iNoob – Epilogue

Mac App Store

Mac App Store (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, this was a short series. My sixth month experiment as a PC-turned-Mac user is now complete….and I have a few things to report:

  • I really liked the speed of booting up or restarting.
  • The MacBook Air I used was extremely light, which was helpful given my lower back problems.  Years ago I had an ENORMOUS Lenovo ThinkPad which weighed a lot.  I liked the screen real estate, but had to take a deep breath to lift my computer bag in the morning….
  • Firefox on the Mac is a speed demon, unlike on my Windows machines.  Chrome clocks in about even on either one for me.

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iNoob – Chapter 2: Learning to be Productive

English: Product icon for MindView mind mappin...

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been in the crucible of work with my MacBook Air for nearly 3 months now.  I’m finding myself feeling more at ease with many of the differences between Windows 7 and OS X. There is still the need to have a mixed environment for me to be productive AND happy.  One thing I found that I just NEEDED to do was purchase a copy of Parallels for Mac so I could get to Windows software like Visio, Project and Mindjet MindManager (there is a version for Mac, but I already own a license for the Windows version….). The installation of Parallels, Windows 7 and the various programs I wanted (including Windows Live Writer with the Zemanta plug-in, which is still my favorite blogging tool) went flawlessly.  Windows even boots faster in the Parallels environment than on my quad-core at home!

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iNoob – Chapter 1: Jumping into the Pond

I just started a new job and decided that things weren’t going to be tumultuous enough, so, on the recommendation of my new manager, I signed up for a brand

English: New 11.6 MacBook Air

Image via Wikipedia

spanking new MacBook Air as my work PC. This after working with nothing but Microsoft Windows since version 3.0 back in 1991.

Wow…lots of things to notice…

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The other shoe drops – The Amazon Kindle SDK

Kindle DX and Kindle 2

Image via Wikipedia

Last week Amazon announced a Software Development Kit (SDK) for their Kindle e-reader.  They are calling it the Kindle Development Kit (KDK). According to Ian Freed, Vice President of the Kindle group, “We’ve heard from lots of developers over the past two years who are excited to build on top of Kindle.  The Kindle Development Kit opens many possibilities–we look forward to being surprised by what developers invent.” (full press release can be read here)

The KDK will be initially released in a limited beta.  The revenue split will be 70% to the developer and 30%, with an additional scheme for application delivery fees and ongoing delivery of any dynamic content or data.  Three pricing options have been announced (from the KDK page):

  • Free – Active content applications that are smaller than 1MB and use less than 100KB/user/month of wireless data may be offered at no charge to customers. Amazon will pay the wireless costs associated with delivery and maintenance.
  • One-time Purchase – Customers will be charged once when purchasing active content. Content must have nominal (less than 100KB/user/month) ongoing wireless usage.
  • Monthly Subscription – Customers will be charged once per month for active content.There are a few other restrictions/guidelines outlined on the KDK page as well.

    So what does this mean?  It means altering your perception of the Kindle.  If the creativity of the developers of mobile applications on other platforms is any indication (e.g.- Apple, Palm, Google, Microsoft Windows Mobile, Nokia, etc.), in the next year you will be able to do WAY more on your Kindle than read today’s New York Times and items from your Kindle library.  Kindle becomes an already accepted wireless mobile platform with a well-recognized name.  It is priced under the bulk of netbooks and many smartphones (admittedly, it also does NOT have touch or color, but I don’t think the designers at Amazon are standing still on those fronts…).

    This comes as a frontal challenge to the highly anticipated Apple tablet (side thought: if e-readers were THE gadget at CES this year, are tablets likely to be the hot item next year?).  As of today (January 25, 2010), it is not public just what the focus and capabilities of the Apple device will be.  Apple changed the whole idea of phone as mobile platform and enabled the developers for that device to stretch it and innovate in ways no one foresaw at the beginning (I’m reminded a little of the market for third party add-ons and ActiveX controls to Microsoft Visual Basic and early web development).  Apple’s good at drawing its established customer base into the “next big thing/flashy object” and expanding it.  I expect to see good sales of their device initially.  However, Kindle is likely to remain at a price advantage, even if the Kindle v.next has touch and color capabilities.  Apple has NEVER been afraid to charge top dollar for its products, and apparently a large portion of the consuming public is willing to pay.  However, the growing fuzziness over devices in this area (overlap in function, price, purpose, available applications, etc. for netbooks, e-readers, smartphones and all the ‘tweener’ devices….) may take some time to shake out.  Kindle has the advantage of being in the hands of a large number users today, and Amazon is just opening up the device to be enabled in other ways.  It’s shaping up to be a very interesting competition.

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  • The other shoe drops – The Amazon Kindle SDK

    Kindle DX and Kindle 2

    Image via Wikipedia

    Last week Amazon announced a Software Development Kit (SDK) for their Kindle e-reader.  They are calling it the Kindle Development Kit (KDK). According to Ian Freed, Vice President of the Kindle group, “We’ve heard from lots of developers over the past two years who are excited to build on top of Kindle.  The Kindle Development Kit opens many possibilities–we look forward to being surprised by what developers invent.” (full press release can be read here)

    The KDK will be initially released in a limited beta.  The revenue split will be 70% to the developer and 30%, with an additional scheme for application delivery fees and ongoing delivery of any dynamic content or data.  Three pricing options have been announced (from the KDK page):

  • Free – Active content applications that are smaller than 1MB and use less than 100KB/user/month of wireless data may be offered at no charge to customers. Amazon will pay the wireless costs associated with delivery and maintenance.
  • One-time Purchase – Customers will be charged once when purchasing active content. Content must have nominal (less than 100KB/user/month) ongoing wireless usage.
  • Monthly Subscription – Customers will be charged once per month for active content.There are a few other restrictions/guidelines outlined on the KDK page as well.

    So what does this mean?  It means altering your perception of the Kindle.  If the creativity of the developers of mobile applications on other platforms is any indication (e.g.- Apple, Palm, Google, Microsoft Windows Mobile, Nokia, etc.), in the next year you will be able to do WAY more on your Kindle than read today’s New York Times and items from your Kindle library.  Kindle becomes an already accepted wireless mobile platform with a well-recognized name.  It is priced under the bulk of netbooks and many smartphones (admittedly, it also does NOT have touch or color, but I don’t think the designers at Amazon are standing still on those fronts…).

    This comes as a frontal challenge to the highly anticipated Apple tablet (side thought: if e-readers were THE gadget at CES this year, are tablets likely to be the hot item next year?).  As of today (January 25, 2010), it is not public just what the focus and capabilities of the Apple device will be.  Apple changed the whole idea of phone as mobile platform and enabled the developers for that device to stretch it and innovate in ways no one foresaw at the beginning (I’m reminded a little of the market for third party add-ons and ActiveX controls to Microsoft Visual Basic and early web development).  Apple’s good at drawing its established customer base into the “next big thing/flashy object” and expanding it.  I expect to see good sales of their device initially.  However, Kindle is likely to remain at a price advantage, even if the Kindle v.next has touch and color capabilities.  Apple has NEVER been afraid to charge top dollar for its products, and apparently a large portion of the consuming public is willing to pay.  However, the growing fuzziness over devices in this area (overlap in function, price, purpose, available applications, etc. for netbooks, e-readers, smartphones and all the ‘tweener’ devices….) may take some time to shake out.  Kindle has the advantage of being in the hands of a large number users today, and Amazon is just opening up the device to be enabled in other ways.  It’s shaping up to be a very interesting competition.

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]