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Technicolour

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#85551 21-Jun-2011 09:02
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I've been itching to buy a Kindle for a few weeks now as I've disliked my absolute lack of reading. I hear about people reading around me and constantly wonder if it's something I'm missing. I'm fairly confident that once I start again (I used to read fairly often) I'll get hooked and it won't be a problem, and being a tech nerd I also know that I'll find it a lot harder to use paper.

I have a few questions.

How successful do you believe the purchase of an eBook would be for me? Take note that I'm in love with technology (it's quite a serious addition)

I'm a little concerned with the talk about region locking? How much of an issue is this? If I can find it for sale in Witcoulls, how often is it locked down on Amazon?

I also don't like the lack of ePub support, for those with ePub collections, how well do the conversions work on the Kindle (ePub -> Mobi)? Is it fairly easy to strip the DRM? (from legitimate sources using ADEPT) in order to make this conversion possible, and allowing me to purchase from more than just Amazon.

I still have 1.5yrs of University left, so PDF support would be nice, how well does the Amazon handle them? Textbooks?

I'm also semi keen for a tablet (Android), would it make sense to combine the two purchases? I'm planning on borrowing a friends eBook (I think it's a Sony one) so I guess this one will answer itself as it really comes down to weight and eInk for extended reading sessions.

Thanks for the help! 

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magu
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  #483497 21-Jun-2011 09:13
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For any eBook reader you get, make sure to download calibre (PC/Mac) to handle conversion of anything to anything and back.

As to region-locking, the devices themselves are not locked. The Amazon account is. If you setup an international Amazon account, you won't have as many books available as they have in the US store.

PDF support is experimental. It works, but images are an issue.

If you're interested in a tablet, it makes your choice harder. One thing I like with the Kindle is that it is light. Very, very light.




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shermanp
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  #483499 21-Jun-2011 09:18
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I have a SONY reader, but most of your questions are relatively straightforward to answer.

Region locking is a real PITA. I just had a quick look, looks like Amazon don't sell a lot of the ebooks that are available from Kobo/Whitcoulls. Those books are of course ADEPT epub,..

which brings us to converting -- Calibre, an ebook management program is what you need to do all your conversions and management needs. With the right plugins it can also strip DRM as well. There was a fella who went by Apprentice Alf who did a lot of work on these... google is your friend here.

As for buying stuff that is not available from Amazon or Kobo, I have found Barnes & Noble in the US one of the easiest places to bypass geographic restrictions--they only do an IP check, not a credit card check.

Sorry, I don't know about PDF support on the Kindle.

I personally feel that if you read a lot (like I do), a dedicated e-ink reader is definitely the way to go over a tablet.


NOTE: When looking for books, check Kobo as one of your first sources. Chances are, they could be cheaper than anywhere else. 

gcorgnet
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  #483500 21-Jun-2011 09:18
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Hi,

There are pros and cons in using an ebook for reading:

Pros:
- Very small size for a lot of books
- Lighter than a book to carry
- dedicated ebooks don't strain the eyes (as opposed to lcd-based tablets)

Cons:
- A real book never runs out of battery.

Having said that, realise that ebook readers have a much much better battery life than tablets because they use e-ink... 

I own a 7'' Kindle 2 and it is pretty good. The pdf support on it is pretty decent (even with the small-ish screen) and I hear the Kindle 3 is even better (better contrast, autonomy, etc.)

If you really want to read I would suggest a Kindle 3. As they come in different sizes, you will need to choose between the 7'' version and the 10'' version. Personally, I have often wished my Kindle was 10'' (even if it meant having an heavier, larger device), especially when reading PDFs... 

I have had some success converting epub into mobi format (using something called Calibre, pretty awesome tool to manage your library btw.)

Cheers,

Guillaume 



magu
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  #483503 21-Jun-2011 09:22
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gcorgnet: I own a 7'' Kindle 2 and it is pretty good. The pdf support on it is pretty decent (even with the small-ish screen) and I hear the Kindle 3 is even better (better contrast, autonomy, etc.) 


I've got a Kindle 3 and I charge it once a month. 




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LookingUp
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  #483505 21-Jun-2011 09:23
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+1 for Kindle if you're looking for just a reader. Very light, long battery life, and so far none of the books I've tried to purchase have been unavailable for region reasons.

As a comparison, a chap I work with has a Nook that has been re-flashed to become an open Andriod tablet. Wizzy graphics etc. and useful for more than just reading, but active screen harder on the eyes, and only 7~8 hrs battery life compared to weeks for the Kindle.




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NZtechfreak
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  #483508 21-Jun-2011 09:28
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Got my partner a Kindle for Mothers day, she loves it. Would recommend it if Ebook reading is the primary purpose (I wanted to do other things as well and was prepared to sacrifice battery life, so got a tablet). She charges it once a month, and e-ink is incomparably better than other display technologies for reading.




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Technicolour

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  #483515 21-Jun-2011 09:45
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magu:
As to region-locking, the devices themselves are not locked. The Amazon account is. If you setup an international Amazon account, you won't have as many books available as they have in the US store.


I guess a better way to answer the question is, how often do you find yourself not being able to purchase books that you want due to the region locking on the books (at the store level).


The look and feel of an ePub that's been converted for Kindle is a comparable experience? 



magu
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  #483516 21-Jun-2011 09:46
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Technicolour:
magu:
As to region-locking, the devices themselves are not locked. The Amazon account is. If you setup an international Amazon account, you won't have as many books available as they have in the US store.


I guess a better way to answer the question is, how often do you find yourself not being able to purchase books that you want due to the region locking on the books (at the store level).


The look and feel of an ePub that's been converted for Kindle is a comparable experience? 


So far, I've had two books I couldn't get here.

As to conversions, I haven't tried ePub.




"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads." - Doc Emmet Brown

kyhwana2
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  #483536 21-Jun-2011 10:40
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Technicolour:
magu:
As to region-locking, the devices themselves are not locked. The Amazon account is. If you setup an international Amazon account, you won't have as many books available as they have in the US store.


I guess a better way to answer the question is, how often do you find yourself not being able to purchase books that you want due to the region locking on the books (at the store level).


The look and feel of an ePub that's been converted for Kindle is a comparable experience? 

 

I often find myself not able to buy ebooks on the amazon kindle store, because the author/publisher won't let me buy their stuff because i'm in the Asia/Pacific region. The solution is to "buy" them illegally and then email the author+publisher and tell them you'd love to buy their books, but for some reason they won't let you. (The author will just say it's not up to them. I had this with George R.R Martins Ice/fire series. So I just torrented them. His/his publishers loss)
I'm not willing to try the "setup a 2nd amazon account" because it's against their TOS and they'll lock your account/purchases if they find out.

The publishers really need their asses kicked. They don't seem to realise that ebooks are just bits and there's no legit reason why I can't legally pay for them.

Using calibre to convert epubs to .mobi's works pretty well. Converting pdfs to .mobi's doesn't work quite as well, there tend to be line breaks/etc inserted randomly, depending on the original PDF formatting.
 

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  #483548 21-Jun-2011 11:03
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Strange, my partner has been buying all those books on her Kindle just fine...




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lokhor
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  #483564 21-Jun-2011 11:27
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Pretty sure Calibre doesn't support ebooks with drm




All comments are my own opinion, and not that of my employer unless explicitly stated.


nickb800
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  #483581 21-Jun-2011 12:12
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Im a uni student and had a Kindle 3 briefly. While its an awesome device in terms of screen, battery life, etc, i found it wasnt great for PDFs. It treats each page as an image, rather than text like it does with proper ebooks. This meant you had to go into the view menu and change the page zoom, and then you have to center the view on the block of text you are trying to read.
Proper ebooks worked much better, as you can set a preference for font and font size, and it adjust the text to fit the screen at your preferred size. A kindle is handy for assignment/tutorial handouts as it saves a bit of printing, but would only be worthwhile for uni imo if you are going to get proper ebooks.
Fortunately there is quite a good range of very cheap textbook ebooks on Amazon, but you should look around before you buy and check out if they have the textbooks neccesary for your courses

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  #483590 21-Jun-2011 12:43
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Bought my partner a Kindle for Christmas, she loves hers.  Very easy to buy books from Amazon, and the battery life is incredible.

The e-ink is very easy on the eyes, I've read it for hours at a time and suffered no eye strain.

kyhwana2
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  #483617 21-Jun-2011 13:13
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NZtechfreak: Strange, my partner has been buying all those books on her Kindle just fine...


Really? When did she try to buy them?
Just checking the amazon store now, I see they're avaliable for purchase here now. I tried to buy them ~3 months ago and they weren't available.


miguelwrang
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  #483644 21-Jun-2011 13:45
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I had no problems buying the ASOIAF series in April.

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