a Pinoy Kindle and Ebook Blog

November 10, 2009

Kindle for PC beta: No More Kindle-envy! (with short review)

Filed under: books, ebook, kindle, Readers — Tags: , , , — talkintech @ 10:41 pm

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The beta version of the PC version of Kindle is now available for download.  So for people who have Kindle-envy, do not fret.  You can now buy, read and organize kindle books on your computers!

BUT

I heard that people from Canada can’t download this app just yet.  Bummer!

UPDATE:  I have downloaded and installed this application to my laptop (running Win7) and I must say I’m underwhelmed.  I thought I could manage my Kindle using this program through the USB but I guess I was wrong.  But it does sync with the Kindle through Whispernet.

I was also able to send a sample book to the Kindle for PC.  Reading a book using this program is nothing to write home about.  Its no different from reading a plain old PDF file on the computer.

Will I be using this program?  I don’t think I will.  Reading on my Kindle is a far better experience than this.  However, if you are still holding out on your Kindle purchase, maybe this application can get you started because you can start building your ebook library through this program and when you finally get your own Kindle, you’ll be set.

November 4, 2009

Podcast on the Kindle? Yes It Can!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — talkintech @ 2:35 am

Quick tip: The Kindle can also be used as an outstanding podcast-listening device. Download your podcast using your favorite program, copy it over to the Kindle’s “Audible” folder. It will be recognized as an “ebook”. When you listen to your podcast and need to take time off in the middle of the file, simply press the “Home” button of the Kindle. When you are ready to listen again, open up your podcast and it will start where you left it.

Cool huh?

October 31, 2009

Quickie Post: Halloween Reading List

Filed under: Free eBooks — Tags: , — talkintech @ 3:29 am

Want to read something scary this Halloween night?  Then pick your poison from this list from Freekindlebooks.org.

October 26, 2009

Kindle International Version – An eBookster Review

Filed under: ebook, kindle, Readers — Tags: , , , — talkintech @ 11:22 pm

August 26th is the official birthday of my Kindle.  It arrived two days earlier than expected and I’m so happy for it.  It may have cost me a pretty penny but I think I’ll have a long and fruitful relationship with this pretty little thing.

First Impression

My Kindle came in a nondescript box that is actually pretty hard to open (at least I find it hard to open).  The side of the box whimsically says “Once upon a time…”.  The package itself is very light and I began to doubt if there’s actually anything inside.  When I finally got to open the package, my first thought is “Its an iPod with a keyboard!”.  The next thought that came into my mind was how puny this gadget is.  It is thin and weighs almost next to nothing!

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So I removed the plastic cover and switched the Kindle on.  It took some time to “boot up” but once its up and running, I was greeted by the Kindle’s user manual.  After skimming the contents of the manual, I pressed the “Home” button and lo and behold:  the free book samples I checked out of the Amazon website is automagically downloaded and ready for reading!

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The Kindle itself looks tough despite its diminutive facade.  It is solidly built and the only moving parts are the buttons.  No creaks and squeaks when you press any area of its body.  Text displayed by its E-ink screen is indeed paper-like and it really feels as if I am reading from a printed paper.

Loading MY eBooks

When I connected the Kindle to my netbook using its bundled cable (which doubles as a charger cable if connected to the included plug), it is immediately recognized as an external storage device.  Windows 7 even offered to use it to “boost system performance” but then again what’s the point?  So I loaded up some of my existing eBooks which I converted using Calibre and those books are immediately displayed once I disconnected the Kindle from my netbook.  Eager to continue where I left off in my eBook (Guilty Pleasures: Book 1 of the Anita Blake series), I initiated a search on the eBook.  Now, since I just loaded this particular eBook, I was prompted by the Kindle that it can’t find my search expression – the eBook is probably still being indexed.  When I tried again after a few minutes, I was able to find my place in the book so I started reading.  Reminder:  The Kindle is detected as a storage device.  To prevent the possibility of corrupting its content, eject the Kindle from your computer before unplugging it.

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As I’ve mentioned earlier, my queued eBook samples were already downloaded when I opened my Kindle.  It only goes to show how fast the an eBook will probably download.  Other local users report that downloading entire eBooks can take up to 3 minutes – probably depending on the size of the eBook.  One gripe I have is that I still can’t access Wikipedia from my Kindle up to now.  I’ll have more time to try it out later.

Text-to-Speech

I tried one of the “killer” features of the Kindle – Text-to-Speech – an it worked as advertised!  The default setting is using a male voice and it was able to read the contents (at least some of it) of the eBook I loaded earlier.  The voice is quite natural and not as computer-sounding as I expected.  I think I’ll use this feature to “read” while driving. 🙂

Charging the Kindle

I only had time to charge the Kindle when I got home last night.  One can read while charging so I was able to finish a chapter or two as it was charging.  The Kindle has an orange light while it is charging and once the batteries are topped up, the light will turn green.  The slot used for charging micro-USB.  This means I can leave the Kindle cable at home and simply use my Nokia’s micro-USB cable if I need to load up the Kindle at the office.

Reading in the Dark

This is one thing that I often do using my Nokia e71 – something I know I can’t do using the Kindle.  So before going home last night, I was able to get an el cheapo booklight for Php100 (approx. US$2).  The booklight allowed me to read in the dark but I don’t think it was the ideal way to read.  I think I’ll invest in a better booklight or even just get a reading light that I can use on my bed.

Verdict

I think the money I spent in getting the Kindle is money well spent.  Now to continue with my reading.

October 25, 2009

eBook Version of the Latest Stephen King Novel Delayed

Filed under: ebook — Tags: , , — talkintech @ 2:39 am

According to this article from EW, the eBook version of Under the Dome, Stephen King’s latest novel, will be delayed to the latter part of December 2010.  Now, this is what I am personally afraid of.  As publisher put restrictions on the release of ebooks, they are unwittingly encouraging the proliferation of pirated ebook version of this particular book.  I will not be surprised to see unauthorized ebook version of the book in the “usual places” days after its release.

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By delaying the release of the eBook version, the publishers of this book is simply losing potential ebook sales because ebook reader users will find a way to read this on their devices.  They should take a page out of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol and simultaneously release both the hard-bound book with the ebook version.

October 19, 2009

enTourage eDGe: Another Android-powered eBook Reader and more

Filed under: ebook, Readers — Tags: , , , — talkintech @ 11:49 pm

Hot on the heels of Alex, another company called enTourage has also released their own Android-powered eBook reader – the eDGe.  The eDGe is not only an eBook Reader but also doubles as a netbook (also Android-powered).

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Based on the online demo on the enTourage website, this eBook Reader/Tablet combo costs $450 and it comes in four different colors.  enTourage also intends to open their own online eBook store to provide content for their device.

Head on over to the enTourage website for details about this device.

October 13, 2009

Barnes & Noble’s October 20 Event (‘nuff said)

Filed under: ebook, ebook store, Readers, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — talkintech @ 10:53 pm

How to: Make PDFs more eBook Reader Friendly

Filed under: ebook, Readers — Tags: , , , — talkintech @ 11:13 am

There are a lot of reading materials in Adobe PDF format but most of these files are rather difficult to read using eBook readers.  One way to work around this difficulty is to use your eBook reader’s bundled conversion program – that is if you are lucky enough to have an eBook reader that have such a program bundled.

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But for “mere mortals” like me who use a phone as an eBook reader, here’s one way to make those PDF files more readable:

  • Download and install Calibre
  • Download and install Sigil
  • Run Calibre and add your problematic PDF file as an eBook
  • Once successfully added, convert your PDF file to EPUB format from within Calibre.
  • Once successfully converted, use Sigil to open your file.
  • You may now edit the file using Sigil to remove unwanted artifacts from your PDF file.
  • After editing, save the file.

This edited file can now be exported to any format supported by Calibre.  I prefer my eBooks to be in Mobireader format so I can read it using my Nokia e71.

This guide is by no way the only method to make a PDF file more eBook reader friendly but this is the method I use and it really well with me.

October 11, 2009

Android-powered eBooks from Barnes & Noble

Filed under: ebook, ebook store, Readers — Tags: , , , — talkintech @ 11:00 pm

Brighthand has published an article claiming that the yet-to-be-announced Barnes & Noble eBook reader will run Android.  At this point, the B&N eBook reader can still be considered as vaporware *but* if it will indeed run Android, then it may well end up to be the most “powerful” eBook reader in the market.

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Look at the possibilities: an Android powered eBook reader can double as a Google-powered tablet.  Since the yet-to-be-announced reader is supposed to have a touchscreen, web surfing will be a big plus on it.  Google Maps on an eBook Reader also sounds good to me.  Oh, one killer feature that it may have is seamless integration to Google Reader and Google Docs!

If this rumor proves to be true, then it is indeed worth waiting for the Barnes & Noble eBook reader.

September 29, 2009

How to Read eBooks on Your Cellphone using Wattpad

Filed under: ebook, Readers — Tags: , , , — talkintech @ 12:53 am

I previously posted an entry detailing how to read eBooks on the iPhone/iPod Touch.  I also did an entry on how to make the Nokia e71 work as an eBook reader.  This time, this is an instruction on how to read eBooks on any cellphone.

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Backgrounder:  Back when I was using a Motorola V3x, I discovered that there’s still a way to read eBooks using an application called Wattpad.  Wattpad is a free website that hosts a collection of eBooks (both new and old) and using their service, any WAP-enabled cellphone may read eBooks either online or offline (if the cellphone being used is capable of installing Wattpad’s eBook reader app).

Using your cellphone, browse to http://m.wattpad.com/ and download the Wattpad reader.  Using the reader, you can browse Wattpad’s extensive eBook library, pick any book and read it immediately.  Or if you want to read the book “offline”, you may opt to download the eBook you are reading in its entirety.

This is a good solution for people who have less-capable non-Smartphone cellphone but still wants to read on-the-go.

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