Win 7, Nook, and other tech follow ups
Windows 7: My wife will get it for the HP laptop she bought when we returned from China, since that qualifies for a free upgrade. Don't think I will myself. My original-Vista-blighted ThinkPad T60 is having so many other problems that I am keeping it alive purely for organ-farm purposes, serving as an extra hard disk on the home network. My three Macs (early 2008-vintage Air and Mini, new MacBook Pro) are all running WinXP in the Windows half of their brains, under VMware Fusion. Since installing Win7 on an XP machine involves backing up and removing all data, installing the OS from scratch, and then reinstalling all programs (the real stopper -- where are those install CDs?), making the switch does not seem worth it. Net result of three years of terrible experience with early Vista+ Lenovo-era ThinkPad: putting me onto a path that may keep me from ever seeing what's good with Win7. That's not quite true. Some day I'll get around to creating a Win7 "virtual machine" under Fusion and give it a try.
The advance reviews are all positive, eg this from Wired. (It must be said: Vista was supposed to be good too.) Most interesting Win7 review I've seen is this one from Philip Elmer-DeWitt.
Nook and Kindle: Via Chinese manufacturing- world contacts, I have known this was coming for a while. Looks nice (left), and even if it looked bad it would be a huge plus for the industry, the reading public, and the publishing world to have competition for Amazon and its Kindle. I say that as a member of a two-Kindle household who has spent a lot on e-books. I'll see if I can rationalize a "need" for the Nook at some point.
All e-readers apparently need to have somewhat weird names that include a "K." I suggest "Kewpie" for whichever one comes next. Or maybe "Amok." Keokuk? (Which has a charming little airport where I have landed.)
On the social-benefit potential of e-readers in general, David Rothman, who has been on this case since long before the Kindle was invented, has a new argument here.