Reading the Blues: Windows Closes the Book

August 13, 2007

reading in the parkI wanted to enjoy the sunshine on a lazy Sunday afternoon, so I toted the Lenovo X61T to the park to read more of My Happy Life. The day was bright and cloudless, but the Lenovo’s transflective display was clear and beautifully legible. As I sat engrossed by Lydia Millet’s lyrical prose, the Lenovo jolted me with an unwelcome demonstration of the perils of using a Windows machine for ebook reading — the book page was abruptly replaced with the dreaded Blue Screen of Death.

Windows crashThe crash came without warning. The machine — which has nothing but up-to-date stock software installed — appeared to be idle, with only Acrobat Reader running in the foreground. I don’t know if Vista, Acrobat or background software like the bundled Norton security software was responsible, but it’s ultimately another example of the unpleasant overhead that Windows adds to the reading experience. I had to wait several minutes for a Vista reboot before I could return to my book.

I haven’t used Vista and this machine enough to know if this is an isolated incident, but stability issues on top of other Windows intrusions would definitely push me toward other platforms for my reading — whether a dedicated reader or a return to my Mac laptop.

I will keep you posted!

Update: More thoughts on this subject in Vista Nags, Bugs and the Reader’s Experience.

One comment

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