While Shawn worked for NI, he did some candidate hosting. It's basically a situation where NI brings potential candidates for jobs down to Austin for a weekend. Interviews happen on Friday, there's a dinner to attend Friday night and Saturday night, but otherwise the applicants are on their own in a town where most of them have never been. So, NI has this brilliant idea where they'll pair up an employee with a candidate and that employee's job is to make sure the candidate has a good time in Austin. The employees are required to go to the dinners with their candidate (so yay, free meal), but otherwise it takes up the weekend. To sweeten the deal, NI gives the employees "hosting points" which they save up for goods and services (much like all those sales thingies we did in elementary school). Shawn has hosted on and off the entire time he worked for NI (5 years) and never cashed in his points.
Because Shawn's last day with NI was on Friday, he had to cash in all his hosting points. These points totaled enough for a $200 gift card to Fry's Electronics Store.
So Shawn went and bought himself a Kindle-type reader called the EZ Reader (made by Astak). I find this funny because he doesn't usually read books. The reason for getting that specific reader is because it's got some 100 books already pre-loaded on the thing, and it can read 20+ formats (too bad all the books you get on Amazon require that you use the Kindle, and all the books you get on Barnes and Noble require their proprietary reader), and it's Linux compatible...naturally. The best part about the books that are preloaded on the thing are of the variety that Shawn doesn't read, that is, anything that isn't of the O'Reilly technical books variety. I'm predicting that the only full book he'll read on that thing is the user's manual.