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Old 11-20-2007, 10:13 PM   #1
sfernald
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Kindle Email Supports PDF Conversion

Ok, don't know if this is general knowledge, but I just decided to try sending my kindle email a PDF to see what it did.

It was a chapter of the software development book "Beautiful Code", which i downloaded from my Oreilly safari account.

Well, sure enough after a minute, the file appeared on my kindle. And it converted over just fine. The text is formatted nicely and flows well and is perfectly readable. Also, so far the tables I've seen are included and seem to be readable and formatted in a way that is understandable.

So good news. I just wanted to make everyone aware of that. I know alot of people were worried about PDF. Overall, i would say this pdf converted file is probably cleaner than any I've managed to create for the sony reader from a pdf.
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:20 PM   #2
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Oh, I see there's a sticky about PDF conversion, so this is no big deal. Didn't notice that till just now.
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:22 PM   #3
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Wait, I take it back. I don't see anywhere on that thread where it talks about the PDF conversion via email.
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:41 PM   #4
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Thanks! It's good to know. Hopefully that means other O'Reilly PDFs will reflow well. That would make me a happy woman.
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Old 11-21-2007, 05:07 AM   #5
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Is the original file marked for reflow? ie does it reflow in the desktop Acrobat Reader if you change the page size?
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Old 11-21-2007, 06:53 AM   #6
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Interesting. A couple of questions: is the converted .azw file available for download from "Manage Your Kindle" at Amazon, and is the converted file locked to the Kindle or is it DRM-free?

Basically, I'm trying to get a feel for the usability of the Kindle outside of the US. If the pdf conversions are done well and can be downloaded without accessing Whispernet, then the value of the Kindle goes up quite a bit. Especially if the resulting .azw files can be read on other Mobipocket devices.

I'd be very interested to see how a complex pdf, for example a journal article with equations, tables, and graphs, is converted.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:18 PM   #7
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The PDF itself determines a lot of how good the conversion will be. This is why Amazon won't make any promises about it and calls it "experimental". If the original PDF was not made to reflow the text or if the charts and such aren't as readable if they're smaller or in black and white then you won't get a good conversion.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexC View Post
Interesting. A couple of questions: is the converted .azw file available for download from "Manage Your Kindle" at Amazon, and is the converted file locked to the Kindle or is it DRM-free?

Basically, I'm trying to get a feel for the usability of the Kindle outside of the US. If the pdf conversions are done well and can be downloaded without accessing Whispernet, then the value of the Kindle goes up quite a bit. Especially if the resulting .azw files can be read on other Mobipocket devices.

I'd be very interested to see how a complex pdf, for example a journal article with equations, tables, and graphs, is converted.
If you send the PDF to @free.kindle, the result will not be sent to the Kindle but to your Amazon username (email address). A link is provided in the email you receive. click on it to download to your computer.

There is no charge for conversion of you use @free.kindle.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexC View Post
Interesting. A couple of questions: is the converted .azw file available for download from "Manage Your Kindle" at Amazon, and is the converted file locked to the Kindle or is it DRM-free?
Can't find it anywhere for download in the "Manage Your Kindle" area, so I would say no, it is probably not available for download. I could probably use the "free" email and get it then though.

Also, I have no idea if the file has DRM, but I would be shocked if it did. Amazon doesn't really have any right to add DRM to my private files. I'm sure they would state this somewhere if this was their policy. I don't really think they are in love with DRM, that's just what is getting them in the sack right now with the content providers.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:40 PM   #10
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So Alisa, you are a gadget junkie, a book lover and a software developer??

A girl after my own heart - someone I could actually have a conversation with for more than five minutes - good to know such women exist.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:44 PM   #11
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*blushes* Thanks! That's sweet.
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Old 11-21-2007, 05:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfernald View Post
Also, I have no idea if the file has DRM, but I would be shocked if it did. Amazon doesn't really have any right to add DRM to my private files. I'm sure they would state this somewhere if this was their policy. I don't really think they are in love with DRM, that's just what is getting them in the sack right now with the content providers.
I take it they are using the AZW extension on the file. Try this. Get a copy of MobiPocket for your PC and then rename the extension to .mobi (may not be necessary) and see if it can be read. If so then there is no DRM. Please report back.

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Old 11-21-2007, 07:41 PM   #13
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Anyone make the free address work? I tried it "xxx@free.kindle.com" but nothing has come back yet.
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Old 11-21-2007, 08:07 PM   #14
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Anyone make the free address work? I tried it "xxx@free.kindle.com" but nothing has come back yet.
Yes, it works.
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:11 PM   #15
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Could someone with a Kindle try sending a "scanned" PDF to see if Amazon will attempt to convert to text with OCR? I can probably supply a journal article if you don't have something handy. I'm guessing Amazon will just turn the images into JPGs or some other graphic format, but one can dream.
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