Choosing your first ereader

Ereading by warzauwynn on Flickr (CC-BY-NC)So you’ve decided that that many people can’t be wrong: it’s time to get an ereader. But which one? The industry of ereaders and other mobile devices is filled with big and small companies promising you the world, and you don’t trust half of it.

The cruel truth is that no one can tell you exactly what’s best for you. Everyone’s preferences are different. You simply have to figure it out for yourself, and this might be an expensive journey. That said, if you’re going to take the plunge, here’s my two cents’ worth. It might help you dodge a few bullets along the way. Continue reading

Ereaders for Christmas? My recommendations

KindleEbook reading goes mainstream when a country has its first Ereader Christmas: that day when half the folk at your family gathering got ereaders for presents. The evidence will be loose and anecdotal, but I reckon this month we’ll see South Africa’s Ereader Christmas. I’m already being asked regularly by friends not whether they should get an ereader for their partner or parent, but which one to get.

I’m unashamedly an Amazon Kindle fan. Not of the device, the tech, or even the generally great prices, but because the customer service is in a league so far above anything else that buying anything else right now is just masochistic. Moreover, there are free Kindle apps for all your other devices, too (phone, PC, tablet), and they’re as nice or nicer to use than their competitors’ software. The Kindle is absolutely the way to go. Continue reading

Transmitter Failure by Jenny Owen Youngs

Transmitter Failure by Jenny Owen YoungsLast weekend I treated myself to four new albums on my favourite music site (for its business model as much as its catalogue), Amie Street. All four are great, but the one I can’t stop listening to is Transmitter Failure by Jenny Owen Youngs. I betray here again my penchant (pointed out by Michelle after only a few weeks knowing me) for pop-folk-rock by deep-thinking women with enchanting lyrics and plucky guitar. Anyway, I think Jenny Owen Youngs has taken things to a new level with this album. Miss it, miss out.

If you’re curious about the others, check out Vandaveer (Dave Matthews’ separated twin, I’m sure), People Eating People and Lisa Donnelly.

Sunday gambling

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning in Cape Town, and before the faux frontier-town GrandWest Casino, aging cars stretch for acres. I stroll from the ice rink, where we’ve been playing hockey, and at the casino doors, freshly renewed by pay-day, entire families are queuing. The kids are kitted out with backpacks and entertainment money, which they will soon be spending on arcade games, bowling and fast food while their folks get on with the serious business of trying to augment their salaries.

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