We have been reading about this all year and now CNET publishes that Amazon could make the official announcement for its Kindle, the E Ink based ebook reader, this Monday 19. A move that could demonstrate, once and for all, that the electronic books market has a future, something I've always believed even if many tried to deny.
And even when sometimes money is the biggest obstacle to get our newest toys, good 'ol geeks (or lucky geeks, you choose), the ones who work doing what they like and charging what they deserve, can afford them.
Or at least that's what you'd think because there's another obstacle, a very tough one you need to overcome to get your precious gadgets: The Wife.
Every geek's wife will make your shopping experience a very difficult task, they have even invented an acronym to qualify how much your wife loves, or hates, your future hardware. I'm talking, obviously, about the WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor).
WAF = 0 means your wife won't let you have that new member in your family. And you do consider your hardware as family, don't you?
WAF = 1 means good news, the gizmo passes the test and has a new home.
However, don't worry yet if you seem to have a zero WAF for that new ebook reader you want, err, need, I'll give you some advice to increase it all the way to one.
WAF is so important these days that even hardware manufacturers think about it. Apple is one fine example, their products work as a charm and also look great.
"Honey, I'm sure that new Apple TV will look cool in our living room, it really shines next to our new carpet, don't you think?". Yeah, we're pathetic but what the hell, it's an Apple TV dude!
Here some first-hand advice to get WAF = 1 and keep your loving wife happy:
- Get a better price. The cheapest the price the better your WAF, if you need to forget about some accesories to get the gizmo then go for it. I had to buy my new Digital Rebel XTi with just the lens included in the kit and I'll invent something later to get some cool additional lenses.
- Play with her feelings. Quite easy if you spend a few days abroad, like when I went to Guatemala and got some cool stuff from Amazon. When I got back home everything was kisses, hugs and darling how much I missed you. Yep, we don't deserve her love but who cares, we're talking Nokia N800 and Canon SLR here boy!
- The devil wears Prada, and your wife too, so nothing better than buying her something that matches her nice new purse. Yesenia's Palm TX looks cool and it's really her Palm, even when it's most of the day at home and I can use it whenever I want to read some news via Wi-Fi from my kitchen.
- Get it for the holidays. There are two things I love about Christmas: food and stuff I buy for me. Right, I forgot to tell you I'm a selfish bastard who likes to eat, besides being a geek. Use the next birthday, Halloween, Thanks Giving or whatever to get some new gizmo. Some months ago, when Bea turned six, I got her a Yamaha PSR E403, then I bought an Ibanez GIO in my birthday and I'm thinking on getting a Tama for Yesenia for Christmas. Wicked!, you've got a new rock band, total WAF = 1.
- Do it slowly, little by little so it doesn't hurt. I'm talking about shopping, of course. Don't even think about showing up one day shouting: "Hey sweetheart!, I've just got a new Cybook Gen3, Vizplex baby, Vizplexxxxx!". That's the surest way to WAF zero, geek's hell. You need to plan and be patient. I've spent months talking to Yesenia about the wonders of E Ink and how much we really need to be able to read with natural light. I've invested so much time on this that if you ever ask her she already knows the Amazon Kindle is not coming until the end of 2007 (or so we hope).
- Be your wife's slave, give her whatever she wants, whenever and however she wants it. And of course I know we're a horrible bunch of husbands who should be put in a prison with no electricity or net connection forever but, again, who gives a damn! A System76 Darter Ultra, 12.1 inches widescreen baby!, is surely worth it. When you're about to click that checkout button take her to a nice dinner, give her some new clothes, shoes or (if you'll buy something really expensive) jewelry. You can even pretend you enjoy the never ending minutes taking care of the kids while she tries all the dresses in the mall. And, finally, give her lots of love, love and love. Very well done love is never enough for a nice girl.
- Cry like a baby. A few weeks ago our family TV, a pretty decent and loyal 21" Panasonic Tao, yup, a CRT from last century, started to make some strange noises. Well, a tiny sound every 20 minutes or so, but a real geek knows when to act as a wimp to get a better WAF. "Yesenia, our TV is fucked up! I really think we should get one of those LCD things, yeah, I'm sure it's about time!"
- Use your kids. Yeah, I know this is too low, even for me: "Hey sugar, if we give Beatriz that Asus Eee PC for Christmas she could be browsing, playing or reading before going to bed every night. Whatcha think? A gift every kid would love, huh?" Of course you shouldn't tell her that kid means you and never ever talk about your plans to take the new Eee PC on your trips with your geeky friends or use it to read your feeds near the pool.
There you go tiger!, if you can't get a very high WAF with those tips I don't know how you'll do it. Good luck shopping and please, do whatever you need to do but never tell your wife where you got these ideas. I have enough dealing with my own SigOth.
Yesenia, baby, I hope you never read this.
It seems the good folks at Nokia have taken their time to consider all the feedback from the N770 and N800 users, hardcore fans, and have just announced for November the all new Nokia N810. It looks quite similar to the N800 (which I just ordered and I'm waiting to arrive):
The new features include:
- Increased screen brightness keeping the 800x480 resolution from the N800.
- Better battery duration, from 4 hours of typical use (vídeo, music, Internet) up to 2 days in stand by mode.
- QWERTY slide-out keyboard.
- Bluetooth DUN.
- Maemo Linux OS2008.
- Mozilla based web browser.
They always up-to-date guys from Engadget have tested a unit and report the keyboard is not that easy to use, too little space between the first row of keys and the screen, but at least it's a step on the right direction.
Oh!, and it seems we'll have a WiMax enabled version of the N810 coming soon.
N800 applications should be recompiled for the N810 and I guess the Maemo community is already working on that.
There you have it my good geeks, another item for that huge wish list.
I don't want this post to become a meme, but of course I'd like to know what other bloggers want, here's the list of gadgets I plan to buy this year:
- The Sony Reader, because I can't live without books, must test an E-Ink device and have always had a great experience with Sony products (my Clie has more than 5 years and runs like a charm). Price: US$ 299.99.
- Canon Digital Rebel XTi, because I want to shoot real pictures, get all the benefits of a DSLR and good 'ol Olympus D-320 already deserves a break. Price: US$ 722.00 and at least a grand for a pair of good lenses.
- Nokia N800, because a Wi-Fi gizmo not as heavy as Amber, the Pangolin, is a must in every geek's cave, it runs Linux and my lovely wife stole the TX. Price: US$ 359.00.
Of course there are lots of other stuff I'd like to get but I don't think The Wife would permit it, but hey donations are welcomed.