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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Neyer: Elect Jeff Bagwell To The Hall, And Cooperstown Will Bloom Again

Apparently “Craig” only needs a first name, like Cher, Madonna or Snooki.

This morning, Craig [Calcaterra] wrote a couple of compelling Hall of Fame-related posts.

In the first, he noted that attendance at the Museum is way, way down: more than 20 percent just from 2007 through 2011… In the second, Craig gave some Calcaterrian whatfor and whatnot to three Chicagoland Hall of Fame voters who have (again) not voted for Jeff Bagwell because of suspicions that he used performance-enhancing drugs (not including amphetamines, because hey if Willie Mays used greenies it’s cool)...

While I believe Bagwell should be in the Hall of Fame, I’ve never quite understood the argument that a Hall of Fame voter—if he thinks steroid use is germane—should ignore every scrap of evidence that doesn’t appear in the Mitchell Report or wherever… I believe that it’s intellectually indefensible to disqualify a player solely because you think he used steroids ... but I also believe it’s perfectly defensible to decide for yourself, based on everything you’ve seen and heard, if a player did use steroids.

Some of that makes sense, I hope. And I really didn’t intend to get into this whole thing. Really, I just wanted to express my mild surprise that Craig didn’t make any connection between Hall of Fame voting and Hall of Fame visitors. The Hall of Fame derives 98 percent of it publicity from one thing: new Hall of Famers. But lately—and for some years into the future, I’m afraid—a great deal of that 98 percent is going to be negative. It will be about Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds and Gary Sheffield and Mike Piazza and all the terrible things they did, and there might well be years when literally nobody is elected to the Hall of Fame. You think attendance has been down? You ain’t seen nothing.

The District Attorney Posted: January 03, 2012 at 11:50 PM | 240 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, awards, baseball geeks, hall of fame, history

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   201. McCoy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4029750)
The things I care about either are there automatically (weather) or I can access through the web (MLB, Google).

Well, that is fine but there are easier ways to access those things that you like and in all probability provide more information quicker.

But you do realize that pre-installed apps are still apps, right?
   202. McCoy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4029754)
I can understand not being in any sort of rush to replace existing TVs, but actually preferring an old, curved, heavy tube TV?

Back when I didn't own a TV whenever people would find out about that they would offer to give me their old tube TV. I'd always ask them why they wanted to punish me.
   203. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4029755)
Not to insult you guys, but I pretty sure I still don't need to bother learning about apps.

The things I care about either are there automatically (weather) or I can access through the web (MLB, Google).

Fair enough, if that stuff doesn't appeal to you. But the MLB app is not something you can access via the web on a phone; it lets you actually listen to live games. Google the search engine may be fine via the web, but Google Maps is a separate app.

Pandora is a music streaming service. Shazam actually listens to a song (e.g. one you hear on your car radio) and tells you what it is.
   204. AROM Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4029762)
Quite frankly, I could live without pretty much every new invention in my lifetime (born in 1971), except EZ Pass.


That reminds me of my idea for an EZ Pass commercial. If any marketing person from EZ Pass reads BTF, please take this idea, no need to give me any credit, I'd just like to see it.

The commercial starts with the scene from the Godfather where Sonny Corleone drives up to a tollbooth, then gets whacked. Camera pans away to show a TV set, this is happening in a movie within the commercial. Watching the movie are a bunch of actors from the Sopranos. Then Tony speaks: "Eh, he shooda used EZ pass".
   205. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4029764)
Quite frankly, I could live without pretty much every new invention in my lifetime (born in 1971), except EZ Pass.


Except, you know, the Internet. Specifically where we are having this conversation right now. OK you could likely LIVE without it, but why would you want to without the BBTF family in your lfe?
   206. McCoy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4029765)
Not a bad idea but that commercial would cost a hell of a lot money to make.
   207. McCoy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4029768)
Except, you know, the Internet. Specifically where we are having this conversation right now. OK you could likely LIVE without it, but why would you want to without the BBTF family in your lfe?

Well, his vehicle probably would have killed him long before he became a hardcore baseball follower.
   208. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4029771)
Wait, snapper is younger than me?

I always pictured snapper as a crabby old dude, wearing rosary beads, shorts and black socks, and a short sleaved dress shirt with well used pocket, and shaking his fist at the screen as he types/yells, with a transistor radio playing chants is on in the background. Hmmm, maybe my mental image of everyone is off?
   209. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4029779)
Notable things deemed to be officially invented after 1971

Personal computer

Laptop computer

CD

DVD

DNA Fingerprinting

Food processor

MRI

Post it note

Personal stereo

Synthetic skin

Viagra
   210. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4029794)
How do you take pictures? I'm being serious, here; film is getting harder to get (and that will only continue). Places that develop film are disappearing too -- and I say this as a guy with a dark room in his basement.

Film camera. I'm hoping it will still be available online at least and so far, CVS shows no signs of stopping developing.

Why? Flat screen TVs are inexpensive now, and they draw less power, are lighter, and (very generally speaking) offer a superior picture. I can understand not being in any sort of rush to replace existing TVs, but actually preferring an old, curved, heavy tube TV?

Well, they've only gotten inexpensibe recently. And $300 for a small kitchen counter top flat screen is still a lot more than the tube equivalent used to be.

I used to get a quality SONY 27" for $300-400 bucks, and they lasted 10 years.

Now I get a 42" sure, but I'm paying $600+, and I have no idea how long they last. Not ten year from what I here, if you use them every day.

I don't actually feel I get any value watching the big TV I paid $800 for 3 years ago vs. the 27" upstairs that I paid $300 10 years ago. So, in my way of thinking, I just end up paying more for the same crappy TV shows.

(though I am not sure what the scare quotes are for)

I wasn't sure if consumer elctronics was the correct term any more.
   211. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4029797)
But you do realize that pre-installed apps are still apps, right?

I didn't, but I guess they are. As long as I don't have to do anything, I don't worry about it.
   212. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4029800)
Except, you know, the Internet. Specifically where we are having this conversation right now. OK you could likely LIVE without it, but why would you want to without the BBTF family in your lfe?

Hell, I'd probably double my income b/c I'd be so much more productive at work.

I actually wonder sometimes how much lost productivity the Internet costs among white collar workers every year? It must be staggering.

It used to be much harder to goof off at work. I'd end up doing work just b/c I was bored.
   213. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4029803)
Wait, snapper is younger than me?

I always pictured snapper as a crabby old dude, wearing rosary beads, shorts and black socks, and a short sleaved dress shirt with well used pocket, and shaking his fist at the screen as he types/yells, with a transistor radio playing chants is on in the background. Hmmm, maybe my mental image of everyone is off?


Hah!

You're off on everything except the crabby part!

Well, I do try to say a Rosary every day (maybe 50% success rate), but I do it without the beads. :-)
   214. Brian Posted: January 05, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4029819)
I haven't been here since yesterday and it's an old post but, Cardfanboy: It can take 3 hours to get across NYC in a cab? Uh, no. If traffic is completely stopped you can walk it at at a leisurely pace inside of an hour. Easily.
   215. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4029825)
I haven't been here since yesterday and it's an old post but, Cardfanboy: It can take 3 hours to get across NYC in a cab? Uh, no. If traffic is completely stopped you can walk it at at a leisurely pace inside of an hour. Easily.

Depends if you're talking Manhattan or NYC.

It could certainly take 2+ hours to get from JFK to Manhattan. And, I've spent way more than a hour getting through the Lincoln tunnel many a time. If you're going somewhere outside Manhattan, getting out and walking isn't an option.
   216. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4029827)
I used to get a quality SONY 27" for $300-400 bucks, and they lasted 10 years.

Now I get a 42" sure, but I'm paying $600+, and I have no idea how long they last. Not ten year from what I here, if you use them every day.

Hard to know as not too many people were buying them ten years ago. I do know my 42" is over five years old and running like a champ.

And you don't HAVE to buy a 42". You can still get a 26" TV, and you can get it for LESS than you used to pay for that 27". If you want a Sony, you can get a 32" for under $400.
I don't actually feel I get any value watching the big TV I paid $800 for 3 years ago vs. the 27" upstairs that I paid $300 10 years ago. So, in my way of thinking, I just end up paying more for the same crappy TV shows.

Could be. Do you get HD programming? If not, then...of course it's not going to look any better, but that has nothing to do with tube v. flat screen, and the programming isn't going to look BETTER on the tube no matter what it is.
Film camera. I'm hoping it will still be available online at least and so far, CVS shows no signs of stopping developing.

This makes less sense. This almost seems like a deliberate attempt to be anachronistic. You have to know CVS WILL stop sooner or later. There will be no "signs" -- it will just be gone one day. Are you going to be mailing film somewhere to get it developed? How is that better than a digital camera?

Again, I'm not saying everyone needs to go out and buy new whiz-bangy things. Lots of people I know have no interest in an ebook reader, and that's fine; I totally get that. But when people deliberately spend more money to do things in a more complicated way simply to avoid change or adopting new technology, I don't get it. The only other folks I know still shooting film are photography enthusiasts, and (A) all of them still have digital cameras for vacation photos and whatnot, and (B) they sure as hell ain't using CVS.
   217. Lassus Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4029836)
Nicely done. Was the Ringzzz Cycle composed by Billy Wagner?

Oof.
   218. Lassus Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4029839)
The RAZR was my least favorite phone they made, but it had incredible potential. The tech just wasn't ready to cram that much into such a small package when it came out, so it ran very hot, was a bit fragile, and had crappy battery life (especially over time). Even so, I loved the feel and look of that phone. The RAZR had also serious software issues, but I heard that was less Motorola's fault and more the fault of the stuff the carriers added.

My RAZR ran like an absolute dream for over five years before simply giving out. Not a single regret I had it.

As long as we're talking about phones, I think I may be the only human in America who owns an HTC Aria, and I think it's the perfect smartphone. Sadly, it's small, and not likely to have another model, which is a shame, as that's why I like it.


Food processor

Oh good lord, yes.
   219. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4029841)
I have found that folks in BBTF have weird tech fetishes unlike many others
   220. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4029843)
Could be. Do you get HD programming? If not, then...of course it's not going to look any better, but that has nothing to do with tube v. flat screen, and the programming isn't going to look BETTER on the tube no matter what it is.

Sure, I've got HD on pretty much every channel. Whatever the DirectTV HD package is.

Yeah, you notice it looks better for 2 minutes, and then you don't notice anymore. I never look at my remaining tube TVs and think "what a crappy picture".

This makes less sense. This almost seems like a deliberate attempt to be anachronistic. You have to know CVS WILL stop sooner or later. There will be no "signs" -- it will just be gone one day. Are you going to be mailing film somewhere to get it developed? How is that better than a digital camera?

I am expression my loathing for the digital camera "experience" that I'm on the receiving end of all the time.

Between the shutter lag messing up the shots, to people reviewing their pictures on the spot, it seems like every freaking posed photo has to be taken four times, with endless delay.

   221. cardsfanboy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4029847)
This is a fabulous idea. Imagine a museum in Chicago focused on the history of Chicago baseball! That sort of thing. In NYC you could, as someone else mentioned, do a whole bit on the development of baseball in the NYC area and do that "original rules" game. And so on.


The Cardinals have their own personal Hall of Fame(It took over the bowling hall of fame building) it's pretty lame, there are some nice stuff there, but for the most part it looks like someone just randomally threw stuff up and half-assed label everything. There is pretty much no effort put into it, at least no more than you would see in a typical retail display.
   222. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4029848)
Sure, I've got HD on pretty much every channel. Whatever the DirectTV HD package is.

Yeah, you notice it looks better for 2 minutes, and then you don't notice anymore. I never look at my remaining tube TVs and think "what a crappy picture".

Different strokes, I guess. The difference is night and day to me, but I freely admit that this is not a universal opinion.
I am expression my loathing for the digital camera "experience" that I'm on the receiving end of all the time.

Between the shutter lag messing up the shots, to people reviewing their pictures on the spot, it seems like every freaking posed photo has to be taken four times, with endless delay.

I haven't noticed shutter lag to be a problem, but maybe it varies by camera. I live with a family of camera snobs.

As for the re-take thing...some would say that is a feature, not a bug. You can make sure the shot comes out. With film, you get home, get the film developed, and...CRAP! It's out of focus, or the guy blinked, or...and every shot costs you money for developing/printing.

I dunno. I think you may get forced into switching on this one, sooner or later.
   223. McCoy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4029850)
10 years ago going above 27" on a tube screen would cost you a fortune. I think 42" might have been in the realm of projection TVs. I know in the early 90's my dad bought a 47" rear screen projector TV and I believe it cost over a thousand dollars at the time. I know the tube TVs got up to 36 inches but I can't recall if they got bigger than that.

The thing is all of those TVs almost regardless of the brand on the front lasted 10 years or so. I've got a Sanyo TV somewhere that is over 15 years old and it still works. It got to the point that you were basically paying for the label and a few bells and whistles.
   224. McCoy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4029857)
Yeah, you notice it looks better for 2 minutes, and then you don't notice anymore. I never look at my remaining tube TVs and think "what a crappy picture".

I notice it all the time. I think you really notice it on during football games since the players are being shot from a distance instead up close like in movies and sitcoms.

When I first got the HDTV the difference between my laptop display and the TV was so dramatic that it almost felt like I was watching a 3D show.
   225. cardsfanboy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:43 PM (#4029858)
Why? Flat screen TVs are inexpensive now, and they draw less power, are lighter, and (very generally speaking) offer a superior picture. I can understand not being in any sort of rush to replace existing TVs, but actually preferring an old, curved, heavy tube TV?


and are better on the eyes(a point that I used to make all the time when trying to sell lcd monitors to older couples)
   226. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4029861)
10 years ago going above 27" on a tube screen would cost you a fortune. I think 42" might have been in the realm of projection TVs. I know in the early 90's my dad bought a 47" rear screen projector TV and I believe it cost over a thousand dollars at the time. I know the tube TVs got up to 36 inches but I can't recall if they got bigger than that.

Most brands of tube TV maxed out at 36". We had a Panasonic 36" for quite a while (it was a loaner that Circuit City gave us while they repaired our 32", and that ended up taking months for reasons not worth going into now).

Sony made a 40" tube. It was a monster. It weighed over 300 pounds. For a tube, thought, it looked gorgeous.
   227. JPWF1313 Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4029867)
Notable things deemed to be officially invented after 1971


Post it note- 1968

Food processor- 1946

MRI- maybe, apparently the first MRI machine as we know it was built in 1972, the first MR images were developed in the 1950s

CD- 1976, but really t was only a development of the laserdisc- invented in 1958

I'm not trying to be snarky, but you can be surprised how long something may be known or out there- until it becomes noticeable. Take roller blades (or inline skates), I never noticed them until I was an adult, before then everyone roller skated using clunky old fashioned roller skates- I assumed someone had invented Roller Blades after 1980... nope, 19th century, 1st US Patent was 1953... they didn't start to catch until a US Olympic Speedskater in 1980 was photographed using them to train outdoors in the summer...
   228. cardsfanboy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4029868)
Sure, I've got HD on pretty much every channel. Whatever the DirectTV HD package is.

Yeah, you notice it looks better for 2 minutes, and then you don't notice anymore. I never look at my remaining tube TVs and think "what a crappy picture".


Yep, HD never really impressed me, yes it's better, and as the tv's got bigger, it almost becomes a requirement to maintain the sharpness of the picture, but if you are looking at a tv under 32", you are barely going to notice a difference. Blu-Ray on the other hand is a different story.

I haven't noticed shutter lag to be a problem, but maybe it varies by camera. I live with a family of camera snobs

shutter lag on a standard point and shoot has always been a sticking point with digital cameras. On a higher end or an slr it's not an issue at all.
   229. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4029879)
JP

I used several different sources to triangulate dates knowing that someone would be desperate to argue.

Still happened.

Oh well.

   230. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4029884)
CD- 1976, but really t was only a development of the laserdisc- invented in 1958

Ehhh, that's a bit of a stretch. I mean, yes, OK, both used lasers, but other than that...the laserdisc was an analog system; CDs were digital. That, as much as the laser, was the big deal. I think the CD qualifies as its own invention.
   231. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4029886)
And we are off on the arguments of distinctions that matter to nobody!
   232. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4029894)
And we are off on the arguments of distinctions that matter to nobody!


Not true, I had always assumed laser discs were digital. Off to go look it up. Learn something new every day.
   233. Something Other Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4029905)
I do think E-book readers are going to vanish within the next 5 years. There is simply no point to them. My dad got the new Nook and he jailbreaked it to turn it into a Android tablet. So I guess there will be that niche as long as the ebook reader is cheaper than a tablet.
Wait, why? I haven't kept up with developments over the last several years, but am thinking of getting an E reader. Please explain if you have a minute.



   234. cardsfanboy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:49 PM (#4029913)
I think the argument is that a tablet will effectively replace a specialized product like the e-book reader. It's probable, but I don't think that it really is the death of the e-book reader, just a migration to a different form.
   235. McCoy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4029925)
It's probable, but I don't think that it really is the death of the e-book reader, just a migration to a different form.

It will be the death of devices that only are e-book readers. People will obviously still read books on electronic devices but like the batman utility belt this will be one device that will vanish. Another one will be the iPod if it hasn't vanished already.
   236. Johnny Slick Posted: January 05, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4029931)
Yeah, e-book readers are here to stay. They're simply too inexpensive for the end user, and the lack of the need to come out with print format books makes them incredibly inexpensive for the publishing companies as well (in fact, we're moving closer and closer to publisher-subsidized free models where you just pay for the books). I guess if you count tablets as a completely different product that's something else, although even there I think e-book readers like the Kindle fit a specific, lower-cost, long-battery-life niche. I don't think they'll be as prevalent, but I think they'll still be around, especially as schools stop buying textbooks and start issuing these things instead (which I am convinced is coming down the line).

To that larger point of "nothing new has been invented lately!!!", just as many seemingly modern devices were invented many decades before, it's very likely that there are lots of things out there which have already been invented but which haven't found their market niche yet. Off the top of my head, I know there is a lot of research being done into some sort of new battery using carbon nanotubes or something which could revolutionize the power industry if it gets funding and they can find a way to make it cheaply. There are probably a hundred little things like this, and even if only 10 make it, those will be 10 things people will look at in 30 years as examples of how much more innovative we were in our day.
   237. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 05, 2012 at 08:48 PM (#4029945)
I wouldn't buy any sort of electronic book reader if you gave me 100,000 free e-books to go along with it, but OTOH there's one great thing about these devices for a dead tree reader like me: Nearly every recent book I've bought in the past few years---and I buy only hardback editions with VG or better dust jackets---has been cheaper than the electronic version. All you have to do is wait about a year (or less) and they're practically giving them away. Other than a handful of truly collectible books, the price of used books has dropped faster than the 2008 stock market, and anyone with even a modest income and the inclination can gather in a pretty damn good library very quickly, much faster than he could before the internet and the e-readers came along.
   238. Johnny Slick Posted: January 05, 2012 at 09:33 PM (#4029968)
I've got to be honest here... I was totally against the idea of e-books until I got my Kindle last year. One of the big advantages of the actual Kindle over stuff like the Fire or more expensive tablets, in fact, is that it is very, very similar to reading actual text. Eye strain is minimal because there is zero flicker on the display. In fact, it looks like stuff is physically printed on the front of the screen when you first get it.
   239. CrosbyBird Posted: January 06, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4030704)
Not to insult you guys, but I pretty sure I still don't need to bother learning about apps.

The things I care about either are there automatically (weather) or I can access through the web (MLB, Google).


There's nothing that I can think of as a "must have" app, but there are a few different apps that each add a tiny little bit of convenience.

I have a barcode scanner app on my phone that I can use to price check stuff right in the store. You just take a quick picture of the UPC and it lists something like the 5 closest locations that are selling the same thing and the price. I used this when I was buying a television and ended up saving around $100.

There are apps like Seamless (food delivery service), Fandango (movie times and tickets), Hopstop (subway trip planner), and Google maps that are not really better than the web versions so much as they are optimized for the screen size and interface. I can go to a webpage but using the app is faster and easier to navigate.

One of my favorite apps is NYCMate. I have subway and bus maps for all of NYC, plus small neighborhood maps, and if I touch a train station on the subway map, the app displays the next few trains leaving from that station.
   240. Something Other Posted: January 06, 2012 at 08:46 PM (#4030861)
Good to know about readers. Thanks.

@237: Yup. Recently I had to get up to speed on a legal matter, and it was the kind of thing where I didn't need the latest editions so I ordered a dozen used legal books for $50. New, they would have run $4000, and I got them delivered to my door in under a week. The current world amazes me sometimes.

@239: Sheesh. I have a picture of millions and millions of people in tiny cubicles keeping all these apps running and updated.
   241. base ball chick Posted: January 09, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4032330)
CrosbyBird Posted: January 05, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4029332)

I happen to agree with McCoy. The location of the HOF is a big reason why I haven't gone.


- well, it's a big reason why i haven't gone neither. but i'm a lot more likely to see it there than NYC because NYC is expensive beyond words and even flying into albany, renting a car, staying in a cheaper motel there and driving the 2 hours back and forth to cooperstown is cheaper. i looked up that cooperstown motel - more expensive than the inn at the ballpark.

if i, i mean WE, were gonna spend all that money and go, which Husband has promised me for almost 12 years that we ARE gonna do, i sure wouldn't be wasting it on doing anything else during the day besides going to the museum.
   242. AROM Posted: January 09, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4032347)
Other than a handful of truly collectible books, the price of used books has dropped faster than the 2008 stock market, and anyone with even a modest income and the inclination can gather in a pretty damn good library very quickly, much faster than he could before the internet and the e-readers came along.


True. But I wouldn't want to. A few years ago I reached the limits of space for the books I'd accumulated. Tried to slow down on purchases, sell or give away some, use the library more. But it was a losing battle. The kindle is my friend now. If I could convert my old books to e-files without having to repurchase them, I would in a second.

At some point I'll move to a new house, and lugging that library around is not something I look forward to.
   243. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 09, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4032348)
I've got to be honest here... I was totally against the idea of e-books until I got my Kindle last year. One of the big advantages of the actual Kindle over stuff like the Fire or more expensive tablets, in fact, is that it is very, very similar to reading actual text. Eye strain is minimal because there is zero flicker on the display. In fact, it looks like stuff is physically printed on the front of the screen when you first get it.

Just to echo this...I had pretty much the same view prior to getting one, and the same reaction.

I do miss being able to flip back through pages easily to find something. Yeah, you can do it on a Kindle, but it's not as simple a process.

Also -- and this may just be down to how I read books -- the fact that the Kindle is an electronic device that has a real cost to it worries me. I read a lot, and I'm one of those people that is hard on his books. I jam paperbacks in my back pocket; I fold the cover back so I can more easily hold the book with one hand...heck, I read in the bathtub on occasion. I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that with a Kindle.

On the other hand, the Kindle never loses my place, and it is handy having so many books there. I also like being able to bring up the same books on my phone or PC, right in the place where I left off on the Kindle. I love the battery life, and the screen is just as easy to read as regular paper.

I get that they're not for everyone. My mom and dad are both big readers, and neither will ever get a Kindle or the like. And I still enjoy picking up a physical book...but the conveniences of the Kindle have made me a believer.

Will they be replaced by general-purpose tablets? Quite possibly. The Kindle may be a better overall reading device, but if one ends up carrying a tablet around anyway, one will be less likely to also carry around a Kindle. My iPod Classic is a better music player than my smartphone is, but these days I never take the iPod anywhere.
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