A Word on Minimalism and Technology (Nook/Transformer/Clip)

I put a lot of stock in living with a minimalist approach to things I own.  It’s not that I seek the aesthetic life (re: Quakers, Monks, etc), but, I appreciate the aesthetic of simplicity.

When the first eInk eReaders came out I was immediately fascinated with them.  Here’s a technology that would allow me to reduce my considerable library into a tiny device.  It was really the eInk that sold me though, as reading books on LCD’s truly does wear my eyes out and I already do this all day.  The eInk is like reading any book (as far as eye strain goes).


I did my research and settled on the Nook.  Primarily because they had taken efforts to make getting ebooks from the library smooth.  PS-I love Libraries and how they are embracing eBooks, audiobooks, and online checkouts (nice work: http://www.overdrive.com/).

My big drawback on the Nook ($90ish?) was that I found programming books on it impractical due to it’s size and B&W.  Of course, they’ve hence come out with bigger eInk eReaders, but they’re not color, and they’ve come out with smaller LCD based color ones.  Luckily now tablets have been around long enough not to suck and offer 10 inch screens and color.

ASUS Transformer

Again I did my research and settled on the ASUS Transformer ($330 @ TigerDirect).  The odd thing about this device is the specs and price SMOKE the competition.  It’s not even close.  Yet, when I started researching Tablets I did not even come across this device for some time.  Apple’s iPad dominates the marketing on the web.  For my purpose, reading technical manuals, brand-agnosticism is the key because prices vary widely from book, reseller, and publisher.  One example is “Gray Hat Python”.  It’s $40 for the nook, $32 from the publisher, and $17 on the Kindle…  I imagine “The Market” will eventually correct this behavior and level the prices, but for today, I will shop.

SansaDisk Clip

mp3 players is a similar story.  At one point I could not resist the elegance of the iPod nano and classic. The price of these devices is frankly a crime against humanity.  Sadly, mine were stolen and I was out hundreds.  This pushed me to find a fiscally conservative solution.  The SansaDisk Clip ($close to price of a large Starbucks latte) does everything I need it to do and plays many formats and cost me $30 for a 4gb.

So, between these very small, relatively cheap items, I have been able to eliminate large physical amounts of:

  • Novels
  • Reference Books
  • CDs

That’s a lot of what I used to own.  I’ve converted the stuff I wanted to keep over and I love the aesthetic of my clean and efficient space.

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