Thursday, March 26, 2009

Update on making your own cover

Since my post of February 27th, The difficulties in making your own Kindle cover, others have tried their hand at making covers for the K2. Two interesting ones use the Amazon cover as a base in order to make use of the hinge mechanism. One of these totally destroys the Amazon cover to remove the hinge and use it, and the other leaves it in place and glues new material over it. These may be found here and here. I wonder if there is a source for buying just the hinge.

Also, there is an interesting comment following my February 27th post. This one does not use the Amazon hinge.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The K2 Amazon cover with a new jacket

I had hoped to have my green leather M-edge executive jacket for the K2 before St Patrick's Day but it doesn't look as if that will be the case. So in the meantime, I made a quilted book jacket to fit on the Amazon cover. As you can see, that really dresses it up. I like the Amazon cover a lot for its functionality and am keeping it for dress-up occasions and probably will make various holiday and seasonal related jackets for it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Permanently delete books? Amazon says no

Something that Amazon needs to address is the current inability to permanently delete something from the archived items or from content manager, depending on which Kindle you own. There are many reasons for someone wishing to do this.

Countless times I have read on various Kindle forums of people who wish to buy their adolescent child a Kindle and share the account, but are leery of doing this because some of their past purchases have been too racy for children that age. They want to be able to get rid of the books permanently.

It is not the only reason. If you have been at this for any length of time, you have accumulated a lot of books in the archive. Many of these you will never read again and maybe didn't even especially enjoy the first time around. We can't always make good choices.

And sometimes we latch onto free books just because they are free, and they didn't work out for us.

Currently, if an author decides to revise his or her book under the same ASIN number, so that previous buyers will receive the revision at no cost, the revision is not available for anyone who has annotated or bookmarked his copy. This is because of a glitch in Amazon's software. The only thing which will make the new edition available to previous buyers is to issue it under a new ASIN number. Go to the Kindle store and type in David Emberson in the search box. You will see three books, the first of which is The Kindle 2 Cookbook: How To Do Everything the Manual Doesn't Tell You by David Emberson (Kindle Edition - Feb 27, 2009). The third of these is The Kindle 2 Cookbook: How To Do Everything the Manual Doesn't Tell You (Alternate ASIN) by David Emberson (Kindle Edition - Feb 27, 2009). Sandwiched in between is the book for the K1 reissued. David had to do this alternate ASIN thing so that those of us who purchased and annotated the first book would be allowed to buy the 2nd edition. It was the only way.

Why can't Amazon devise a method of allowing us to permanently take books off of our virtual bookshelves? They shouldn't make it too easy or something you could do accidentally. Obviously it should be done from your Amazon account as opposed to doing it from the Kindle itself. I wouldn't even care if it came with a popup box asking if we were sure, and another warning you that you will never see this again. Make it as obnoxious as you want, Amazon, but please let us do it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I once was lost but now am found...

There is a great story on cnet news entitled E-books lost on Kindle, found on iPod Touch.

The author lost her Kindle last year and hasn't yet replaced it. But all of her books are now readable on her iPod Touch as of March 4th. Check out her story.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Syncing with your iPhone or iPod Touch

This morning I awoke to stories in the New York Times, Gizmodo and other publications about the release of the application for the iPhone and Touch so that digital books may be purchased from Amazon for these devices. The app is just called Kindle and may be found in the iTunes store. After downloading and opening the app, it asked for the e-mail address used with Amazon and for my Amazon password. After entering these, it listed all of the books I have purchased for my Kindle, alphbetically by title. I selected one which I have been reading, and it downloaded it to the Touch and opened the book at the page where I had stopped reading on the Kindle. You need to have Whispernet turned on for it to do this. You advance from page to page on the Touch or iPhone by swiping sideways. Later, I opened the book on the Kindle and a box popped up telling me my present location and asking if I wanted to sync to the farthest location read. If so, you just click the 5-way. This is quite ingenious on the part of Amazon, even though I expect to do very little reading on the small screen. The Kindle is easy on my eyes and a backlit screen is not. However, now we shall see how all the people feel who said they really didn't need a Kindle—they could read just fine on their iPhone. Maybe so, but not for long periods of time. Anyway, they will now have lots more e-books available for purchase.

Under Manage your Kindle on Amazon, my Touch is now listed and Amazon knows its serial number. It would be a good idea to deregister if you lose your device, just as you can deregister your Kindle.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pages side by side on the K1 and K2

Absolutely fascinating: using the same font size, (#4 in this case) there is more text per page on the K2 than on the K1. The lines are the same length on each, but closer together. This was from testing a page on each of them side by side in the same book at the beginning of a chapter. The end result of this is reading faster, which I thought I was, but this explains why—less page turns, and the page turns on the K2 are faster.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Advice for brand new Kindle owners

Read the manual. I know you don't want to do that but if you just give in and read it, you'll find all sorts of things that you didn't know the device could do. It's a pretty good manual and covers just about everything. I like reading manuals and computer books because there is always so much in a program that is hidden and features that you didn't even know were there. The new ability to zoom means that the illustrations are clear as a bell to read. The manual is already on your Kindle, but if you go to Kindle support on Amazon's site, you can download the .pdf file of the user's manual onto your computer and read along on that as you try out different things: