Adobe’s Creative Suite. Development happens in Coda, though I have been flirting with both TextMate and BBEdit over the last month. Photo editing happens in Adobe Lightroom, which is the only Adobe product I have ever loved.
I write in nvALT, a fork of the brilliant Notational Velocity. This syncs with Simplenote on my iPad and iPhone. I also keep all of my notes as .txt files in a Dropbox folder. Dropbox is also where all of my work files live.
I work with a great team of guys to develop an app called QuickCal, which lets you enter events and to-dos into your calendar with plain English, and then it gets out of your way so you can get back to work. The version I am working on will be out soon, but you are more than welcome to buy the current version now and receive the next version as a free upgrade.
I use Quicksilver to launch apps and trigger keyboard shortcuts. TextExpander expands common snippets of text. Droplr lets me share screenshots, images and bits of text with friends easily. Pastebot is an incredibly easy way to share text between my Mac and iPhone. Caffeine keeps my monitor awake when I’m watching video. Seamless helps me keep my musical groove when I leave my desk. Take Five pauses my music for a few minutes if I need to take a quick call. 1Password keeps track of my passwords and credit card info securely. RSS feeds are read in NetNewsWire.
How does this setup help you do your best creative work?
OS X strikes the perfect balance between giving you what you need to do your work, while also getting out of your way if you want to go a different route. The developer community that has formed around this platform is second to none and I owe much of my gratitude to them.
How would your ideal setup look and function?
Other than anticipating what the next 15″ MacBook Pro will look like, I’m pretty happy with my current setup. Oh, maybe a Gibson ES-137.
More Sweet Setups
Pat’s setup is just one in a series of sweet Mac Setups.