Category Archives: Tech Gadgets

Kindle 2: Usability Review

kindle 2Amazon.com’s latest version of its ebook reader, Kindle 2 has been making headlines around the world since it’s public release last month. The new version of Kindle has many improvements in its interface and design. However, there are still some usability issues with the product.

I recently read usability review of Kindle 2 by Jakob Nielsen and I agree with most of his arguments about some usability failures of the device.

It is really exciting to see how much potential this devices has in transforming the publishing industry and book readers in coming years. When I tested Kindle 2 I really liked certain aspects of the device and dissapointed with some its design & usability issues.

My suggestion for Kindle engineers is to make the screen touchable just like an iPhone, which will dramatically improve the navigation and usability of the device.

Here are some of things that I liked and disliked about Kindle 2.

The Good:

  • Form: Light Weight and Thin
  • Readability: Screen is readable on any angle
  • Navigation: Easy to Read & Turn book pages
  • Legibility: Adjust Text Size to small to large
  • Ergonomics: Anti-reflective & black and white screen reduces eye strain

The Bad:

  • Form: Mouse (aka four-way joystick) is very difficult to use
  • Readability: Screen area is small, keyboard takes up too much space
  • Navigation: Navigating links or table of contents in blogs, newspapers and magazines is not intuitive
  • Form: Power On and Off button is clunky, not sure when it is on or off
  • Design: The design of the device is not cutting edge

So your computer crashed….

Recently my computer crashed and it was quite a frustrating experience. When your computer is down, you really lose a lot of productivity. It takes a while to get all your files out of the old computer, setup a new machine or fix the old one, and re-install all the software and setup all settings etc…. One of the things I had to do was to transfer my files from the old hard to the new hardrive. In order to do this, you have to open up the compter box, yank out the the old hard drive and if you know what you are doing you will be lucky to get everything out of it without damaging the old drive. Although I backup most of my files, I still had some files I needed from the old hard drive.

I recently came across these really cool USB Hard Drive Docks that would have made all this much more easier. These USB Docks can also give a new life to your old hard drives which can be setup as an external back up drive. Pretty cool gadget!

Thermaltake USB Hard Drive Docks

USB Hard Drive Dock

Weekly Round-up

firefox-tools.jpg

20 Must Have Firefox Extensions (via computerworld.com)
The latest version of Web Developer Extension on Firefox 2.0+ is very useful for web designers, I highly recommend upgrading your browser and download the newest version of the Web Developer Extension.

Microsoft creates JPEG format killer
Code-named HD Photo could become a new standard for image formats that could replace old JPEG format (.jpg or .jpeg) that is used for digital formats of graphics as well as images in electronics and the web.

Are you Joosting yet?
The good people who brought Skype are now launching an online TV service called Joost. Check it out!

Yahoo’s Panama Project Takes on Google Adwords
So far Yahoo has done well with its relaunch of sponsored search results system so called Panama, in hopes to take some share of the market from it’s biggest competitor Google Adwords.

12 Quick Tips To Search Google Like An Expert
We all “Google” by just typing in words to the search box and receive basic search results with web site listings, but there is much more you can get out of Google’s searchbox… 

Vonage to pay $58 million for patent infringement
According to the court ruling Vonage infringed on two patents held by telco giant Verizon. Another setback for the young voice-over-ip company.

Five important principles for designers
A short article for designers who think design is art.

PC Mini

So you already know that Apple has come out with Mac Mini to switch some PC users to Apple platform. These little MAC Minis go for $499 without a monitor, a mouse or a keyboard. As always, Apple has a done a great job of designing and styling their products that appeal to the eye no matter what they made. For PC users, we have to put up with crappy and bulky designs of PC manufacturers who only care about the speed of the machine….not anymore….

Mac Mini Meets PC Mini

Finally it is here: PC Mini

I came across PC Mini which looks exactly like Mac Mini, except it runs on Windows XP and has Intel inside. Just like MAC Mini, PC Mini is sleek, light and has all the bells and the whistles you need. PC Mini is very useful for folks who live in a MAC environment but need a PC to test out desktop and web applications. Also, PC Mini is great for people who just can’t stand the bulky and ugly CPU units that take up a lot of space in their office.

Most of the people spend lot of money on a new computer but they do not even use half of the power and memory of their machine. PC Mini is also perfect for folks who need to do basic tasks on the computer: surfing the Internet, checking emails, writing or editing documents, and other basic tasks.

Features of PC Mini

  • Built-in Wireless IEEE 802.11 b/g card
  • High-speed Network Card
  • Digital video interface (DVI)
  • TV signal output
  • Dual screen display
  • High capacity DVD±RW / CD-RW burner─
  • High-speed USB 2.0 port─
  • IEEE1394 serial bus port

Visit the PC Mini web site to purchase one or see what it looks like.