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About this Webpage

My Ramblings about eReaders


Electronic Book Readers

My first dedicated eReader is the Franklin Rocket eBook, from NuvoMedia, Inc., model EB-500. I bought it shortly after it was first announced and still enjoy it to this day. While the only commercial eBooks that have read on it are the ones that came with it, I primarily use it for reading texts from self-created documents, which I will explain in more detail farther down.

I read using primarily at night, so its backlit screen is very much appreciated. When I am looking for another eReader to augment it, I will probably be looking at a Barnes & Noble Color Nook. Root it, install Kindle on it and have the best of both worlds.

But, alas, April 2011, after spending 2 hrs at Best Buy, running both Kindle and Nook Color through various limits demos of what is pre-canned on them, I decided to go with the Kindle Wifi. Mid-April, Barnes & Noble is reported to be releasing a Nook Color Tablet, with more capabilities than the Nook Color eReader; I may get that as well.

Franklin Rocket eBook

Franklin Rocket eBook

The Franklin Rocket eBook, by Nouvomedia, was my first digital book reader. This was one of the first generation eReaders. I still use it, as the backlighting makes it a pleasure to read at night. It does take a little work to prepare what is referred to as Rocket Editions, the format of eBook that this unit requires. This format is of the extension, .rb.

The first battery pack for this eBook reader lasted nearly one year. At that point, I took advantage of the fact that it was going back to the factory and had them also upgrade the memory at that time as well. The current battery pack, its second one, has been working just fine for nearly 12 years.

Amazon Kindle, Latest Generation, WiFi

Amazon Kindle, Latest Generation, WiFi

April, 2011, I decided to spring for the Kindle Wifi. It is nicer than I thought it was going to be, but I have gotten quite used to the backlighting of the Franklin Rocket eBook, so it is like a step backwards, needing to have a reading light to use the Kindle in low-light environments.

Setting up the Amazon Kindle

The Kindle was very easy to setup, so easy in fact, that I set it up in the parking lot at the Mall of New Hampshire. While it did not require much charging, I did plug its USB cable into the iGo 12 volt charging system, with a USB adapter to confirm it would charge through that - not a problem. Next, I transferred some PDF documents from my Dell Mini 10 netbook computer, onto the Kindle. The transfer was nice and fast. When connected by USB to a computer, the Kindle mounts like a USB flash drive. The folder structure is very straight-forward. The registration of the Kindle required an Internet connection, but the Kindle refused to see my Verizon MiFi 2200; I confirmed operation of the MiFi with the Dell Mini, there was a strong connection.

Attempting to establish communications with the MiFi showed me one aspect of the Kindle that I did not like - when entering the passcode for the WPA-enabled security, the Kindle does not echo the characters entered, so you just guess that you entered the correct code. It would have been nice if they even just momentarily echoed the entered characters, or had a radio button to allow the user to toggle the characters entered. Otherwise, I assume that the MiFi is simply not going to communicate with the Kindle, so I will need to continue carrying a laptop with me when traveling.

The Experimental Menu

The menu key brings up a menu in the upper-right corner of the reader's display. The bottom entry, is a menu entitled 'Experimental'. This menu provides some very cool apps, that I assume are Java-based: a Web Browser, Play MP3 and Text-to-Speech.

The web browser and text-to-speech, I have tried. The text-to-speech is fairly nice. I am not sure how much I would use it, but it is nice just the same. The web browser is better than I would have expected. While I only went to Facebook, I was impressed by how much of the webpage is portrayed on the screen. zooming and panning are easily accomplished, but I do wish that would have made a simpler method of 'nudge' panning, such as holding down the shift key while using the 4 direction button to pan slightly in any direction.

Downloading eBooks and other Documents to the Kindle

Downloading eBooks, from the Amazon store, to the Kindle is quite straight-forward. Establish an Internet connection using the WiFi connection, then from the main menu, choose Shop in Kindle Store. In the Kindle Store, you will login using your Amazon account information, I used my Amazon Associates username and password, with no problem. Then, you navigate through a few different menues until you find an electronic book that you want to purchase and download.

Other documents can be downloaded to the Kindle, I have started to writeup the methods that I have used so far on my eBooks webpage.

About this Webpage

I have created this webpage as a method to document and share my experiences with eBooks and eReaders.

Copyright © 2011 by David Wayne Hurd, All Rights Reserved.