Saturday 28 January 2012

Amazon Kindle on board your boat.

I have an original Amazon Kindle, it replaces a large number of books on the boat and at the same time saving space. The Memsahib also owns a Kindle she likes to have her own rather than share. There are some interesting things you can do with a Kindle. One of them is to  read your favourite blogs. It’s a nice way to read favourite blogs on-the-go, although the blog images are black-and-white and video is not available.

You can even get paid to have your blog published on the Kindle. You are not going to make enough to retire, but little acorns. Amazon launched its Kindle Publishing for Blogs program just for this purpose. You might need to think through how your blog will look in black-and-white.

If you are thinking about buying a Kindle, look for a secondhand one. For some time, the Kindle has featured an experimental browser that lets you access the web for free. It's clunky, but it can prove a godsend for boaters with the 3G edition of the Kindle who need to access email or other urgent information in locations with no Wi-Fi. From the newest Kindles onward, however, 3G web access will be restricted to Wikipedia and the Kindle Store only. No Gmail, no BBC News, no Twitter. To access those sites on the Kindle, you'll need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network. On the bright side, though, existing Kindle users, who own what Amazon is now calling the Kindle Keyboard, get as much 3G use as they want. The company said: "Our Kindle Keyboard 3G will continue to offer experimental web browsing over 3G or Wi-Fi."

You can also place copies of wanted documents on your Kindle. Think about the paper stuff you leave behind at home that you might need to refer to. You can convert these documents to display on your Kindle. These are Kindle's native file formats that require no conversion, Kindle (.AZW), Text (.TXT), Unprotected Mobipocket (.MOBI, .PRC) Audible (.AA) MP3 (.MP3). HTML files can be renamed to .TXT and display quite well on the Kindle. Most of the time I just copy and paste what I want to read into Notepad and then  email the file to my Kindle. There are free programs that will take any multi-column Word or PDF file and format them to read on the Kindle.

With Kindle Personal Documents Service, you can send your personal documents to your registered Kindle devices, at your Send-to-Kindle e-mail address. Send to Kindle for PC is a free application that lets you easily send your personal documents to your registered Kindle devices, (Your Send-to-Kindle e-mail address is a unique e-mail address assigned to your Kindle device.) from your personal computer. You can send your documents using Windows Explorer or from any Windows application that allows you to print. Send to Kindle for PC is available for download at

There are thousands of free books on every topic under the sun that can be downloaded onto your Kindle. Even the Amazon site has lots of free downloads. There are other sites where members take out of copyright books and convert to a format suitable for the Kindle. You can even download audio books to listen all played through your Kindle. Laid awake, and the other half is sleeping soundly. You don't want to disturb them by turning on a light to read - listen to a kind book at bedtime!

You can play what I call sensible games like sudoku and if games do not float your boat how about downloading crossword puzzles on your Kindle. Family photographs can be displayed on your Kindle but only in black-and-white.

There are many possibilities for the Kindle, its a great device to experiment with.  I am working on a series of Kindle canal and river cruising files with, photographs, points of interest, maps and texts. Similar to the printed canal navigation guides. However the versions will be able to be updated section by section. People will be able to contribute their own content into the guides for sharing with others. You page through the file on a section by section basis. say, lock to lock, junction to junction, town to town or by points of interest.

Some of the posts on the blog have been part of the Kindle conversion experiment. First to see what they look like when web browsed from the Kindle. And when converted directly for reading on the Kindle. When they are completed, I shall be giving them away for free. I'm also working on converting the Rosie blog into an eBook - done on a year by year basis. Again I shall be giving the eBooks away for free.


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