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Old 04-04-2011, 11:30 AM   #1
alsaf
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Using Amazon kindle to reference documenation


I do a bit of programming and tinkering with Linux so I have to refer to documentation a lot. As a result my eyes do get sore when reading through documentation on PC. Another problem is when tinkering and something goes wrong, either with Ubuntu crashing or loss of internet connection, I can't get access to the relevant document to fix it. Because of these, I was thinking of getting an e-reader, in particular, an Amazon Kindle as it is the only one I've seen sold locally as I don't like buying electronic goods online as it is a hassle with shipping if anything goes wrong.

I would like some advice. Is the Kindle worth having to view documentation and tutorials? Is it easy to reference relevant material through it's search facilities? Most important of all, can it connect to (Ubuntu) Linux through a usb port?
 
Old 04-04-2011, 11:48 AM   #2
Soadyheid
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You can load your own Word documents onto it. Go and check Calibre which is a sort of free library manager available for Windows and Linux.(An ebook iTunes!)It allows you to convert various documents and books to mobidoc which is an ebook format which can be loaded onto the Kindle via the USB connection. Cut 'n' Paste Web page stuff into Word (or Open Office saved as doc files) to make your own reference documents.

You can also load PDF files but I find them a bit tiresome to view as you zoom in on them to scale up parts for better viewing and have to Pan about.

I'm not sure if it's been fixed but you may also have to edit a python driver file associated with Calibre to change a product code to 3 (I think) to allow Calibre to identify the latest Kindle. Check the Calibre website FAQs If you can pick Kindle 3 from the devices menu you don't need the edit. You should be able to check out Calibre first without buying a Kindle by the way!

You can search for words, bookmark and highlight passages within a document (Not sure of PDFs though)

Calibre is available from he Ubuntu repositories. The Kindle User Guide is available from Amazon as a PDF file, it also comes loaded on the Kindle.

Play Bonny!

Last edited by Soadyheid; 04-04-2011 at 11:51 AM. Reason: additional stuff added
 
Old 04-04-2011, 02:29 PM   #3
alsaf
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thanks Soadyheid.

I've read a few bad reviews on the Amazon site saying that there is a design flaw in the kindle and it has a habit of bricking and parts of the LCD breaking. Is that true?
 
Old 04-05-2011, 05:17 AM   #4
Soadyheid
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Quote:
I've read a few bad reviews on the Amazon site saying that there is a design flaw in the kindle and it has a habit of bricking and parts of the LCD breaking. Is that true?
There's some sort of problem if you have the "non-reading light" Amazon case for it (as I have) where it sometimes hangs and needs to be reset. The clips which hold the Kindle to the case have some sort of interaction with internal contacts used for the reading light version of the case. I notice Amazon no longer sell the case which causes this problem. Check the Kindle forums at Amazon for more info.

The Kindle doesn't have an LCD display, it's an e-ink one. The kindle's battery lasts about a month on one charge as you're using no power when it's displaying text or the pictures it displays when "off."
The display blanks out and re-writes when you turn the page... the only time it uses power.

Yes, I dare say that the display would break just like an LCD one if you sat on it but otherwise it's great for reading; no eyestrain due to backlighting (it's reflective so can be reead in bright sunlight just like a... er... book.)

I like your " do it yourself" reference idea though.

Play Bonny!
 
Old 04-06-2011, 02:59 PM   #5
alsaf
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Thanks for info Soadyheid, much appreciated. I'll check the forums out for more info about potential breakage problems.

The Kindle would be great for reference as when programming, it is a pain in the backside having to keep switching from vim to Firefox to reference tutorial, API's, reference (I have my PC hooked up to LCD TV and I sit back on sofa so need to have big fonts which affects screen estate). I am mucking about with networking at moment so having some sort of trouble shooting manual handy on an e-reader would be great if the network connection is down.
 
Old 04-06-2011, 03:17 PM   #6
dugan
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We just had a Kindle thread:

To Kindle or not to Kindle (now, that is!)

Last edited by dugan; 04-06-2011 at 03:18 PM.
 
Old 04-06-2011, 05:05 PM   #7
alsaf
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thanks dugan for supplying the link. It's interesting as I intend to fully research it before I make up my mind to buy it or not.
 
  


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