New Kindle, Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire

Amazon has done it again.  They have surprised us with new Kindle devices.  Not just a replacement for their popular Kindle but 3 all new Kindles.

First there is the Kindle Fire (pic) which is more like a tablet and some people are calling it an iPad killer.  It’s battery lasts 8 hours which is pretty good for what it is.

The specs on the Kindle Fire is an 80GB hard drive for storing 80 apps plus either 10 movies, 800 songs or 6,000 books.  The Kindle Fire has a 7″ vibrant color IPS screen with multi-touch.

I had never heard of an IPS screen before so I had to look it up and I found some information on it on a message board.  This is what someone said it was.

IPS – in-plane switching…. the liquid crystals are aligned horizontally instead of on an angle. This process greatly increases vertical viewing angles. When coupled with the high brightness and contrast of the glaretype displays, color reproduction is almost perfect. Basically it becomes a 1/4″ professional graphics flat CRT monitor…. which is why the display is primarily for those in professional graphics.

Very interesting.

The new Amazon Kindle Fire is $199 and it is a WiFi only device.

The 2nd new Kindle is a smaller priced Kindle with no keyboard.  It is WiFi only, has a 6″ e-ink Pearl screen, 2GB storage for 1,400 ebooks and its battery life is 1 month.

The new $79 kindle doesn’t have a keyboard but it does have a 5-way controller at the bottom for navigating.  With no keyboard I would imagine that it would be a bit difficult to type in the name of a book you are looking for.

I noticed that it allows you to check out books from the library.  That was something that will make it easier on most people who can’t afford to buy a lot of books but don’t want to have to go to the library for their books.  I looked that feature up when I was researching last year and our library is not in the system so it wouldn’t work for me unless they changed that in the last year.

They still have their Kindle with the keyboard which they have 2 versions of, a WiFi only version for $99 and a WiFi and 3G version for $139.  That went way down in price since last year when it was $150 for WiFi only and $200 for 3G.

Now they have a new Kindle touch in WiFi only for $99 and WiFi and 3G for $149.

The battery for both the Kindle Keyboard and Kindle Touch lasts for 2 months which is longer than before.

All of the kindles use the Amazon cloud storage for unlimited amazon content and they have an experimental browser with the exception of the Kindle Fire which uses their new Amazon Silk cloud-accelerated browser.

I remember when e-book readers first came out.  I had just made my new years resolution to start reading in December of 2005.  I saw the Sony reader at Costco for about $500 or $550, I can’t remember.  I do remember thinking how cool it was that they were coming out with them but I didn’t think they would catch on at that price.

I started reading the Harry Potter books in January 2006 and got hooked on reading.  I was reading all the time after that.

Then Amazon came out with their first e-book reader which if I can remember was almost as high as the Sony Reader but eventually they lowered the price down to $250.  Then B&N came out with their Nook after a little controversy with another e-book reader with a color screen at the bottom.  The nook was also $250.

The war was on and every year these 2 rivals have come out with a new version of their e-book reader with a lower price.

The Kindle has dropped from a high $500 all the way down to a low $80.  I never thought the day would come and it has.  Before you know it there will be another Kindle or Nook on the market that will be as low as $50 and every kid will have one in school with their textbooks on them.

My question is, what ever happened to the Sony reader touch?  That was a good one and it’s a shame it’s gone because you could write on the screen.  I seriously thought that the Sony Reader would evolve into the Sony Trapper Keeper where you would have all of your textbooks in there as well as a notebook with tabs for each subject and you could write your notes on a notepaper screen and have it turn it into typed text that you could save.  That would’ve been awesome.

Maybe that will be the next evolution for the Kindle or the Nook, or who knows, maybe even both.  It would be much easier for a child to carry to school rather than a heavy 20lb backpack filled with books and a notebook or a laptop.

Good Reads

I was talking to my favorite e-book author Marguerite Labbe a couple of days ago on Twitter, don’t you just love how I name drop?  She told me about a website called Good Reads.

I joined the website immediately upon her tweet and started adding only the books that I have read and the book I am reading right now.  What I like especially about the Good Reads website is that my list of books can be sorted.  I have been a member of aNobii for years and their website is nice and all but you can’t sort your books.

Like, if you want to sort them alphabetically or by date read or bought or whatever.  I think that has to be my favorite feature only because I have been wanting that for such a long time.  I’m keeping aNobii which means I’ll have to keep both sites up to date whenever I buy a new book.

You can also add your books into shelves, like if you are reading a series like the Sookie Stackhouse series, you can put them in their own shelf.  I read a lot of series books like Xanth, Cique du Freak, Sookie Stackhouse etc. so that is handy.

Your friends can join you so it’s very much like Facebook, but for readers.  You can see on your home page what your friends are saying and what books they are adding to their shelves.  I think that’s a very cool feature.

There are also groups that you can join.  Think of it as a book club but with a message board and with thousands of people.  You can discuss a certain book you are reading or have read with the people in the group.  If you are a member of a book club in your town then you already have people to talk to but I am not in a book club, mainly because I don’t want to be told what book I have to read because I’ll bet you it’s never anything I want to read.  So this way I can read a book that I want to read and then talk to people about it.

It’s a great website and if you are an avid reader I encourage you to join.

Nook Fun

I’ve been having a bit of fun with my new Nook. Since I’ve learned what makes it freeze I have learned to avoid certain ways of handling it and it hasn’t frozen all day.

Today I read 2 more chapters from “Dead Until Dark” and I finally came across a word that I wasn’t sure about. I’d heard it before but wasn’t quite sure what it’s meaning was for that particular sentence and/or circumstance. I happily touched the screen to make it light up and inthe menu was able to put the cursor in front of the word to look it up.

Don’t ask me what the word was because now I forgot but then I found 2 more words and although the definition of the 3rd one didn’t make much sense I just happily kept reading.

Reading with such big text means I have to turn the page a lot more than if I were reading an actual book but I don’t mind waiting the 1 second it takes for the screen to refresh.

When I was finished reading for the day I decided to crop and resize some images that I found on a website called nook-Look. They are True Blood images and I don’t know why they weren’t cropped or resized properly to 600×800 but whatever. I put them on the Nook and went to the settings and made them my screen saver. Every time I turn it off (or in standby) it loads 1 image. The next time it loads a different image. It keeps loading a different image in the folder that you have chosen and then eventually goes back to the very first image.

I was looking at one of the images and it was basically all black, it was an image of a werewolves eyes with the true blood logo at the bottom but the image was all black except for the eyes and the logo. It then occurred to me that “screen burn” might happen. You know when you have an image on the screen for so long then the next time you turn it on you see that image all the time because it got burned into the screen.

I decided to go searching the internet and found a nook message board and apparently I wasn’t the only one who was concerned about it because there was an active post.

Fortunately they said that e-ink screens don’t do that like an LCD screen might. WHEW!

So after I got that off my mind I was able to move on to other things and started looking around for Xanth images so that when I read the next Xanth novel I can use that for my screen saver too. Unfortunately I couldn’t find very many, only a few really. I did find enough that I am satisfied though.

I went back to that nook-look site and started going crazy downloading different screen savers lol. I think that I will not put too many on there until I am ready for them. I know they don’t take up too much space but still, I think that I’d rather not take up any more space than I really have to until I really need to.

One cool thing that I did find while browsing the Nook store via the Nook is they have some books listed through Google books and they were all free. I wasn’t expecting that. Although I didn’t download anything because I have enough books in my queue as it is but knowing that I have the option available makes me happy.

Oh and the Lend feature, I don’t know if I mentioned before but it’s kind of bogus. You can only lend a lendable book to 1 person… ever. Once they borrow it, when they lose it and it’s back on my Nook they and nobody else can ever borrow it again. It becomes unborrowable forever. That sucks so I really have to pick and choose who I lend anything to because what if I lend it to someone who decides they don’t have time to read it but then someone who actually wants to read it can’t have it because I lent it to some dipwad who couldn’t be bothered. Like I said before… LOTTERY lol.

I changed my “I am reading…” widget in my sidebar to the anobii.com image of my current book reading because for some strange reason the e-book pages are different from an actual book. Like Dead Until Dark has like 336 pages but in my Nook it only has 222 pages. So if I say I’m on page 92 you might think I haven’t gotten very far but really I have. Also, there are some books that can’t be listed through that widget that I have to enter manually in anobii. And anyway, who really needs to know what page I’m on? I mean sheesh.

So if you see the book that I am currently reading then you’ll know I’m still on that one but I highly doubt anyone really cares lol.

In my previous post I spoke of how I made my own book cover for my Nook. Well, a friend of mine who sent me all the Xanth novels in the mail last year also sent me a “Mighty Bright” lightwhich clips on the book but I thought I couldn’t use it any more because it might crush the Nook lol. Well, I was pleased to know that it clips to the cardboard of my book cover right behind the Nook. So it’s centered in the middle of the top of the Nook allowing me the brightest of lights to read in my poorly lit bedroom.

Well, tomorrow is another day to explore more of my new toy hehe. My ambien are kicking in so I better go to bed. Tootles!

PSP eBook – NIMS PSP eBook Reader

I’ve finally figured out how to turn my PSP into an eBook reader.  I’ve googled the term “PSPebook reader” before with bad results.  You know, those homebrew programs.  Yeah, that’s a bad result.  I refuse to brick up my PSP just so I can see if I can read an e-book on it.

In my google search I did find a message board where they talked about a PSP e-book reader so I checked out a couple of ideas, this is one of them.

NIMS PSP Ebook Reader .  This is a little different although not quite better.  If you google the title you may find that it is found in homebrew websites.  However, it does not need a homebrewed PSP to work.  It does work with a regular PSP because all you are doing is loading an html file in your web browser as your reader then putting your e-book files in another folder.

It has a dos program that you run where it will convert PDF files.  I tried it and the output was terrible.  It wasn’t what I had hoped it would have been.  It’s supposed to convert your pdf e-book file into html files along with some other files I don’t know.  Anyway, it wasn’t good.

I did take their index file though and made my own little version of an e-book reader.  I changed the text and gave it a background so it looks snazzy but it works better.

Ok here is what you do.  File: PSP_ebook.zip This is safe, scan the file with your virus software, all it is, is a zip file with 2 files in it.  1) index.html file and 2) the background image.  You unzip the files and put them in your PSP in the folder – PSP/books.  You have to create that books folder.  I did that to make it easier to find the file in your browser so you don’t have to type too much to find it.

When you buy ebooks you might be able to buy them in pdf format, if you can here is a sweet utility that will convert them to html.  If the e-book store offers an html version then all the better for you because you won’t have to worry about converting anything.

When you have your html files of your ebooks you put them in your PSP in the folder – PSP/COMMON/books.  You will have to create that books folder.  When you open an e-book file you cannot choose to find them in the same location as the index file, they have to be in a higher folder like Common.

Now here is what you do.  Go into the browser of your PSP, type this in the address bar:

file:/PSP/books/index.html

Now bookmark that so you don’t have to type it in every time.  Now just click Browse, scroll down to /PSP/COMMON/books and click that then find the name of the book you uploaded into the PSP and click it and viola, your PSP is now an e-book reader.

There is a downside, you won’t be able to bookmark at all.  Fortunately when you leave the browser, once you go back into it you will be right back where you left off.  That is if you didn’t load an actual website which would close the point you stopped reading.  If you did that then you would have to scroll down to where you left off at.

If your PDF had chapters with links then you can use those links to find the chapter you were on.

I give the NIMS program a 1 out of 5 for the fact that the e-book I chose to convert looked terrible as an e-book in my PSP.  I give my conversion of their program a 4 out of 5 because it has no bookmarking ability but it works better than their idea.

PSP eBook Creator

I’ve finally figured out how to turn my PSP into an eBook reader. I’ve googled the term “PSP e-book reader” before with bad results. You know, those homebrew programs. Yeah, that’s a bad result. I refuse to brick up my PSP just so I can see if I can read an ebook on it.

In my google search I did find a message board where they talked about a PSP e-book reader so I checked out a couple of ideas, this is one of them.

“ PSP eBook Creator ” which is actually not a bad program. What you do is click File then open a “.txt” file, you can change it from portrait to landscape, change the background color or give it an image, change the text color, change the font, font size and make it bold or regular then create an output folder then build your e-book files. Once all the images are made all you need to do is upload the folder to your PSP Picture folder, turn it on and start reading.

What it does though is it creates an image for every page of the e-book . If this is a long e-book, this process will take a long time and the size of the entire book might be huge especially if you are running low on space. Not to mention that you won’t have a book cover image to look at since all the files were taken from a text file.

Since it only uses text files you will have to figure out a way to convert your e-book to text format with Calibre.

Here is a sample of what one of the pages will look like in text format as a .jpg file.

It’s not a bad image to look at although you will see some boxes here and there (as seen before Cover Photo Credit…). I read this book from beginning to end last night on my PSP just to see if it would hurt my eyes at all and even though it’s not that long of a book my eyes were ok for a while. But if it were a 400 page novel I’m sure that reading on a PSP would start to hurt your eyes after an hour unlike e-Ink.

If I were to make some changes to make it easier on the eyes I would probably put in a dark background image, make the text white, bold and bigger. For this test I made the font Comic Sans regular size 12. Default is regular (non bold), size 10 but I don’t know what the default font is.

You don’t have to worry about a bookmark since all you have to do is leave the image part of the PSP. Once you go back into it you will be right back on the last page (or image) you were on. That is unless you turned the PSP all the way off, then you would have to find where you were again.

If I were to give this a rating I would give it a 3 out of 5.

Bokni Magus

Yay!  I finally defeated this bastard.  And it didn’t even take me 2 weeks like someone posted on a message board that it took them.

As I said in my previous post about Untold Legends (Warriors Code) I was just experimenting to see what would happen if I exited the game, then came back but when I loaded my character instead of clicking continue that I’d click restart chapter.  I thought it would take me back to the beginning of that zone that I was in but instead it took me all the way back to the very beginning of the game.  But my advantage was that I was still level 16 and I still had all my weapons and armor and trinkets.

That sorta helped me and in fact as I went along going back to the Bokni Magus I was being upgraded for my level with equipment.  But when I did get back to the Bokni Magus last night he was just as hard to kill as before.  But, this morning I went back to the monastery and bought some upgrades from the merchant along with some new augments and I was able to beat this Bokni Magus once and for all.  Because the new augments were Petrify for 4 seconds and Charm for 4 seconds.  Along with 3 Health Drain.  So those helped me a bit.  Those effects are on my weapon.

So now I’m finally on chapter 2.