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FINALLY here but not what I wanted

  1. Jun 30, 2009 #1
    I've made a few topics about what I could do to read electronic books away from the computer and how I could convert eBooks to a suitable format to be viewed on portable DVD players. After all that tomfoolery, I got a Kindle 2 last week. It doesn't natively support PDFs. After fooling around a bit, I found I could convert PDF files to .prc format to be viewed on the Kindle 2, but now I can't zoom in. All my texts have small font size and I don't want to squint for too long; my power is already minus 3 and my glasses are huge. The Kindle DX is also similar and doesn't help very much. Only problem I am saved is conversion which isn't much to say. So I guess this post is just to say we'll have to wait it out some more until some one brings out a better (cheaper?) eBook reader. As of now, nothing beats a real book I guess... *sigh*
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  3. Jun 30, 2009 #2


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    Um, pretty much all the product reviews on the kindle 2 tell you that it isn't good for pdfs. Yeah, you can convert it, and maybe okay in a pinch, but it's not what it's meant for. I don't really think that it'll ever be a good format for things needed for studying. Pleasure reading, sure, but studying, no. You need too many pages and books side by side for that to ever work well. With a large enough monitor, it might work on a computer, but I can't envision much of anything portable working for that function.
  4. Jun 30, 2009 #3
    A book doesn't run out of batteries, ever.
    A book page can be turned instantly.
    A book page never has glare in the sun and is viewable in any day-lighting.
    Words on a book have great contrast ratio.
    Every book has a unique artistically designed cover and binding that makes it a joy to hold.
    A book can have color photos in it.
    Your progress in a book is visually confirmed as you pass through it's pages.
    A book is a tangible thing which can be loved.
    A book has limited printings and can have collectors' value.
    A book can be made in any size.
    A book can never crash or get a computer virus, and you don't need any technical knowledge to use it.
    A book never refuses to be read after a certain number of uses.
    A book never self destructs when the place you bought it has server problems.

    Yeah, I wouldn't expect eBooks to beat a real book EVER. They may someday be usable, and the advantage is that you can carry millions of books in your pocket, but the life is sucked out of them.
  5. Jun 30, 2009 #4
    I was hoping that someone had a software mod so that I could do something useful with it. That's what happened with my music player when it wouldn't do many things such as accept some widely used music formats. I searched Google for a software modification and it was very useful. They didn't advertise such things on the product page of the music player. I was hoping that something like that would turn up for this too, but no avail. :frown:
  6. Jun 30, 2009 #5
  7. Jun 30, 2009 #6
    I do think that eReaders have a bright future, though...just not for books.

    I think their bright future is in allowing us to read smaller printable documents on the go without having to print them.

    For example, in proofreading documents, reviewing journal articles, reading newspapers, and probably browsing of text-based news sites. But in order to really take hold, the technology still needs to mature. They need to be able to read full 8.5x11 pages natively, and preserve exact formatting. Give it a couple years.
  8. Jul 1, 2009 #7


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    So you bought something on the whim that there may be someone somewhere that could modify it to do what you wanted? That sounds a rather crazy way to spend money, to me!
  9. Jul 1, 2009 #8


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    False. Some glossy-paged books have this problem

    False. Also, who takes pleasure in holding a book.

    It's pieces of paper.....

    False. I've had textbooks fall apart after one semester. Plus you can't stain an e-book and have to get a new one. Your dog also cant rip up your e-book and fire can't burn it.

    I'll think of some more similarly ridiculous attributes later.
  10. Nov 26, 2009 #9
    Brilliant news! Amazon has just released firmware updates to make the Kindle MUCH better; it now has native PDF support! This new feature has made it very useful indeed. The only problem I have with it now is screen size, but that can be taken care of. The new firmware also allows one to enlarge the font size by rotating the kindle. Math books, here I come.
  11. Nov 26, 2009 #10
    More brilliant news. Amazon has now made Kindle available to Canada. Now I have to put some really serious thought into it. A large part of my home decor works around books. I don't think you can decorate around a Kindle.
  12. Nov 26, 2009 #11


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    Dearly Missed

    Old books have a nice smell. :smile:
  13. Nov 26, 2009 #12


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    Wanna bet? Seems to me that a determined dog or a fire could do a number on a Kindel or any other electronics device for that matter.
  14. Nov 26, 2009 #13
    They do so. A friend of mine bought a first edition Dickens for me at Portobello Market. I get a charge simply holding that book and pressing my nose close to the pages.
  15. Nov 27, 2009 #14


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    I used to like that old book smell. Now it just makes me sneeze.

    I'm just disappointed that Amazon thinks we should all buy a new Kindle for international service instead of making it part of the firmware update. Of course, I have so many books downloaded on mine, it's going to be a LONG time before I run out. I pay for some once in a while, but have also been downloading every free book Amazon offers. I figure, good book or bad, I'm going to get my money's worth out of this sucker!
  16. Nov 27, 2009 #15
    Aw, that's too bad it makes you sneeze. I even love the smell of the small library we have in my condo. You open the door and get wafted with paper scent. I like it.

    So, what do you mean "for international service" with your Kindle? Does that mean that you have to have a new Kindle to, say, download a new book while you are out of the US, visiting Canada, as an example?
  17. Nov 27, 2009 #16
    For me, a textbook in e-book format could easily beat a paper book, but it would take a combination of hardware, software, and content. Even now you can highlight a word and look it up in a dictionary, imagine using a feature like that to learn to read a foreign language. Imagine when the text refers to equation 17 in chapter 3, you don't have to flip through pages to find it, but just click on a hyperlink. How about a hyperlinked index? How about hyperlinks from one book to another? True these features aren't available yet, but you say EVER.
  18. Nov 28, 2009 #17
    I print most of the things I want to read/analyze closely ...

    but then I am not green.
  19. Nov 28, 2009 #18

    - Access to more information is not always a good thing
    (Some people like to spend more time on reading definitions or Wikipedia articles than the relevant content)
    - Quick and flexible access is also not always a good thing
    (I learned that faster I go, less I learn)

    I have noticed that I am far more efficient when I don't have access to any electronic material and time goes more slowly.

    The things you mentioned are useful for referring to material but not for learning new material.
  20. Nov 28, 2009 #19
    Then e-books will beat printed books for me, but not for you.
  21. Nov 28, 2009 #20


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    I'm learning that there is one downside to owning a Kindle. I can never just sit somewhere and quietly read undisturbed. I think Amazon should be paying me a sales commission! I went out for lunch today, and had two different servers in the restaurant stop and ask me about the Kindle when they saw me reading it, because they've heard all about them but never saw one in person to decide if they should really get one (I guess with Christmas shopping starting, they're trying to figure out if they want them on their Christmas list this year). This is probably the one weakness in Amazon's marketing of the Kindle...for such a pricey gadget, people like to have a way to test drive it before committing to buying. Just being able to see what the screen looks like and the size and where the buttons are and what it does in person makes it a much easier decision.
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