Old School eReader

Palm Tungsten E2

Ever since I was a kid the only reason I didn’t routinely read for pleasure was when the technical reading needed for computer programming beat most of the enjoyment out of reading. Used book stores in the Phils and Thailand carry what I call ‘airline books’. Imagine what books would be left over if the passengers in the economy section of a 747 all left their books behind. I’m getting tired of the lack of choice.

One option is to buy new books locally. Expensive and similar lack of choice. Books can be bought online, shipped surprisingly cheaply and there is no import duty. All sorts of pdfs available online wherever copyright infringement flourishes, but that’s the worst way to read a book. Besides, I’m not bringing my laptop to the beach.

My XO-1 Linux netbook makes a decent eReader, but it’s heavy and requires wearing a shoulder bag or backpack to transport. Looked at a Kindle eReader. Lighter than my XO but still requires a shoulder bag to transport. I also expect it’s locked into buying content from Amazon.

Then the light bulb went off. I’d picked up a Palm PDA for $30 before leaving the US so I could easily relearn chess. Lost interest but kept the device. Now I have a pocket sized eReader that weights half as much as a Kindle. Page size is much smaller but that’s a feature of being pocket sized that I don’t mind.


You’re right, that’s a bad Photoshop job on the Palm’s screen. Brightened it up because digital cameras don’t take good photos of computer screens if one doesn’t know the tricks. The book is The Elephant to Hollywood, Michael Cain’s second autobiography.


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