My last business trip was among my most absent-minded ever. I forgot a clean shirt going up. I forgot my copies of the deposition exhibits in my haste to get to the airport for an earlier flight home. And, worst of all, I forgot my Kindle on the airplane in my haste to get ahead of rush-hour traffic. I rather doubt it will be returned to me through the lost and found function of the airline.
So The Wife decided I needed the Kindle Fire and just bought one for me. This is not a full tablet, but it is pretty spiffy. Because it displays in high-resolution color, I can read newspapers and magazines and get the visual impact of the layout. I haven’t tried to watch TV on it yet. Maybe in a couple weeks when I have to go on the road, again. It is not a substitute for a computer. It is not a substitute for a smart phone. Perhaps one day all these devices will consolidate powerfully enough into a single, light device, but that day is not yet upon us. What I can do from the Kindle Fire is make comments here at the League. That’s reasonably fast and convenient. I’m not sure, though, whether I’m going to be able to make the time to read the newspaper on my Fire every morning.
But aside from the gorgeous graphics, I suspect my smartphone has better computing power than the Fire. I would not use the Fire for productivity, that’s for sure.
Our new television is not hooked up to cable or satellite. Our content is provided through the Xbox. This, it seems, is actually not such an unusual thing and will become less so in the future. I use the TV and Xbox to play Skyrim and to stream music. Mrs. Likko is watching TV on it; so far she hasn’t found any Xbox games that interest her. The headphones that enable me to play Skyrim after she’s gone to bed without making audible noise will, no doubt, preserve our marriage.
So the verdict is — the Xbox, sold as a video gaming system, is a useful content provider that has enriched our lives. The Kindle Fire is a toy that I use to read books.