I hate change: technology edition

Earlier this week, my Kindle died. The screen is broken and unreadable. I can’t live without my Kindle. I love it because it has all the books I am reading and want to read and don’t have room for on my shelves. And it lets me buy books in bed.

So, I started looking at options to replace the dead one. It’s a Kindle Keyboard that I’ve had for about 15 months after my previous one died at about 9 months and was replaced because it was within warranty. Kindles do not have a good reputation for longevity. On the other hand, when it’s working, it does exactly what I want it to do and I love it. The problem is that Amazon no longer sell the Kindle Keyboard. My options are: Kindle 6″ (no keyboard, much reduced storage, £69); Kindle Paperwhite (ditto, but with a different kind of screen which I’m not sure I like the look of, £109); Kindle Fire (not e-ink, a tablet rather than an e-reader, which is not what I want); get the screen replaced (£59); get a second hand Kindle Keyboard on ebay (about £40). I went for the latter and actually I’m going to buy a second hand one from a twitter/knitting friend. I hope it lasts for a while.

My netbook is also on the way out. It’s got a missing ‘o’ (I can type it, but there’s no key), and more importantly, limited memory, which is not really working any more. Firefox crashes regularly, it’s slow and unreliable. I’d hoped I might be able to add extra memory, but it’s not obvious how to do it (I have done this on other laptops but when I found the tutorial for how to do it on this one, it looked way scarier.) I might be able to pay someone to do that. I’ve looked around and yet again, what I want is basically discontinued. Manufacturers are not putting out new, up to date, netbooks. So my options are: a cheap netbook with the same spec as my current one for around £180; a tablet (DO NOT WANT, choose your own price); or an ultrabook (CAN’T AFFORD). The problem with the netbooks that are out there is that they are essentially 2-year-old models. They will have the same problems as my current netbook, i.e. lack of memory. I can’t see that it’s worth spending any money on one, unless I can find one with more memory, a more up to date operating system, and so on. Ultrabooks are lovely, I’m sure, but I don’t want to be spending £500 or more for something that isn’t my main computer. I use my netbook when I’m travelling and when I’m in bed/watching TV etc. I mostly use it for writing and internet. I would like to be able to watch TV without it crashing. I would like to be able to use some other software occasionally when I’m not at home with access to my main laptop. I don’t need it to be glossy or sleek; I do need it to be solid and sturdy. I don’t want a tablet. I need to be able to write. A lot.

So I don’t know what to do. I suppose I could consolidate my main laptop (which I basically use as a slightly more portable desktop) with my netbook and get something inbetween. With a big screen for a second monitor at my desk. I hate second monitors. I could get a tablet and a USB keyboard. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I could save up and get an ultrabook.

I just don’t understand why technology keeps getting less functional and more expensive. I thought it was supposed to be the other way around?



  • I share your pain about the Kindle Keyboard. Mine died and I downgraded to a basic Kindle, because I was worried that the ones on eBay might be stolen; I’m now wondering whether I want a Paperwhite, but all the features other than the light seem like so much decorative scrim that I don’t need.

    • I worried about that too. The one I bid on did seem to be from a plausible seller (he’d sold a bunch of very normal stuff over the last few years and this was the first kindle he’d sold). I’m not even sure I want the light on the Paperwhite. I like the book-ness of needing to have a light on in order to read.

  • Have you loaded adblock app on firefox? I did this week after a friend told me about it and I can’t believe the difference it has made. It is so much quicker and doesn’t freeze.