Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Nook v.s. Amazon Kindle

Today I went to Barnes & Noble store and attracted with a Nook display. Coincidentally, I was also carrying my Kindle with me, so now I have a chance to compare it visually. First of all, the overall physical size of the new Nook is smaller than Kindle, because it has got rid of physical keyboard. Instead, a visual keyboard would be displayed whenever needed. As you might have known, this new Nook is now equipped with touch screen and I guess it is capacitive touch screen as it is very responsive. The screen area is actually about the same as Kindle's screen.

For the resolution, Kindle is tad better. This is based on my visual check by starring at each screen very closely (I got to remove my glasses to get better visual). Letters on Kindle are darker and smoother (but not much better), but Nook screen is whiter. Screen refresh rate (refresh between page) is faster on the Nook. Page buttons are located the same as Kindle (page-up and page-down are on left and right edge of the body). For the weight, I guess Kindle is slightly lighter on my hand, but it's hard to make a correct and accurate judgment without put them on scale.

Something interesting is the power life. Nook is apparently is the winner, at least according to the sales person. It can last up to 2 months with Wi-Fi turned off, while on Kindle is about a month. Price wise, Kindle is a bit cheaper, especially if we're OK with ads-supplied screen-saver version of it. On Amazon website, the ads-supported version is $114 (with no sales tax if we buy from California, and no shipping cost), while the Nook is $139 + sales tax. The web browser on Nook is better.

For the collection of books available, Amazon seems has little bit more selection, but B&N is catching up quickly too. A feature that's not available on Kindle is "Rent" and "Read in store", and this would make Nook very appealing for some users who want to borrow a book from friend or just want to read a book in B&N store (although not all e-books can be read or rented). I hope Amazon will match it with the similar offering. Nook is also EPUB-compatible reader, while Amazon's Kindle uses a proprietary format (Mobile-pocket-based MOBI format with DRM added). While many books can be converted with a tool such as Calibre (EPUB to MOBI and vice versa), others are nonconvertible.

Internally, they both are based on Linux, although Nook is Android-base. No surprise the Nook is faster because it uses more recent hardware, while Kindle has been a year old in the market. I think Amazon is preparing a next gen one. Just wait and see a couple of months as rumors say the will introduce the new one. The rumor also says Kindle might have a touch screen too (some people in the internet forum wish Amazon not to arm it with a touch screen. I don't understand what's the reason behind it yet).

Overall, I guess they tie in many comparisons. Only our preferences can tell which one to buy. If I haven't had Kindle, I might buy this new Nook because it's cute (very portable and almost fit in my shirt pocket) and has some features not available on Kindle.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fedora 15 & GNOME 3 Crash.

Some PCs have issues when installed with Fedora 15 and GNOME 3 as its desktop manager.  On my Compaq Presario R3000 labptop, I was unable to login due to crash in subsystem (gnome-shell).  When I tried to login, it display a message something like "unrecovered ...".

The problem is that GNOME3 is not stable enough to be run on some machines/video cards with 3D (perhaps Nouveau driver unable to execute 100% of the required GNOME3 features?).  Some people in the Internet said that by executing the following command it should fix the issue, but not in my case:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.session session-name gnome-fallback

After googling around, I found a good solution:

sudo rpm --nodeps -e gnome-shell

This has fixed my GNOME problem.  I could now login to the fallback mode (GNOME2-like)