Gear: May 2009 Archives


May 24, 2009

I've been thinking about getting myself a Kindle 2. The primary use I have here is for travel (backpacking and business travel). On backpacking trips I usually end up reading a couple hours a day, either at night or in the mornings, so I can easily go through a modest-sized book on a weekend trip. The Kindle 2 weighs in at 10 oz (290g), less than plenty of paperbacks, which seem to run about .5g/page, so this is more or less a wash on a short trip and looks like a win on a longer trip. Even on a short trip, a reader has the advantage that you don't need to commit to what you're reading in advance.

Anyway, the Kindle 2 is clearly flawed (screen too small, no PDF translation, too expensive) but it may just be over the line of being useful. Some of this stuff is fixed in the Kindle DX, but it's even more expensive, almost twice as heavy, and not available yet.

Have any EG readers tried the Kindle? Any comments?


May 8, 2009

My Vibram FiveFingers showed up today (REI free shipping to your local store). I hear they run big and after trying on the 45s I went with the 44s. This seems like the best compromise size: my big toe is pretty long and it's jammed right up against the toe pocket but my little toe is only about halfway into the pocket. Putting them on take a little bit of getting used to, but since I've been wearing Injinjis, I'm used to the whole individual toe thing.

I work from home a lot and go around barefoot quite a bit, so I figured that the FiveFingers wouldn't be that much of a change. Not so, though. Obviously, you can fel them in between your toes so that's different, but there's something else too. When I'm really barefoot I tend to be real conscious of that and walk lightly. The FiveFingers are just solid enough feeling that I tend to walk more like I would in a normal shoe, but since there's no actual padding in the sole, there's a fair amount of impact. This isn't a problem on carpet or hardwood, but on asphalt or concrete it's pretty noticeable and somewhat unpleasant. When I was outside I found myself having to be really conscious to walk on my toes more than my heels. I haven't been brave enough to really try running in them yet; I took a few strides and it did not feel good, so I suspect there's a lot of adaptation you'd need to do if you were going to go for a substantial run.