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February 24, 2009

Kindle 2 OOBE

My wife ordered me a Kindle for the holidays, but it was back-ordered. Then when the Kindle 2 was announced they said that my order would automatically be upgraded, and would be among the first batch shipped. Sure enough, today there was a package waiting for me when I got home.

The Out Of Box Experience started with the package it came in, which had a unique phrase printed on the tab you pulled back:

The box was custom-made for shipping Kindles; when you opened it you saw a black interior with some Kindle graphics and the definition of the word "kindle" inside the lid (v.t. 1. set on fire. 2. inspire, stir up. -v.i. 1. catch fire. 2. become animated.):

The package inside the box was black paper with more Kindle graphics, also opened by a zipper that said "Once upon a time...":

Inside this was the cardboard container for the actual Kindle:

Remove the lid and there it is:

Under the Kindle is a quick start guide and the power cord. I initially thought the instructions you can see on the Kindle were on the piece of plastic covering it, but actually they are on the Kindle screen itself; the technology can maintain an image with no power. The text at the bottom says "1. Plug in your Kindle" and at the top says "2. Slide and release the power switch above. Your screen will refresh in a few moments.":

This is the unfolded quick start guide; there's a bunch of legal stuff on the back (the back text is white on black and much denser, so it is apparent which side is the one you want to read):

I plugged mine in to charge and left it. The instructions on the quick start guide said that once I slid and released the power switch it would display the User's Guide; I don't think I actually touched the power, but when I came back the User's Guide was displayed:

When I went away again and came back, it had switched to a screen saver:

The Kindle already has the user's guide, a dictionary, and a welcome message on it. The "Welcome Adam" title is somewhat faked, because the device was originally registered to my wife, since it had been bought on her account, and the welcome message was addressed to her before I re-registered it:

Pre-registering the device to the account that ordered it is a convenience; re-registering it to myself was easy BUT (if any Amazon people are reading this) the warning message I got when I deregistered her was a bit scary; it said "By deregistering, you will not be able to buy or receive content on this Kindle. You may want to transfer subscriptions to another Kindle you own using the Manage Your Kindle page on Amazon.com. Are you sure you want to deregister?" Doesn't that message sound like I'm permanently crippling the device, or at least I'll have to go to the website to get it working again? In fact, as I expected, when I did click "OK" to deregister it immediately gave me a "register" option, which was simple and fast (just give your site logon credentials and it figures out who you are).

I'll mention that she had received email when the device shipped explaining that if it was a gift she could go deregister it from the website, which would have meant the only option I had was to register it (and therefore no need to deregister it and fight past the off-putting message) but I assume some number of people who order it as gifts won't bother to do that. Also, the quick start guide doesn't discuss deregistering, in fact it says "If your Kindle was a gift you will need to register your device", which I guess assumes the gift-giver read the email and followed the instructions (there may be an ordering option that says "don't register it to me, it's a gift", but again some number of people won't do that). At least the quick start guide, in its discussion of registration, tells you how to get to the screen where you register (which is also the screen where you deregister).

Anyway, this is the start of the letter, again customized to me, a nice touch (it ends with Jeff Bezos's signature):

You will notice that the letter is dated tomorrow (February 25). I guess mine got here a bit earlier than expected. It was sent Fed Ex 2-day, the label lists a ship date of Feb. 24 and an expected delivery date of Feb. 26. According to the Fed Ex tracking website it was actually shipped out yesterday, the 23rd, from Indianapolis, at 7:07 pm; and for whatever reason it got here in one day. Am I one of the first people on the planet to get a Kindle 2? The mind boggles.

In terms of actually using the thing, it seems pretty intuitive, the dictionary search is easy to navigate:

I browsed for some titles but didn't find anything I wanted to download (only 3 Jack Vance books, all Lyonesse? No The Soul of a New Machine or Ball Four?). I did download a sample to try out the reading and it seems easy to read; I'll have to try a longer book to see how my eyes feel.

P.S. Yes, that's right folks, I'm talking about the Kindle 2: Amazon's New Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation)!

Posted by AdamBa at February 24, 2009 10:50 PM


So you've got a Kindle, but after looking at the available content, there are no books you want to download and read ? Sounds like your Kindle can get an early start on gathering dust.

Posted by: NG at February 25, 2009 01:46 PM

That was a very quick search for a few of my favorite books. I've since found a couple to download. Plus it has magazines and newspapers, although I don't think the experience there will be as good because you lose the layout.

- adam

Posted by: Adam Barr at February 25, 2009 07:42 PM

I've had the first Kindle shortly after it shipped, you'll get more books. I think I've got a 150 or so I carry around, great for our ever shrinking attention spans...

Posted by: bobt at February 27, 2009 03:36 PM


Posted by: mw at February 27, 2009 10:46 PM