View Full Version : File Converting and other ponderings


Kiari
11-23-2007, 11:35 PM
Hello!

I am from Canada... but more specifically, I am from Windsor, Ontario. I share airwaves with Detroit, Michigan... and my american family (specifically, my blind grandfather who is overjoyed with my book obsession) would like to get me a Kindle.

I will have to call and double check, but my initial inquiry to Amazon about credit cards said that my canadian card would work fine, as long as I used my american family's address as the billing/shipping address.

My biggest concern with the Kindle is pdf conversion. I've read that it does not support them natively, but that they can be converted to non-drmed Mobi files. Does anyone know if this indeed works?

A vast majority of the books that I read (English major here) are found in drm free mobis. I'm an avid book reader, and believe in supporting authors... but I've heard that purchased drm-mobis can be stripped of the drm with certain software, which would then be kindle-able. Any confirmation of this rumor would be appreciated :P I'm reading up on DRM to see what Canadian laws allow.

Is there anything else, oh knowledgable ones, that I should be considering?

I've never owned an ebook reader... but the ability to take notes in the margins, highlight passages, and search my books is tilting me strongly towards the kindle, however pissed I may be that they won't just ship the damn thing across the river.

rflashman
11-24-2007, 06:32 AM
Sounds like you might be better off with a Sony PRS-505. If PDF is a big deal, you probably want something with a larger screen anyways too (other than Sony or Kindle). The Kindle requires a special USA-only cellular network that does not exist in Canada.

HarryT
11-24-2007, 06:40 AM
the iRex iLiad, with its 8" screen, is currently the only eInk reader which handle A4/Letter PDFs at all well.

Nate the great
11-24-2007, 07:33 AM
If the PDF is a scanned image of a manuscript or book, then the best Eink screen for you is the Iliad. But if it's a journal article that was published in PDF, then the Kindle might work for you. They are indeed beta testing a PDF conversion service.

I don't know for sure that MOBI files will work on the Kindle; all the ones I have to test were PRC. MOBI probably will work. And yes, there is a DRM stripping tool for Mobipocket. I don't have it.

Kiari
11-24-2007, 11:04 AM
PDF isn't a dealbreaker for me... it's just my only real concern with purchasing a Kindle, since I've heard (again, rumors and stuff online... no one I know has an ebook reader) that there are some books only available in pdf form. At least I now know that all the readers in my price range don't like pdfs that much :P

The 800$ price tag on the Irex is a deal breaker for me though, there's no way I can afford that... though it is quite beautiful.

The sprint network extends to my apartment (mwahahah! For once, something good comes out of being spitting distance from down town Detroit!) and I know I can use the computer/USB link it comes with to put content on it if it comes to that.

I will purchase it with the assumption that I will not be able to use the wireless though. Cybook and the Sony (the only two in my price range) also don't have wireless.


Thanks guys! If anyone has anything else, I'd love to hear it!

dugbug
11-24-2007, 12:27 PM
[QUOTE=rflashman;119491]The Kindle requires a special USA-only cellular networkQUOTE]

Are you sure the cellular network is required? Im pretty sure I read that you can purchase kindle books via your email and transfer them with the usb cable.

-d

TomK
11-24-2007, 12:34 PM
Kiari, the following paragraph comes from a Q&A page from the Amazon Kindle Development Team. While I'm also disappointed that you can't just open PDF's straight from the Kindle, it sounds like they know this is important and support should improve.

Q: When can we read PDFs, please?
A: PDF document conversion is experimental. The experimental category represents the features we are working on to enhance the Kindle experience even further. Due to PDF's fixed layout format, some complex PDF files might not format correctly on your Kindle. Each Kindle has a unique e-mail address, allowing you and your contacts to send PDF attachments for conversion into a Kindle compatible format. For more information on personal document conversion, visit our help pages: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200140600

That paragraph was near the top of this page:
http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-answers-from-team-Amazon/forum/FxBVKST06PWP9B/Tx1KSCVDTUJVMWO/1/ref=cm_cd_dp_tft_tp?%5Fencoding=UTF8&cdAnchor=B000FI73MA&asin=B000FI73MA&store=fiona-hardware

I'd be curious if anyone has downloaded an .azw file to their PC (instead of directly to their Kindle), changed the extension to .mobi and was able to open it using Mobipocket. Or found another way to open an .azw on their PC.

Kiari
11-24-2007, 12:46 PM
D'oh...

Amazon's phone help informs me that my bank for my credit card must have a US address... they told me of a couple ways to work around it, which was nice of them, but they all sound like too much effort.

Cybook here I come....

rflashman
11-24-2007, 12:51 PM
[QUOTE=rflashman;119491]The Kindle requires a special USA-only cellular networkQUOTE]
Are you sure the cellular network is required? Im pretty sure I read that you can purchase kindle books via your email and transfer them with the usb cable.

-d

Nope, you can transfer unlocked files via USB, but Amazon will only deliver DRM purchased files wirelessly.

Nate the great
11-24-2007, 12:53 PM
[QUOTE=dugbug;119573]

Nope, you can transfer unlocked files via USB, but Amazon will only deliver DRM purchased files wirelessly.

No, you can download them as well.

HarryT
11-24-2007, 04:07 PM
Nope, you can transfer unlocked files via USB, but Amazon will only deliver DRM purchased files wirelessly.

This is incorrect. What do you suppose that people in the US outside the area of Sprint network coverage would do if this were the case?

You can buy a Kindle book, download it from the Media Library, and upload it to your Kindle via USB.

janiebegood
11-25-2007, 09:37 AM
Hello! First post!

I've never been an early adopter, but I'm willing to take the leap of faith on the Kindle. Has anyone tried e-mailing Word files for conversion, either the .10 cent version that comes wirelessly or the free version that's e-mailed to an address for USB transfer? That's what I'd like to use my Kindle for most -- transferring Word documents to read on the fly.

I'd also like to know if there's a way -- a simple way -- to do the formatting myself to create Kindle-friendly documents that I can transfer directly from the computer without going through Amazon's service.

I ordered mine last night -- it says they're back-ordered until Dec. 17th now. Grr.

Nate the great
11-25-2007, 09:58 AM
Ye. It works.

HarryT
11-25-2007, 10:42 AM
I'd also like to know if there's a way -- a simple way -- to do the formatting myself to create Kindle-friendly documents that I can transfer directly from the computer without going through Amazon's service.


Sure - just use any of the Mobipocket tools, like the free Mobi Desktop Reader.

janiebegood
11-25-2007, 10:59 AM
Sure - just use any of the Mobipocket tools, like the free Mobi Desktop Reader.

HarryT, I'm a rank beginner with all this stuff. Can you tell me more about the Mobi Desktop Reader? Is it a downloadable program? Where can I find it? Is it easy to use? And that's what I could use to convert Word files into a Kindle-friendly format? Could I badger you with any more questions? ;)

slayda
11-25-2007, 11:41 AM
HarryT, I'm a rank beginner with all this stuff. Can you tell me more about the Mobi Desktop Reader? Is it a downloadable program? Where can I find it? Is it easy to use? And that's what I could use to convert Word files into a Kindle-friendly format? Could I badger you with any more questions? ;)

Try www.mobipocket.com. Under the Software tab, you can download a free reader and creator. Both are easy to use under Windows XP.

The reader will read either purchased DRM .prc files (with your computer's PID) or unDRMed .PRC files.

The creator will accept either .doc MS Word files or HTML and creat a .PRC unDRMed file that should be readable on the Kindle. (Note: I don't have a Kindle but do this for my Palm T/X routinely.)

BTW, didn't mean to steal Harry's thunder. Just had some info to share.

kacir
11-25-2007, 01:05 PM
Cybook here I come....
check out NAEB http://naebllc.com/ it is a "version" of cybook and it might be a little cheaper for you if you live in Canada or USA

jclizzzard
11-25-2007, 05:12 PM
on a related note, any suggestions for pdf converters that work for Macs? So far everything I can find about mobipocket or pdf995 is Windows only. I have many pdf's that are scanned chapters of books my professors assign for class reading, and would like to test out converting them to .prc or .doc for uploading on my Kindle (which has not yet arrived, so I can't do the email to myself thing yet)

janiebegood
11-25-2007, 06:59 PM
Try www.mobipocket.com. Under the Software tab, you can download a free reader and creator. Both are easy to use under Windows XP.
The reader will read either purchased DRM .prc files (with your computer's PID) or unDRMed .PRC files.
The creator will accept either .doc MS Word files or HTML and creat a .PRC unDRMed file that should be readable on the Kindle. (Note: I don't have a Kindle but do this for my Palm T/X routinely.)
BTW, didn't mean to steal Harry's thunder. Just had some info to share.
Thanks, slayda! I may PM you with a few more specific questions (for example, the whole DRM .prc PID is like Greek to me! DRM I get, the others are new to me!

Would I need both the reader and the creator? Or if I'm just using it to format Word or text (or HTML, I suppose) files, I would only need the creator?

JSWolf
11-25-2007, 07:23 PM
D'oh...

Amazon's phone help informs me that my bank for my credit card must have a US address... they told me of a couple ways to work around it, which was nice of them, but they all sound like too much effort.

Cybook here I come....
Speaking of the Gen3, is Bookeen working on the sometimes faulty page turn button?

JSWolf
11-25-2007, 07:25 PM
HarryT, I'm a rank beginner with all this stuff. Can you tell me more about the Mobi Desktop Reader? Is it a downloadable program? Where can I find it? Is it easy to use? And that's what I could use to convert Word files into a Kindle-friendly format? Could I badger you with any more questions? ;)
You can also use Book Designer to create Mobi format files from your DOC files.

DaleDe
11-25-2007, 07:36 PM
Thanks, slayda! I may PM you with a few more specific questions (for example, the whole DRM .prc PID is like Greek to me! DRM I get, the others are new to me!

Would I need both the reader and the creator? Or if I'm just using it to format Word or text (or HTML, I suppose) files, I would only need the creator?

You need both. The reader to proofread what you create with the creator. The reader is also useful to do quick and dirty conversions and PDF conversions. They are both free downloads.

Dale

janiebegood
11-25-2007, 09:56 PM
You need both. The reader to proofread what you create with the creator. The reader is also useful to do quick and dirty conversions and PDF conversions. They are both free downloads.
Dale
Thanks, Dale!

JSWolf, I'll look at the Book Designer, too. Thanks for the tip!

tklaus
11-25-2007, 09:57 PM
I'd be curious if anyone has downloaded an .azw file to their PC (instead of directly to their Kindle), changed the extension to .mobi and was able to open it using Mobipocket. Or found another way to open an .azw on their PC.

Yes, I have verified that this works. I haven't received my Kindle yet, but since it is on order I was able to email a PDF to my @free.kindle.com address. The file they sent back to me had a .azw extension, but after renaming it to .prc, the mobipocket reader on my PC was able to read it just fine.

Kiari
12-23-2007, 01:40 AM
I'd like to thank everyone for all their great help :)

I just (today! Yay!) got my new Cybook in the mail, having decided that it suits my needs a bit more (and praying the button won't be faulty)...

-Kiari

sfernald
12-23-2007, 12:58 PM
If you can't get the amazon service, I would recommend that you skip the kindle. You will probably be happier with the PRS-505 if you just need a stand-alone reader. Without the service, you will be missing out on so many features, that it will surely just make you sad. Plus why pay the extra $100.

Nate the great
12-23-2007, 01:12 PM
If you can't get the amazon service, I would recommend that you skip the kindle. You will probably be happier with the PRS-505 if you just need a stand-alone reader. Without the service, you will be missing out on so many features, that it will surely just make you sad. Plus why pay the extra $100.

Some of the features they will miss out on are:

left justification
searchable ebooks
dictionary lookup
searchable ebooks
Content Management (being able to delete ebooks on the device w\o a PC)
searchable ebooks
being able to list your ebooks by title, then jump to a page after typing the first few letters of a title


Oh, wait. You can still do these things if you don't have whispernet. My bad.

tsgreer
12-23-2007, 06:48 PM
Some of the features they will miss out on are:

left justification
searchable ebooks
dictionary lookup
searchable ebooks
Content Management (being able to delete ebooks on the device w\o a PC)
searchable ebooks
being able to list your ebooks by title, then jump to a page after typing the first few letters of a title


Oh, wait. You can still do these things if you don't have whispernet. My bad.

I agree--these are awesome features. Lots of people seem to think that the wireless function is the only thing that separates it from the Sony. I would say that the Kindle and the Cybook Gen3 beat Sony Reader hands-down.

Don't get me wrong though, I still love my Sony, it's just that there are better choices out there now...

sfernald
12-24-2007, 01:19 PM
Some of the features they will miss out on are:

left justification
searchable ebooks
dictionary lookup
searchable ebooks
Content Management (being able to delete ebooks on the device w\o a PC)
searchable ebooks
being able to list your ebooks by title, then jump to a page after typing the first few letters of a title


Oh, wait. You can still do these things if you don't have whispernet. My bad.

Are those features really worth $100 though? Maybe not. There's nothing listed there that couldn't be supported with a simple software upgrade (should be coming in 2008 I expect if Sony still wants to compete) for the Sony. And you end up with a reader in a sleeker, nicer form factor made of higher quality materials with a longer battery life.

Alisa
12-24-2007, 02:25 PM
I would like it if Sony would support things like search with a software upgrade yet they haven't done it so far and their product has been out a long time now. They've been promising periodicals for ages now. This is one of the reasons they would be my third choice of device behind the Kindle and Cybook despite the lower price and more attractive design. Still, I'd like to see them start adding features and keep competing. I think the competition is good for all of us.

tsgreer
12-24-2007, 05:05 PM
Are those features really worth $100 though? Maybe not. There's nothing listed there that couldn't be supported with a simple software upgrade (should be coming in 2008 I expect if Sony still wants to compete) for the Sony. And you end up with a reader in a sleeker, nicer form factor made of higher quality materials with a longer battery life.

I would be very very surprised if Sony simply upgrades their software and magically adds those features. They've had plenty of time to do that and they haven't done it yet. I don't know if it's because they can't or they won't, but you are dreaming if you are thinking they are going to do that IMHO.

MAYBE they will come out with a new version of their reader with those options, but i don't think the current readers are there are going to magically have this stuff happen by a software upgrade.

I could be wrong. Heck, I hope I'm wrong since I still have my Sony Readers. But I think KindleHate affected imagination and turned it into wishful thinking on this idea.

I think Sony dropped the ball by not having at least a dictionary function. If the whispernet and access to the Amazon store options were unavailable to me , then I would go for a Cybook before I'd pick up another Sony Reader. I have found that I use the dictionary a lot more than I thought I would.

Of course, being a victim of public education may have something to do with that. :)

tsgreer
12-24-2007, 05:15 PM
I would like it if Sony would support things like search with a software upgrade yet they haven't done it so far and their product has been out a long time now. They've been promising periodicals for ages now. This is one of the reasons they would be my third choice of device behind the Kindle and Cybook despite the lower price and more attractive design. Still, I'd like to see them start adding features and keep competing. I think the competition is good for all of us.

I agree. Competition is good for all of us. But Sony is dropping behind pretty quickly. Really the only thing they have going for them is their "sleek design" that some people prefer, but even the Cybook pretty much has that.

Sony was out of the gate pretty early, but they look like they may lose the race. If the Kindle comes out with a second reader that changes the design to something more liked by the general public before Sony upgrades their features, I think the Sony Reader will die. :(

On the other hand, if they upgrade their features, keep their same low price, then they have a chance, but it sure does seem that they would have played that strategy before now...

HarryT
12-25-2007, 02:55 AM
I think Sony dropped the ball by not having at least a dictionary function. If the whispernet and access to the Amazon store options were unavailable to me , then I would go for a Cybook before I'd pick up another Sony Reader. I have found that I use the dictionary a lot more than I thought I would.

Of course, being a victim of public education may have something to do with that. :)

When I had a Sony I didn't think that dictionary lookup was that big a deal. Now I have a CyBook, though, I find myself using it all the time, especially when reading Dickens, who uses a lot of words which are no longer in common usage.

Question to Kindle owners: does Igor's "Mobi hack" allow you to use any of the commercially-available Mobi dictionaries on the Kindle? Has anyone tried doing this?

Alisa
12-26-2007, 12:45 AM
I also didn't think I'd use the dictionary look up as often as I am. However, often I have a good idea what a word means but I want to delve into it a bit deeper to make sure I really understand the connotations involved. I can do that now without interrupting the flow of my reading as much as going to grab my dictionary. What I now find myself wishing I could do more easily is grab a phrase and search on it. It would be nice to have multiple dictionaries including one of the references of allusions and quotations but I'd settle for a quick way to google it.

I would love to have more dictionary options, but I haven't tried purchasing a new one yet. I'm waiting to see how Amazon reacts to people loading Mobi DRM books before investing. The included dictionary is pretty good. I've rarely hit words it doesn't have. I do find myself sometimes wanting a bit more detail, though.

bob_ninja
12-26-2007, 07:36 PM
Kiari,

You made the right choice. I am also in Canada and was very frustrated by US only Sony/Amazon (I know Sony is going to UK soon but that still doesn't help us).
I find that Cybook has all the major features of Sony/Kindle (I said major, lacks some nice-to-haves) but seems to be more open.

There might be some workarounds for purchasing books from Sony/Amazon stores, but it is just too much wasted effort. It is just as easy to purchase Mobipocket books for Cybook AND we have more online bookstores to choose from = better competition.

As for Sony falling behind Kindle, I am not so sure. All those Kindle features come with a price"
Wireless access = shorter battery runtime
Keyboard, big buttons = bigger device
more $
etc.

I find my Cybook right at the threshold of being a small pocketish device that I can carry around easily. I would think that a bigger devices like Iliad and Kindle would not fit in a pocket, even a larger one. Iliad has a bigger screen, so it makes a good tradeoff. But Kindle adds size for a keyboard that is used 10% of the time?!?!?! Dumb. Provide a USB keyboard or a sliding one like Nokia does. In any case keyboard should never increase dimensions when not in use.

Wireless is nice, especially for non-geeks. Still, I'd have a hard time finding an eReader user with no access to a computer that has USB. I don't really find file transfer via USB that difficult. As a bonus it charges Cybook so I don't need a separate charger. At first I though it was odd, but then realized it is a great feature as I have too many gizmos with their chargers.

No Kindle will not become the dominant player, at least not with that price tag. PRS/Cybook will remain the front runners along Kindle catering to a different more geekish audience. It will be akin to PC/Mac race.

HarryT
12-27-2007, 03:47 AM
No Kindle will not become the dominant player, at least not with that price tag. PRS/Cybook will remain the front runners along Kindle catering to a different more geekish audience. It will be akin to PC/Mac race.

I don't follow you, Bob. The Kindle is cheaper than the Gen3, at least here in the UK.

The Kindle costs US$399, which is 200 at the current exchange rate.

The Gen3 costs 205, excluding VAT.

I really don't see how one can therefore make a price argument in favour of the Gen3, much though I like it!

bob_ninja
12-27-2007, 08:44 AM
Ah that stupid region pricing stuff .... I know, it is confusing.
I paid $350 for Cybook while Kindle costs like you said $399 (I am in Canada).
Companies often have bizarre pricing for different regions. I was arguing on a forum about Prius pricing before finally realizing that it and many other cars sold in the US cost almost $10K more here in Canada?????? And we are much closer than US as opposed to say UK.

In fact, Sony's $300 is a more significant difference (about $100) than Bookeens (especially once you factor in shipping and regional pricing diffs).

What bothered me far more was that it as well as online store products are simply not sold/available to Canada. Even for Kiari who is right on the border it is still difficult as they check credit card address when ordering books. For us it is better to use a device which doesn't rely on Amazon or any other site with US only policy. I can use any file format on my Cybook without any registrations or credit card info. For Kindle you probably need to supply a US credit card even for a simple PDF file conversion, right?

So in the end Cybook is far less hassle than Kindle. Again, for non-US.

HarryT
12-27-2007, 10:00 AM
Ah yes, now I understand, Bob; I'd forgotten about the $350 US price :).

I think the important thing to stress to a potential buyer is that whether you choose to buy a Sony Reader, a CyBook Gen3, or a Kindle, you really can't go wrong. We have endless debates here about their pros and cons, but at the end of the day I'm sure that a new user would be happy with any of them. We are indeed fortunate now to have such a range of excellent machines to choose from!

janiebegood
12-28-2007, 03:46 PM
Hello all! I got my Kindle on Xmas morning and am really loving it so far -- I've already finished one book, and I'm very happy with my ability to do far more web-browsing with it than I had imagined.

I'm having trouble with one thing, though. Thanks to slayda, I figured out how to use Mobipocket Creator and Reader to convert Word docs into .prc files, which the Reader will read, and which then showed up on the SD card when I pulled them to it. The Kindle recognizes that there's an SD card in the slot, but it appears to be empty -- nothing registers in the "content manager" for the SD card. Is it possible I missed some crucial step in the process? I keep thinking there must be something simple that I've missed... I appreciate any suggestions!

tsgreer
12-28-2007, 04:03 PM
Hello all! I got my Kindle on Xmas morning and am really loving it so far -- I've already finished one book, and I'm very happy with my ability to do far more web-browsing with it than I had imagined.

I'm having trouble with one thing, though. Thanks to slayda, I figured out how to use Mobipocket Creator and Reader to convert Word docs into .prc files, which the Reader will read, and which then showed up on the SD card when I pulled them to it. The Kindle recognizes that there's an SD card in the slot, but it appears to be empty -- nothing registers in the "content manager" for the SD card. Is it possible I missed some crucial step in the process? I keep thinking there must be something simple that I've missed... I appreciate any suggestions!

Your Kindle should have made a directory structure on your SD card and created a series of folders for you. One of those should be called "documents."

Make sure that your .prc file is in the folder called "documents" that's on the SD card, otherwise your Kindle won't "see" it because it's not in the right place.

Also, to test it out, you can try putting your .prc file in the "documents" folder that's located in your Kindle as well. That way you can find out if it's a problem with the SD card or the .prc file.

janiebegood
12-28-2007, 04:30 PM
Make sure that your .prc file is in the folder called "documents" that's on the SD card, otherwise your Kindle won't "see" it because it's not in the right place.

tsgreer, THANK YOU! :thanks: The files were in a folder called "ebooks" and not in "documents" so I copied them over and BAM now they show up, listed on the home page! I appreciate your help so much! Both converted Word and .pdf files are coming through just fine now. YAY!

tsgreer
12-28-2007, 04:32 PM
Yay! I'm always glad to see a fellow Kindler happy. I love mine so far and hopefully you'll get many hours of good reading out of yours.

Be sure to check out the Kindle "tips and tricks" section here too. :)

Just4Fun
12-29-2007, 02:17 PM
"You made the right choice. I am also in Canada and was very frustrated by US only Sony/Amazon (I know Sony is going to UK soon but that still doesn't help us).
I find that Cybook has all the major features of Sony/Kindle (I said major, lacks some nice-to-haves) but seems to be more open."


You may actually be fortunate that you can't purchase a Kindle yet. There are a lot of Americans who have purchased and are still waiting for theirs to arrive. They are pretty angry about having to wait (maybe an American thing--many of us want instant gratification). In fact, if you read through the forums and also on Amazon, you will see that some even support "conspiracy theories". That is, Amazon is conspiring against the poor buyer and pretending that there is a shortage of units in order to drive up purchasing desire amongst the masses. LOL

The real reason that I think you may be fortunate is that the Kindle is not a "finished product" in the sense that it could really use a good software update. The directory structure needs a lot of work. For example, put in an SD card with a bunch of books and you have to page through every book. The search feature on my unit goes out to lunch when I try to have it search for a book among 30 pages of content on my SD card. I have to shut down and reset the unit every time.

OK. So I just move the book I want to the Kindle. However... guess what? I can't just copy the file over to my Kindle. I have to move it off my card. What a pain. That means that I have to move the file back to my card after finishing a book or recopy the file from my computer to the card. Oh and there is no way to hide the SD card files while you are in the main menu so if you don't want to see them--tough. These are just a couple example of the product's "rough around the edges" state.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my Kindle. It is the first ebook reader that I've tried out and haven't returned. It is almost there, but it isn't really quite finished yet. I imagine Amazon would like to have its home country be the guinea pigs. We get the good and the bad. If the product doesn't fly,or drives us crazy in some ways, at least the rest of the world isn't too ticked off at Amazon.

The approach seems kind of like what they do with technology in Japan. There are so many devices that are created there that I would sure like a chance to buy too.

Personally, though, I'm looking forward to the second generation Kindle. I think it will be much better. Until then I'd settle for a decent software update for the current device. ;)

HarryT
12-29-2007, 02:24 PM
The real reason that I think you may be fortunate is that the Kindle is not a "finished product" in the sense that it could really use a good software update. The directory structure needs a lot of work. For example, put in an SD card with a bunch of books and you have to page through every book.

This is not unique to the Kindle, though. All the current generation of eBook readers have these issues (with the possible exception of the iLiad, but that has a whole bunch of different ones). These are, though (IMHO) minor flaws in excellent products. Hopefully in all our machines (Kindle, Gen3, etc) they will be addressed by future software updates.

The shortage again is not unique to the Kindle. The Kindle, Sony, Gen3 - all are in short supply. It's more than likely due to limits of manufacturing capacity for the screens, since all three machines use the same screen.

tsgreer
12-29-2007, 05:31 PM
.....The real reason that I think you may be fortunate is that the Kindle is not a "finished product" in the sense that it could really use a good software update.....

Well all of the ebook readers our there are "new" products that need some finishing touches and/or software updates.

I personally think the Kindle is very usable and fine the way it is. I would much rather have the product as it is now rather than waiting a year or two longer for it to be "perfect." I guess I'm one of those instant gratification guys. :)

But like Harry mentioned, all the e-ink readers are pretty good products as they are now.

JSWolf
12-29-2007, 07:03 PM
I agree with Harry's assessment that the screen is the reason why there are shortages. The V3, 505, Gen3, Nuut, STARebook, and Kindle all use the same 6" Vizplex screen. And with the production facilities being smallish, it's easy to see why there are delays and shortages.

tsgreer
01-02-2008, 12:21 PM
I just wanted to add that amazon's .pdf conversion service rocks. Now if you have a multi-column .pdf, I'm sure it won't be so swell, but I sent a free un DRM'd .pdf book that I downloaded from the web to my free.kindle.com address and I was very very surprised at how well it came out.

It actually had linked table of contents! Of course, the original .pdf was a really good .pdf, but the charts, links and everything worked in the conversion.

I was very, very surprised! I've also had really good success with websites that I "print to .pdf" and then send that .pdf to my free.kindle.com addy. Mostly news articles or something multipage, but again, the charts, photos and arrangement convert really well.

So if you don't want to go to the trouble of manually converting fairly clean .pdf files on your own, the email service is fast and I've had great results so far.

Again, I wouldn't think that a two-column .pdf (like a lot of textbooks are) would work very well at all, but everything else seems great.