Tag Archives: calibre

My Kindle Ecosystem

Chrome to Kindle

I pretty much take my Kindle most places and people keep asking me what I feel about it? I always say its great and of course I carry it around everywhere… (in actual fact it would be great if Amazon recognized the fans/ambassadors like myself)

Then they usually ask about the books… What book are you reading?

This is where I tend to divert from the normal kindle owner.

So how do I get news on to the Kindle? Well there seems to be a whole bunch of ways.

  1. Calibre is your long lost friend
    No matter what you do this is the first point of call for any ebook reader, even the ipad. It converts ebooks and with the recipes you can point it at almost any website and it will turn it into a ebook for reading on the device. One of my favorite recipes is the Google Reader recipe, turns my unread RSS subscriptions into a nice ebook. And to top it all off, Calibre can be setup to automatically send the ebook to the kindle. Of course I have this setup, so I never have to sync my kindle anymore. In actual fact I only need to plug it in once a month when the battery is low.
  2. Instapaper is simply great
    Instapaper most people know about but one of the new features is the ability to send to a Kindle as a kindle compatible .mobi file. No need to wait for Calibre. Plus it also has the option of sending only when there’s a certain amount of clipped content, so you don’t get lots of empty or single page ebooks. On top of that the Kindle treats them as periodicals so, it automatically archives old ones instead of clogging it up with old instapapers.
  3. Klip me with chrome and soon others
    Send to Kindle with Klip.me works exactly how you expect. The only thing is it currently only works on Chrome and Safari. They are working on a Firefox version but till then you can use the beta bookmarklet service which does the same thing but not so elegantly.
  4. Email for Free
    One of the things which Amazon don’t make very clear is the ability to send emails with attachments to Amazon and have them delivered for free over wifi. This of course totally displaces Amazon’s own conversion service, whispernet and if your like me, don’t really trust Amazon enough to give them access to everything on my kindle (see the whole 1984 issue), then you bought a wifi only kindle.
    Your email address is what ever your kindle email is but with @free.kindle.com instead of @kindle.com. This is very handy for example I have sent things from my Evernote to the Kindle for further reading. Of course you have tell amazon which email address are valid, so you don’t get spam on your kindle.
  5. Send to Kindle from Android
    Nice little tool if you happen to for example get a tweet to a very interesting but lengthy post but can’t be bothered to read it on the small android screen. Usually I bookmark it using delicious, instapaper or readitlater but now I can go direct to the kindle which is handy.

The biggest problem with the kindle for me is simply once you read something in the google reader ebook its hard to find out who exactly wrote it. I keep meaning to modify the recipe include the blog titles. If I happen to be in a place with wifi, I can link to the kindle webbrowser but then I’m stuck again.

Ideally I would be able to send it to readitlater, instapaper or whatever. I though about using the tweet function but as I’ve discovered the tweets well pretty much useless. Don’t get me wrong it does what it says and its great if your reading a book but its no good for self published stuff.

Finally I don’t understand why but I can’t get my kindle to work with my HTC Desire mobile wifi hotspot (myfi). If I did I might be able to sort out some kind of solution but I can’t work out why…

Saying all this… I still love my kindle

The future of publishing is writable

Newsweek book are not dead bezos

Imran posted a link on his facebook wall.

The future of publishing is writable, Trends of smaller, easier, and more personal content signal a shift away from read-only publishing.

There are three convergence trends in publishing that are already apparent.

One clear long-term trend is that smaller pieces of information are being published. Considering just modern digital forms of publishing, there is a roughly chronological progression toward smaller publications: emails, Usenet postings, web pages, blog posts, blog comments, tweets, tags.

A second trend is a reduction in friction. As access to easy-to-use and inexpensive publishing technology increases, it becomes economically feasible to publish smaller and less valuable pieces of content. We have reached the point where anyone with access to the Internet can easily and cheaply publish trivial, tiny pieces of information — even single words.

The third trend is the rise of publishing personal information. Our inescapable sociability is driving us to shape the Internet into a mechanism for publishing information about ourselves.

These three trends — smaller, easier, more personal — provide a framework to examine the development of online information publishing.

Absolutely…

In a session at BarCampManchester4 titled Ebooks, I was invited to talk about my Kindle ebook reader. I said I have never bought a book from the Amazon Kindle store and may never do.

So the obvious thing people thought was that I download ebooks from questionable sources. But in actual fact most of my ebook collection is either creative commons licensed ebooks such as cory doctorow’s books or there self published content formed from scraping websites using the much loved calibre and its scripts. Its scripts work with everything from standard sites, google reader, instapaper, readitlater, etc, etc.

I’m not saying I’m a self publisher but if you do look at the percentage of ebooks I’ve made/republished compared to the ones I’ve bought or downloaded. Its clear going by my own habits is we going towards a writable, self publishing future.

A few things I’d like to see on my kindle

My Kindle

So I’ve gotten into this lovely routine where I have Calibre automatically turns my subscriptions into ebooks for me and then I connect my Kindle to the USB to automatically sync the items. Then I sit in a nice coffee/tea shop reading my google reader unread subscriptions, readitlater, instapaper, etc. With the experimental webkit browser any links I want to check out, I can check them out using the cafe’s public wifi. The only issue is I really want some way of bookmarking with delicious or even readitlater the important stuff that I read.

I don’t know if you can add bookmarklets to the experimental webkit browser but that would be ideal.

My other alternative is some kind of note taking app on the kindle its self. I know you can add annotations to books but it seems getting them off isn’t as straight forward as it should be. Although I love just being able to read stuff on the kindle screen, I wouldn’t mind some blogging app. The keyboard is not bad and being able to draft up a blog entry would be great, specially when you google reader on the device its self. I’m also wondering if I can make use of Conduit again to do some transferring of notes, like I had planned for my Sony Ereader.

So in ideally I’d like to see a full blogging app, a browser with bookmarklets and Ideally a evernote client.

Come on say it with me, Evernote on a wireless kindle would be amazing and dare I say a killer app for the kindle3.

Like Instapaper, love ReaditLater

I was enjoying instapaper because it just works but then I checked out Readitlater which someone wrote a nice script in Calibre (if you have a ebook readder and are not using this, you should be) for. And I’m converted. Its not as casual but with things like the firefox plugin, its certainly a much richer experience and works how I tend to work. There API could also be very useful for my plans to do with semantic desktop logging or even to move things into a archive space like delicious.