ebooks, on ebook readers or not

New gadgets can be fun, but there's a lot you can do with the computer you already own.

While doing some Christmas shopping at Best Buy last Saturday I asked one of their Geek Squad guys at the information desk if they had the Sony ebook reader, because I wanted to see what one looked like up close. This low-end Napoleon Dynamite snorted “They tried ebooks a few years ago, and it was a complete failure”. I was tempted to press him on what he meant by “they”, but I just smiled, told him “it’s a little more complicated than that”, and headed…

The cheap commodity eBook reader of the future

If Kindle is the iPod of eBooks, I'm waiting for the Sansa.

My MP3 player is a Sandisk Sansa. It does everything I would want an iPod to do with a slightly clunkier interface for much less money. I can move music, podcasts, and playlists onto it from free software on both Windows and Linux machines, and it works with all standard MP3 accessories such as my noise-cancelling headphones and my in-car player. It can even record live room sound.