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On e-Reader Tech News we track down the latest e-Reader news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great e-reader tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest devices and accessories.

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Kindle DX Sold Out

Kindle DX Sold Out

Kindle DX Sold Out

I recently checked Kindle DX product page at Amazon.com and surpirse -surpise! It’s sold out for another 4-6 weeks. Kindle 2 is still readily available for overnight shipment. It looks like Amazon and me have underestimated demand for it.

I’ll keep monitoring Amazon.com website and keep you updated when it becomes available again.

Airplane didn’t brick my Kindle this time

Recently I took another transatlantic flight with my family. I was reading Wolves Of Calla on Kindle DX, my wife was reading Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy on Kindle 2. Unlike previous time both devices survived the flight just fine.

It’s worthwhile to note that TSA folks made me take both Kindles out of my carry-on and run them through the security scanner separately just like they do with notebooks. But they’ve let them through without any problems of course.

Foreign Affairs and Detroit Free Press on Kindle

According to official Amazon Kindle Blog two good periodicals are not available for subscription on Kindle:

Since its founding in 1922, Foreign Affairs has been a leading forum for serious discussion of international affairs. Experts from across the political spectrum offer timely and incisive analysis on the most crucial issues affecting foreign policy and the global economy. New subscribers to Foreign Affairs will enjoy a 14-day free trial.
The Detroit Free Press is Michigan’s oldest and largest newspaper and known for its comprehensive news coverage of metro Detroit and Michigan. The winner of eight Pulitzer Prizes and three national Emmy Awards, the Free Press is a trusted source of information on GM, Ford and Chrysler, as well as on international auto news.

Foreign Affairs On Kindle

Foreign Affairs On Kindle

Detroit Free Press On Kindle

Detroit Free Press On Kindle

Agatha Christie, Good Kindle Books at a Glance #17

Agatha Christie is often referred as the “Queen of Crime”, due to the crime novels and short stories featuring  the famous detectives Hercule Poirot and and Miss Jane Marple. Lots of her works have been adapted into films, television and radio; according to the Guinness Book of World Records, she is as bestselling writer as William Shakespeare. Now, Amazon has a wide selection of Agatha Christie’s works in Kindle edition.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (published in 1920) was the author’s first published novel. A typical sample of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, it investigates a murder in an isolated manor, with suspects concealing  facts about themselves and unexpected plot twists.  Hercule Poirot, a Belgian detective, was first introduced in this novel; he proved to be a very long-lived character, appearing in 32 other novels and  51 short stories following his debut. “The key to the success of this style of detective novel,” writes Elizabeth George in her Introduction, “lies in how the author deals with both the clues and the red herrings, and it has to be said that no one bettered Agatha Christie at this game.”

The Thirteen Problems is a short stories collection first published in UK in 1932. The first chapter, The Tuesday Night Club, was actually published in 1927 and introduced then another famous character, an elderly Miss Marple; though an amateur detective, she solves the mysteries and reveals the crimes that have nonplussed the police. “it is always Miss Marple’s quiet genius that names the criminal or the means of the misdeed. As indeed is true in subsequent gatherings at the country home of Colonel and Mrs Bantry, where another set of terrible wrongs is related by the assembled guests–and righted, by Miss Marple.”

Agatha Christie by Mark Campbell is a good book to read if you want to learn more about this prominent woman, her works and film adaptations.

Agatha Christie on Kindle

Agatha Christie on Kindle

Amazon Kindle in more libraries

In May I wrote a post about library usage of Amazon Kindle. Recently Lone Wolf Librarian did a more thorough search and uncovered at least 15 libraries that lend Kindle eBook readers to their patrons. Here are just few:

  1. Mary White, Director of Howe Library in Hanover, NH – The Kindle Library Loaning Page. Lending out Kindles since Jan 14th, 2009.
  2. Sparta Public Library in Sparta, NJ have 2 Kindles for lending.
  3. LaCrosse Public Library lends out 1 Kindle.
  4. Rancho Mirage Public Library lends out Kindles, although its unclear whether its internally or patrons can take them home.
  5. Texas A&M University Libraries have 18 Kindles (add your name to the waiting list here)

If Amazon were to come up with some kind of library-oriented solution that would streamline the process and eliminate the need for librarians to constantly register/deregister devices (to prevent useres from accidentally ordering books like this one) they would make a killing because:

  1. Libraries would buy devices and books wholesale
  2. More people would get introduced to the device and end up buying one for personal use.

Believe it or not most of the general public doesn’t know that Kindle is. I often get asked what is that device that I’m reading from in parks and other public places.

Kindle 2 Drop Test

Kindle 2 Drop Test

Kindle 2 Drop Test

While I’m on the topic – here’s Kindle 2 drop tested the same way as other Kindles – 30″ on some kind of hard surface. Click on the image to view the video.

Unfortunately I had the chance to conduct several such tests myself. Fortunately the outcome was positive and I can still use my device. Unfortunately there was no high-speed camera filming it so I can’t post my personal results.

Here are links to drop tests of other Kindle models if you are curious:

Kindle DX drop test

Kindle 1 drop test

Kindle DX Drop Test

Kindle DX Drop Test

Kindle DX Drop Test

In case you were wondering how durable Kindle DX is… Click on the image and watch. I’ve done some measurements on screenshots and it looks like it’s being dropped from 30″ height on some kind of hard surface. This simulates a common real-life scenario of Kindle being dropped from waist height as happy owner dashes to that bus or just gets careless in some university hallway.

It looks like it passed the test. Not that I would like to conduct one myself…

Joseph Conrad, Good Kindle Books at a Glance #16

Joseph Conrad is famous not only for his works adapted into well-known films such as Apocalypse Now and Sabotage; he also stands out as he was a Polish-born novelist who learned to speak English fluently in his twenties and then wrote in English, too. Many books are available now in Kindle edition, some of them for free.

Heart of Darkness first appeared as a series in Blackwood’s Magazine in 1899 and was published as a novella in 1902. It was partially based on Conrad’s experiences in the Congo as he served as a steamer captain. Though the book is famous on its own, Francis Ford Coppola made it even more well-known, having adapted the novella into Apocalypse Now changing the Congo to Vietnam and Cambodia during the Vietnam War. “Assigned by an ivory company to take command of a cargo boat stranded in the interior, Marlow makes his way through the treacherous forest, witnessing the brutalization of the natives by white traders and hearing tantalizing stories of a Mr. Kurtz, the company’s most successful representative.”

The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale (published in 1907) is set around the life of Mr. Verloc, a London businessman and spy. The book is different from other Conrad’s works as it does not deal with the usual seafaring themes; instead, it is considered a political novel since it describes revolutionary groups and anarchists. Alfred Hitchcock had adapted the book for his movie Sabotage released in 1936. “This absurdist story is noted for its adept characterizations, melodramatic irony, and psychological intrigue.”

Lord Jim (published in 1899-1900 in Blackwood’s Magazine) is believed to be based on true facts, though Joseph Conrad never admitted that openly. As a ship with pilgrims travelling to Mecca is about to sink, the crew members abandon the vessel and the passengers. Having faced the court for this crime, the first mate Jim redeems his guilt in a remote settlement in the Indonesian archipelago. “The novel, which explores the nature of the human spirit, is a delicately crafted picture of a character who reaches the status of literary hero.” The book was twice adapted into movies: by Victor Fleming in 1925 and by Richard Brooks in 1965.

Joseph Conrad on Kindle

Joseph Conrad on Kindle

Kindle DX to have WiFi in the future?

Kindle DX WiFi

Kindle DX WiFi

Kindle DX was taken apart by RapidRepair.com recently. Kindle Zen took a closer look at these photos and suggested that Kindle DX’s PCB is wired for WiFi chipset and antennae. It’s quite possible that Amazon would sell WiFi Kindles in countries where it will not be able to reach an agreement with wireless operators. In the past Jesse Vincent speculated about possibility of 9.7″ Kindle based on Kindle source code and was right.

I wouldn’t hold my breath any time soon about WiFi in US version of Kindle because that would be a completely new device and Amazon has already released two during last three months. This caused some anger among Kindle 2 users who felt that their devices almost immediately became outdated when Kindle DX was released.

Kindle DX Screensaver Hack

Folks at mobileread.com have updated their screen saver hack to work with Kindle DX. It allows you to replace default screen saver images (mostly of famous writers) that appear when Kindle goes into sleep mode with any set of images of your own choosing.

You can download binaries and source code here. Installation is very similar to other Kindle “feature enhancing” hacks:

Instructions for use:

1) Plug your Kindle DX into your computer.

2) Copy “update_DX_screensaverhack-install.bin” to the root of your Kindle DX.

3) Optional Steps:

3a) Change directories to the “system” folder.

3b) Create a new folder called “screen_saver”

3c) Place any 824×1200 PNG image files into the system\screen_saver folder that you just created.

6) Unplug your Kindle DX.

7) Press the “Menu” button on your Kindle DX and select “Settings.”

8) At the Settings page press “Menu” again and select “Update Your Kindle.”

9) When the “update” is done your Kindle DX will reboot and you are done.

If you choose not to do step 3, the system will create the system\screen_saver folder for you and place the default screen savers in it. You can then remove or replace these, or mix them with your own — it’s up to you.

To go back to the default Kindle DX screen savers:

1) Plug your Kindle DX into your computer.

2) Copy “update_DX_screensaverhack-uninstall.bin” to the root of your Kindle DX.

3) Unplug your Kindle DX.

4) Press the “Menu” button on your Kindle DX and select “Settings.”

5) At the Settings page press “Menu” again and select “Update Your Kindle.”

6) When the “update” is done your Kindle DX will reboot and you are done.

More Information:

You can change images at any time, but you must reset your kindle for them to appear (press and hold the slider for 15 seconds). If there are no images then a blank screen will be shown when you go into sleep mode.

As with the K2, JPG/PNG/GIF files all work . You can use JPG, PNG, GIF, any size, although obviously 824×1200 works best. Smaller images are anchored in the upper left corner.

If you would like to restore the original screen savers without removing the hack, simply delete the screen_saver folder and reset your kindle, and the folder will be recreated with the original images in it.

Any official kindle DX updates that patch the file will fail (gracefully) if this is installed (ie. 2.1 to 2.1.1). Use the remove procedure, to restore the default screen savers, then apply the official update, and all will be well.

This hack is compatible with Unicode Font Hack and you can install and uninstall both independently of each other.