Ebooks, and the devices we read them on...

All I seem to hear these days is: "The Kindle! The Kindle! You can read e-books anywhere now!"

Just like the iPod seems to have invented mp3 players for the public, Amazon seems to have invented the electronic book machine. I'm always glad to see existing technology finally accepted by the public, but what is frustrating is seeing these offerings heralded as the first coming. Portable devices that are capable for reading ebooks have existed for years and years. I began to rely heavily on my platform of choice, the Sony Clie, back in 2002. I still have the device, and it still holds up tremendously well. In addition to reading books with it, I can also check my email, listen to music, watch videos, use it as a universal remote, calculator, video camera, regular camera, audio recorder, Gameboy emulator, browse online, ect...

Not to mention it's full color touch screen and it's full keyboard, expandable memory and clamshell design. Plus, unlike the current popular devices, it fits in my pocket.

And now they cost about 50$ on eBay.

Yeah... it's slightly outdated by today's standards. Though as far as book reading, it gets the job done 100%. People simply didn't buy enough of these and the evolving line of Sony PDA's was discontinued. A pity. Because, a modern version of this device would absolutely destroy the Kindle.Instead, Sony gave us the eReader. A device that stepped backwards from the promise of the Clie dramatically.

But really, it's no surprise. As a society, we do not typically reward the most deserving or the innovative. We reward the popular. The VHS/Beta wars years ago underscored that the populace does not embrace quality. Not at all.


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