Thursday, September 02, 2010

Kindle Skills - first impression and numbers

September 2, 2010 Cindy O'Neal

So far, Amazon has managed to produce something new and exciting with each new Kindle. Each one has been a wonderful experience with great improvements each time, without making the older models look like dinosaurs. They are all continuing to hold up well and even without the new features in the new models are able to contribute to a satisfying reading experience.

First Impression:
The newest Kindle is certainly smaller and noticeably lighter. It sure doesn't feel like a whole library in my hand! It tucks into a purse in the nicest way, and is even small enough to fit nicely into a man's shirt least it fit nicely into most of my husband's shirt pockets. I did a short, rather unscientific test in our closet and there were a couple of shirts it was just a hair too wide for. All the others were fine. Now, you wouldn't want this Kindle to have a permanent home in a man's shirt pocket, but I wanted you to know it would fit in a pinch. It is going to be most at home in your hands, with a book open for your perusal. I don't see any Kindles having much free time in the future for lazing around in some pocket or other. If you have a Kindle, you have reading on the mind!

The wi fi connection was easy enough to set up. It was very similar to my iPhone finding neighborhood wi fi connections close to the house. I just needed to know the name of ours and the password. Once I put the proper "password" in, it goes for the wi fi connection whenever it can find it. If I take the Kindle away from the home wireless Internet connection, it automatically reverts to the built in whispernet 3G... very nice and very brain cell saving. I can imagine it would also pick up free wi fi in areas where it is available, like hotels, fast food chains, etc. Here's how you get to your wi fi settings:

  • From the Home screen, press the Menu button.
  • Toggle down to the word Settings, then press in on the middle button.
  • This will bring you to the Settings area. Toggle down to the Wi-Fi Settings area until the word view is highlighted (underlined). Press in on the middle button to make it happen.
  • The rest is very self explanatory. You will see a list of the available wi fi networks in your immediate area. Toggle to the one you recognize as your home setup, press in to open it. You will then need to enter whatever password information it needs (you should have that already written down). Then you are good to go. Continue on until you are out of the Settings area. Your Kindle will connect to the wi fi whenever it is available. Any other time, it will be 3G and on Amazon's nickel. Don't you just LOVE it!

The 5-way switch has been replaced with a nice new set of buttons. Up, down, left and right has been replaced with 4 little slivers of buttons around a central button. Think of it as the enter key. It works great and should hold up fine. It is in the same place as the 5-way switch, so transitioning to it should be very easy. I liked it immediately.

Numbers: One way to type numbers on your new Kindle 3 is with the Alt key pressed with the "invisible" number on the top row. There is one over each letter, beginning with the letter Q as the number 1 and ending with the letter P being the number 0. You can also press the SYM (symbol) key any time and see numbers listed. Use the toggle switch until the one you want is underlined, then press in on the middle button to make it happen.

On the Kindle DX numbers are listed and pretty easy to read above the letters on the top row. The row basically does double duty with the Alt key being what makes it work. On the Kindle 2, there is a separate row for numbers so the Alt+ combination of keys is not necessary.