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The new Kindle looks much thinner and lighter, it has a lot of the same features but it looks like they work in a more user friendly fashion.
I haven't seen or handled the old Kindle, but the new one looks like it has a metal back, which I especially like because it looks so sturdy. Now if they can come out with a waterproof one, it'll be AA1986 safe. Or at least safer...
You can also buy a 2-year extended warranty with the K2 for an additional $65, through a company called Service Net Solutions. Make sure you buy it!
First of all, the battery is not replaceable. Don't bother with what the PDF user's guide says. If it's replaceable at all, it's only factory-replaceable, not user-replaceable. I called Amazon Customer Service in the wee hours this morning and confirmed that the PDF user's guide for K2 is in error on this point.
The battery's usually the first thing to go on any of these devices, so I'd strongly recommend that you get the extended warranty. You're going to be very upset if you don't and, thirteen months from now when your basic Amazon warranty is expired, the battery can't hold a charge any more.
Also, the extended warranty covers accidental damage and dropping (one-time only, but that's reasonable enough). I've read on Kindle message boards that Amazon has been really nice about replacing dropped K1s at half-price, but now that this $65 extended warranty is available, I suspect it's going to be totally the customer's responsibility from here on out.
You have to buy the extended warranty within thirty-days of the K2 shipping date.
EDIT: Ooooh, and I was bad in the wee hours this morning. I ordered a K2. We K1 owners are supposed to be jumped to the top of the list on shipping date.
Note, by the way, that the K2 doesn't ship with a book-cover, which has to be bought extra for $30. I thought the K1's Amazon cover was really crappy and wound up buying an mEdge (which I love), so I'm waiting until I see what independent vendors come up with in the way of K2 covers. There are several posted on-line already, but I'll wait until I see some customer reviews. A cover's really essential for protecting your device, but I just won't take my K2 out of the house until I get one since I can use my K1 for traveling in the meanwhile.
I think the best part of Kindle 2.0 is the ability to have material (books, Mags, blogs, Newspapers) read to you in either a male or female voice. The speed of audio reading is also adjustable. And you can switch back and forth from audio to reading without losing your place. For people who love audio books (I hate being read to myself), this is a tremendous advantage because most Kindle books are cheaper than audible content. I know people who will buy the 2.0 just for this feature alone.
I'm not sure either whether I would buy a machine with a battery I couldn't replace. How long is the original battery expected to last? And what do you do when the battery dies as it almost inevitably must someday. Am I expected to throw the Kindle away? Would the Amazon replace the battery at a reasonable price if I mailed it back?
Will Amazon (or someone) continue to sell batteries for the K1? I fervently hope so. I plan to use mine a long time.
I like other features of the K2 but a non-replaceable battery seems like a deal-breaker to me. I wonder how the K3 will handle the situation.
I just ordered a K2 but that non-replaceable battery did bother me a bit. When I was on their site I noticed a note that said that anyone who had a K1 on order would receive a K2.
I've been looking at Kindle books and am surprised that there's an occasional free one. The ones in the public domain, I guess.
Really looking forward to it. I am chomping at the bit to get started with this.
The dictionary function is greatly improved, and definitions come up along the bottom of the screen as soon as the cursor is next to the word. The page-turn buttons work differently, and now it's almost impossible to turn a page accidentally, even when holding the Kindle by the button area. The five-way cursor button takes some getting used to but I think it'll be an improvement, although vertical "scrolling" takes longer and more effort, unless I'm missing something. Pages do turn faster, and even in my 1X-reception area the web is usable, although quite slow. I wouldn't browse with it if I had a computer nearby, but I'm experimenting with downloading directly to the Kindle.
Some people have mentioned that the screen is slightly smaller, which I haven't noticed. However, the screen's background is darker than on the K1, meaning that the contrast is poorer, and IMO this is a BIG setback for those of us who are getting older and/or have sight problems. This change seems odd to me, because a large percentage of the Kindle readership seems to be older, and certainly vision issues have been used to promote the Kindle.
The unit is very thin and a bit slippery, and I'm delighted I bought the Amazon cover. It is just slightly larger than the Kindle, the front cover tucks easily behind the Kindle, and the Kindle itself is locked in securely. It's not fancy but it's sleek, and it almost disappears behind the unit.
I've ordered a Waterford sleeve case (http://www.sfbags.com/products/kindle/kindlecase.htm) for carrying the Kindle in its cover in my purse - had one for my K1 (not in its cover) and never feared to take it places.
The dictionary function: Getting the definitions at the bottom of the screen is one new feature I definitely like.
Another nice new feature is that you can highlight individual words, with much greater precision than that really clunky highlighting on K1. Additionally, you can carry over your highlighting from one K2 page to another, while on K1 the highlight ended at the bottom of the K1 page.
I think the claim that the screen size is slightly smaller is one of perception. There's more "white space" around the sides of the K2, and that's causing a perceptual illusion that the screen is smaller, but the two screens seem identical in size to me when you put them side-by-side. Note that the K2 has a greater height than the K1, and also that K2's flat design on the sides makes it appear to be wider than the K1 (where the page buttons taper downward).
K2 is definitely slippery. K1's removable rubbery back cover (battery and SD-card area) gave a better grip. I just ordered a m-Edge cover, which should solve the problem when it arrives. For now, I'm just being extra careful with K2 and also leaving it at home. Until my K2 m-Edge comes, K1 can go into my pocketbook in its K1 m-Edge.
Marge, if you've got a sight problem, you might find this new feature helpful. You can change the amount of spacing between lines. Hold down SHIFT+ALT together and then press a number key (1 to 9) and see what happens! It's really neat. (I picked up this trick from a post on Amazon's K2 discussion board.)
One thing I definitely DO NOT AT ALL LIKE on the K2 is the keyboard. The keys are definitely smaller than on the K1 and are almost flush with the surface of the machine. The K2 keys are definitely harder to use for thumb-typing.
It is all I hoped it would be, thin, light, and easy to operate. I plugged in the charger and it came up with a welcome message. I played with all the buttons to see what they did and then went to the Kindle store and purchased a book (Neal Stephenson's The Big U).
The book loaded in less than a minute. I have heard people complain that the page turning was slow but it turns as fast as I turn pages in a book so this is not a problem (something tells me that these people have never owned a Kindle). I also bought the Kindle leather cover and it holds the unit securely, you can fold the cover around back of the K2 and it is not in the way.
This is the best purchase I have ever made, I know I am going to enjoy it.
I love love love the text-to-speech function! The voice can be either male or female and can be changed in speed but it doesn't seem overwhelmingly robotic and I swear I can detect a hint of inflection. People who love audio books (and I really don't) will find this feature worth the entire price of the K2. Remember, the K2 will speak any text you put on it, even your own documents.
I also like the fact that the on/off toggle is on the top. I always had trouble reaching and sliding the tiny buttons on the back of the K1.
I haven't noticed that the background is darker or the contrast less. Maybe that is a quirk of some K2s. This is so easy to read.
I see Amazon's just imposed limitations on text-to-speech. Copyright holders will now have the ability to decide whether T2S will be enabled for any individual work. I assume T2S will still be enabled for any public-domain works downloaded from sources like Feedbooks|Mobile.
Frankly, I tend to sympathize with the Authors Guild on this one. There's been a lot of squawking on various Kindle boards about the "greedy" Authors Guild, but most writers aren't like J.K. Rowling, able to give up their day jobs. I think the whole issue of "derivative rights" is a closer call than the Guild's critics acknowledge. It's not a feature I'm terribly interested in myself, but I'm particularly sympathetic to those with vision impairments.
Looking forward to using the highlighting and notes.
Thanks for the tip on the line-spacing. It does help. I'm still going to contact them to comment, because if it gets any dimmer it'll be impossible for me to see. It's certainly not as readable in dim light as a book (neither was the K1).
Re: T2S, I wouldn't pay extra to a publisher to activate it. As someone on another group said, it's equivalent to charging for text size changes, because it cuts into the publishers' potential to sell large type. Someone sure made idiots out of someone: this feature has been touted for a while, and the whole issue should have been dealt with before it was promoted as a reason to buy a K2. (Wait, that might mean we're the idiots?)
The keyboard is rather weird, but I assume Amazon designed it so that, like the side buttons, they won't likely be pressed even when the Kindle is held by that area. I don't mind the unfriendly keys and just type with my nails, but it might be tough for someone with ability issues.
She had to take the dog to the vet; and then my 4 year old grandson painted himself blue with one of those markers, etc.
So I discovered the Kindley B.C. and I read all the posts here, and I want to thank you all. I ordered my own K2 today. Thank you all so much.
take your daughter's and give her yours when it comes. You'll be able to start reading NOW!
By the way, I went to Project Gutenberg and saw many books I'd like to download free from that website. But they give options: like do I want zip files, and they have a format to download to cellphones, named something like "Plunk!" If anyone in the group knows the best way to download from Project Gutenberg to the K2 I'd appreciate your advice. Thanks.
I have a Kindle 1. You can download the html or txt versions, but I would encourage you to look at the same books on MobileRead.com or Feedbooks.com. They come already formatted for the Kindle. I know the MobileRead ones are carefully formatted by real people. I don't know much about Feedbooks, but I have been happy with books from both sources. They also have catalogs you can download and place on your kindle. Then you can order a book from their catalog directly from your kindle. You don't have to use a computer. The catalogs are updated frequently. Much easier than Gutenberg, although I would imagine Gutenberg has more books.
Have fun!! k4k
ETA: I forgot manybooks.net. Not as personal, but you can also get books formatted for the kindle.
I usually download the txt files to my computer and either email to my Kindle or transfer via USB. The other options are probably easier, I just haven't played with them. The formatting is sometimes weird the way I do it, but I guess I don't pay much attention, and once I've read something I delete it anyway.
Zip files are also fine, though they need to be opened, saved as txt or doc, and then transferred as above. The formatting might be better, though.
It sounds confusing, but it's pretty simple and there's a great collection on Gutenberg.
On the Kindle I'm currently reading History of Histories, Abelard's The Story of My Misfortunes, a bunch of Pulitzer fiction winners, some Poe (from Gutenberg), and 13 Things That Don't Make Sense. I LOVE this thing!
I agree! The kindle is great! I just finished Sense and Sensibility which I downloaded from MobileRead. It contain beautiful illustrations, originally watercolors. Of course they don't look that great on my kindle, but they should be lovely on the Kindle 2. The Count of Monte Cristo was also good. I didn't have to be constantly aware that I was reading such a big book! I am planning to begin The White Tiger next, just for a change of pace. Someone here recommended it.
I definitely agree with k4k. My own preference happens to be for Feedbooks|Mobile, but take a look too at her preference, MobileRead. There's another source out there you may be interested in, FreeKindleBooks.
Gutenberg certainly has the largest library, but it's difficult to work with. AuntMarge explains how to use them, but as she notes the formatting is really messy. The problem is that Gutenberg uses "hard returns" to end a line of text, rather than relying on the text-wrap capabilities of your reader. That's fine when you're reading Gutenberg on a laptop or desktop, but it really gloops up the formatting for a smaller screen device like the Kindle.
There's a way to fix this using MobiPocket Creator (free software), but it's easier to get your books from sources like Feedbooks|Mobile, assuming they're available.
By the way, you can download directly from Feedbooks|Mobile or FreeKindleBooks, right onto your Kindle, and you may be able to do this also with MobileRead. As far as I'm aware, though, with Gutenberg you have to download the text file to your computer and then transfer it to your Kindle by USB.
If you go to Feedbooks|Mobile, you may find that the site is down. This happens to Feedbooks|Mobile from time to time (maybe they're doing work on their servers), but just try them again a few hours later.
Thanks for the link to Feedbooks/Mobile. I've downloaded the Guide to put on my Kindle, see how it works.
krazy4katz (me too, just too allergic to be near them),
I've got Jane Austen and The Count of Monte Cristo read to read. The latter is one of my favorite stories of all time, along with Jane Eyre, also waiting to be reread. I will say I read a LOT more on the Kindle, and browsing LT, KindleBoards, and other sites gives me more and more ideas. The collecting bug is so supported by a device like this.
I've had trouble with the Feedbooks|Mobile Guide on my K2. It wasn't downloading properly for some reason, and I didn't put the effort into pursuing it. Personally, I just use the web browser and I include http://feedbooks.com/mobile as one of my Bookmarks.
If you can get it working, fine and well, but you can just Bookmark the URL and use the web browser if that's easier.
(I deleted most of K2's preloaded Bookmarks, except for Amazon, WikiPedia, and Google, since I don't use my K2 for browsing stuff like entertainment sites and all those extra Bookmarks just took up unnecessary space that I had to scroll through to get to the Bookmarks I wanted.)
Just had the same problem - I downloaded it onto my computer, tried transferring to K2. "My Computer" says it's on the K2, but it's not recognized. For one thing, it won't copy into the documents file on K2. Easier just to download to computer or maybe access directly from K2. Thanks for the advice.
I have the feedbooks catalog on my kindle, but don't remember how I got it there. Serious brain-drain...
Anyway, try the version from the regular (not mobile?) feedbooks site. I think (vaguely) that I transferred it via USB from the computer.
The K2 I sent to my daughter for her birthday was still on my Amazon account, so I had to de-register it. Before I did so, I bought her the Kindle version of The Eyre Affair So she should be pleasantly surprised when she finally gets her K2 to work. Thanks all, very very much.
One odd thing, though. It was non fiction and I kept thinking I had a lot of book yet to read but I hadn't factored in notes, bibliography, index etc. I will have to keep that in mind for next time. For this particular book, I was done reading the text at about 60%.
I'll try downloading the catalog from the regular Feedbook site and see. Using Gutenberg doesn't reall bother me, because I like to see the full catalog when I'm deciding what to download, and with Gutenberg you pretty much know if it's old and online you can get it there.
IronMike - Hurray! You're going to love it.
Good point. I was reading Abelard the other day and thought I had a ways to go and found a long biographical note at the end - interesting, but it threw me for a minute.
Don't forget samples! I've bought quite a few winners, and not-bought some that would have been mistakes, because of reading the samples first. Of course, sometimes the samples aren't long enough and you make a mistake anyway....
Do they do this kind of thing often?
Garry, are you aware of mobi2mobi for XP/Vista? It lets you correct the metadata for author's name (whether because the name is missing, incorrect, or misalphabetized). Installation is a little tricky, but I've gotten it working on a Vista laptop just following those directions.
I've never personally had any problem with Feedbooks|Mobile author metadata, but you can use mobi2mobi to correct any problems that you find. Plus, I've found that Feedbooks|Mobile generally has very good hyperlinked tables of contents, which can take a little while to create in MobiPocket Creator.
It's pretty much up to the publishers and authors, I think. I've picked up a few free books being offered when a new book was coming from the same author, although not always in a series.
There's a topic on Kindleboards.com which keeps track pretty well of free offers on Amazon and elsewhere. It's under "The Book Corner", then under the topic "Free Books March 2009" (or whatever month). Also, check the topic "Book Lovers' Links" for other ideas for free books for the Kindle.
Yeah, I've tried mobi2mobi, for me it seems to work about 50% of the time and it locks up the other 50% of the time. ymmv
The books I actually paid money to download are The Kindle 2 Cookbook by David Emberson, Meltdown by Thomas E. Wood, and Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn.
Then there's all the free books! Assassin's Apprentice, Red Mars, His Majesty's Dragon Treasure Island and The World's Greatest Books volume 2.
If you don't hear from me for a while, I'm reading.
One of the ways I find other books is to use the tagwatch on the home page. I have it set up to search "kindle" and "ebook".
Some of us have been giving you suggestions about Feedbooks|Mobile and other "freebie" sources. Now that you've got your K, you might be trying to check them out. Unfortunately, if you do so using the Kindle browser, there's a good chance you're going to get some message like: "There was an error encountered when processing your request." The only whispernet access that is consistently successful is for the Kindle Store.
Apparently there's a problem right now with using the Kindle for web browsing, and I've had a problem for the past several days with both my K1 and my K2. I'm not the only person with this problem, and there are a number of threads on various Kindle boards complaining about it.
I really don't think it's a problem with the browser software, because I hardly ever had a problem like this on K1, but now I've got a problem on both my machines. My own personal belief is that there are scads of new Kindle users who are just now starting to access the internet with their new Kindles and this is causing serious network congestion. Under the circumstances, I suspect Amazon is placing priority on access to the Kindle Store (which is where the make their money from us) and everything else is being left to go by the wayside.
I just hope they get it fixed fairly quickly. You can still get "freebies" from Feedbooks and other sources, but you'll have to download them to your PC and then transfer them by USB to your Kindle. (And I've found K2's USB connection on Windows XP to be a little dicey, though Vista seems to works reasonably well, but you could have problems with either one, so you may have to reboot your K2 and play around with it for a little while.)
Unfortunately, too, I'm reading (or trying to read) Anthony Beevor's history of the Spanish Civil War right now, and Wikipedia access from my Kindle would be helpful on that kind of subject.
I have noticed some trouble downloading books from the MobileRead catalog, but usually I just wait 10 minutes and it works. I think you are right -- it's all those new users! Young whippersnappers!!
I love my K2. I'm having a great time. Silent In The Grave by Deanna Raybourn is great fun. I've been laughing since the 2nd sentence. Very tongue-in-cheek British humor/mystery, with butlers, maids, etc.
Meltdown by Thomas E. Wood is easy enough reading, but it's taking a long time to get to Wood's analysis of today's economic dilemma.
I've been surprised by Naomi Noviks' His Majesty's Dragon. I downloaded the "sample" and figured it would be a throw-away, but it has captured my fancy so far.
I've downloaded a ton of classics from ManyBooks.net. I downloaded them to my computer and then transferred them to my Kindle, so I didn't experience the problem CurrerBell mentioned.
I did have a problem downloading a book from Amazon by its Whispernet! The book just wouldn't show up on my K2. So I phoned Amazon, and they had me reboot my K2, by going to Menu, and then clicking this and that (I can't recall all the steps) and eventually my K2 sort of shut itself off and then came on again. Then they directed me to go to Menu again, and click on something else, and it took about 3 minutes, but my book finally downloaded.
I got so many nice books for free from ManyBooks.net, that I volunteered to proofread books for them (actually for Project Gutenberg). It's not as easy as it might sound. I'm currently proofing pages from a book called The Journal of Countess Francoise Krasinska.
There's should be a cedilla under the c in Francoise, and I don't know how to put it there. There are other diacritical marks in the text which I don't know how to access on my computer keyboard. If any of you know how to do this, I'd appreciate hearing from you. It feels good to be actively engaged in making books available for free. Take Care All, and Thanks again.
The connectivity problem seems to have been resolved, at least in my whispernet coverage area. I can't say there won't be future problems, if network traffic gets too intense.
As far as diacritical marks, if you're using HTML you have to code for special characters. I'm not sure how the PHP on this message board is going to handle what I'm about to do, but let's give it a try:
Okay, I just tested it and it works. See, web pages are basically written in HTML code, but posting to a message board uses what are called "server-side scripts" (and LT uses one of the most popular, PHP). Sometimes for security reasons certain codes are disabled in PHP, but I didn't think there would be a problem with simple character codes.
Take a look at this table of Special Characters in HTML. What you do is, you introduce the special character with an ampersand and you conclude it with a semicolon. What you put in between is the code that identifies what character you're dealing with.
Note that you're NOT, for example, entering the letter c, then "backspacing" to overstrike that with the cedille. You're using a special character, either ccedil or (capitalizing the letter) Ccedil, prefacing the special character with an ampersand, and concluding it with a semicolon, and this single "special character" comprises both the letter c (or C) and the cedille underneath it.
If you're using MS Word 2007, you go to the Insert tab on the Ribbon, then to the Symbol icon to the far right. There should also be shortcut keys, but I'm really not all that familiar with Word since it's HTML that I primarily use (in web design). And if you've got an older version of MS Word, the interface will be different from the Word 2007 Ribbon, but it's going to be the same principle as for Word 2007 (but using, as I recall, the menu bar with the Insert Symbol box located much deeper into the menu).
If you're trying to do this in plain text, I can't help you. I'm sure there's some way to encode the full UTF-8 character set since I see Gutenberg has done it successfully on its plain-text French files. How to do it using Notepad, though, I can't tell you. Does anyone else on this Board know???
Until you get more proficient with this, you might want to try sticking to some text with plain vanilla U.S. English, where you won't run into these problems of diacritical marks.
I took a look on-line and found this discussion. Then I went into the Windows Help menu and looked up use of the Character Map.
It's very cumbersome to use, because you're going to have to go into the Character Map each time you want to enter a special character to paste it into your Notepad document. There's an alternative, using the ALT key with the Unicode number of the special character, but I don't have a list of these Unicode numbers and from what I've been able to discover they may get unpredictable between XP and Vista (and possibly other operating systems as well). Also, if you want to use the ALT shortcut, you have to be using a keyboard that's got a numeric keypad (generally off to the right) with Number-Lock on. You probably won't be able to do this on most laptops.
Awrrrr, this is why I like HTML.
If you've got a plain text file, you should be able to copy-and-paste the entire text from Notepad into a Word document, then use Word to do your editing, then copy and paste the entire Word document back into Notepad. Again, cumbersome.
You could also change your Keyboard. (For example, I've got my laptop set up so I can switch between a US and a Russian keyboard, which I did a few months ago when I had all these noble ambitions of learning Russian!) If you have to ask how to do this, though, I'm not going to help you, because I'm afraid if you can't do it yourself you may get yourself into some other Keyboard and not be able to get back to US.
Awrrrr, c'mon, IronMike. Cantcha stick to editing Mark Twain???
There's 4,000 volunteers, so if we all do a page a day, a lot of books get turned into free ebooks.
I've been checking the remarks on the website and I'm told they have a drop-down menu for diacritical marks. That should do the trick.
I tried doing the character map on a Notepad document, but I couldn't get it to work.
The book I'm proofing now is called Charming Tales of Ireland. They prefer that each proofer only do 5 to 15 pages of each book, then switch off to something else.
I'd like to do Mark Twain, but I'm presently assigned to the "beginner proofreader" category and I get some really dingbat choices. Twain wrote a book The Mysterious Stranger three times...each taking place in a different locale. The one that takes place in Switzerland (or wherever) is one of my favorites. I would not like to do his work on Joan of Arc.
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