I tried a lot of the functons of the Kindle. Its major function of reading seems perfect. Once I bumped the text size up a little there was no problem reading. The battery life was a little low when I left the networking on, just one day.
I read several of the stories and one of the novels in the SF book – Cosmic Computer by H Bean Piper.. Its a story about men trying to get society on their world restarted. Everyone has been living off of leftover loot from an earlier war and were expecting a godlike computer to solve their problems rather than work on them on their own. Conn Maxwell and his father, who don’t believe in the computer, decide to use the search for it as a blind to trick others into going along. But what if the computer really exists?
Piper excells at describing the ‘practical man’ kind of hero – the doers and thinkers rather than the emotional or irrational. His worlds are complex and have that sense of real-ness that, for example, Larry Niven’s lack While I like Niven’s writing, his worlds are constructed to serve a plot point. Over a large number of stories, this “thinness” starts to show. His collaborations with Jerry Pournelle are his best, since Pournelle adds a lot of historical sense. And Niven’s writing livens up the often pedestrian writing of Pournelle.
I scanned some of the history books. There’s a lot of the 10 dollar variety, but I also found some things like Tacitus’ works for a dollar, or even free. This has promise, since I’m still leery of spending 15 dollars on a e-book.