[clug] Using Kindle?

Paul Warren paul.warren at anu.edu.au
Sun Mar 14 19:06:22 MDT 2010

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jm wrote:
> Felix Karpfen wrote:
>> I would therefore welcome comments from CLUG members who have explored
>> what Kindle has to offer.  And are there competitors to Kindle, that
>> warrant a look before I put my money down?
> As an alternative take a look at the illiad by irex,
> http://www.irextechnologies.com/products/iliad
> Jeff.

While the iliad is nice, it's old technology and has many pitfalls.  I
have one, which I've used extensively for reading fiction over the last
18 months.

The 8" screen is for me the perfect size. Still portable, but can big
enough to display a useful amount of text. The widely available fan
created PDF copies of the Harry Potter novels display perfectly :)

The iliad does run linux, and is hackable, with a development VM, most
source code and a few community compiled applications available.

The downfalls:

The screen tech is now 5 years old. It's slow, 1.3s refresh, 'white'
isn't so white, more like gray.

The iliad has serious power management issues. other devices
contemporary with it manage about a week of use between charges, 15
hours for the iliad.

They are going fairly cheap on eBay these days. iRex has a newer 8"
device available for USD$599 called the DR800S. It's certainly a step up
in quality from the iliad, it uses much newer screen technology, down to


The availability of legitimate eBooks in Australia is still severely
diminished with respect to the US. Geographic Restrictions still suck,
in other words. And don't even bother with Dymocks or Borders, they're
doing the usual trick of marking up by 300% for the australian market.

The eloctrophoretic (e-ink) screens really are pretty amazing to read
from, just like paper. You do need a good light source.

I've also found out that those airport self-checkin terminals can read
the barcode from the screen :)

I'm also looking forward to the Asus DR-950, it looks pretty cool,
Android OS, e-ink screen, finger touch, but It's a ways off at the moment.

- --
Paul Warren
ARCS System and Data Services
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