Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Am I On The Set of Star Trek?

by Tamara Passey

Okay, I don't have a food replicator. (It would be nice.) Or a way to beam my kids to school. (Even nicer!) But does anyone remember when Riker handed Picard a small electronic device the size of a book, only it was super thin and it was supposed to contain volumes of documents or research for him to review? You don't have to remember the episode - I just remember watching in awe at the possibility of that technology. And here we are some fifteen or twenty years later.  Enter Kindle, Nook and E-readers galore. I loved Nikki's Thursday post on Innovation and I thought I'd share my test run of some new technology.

A good friend had recommended a book a little bit before the Christmas holiday. I made a mental note (trusting  this friend's literary tastes) to pick up the book or even ask for it for Christmas. That didn't happen. How busy is the month of December? So somewhere around the late afternoon lull on Christmas day, I thought of the book and wished there was a way to get my hands on a copy. I didn't receive a Kindle or e-reader, but I did have a smartphone (of the droid variety). I remembered something about a "Kindle App". So. . .tap, tap, tap and I downloaded the app, some free classics and then searched for the book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I hesitated for a few minutes, wondering if I wanted to read an entire book on my phone - it has a much smaller screen than an e-reader. Then I realized I'd already been reading my scriptures every day on it with and LDS Scripture app -(and loving the instant cross-referencing and notes feature). So I saw the option to download a sample of the book for free. HOW TOTALLY AWESOME IS THAT! Which I promptly did and started reading. You can see where this is going, right? By the time I was done with the sample, I was ready to buy and for only $5, I had the whole book downloaded. I think I finished it in three or four days. I LOVED reading it in digital format. I think the same thing will hold true for digital books as it does for printed ones - when they are well written, you don't want to put them down. If there was one thing I think I missed, it was just the feel of holding the book in my hand and opening it and closing it. (I didn't really have a good idea of how long the book was as I dove into reading it.) I won't make a special trip, but next time I'm at the book store, I might find it on the shelf so I can do just that.

I love the convenience of technology, especially when it's combined with awesome literature!


  1. I'm still holding out for a transporter. ;) I am getting ever closer to buying an e-reader. I'm glad to know that you liked reading it that way.

  2. I totally LOVED that book too... Although I didn't read it in digital format. I LOVE my kindle, I got one for Christmas and just love it. when you say that you miss the feel of the book, I don't when I read on my kindle because the pages look like real paper and there is no backlight like reading on the computer. I too love it!

  3. Innovation and adaptation. The world changes so swiftly it's hard not to get left behind!

  4. LOL! I really enjoyed your post! One thing that I really thought about was transporting a baby from my tummy when he was ready to be born. *SIGH*

    Imagine the pleasure of no birthing pains? ;)

    ~Elizabeth :)

  5. LOL, Elizabeth! I never thought of that I wonder why Dr. Crusher didn't think of it either. Maybe it was too risky for the baby or it could be that there's no tension in beaming a baby out!

    I have my eye on an ipad. Did you know you can type right on it and save docs plus u can have all the reading apps not to mention the myriad of other apps out there from calorie counting to gps locators etc. I turned to my hubby and said " it's like having my very own tricorder!". Well so is the iPod touch it's just not so easy to type on like I'm doing now! I'm glad I'm not the only that thinks of Star Trek!

  6. I read that book on my kindle last year. It's really good. :)

    As far as technology, if you look at the "communicators" they have in the original series, you might notice that they look like really bulky flip-phones. :P

    Anyway, I'll admit that for the past 3 years, I've found that I'm incapable of reading paper books anymore. I've had people lend me books, and I end up returning them after buying them on my kindle. Paper books just feel so inconvenient... :P

    I will admit that I can't read on my ipod touch, though. The screen bugs my eyes after too much time on the computer, plus there are way too many other distractions. :P

  7. Thanks for the comments! Elizabeth - in all my years of watching Star Trek - I never imagined transport for childbirth! You rock!



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