Thursday, November 13, 2008

All Things Amazon

I have been using and thinking about Amazon products for a while now. I have even started to use more of them. One odd thing hindering me is that most of my account usage recently managed to be under my wife's account. I think I was trying to track a package that she had ordered, but the net effect was that my browser remembered the settings and started automatically logging in as her. This has had a few interesting complications.

I have been wanting an Amazon Kindle for a while now. I actually liked the idea so much that I borrowed one from my aunt. I loved it. It still seemed like too much money, and the screen refresh rate was a little too slow for my reading speed. I was at my birthday party recently and was telling my aunt, from across the room what I had been hearing about the new version of the Kindle. I had already decided to purchase the new one the moment it came out. Note to self, "Never talk about the new version of something before opening the gifts." You will never guess what I received for my birthday. Yes, an Amazon Kindle. I love it. I use it constantly. It allows me to take multiple books with me without having to actually haul multiple books. I still am not terribly happy with the speed at which it swaps out pages, but I find that I am getting used to it. As one other kindle user mentioned, it is faster than manually flipping pages. Me, I think I flip pages faster than her, but to each their own.

Now, you are probably wondering what my wife's Amazon account and the Kindle have to do with each other at this point. I was at the party and registered the Kindle with the account that I have been using (my wife's). I then purchased a Guy Kawasaki's book Reality Check and started reading. Later, I found one of the top sellers, the Warren Buffet biography, at 60% off and purchased it too. Now I am in an interesting position where a couple of the books I have purchased will go away if I start using my account again. I want to register it to my account, but do I need to purchase the books again? I have finished and loved Reality Check. I don't want to do without it. Guy is going to send me a copy, but I might just buy it on the Kindle again. I want it handy. I have had several times where I wanted to club an entrepreneur over the head with one of his blog entries or a chapter in his book. I am thinking about starting to buy copies and have them shipped to the entrepreneurs. Transferring documents to your Kindle is as easy as sending the document to an email address and paying $0.10. Quite worth the price. I will likely be translating online documents into the Kindle for reading offline. I prefer the paper like look and feel and I find it is far less stressful on my eyes than looking at even a great computer monitor.

Another Amazon service that I have signed up for was Amazon Prime. I love the service. I pay a bit, but I get two day shipping free. I typically paid more for the shipping since I usually want books right away. Now, I can purchase more often, in smaller increments, and get the books faster. This too was signed up for under my wife's account. I have heard that I can share the Amazon prime account with my other user, so this one should not be too bad.

Amazon SaaS offerings sound really interesting. I know lots of people that are using them. I have spent some time with their chief evangelist. With their recent round of new offerings (block based storage and load balancing) I think they have a very complete offering. I have been using Amazon products and services for a while now. I have enjoyed them and plan on enjoying more soon.

I am also working on a book with several colleagues, "Technology Leadership in Silicon Valley". We are currently looking for a good publisher. Let me know if you are interested in providing feedback, quotes, or know of a good publisher.

Are you using the cloud? Amazon Prime? Kindle?

What do you think of them?

Have you read Guy Kawasaki's Reality Check yet?


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