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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Grist for the Mill » Convince me to buy a Kindle (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Convince me to buy a Kindle
muranternet
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Personal preference. I like e-ink for extended reading and little gadgets for portability, but I like full (replaceable) keyboards for smash-typing. If someone made an affordable PixelQI touch tablet with a real keyboard add-on I'd be all over it. (I'm looking at the Pocket eDGe for this very reason but it's finicky, the e-ink isn't as good as the Kindle 3/Sony, and the manufacturer is about to abandon it.)
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LDWriter2
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For me the answer to why a reader and not an ipad is two reasons.

Less money, except for the color nook and that extra large Kindle they are less than half the price of an ipad. Number two is that I want a reader, they added so much extra stuff to the ipad, it's easy to forget it started as a reader. The reader part almost gets forgotten.


Of course a simple word processor would be nice so I can write if I get the urge. But that is all the extras I want.


And I actually happen to know someone who does use his ipad as a reader, not sure what else he uses it for but I do see him reading.

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited May 14, 2011).]


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LDWriter2
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muranternet if you read this since it's kind late I have a question about kindle playing music.

I mentioned what you said about the MP3 files to co-worker who has a kindle. He's never used it to play music but he wondered if you used the built in speakers or headphones.


And I need to check out the prices for audio books on B&N and Amazon. They are kinda expensive elsewhere. Which is why I don't have an ipod. I want to listen to books while at the gym but as I said they cost some money. Or I should say the newer ones do, some of the older ones are less expensive.


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muranternet
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I'm insomniac anyway. The speakers are bad, but there's nothing wrong with the headphone output (I've used it for text-to-speech feeds on rough drafts ion my car). Let me play with the music player now...

All right. The MP3 player is under the Experimental heading (like the web browser). You turn it on, and it just starts playing. No file viewer. The controls are alt+space to play/pause, alt+f to skip forward one track. That's it. Sound quality out of the headphone jack is normal, no weird ground hum or anything that I can discern in mid-grade earcups, though it does hiccup sometimes when you do things like open books for about 40ms. No fast forward, no album skip, no rewind, to track back, nothing. If you turn on text to speech the MP3 player stops, and when you restart it it goes back to the top of the track you were playing. It seems to follow track ID3 tags. I haven't tried mixing albums in the same folder yet to see if they alternate.

I think the intent is for one album of background music if you want to listen while reading. I wouldn't want to use it for audiobooks, as I like to jump around in audiobooks or rewind if I missed a part. Honestly, generic MP3 players are so cheap now I think it's a waste of battery life to use the Kindle's nonexistent interface.

For audiobooks, librivox and some other sites have public domain titles for free.


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LDWriter2
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Thanks for the input. Sometimes I like music in the background while writing and reading.

Next time I'm at B&N I will have to ask those questions about the Nook. Even though they may tell me how wonderful it sounds. But I can get them to show me how it works.

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited May 15, 2011).]


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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The Nook plays music without headphones, and it sounds pretty good.
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LDWriter2
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Thanks...that's good to know but does it have a full control screen?

Right now it looks like Nook will be it for me. Color. Probably buy it with some birthday money-last part of June- and only some of the money I have. Unless B&N gets on the ball and has a sale or some bonus


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muranternet
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Nook Color is pretty nice, though of the eight people I know who own one, five of them bought it to root it into a tablet. If you don't mind reading on an LCD for extended periods (I do) it's a really nice choice. Does it have a word processor of some sort?
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jcavonpark
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No word processor (as far as I know), but you can upload documents (or your own stories) to read on the go, which can be nice. You can also download books onto your computer and then transfer them over. Same goes for music and videos, or you can stream them. It's a fun device.
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LDWriter2
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They now have apps for the Nook so maybe that will be one they will add some day. I hope so but as I said something simple. But there's always writing in an E-mail.
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LDWriter2
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OH yes, .... B&N finally discounted their color Nook. If you sent a certain E-mail to four friends on Facebook etc., you got one of two coupons. One was 20% off one item and the other was a certain amount off the Color Nook... all of ten dollars.


I would choose the 20% off coupon but I don't do facebook.


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JHam
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My wife got the Kindle for Mothers Day and loves it. The only thing I don't like is that I have the free reader for the computer and the two are sync'd so whatever book she orders I get and whatever I order she gets. We don't always have the same taste in books and it takes up space. I especially drive her nuts because I get alot of the free samples which she is then stuck with until I delete them.

But just from playing with the Kindle I wouldn't mind having one. You did answer a question I had which was how to get books from other sources to work on the Kindle. Like from B&N.I'm really interesting in trying to put my writing on there.


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muranternet
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Just a quick note: wife got a Nook Color yesterday, mostly just to use as a portable browser on lunch breaks and such. She really did not like the responsive of the touchscreen, and found the WiFi flaky, plus I managed to crash the browser and had to reset it. I got a class 4 SanDisk MicroSDHC card (don't ask why, but class 4 SanDisks are just the best for this) and built a bootable Cyanogen7 Android image on it. Booting from the card, it actually runs faster and more reliably than with the original Nook firmware, more like a Galaxy Tab. There's a good YouTube guide on how to to this if you want to try. It doesn't void your warranty like rooting, and you can always pop the card and reboot into the original firmware if you want.

I installed the free Nook Color and Kindle apps, as well as Moon Reader on there for her, so it's a more versatile reader than before (plus Angry Birds!), but I still hate reading on LCD screens so I'll pass. It's a more of a pain to get my own stuff on there for her to first-read than on my Kindle or Sony but that's probably because it's running from a card.

I don't think I'll be getting another one to solve my combination e-reader/portable writing setup because I just don't like the screen or Android, thought I did see a video of a guy who did that using a portable Bluetooth keyboard. (Cyanogen7 turns on the Bluetooth antenna that isn't activated on the stock NC.) There are some office suites for Android but I haven't played with any of them yet.

Still, it looks like a really good tablet modified this way, and $250.

Edit: I'd also steer clear of the Nook "market" if you want apps. It's terribly limited and overpriced.

[This message has been edited by muranternet (edited May 27, 2011).]


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Wordcaster
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@JHam-

I have the kindle software on my droid and on the kindle. When I purchase a title, it doesn't download automatically to both devices. I have to go manually retrieve it with the second device -- which I like. I wonder if it is some setting that you can alter.

Actually, when I purchase it from amazon, it asks me which device I want to send it to.


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LDWriter2
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I checked out the Color Nook today, asked a few questions.

There's an Office app but evidently you can't transfer its files to another device. E-mail seemed to be the best way to do any writing on either. The back light on the color screen didn't seem to be too bad compared to the usual screen. But at the same time my eyes seemed to get a bit tired while I was there but I can't say it was from reading on the C Nook. But the person I talked said that some people do have that problem.

They have lowered the prices on the first two models since a new is coming out and they are discontinuing those two. The touchscreen on the color is neater than the buttons of the first two. But I had to press the menu buttons more than once in some cases.

They have the tinniest speakers I have ever seen. Two on the bottom just as wide as the Nook is and maybe an inch long. They didn't have any music downloaded on either Nook on display so I couldn't listen to any. But the controls in the control box looks pretty much like the ones I have for my pick up's CD player. I mean it had the same basic controls.

So I guess I need to go back and double check how my eyes react. But so far the C Nook looks good.


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muranternet
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@LDWriter2: I did load some music on the Nook Color and noticed there was a channel missing through the speaker(s?). Headphone seems okay though.

I also noticed the touchscreen problems. They mostly went away using custom firmware.

You can turn down brightness/contrast to see if it helps the eyestrain. I did and it seemed a little better but I still don't like it as much as e-ink. It's sometimes hard to tell in the store, since for some people they only really get strained after ten minutes or so and people don't generally stand at a demo stand for ten minutes reading the thing uninterrupted by salespeople. I guess the best way to find out is to borrow someone's Nook Color and try it under normal lighting conditions (not store lighting) for half an hour and see if you can stand it.

If you can't, there's always that return policy.


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LDWriter2
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I was there for about ten minutes playing with the color and non color Nooks, before a salesperson showed up. I did some reading during that time. I even compared both with page from a book on each of them. The page itself on the non-color looked sort of very light brown while the C Nook's page looked white. Interesting and I can see how that alone could make a difference on the eyes.


The Nook lady reminded me of the return policy but its only for two weeks. I would have to make sure I spent time reading almost every day to give it a through check.

Both my lap top and desk computer's screens are okay on my eyes... usually.


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Robert Nowall
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If it's of any interest to anybody, I bought a Nook Color unit just this morning...right now, I haven't got past the "plug it in and let it charge up for three hours" step, so I'm a ways from even trying to get something to try to read on it.

Right now, it looks like a giant iPod to me, but, I gather, there's more to it than that.

More as it develops...


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LDWriter2
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Actually, there's not more to it compared to the iPad that is.


Nice device the Color Nook is but it's not over-developed, muscle-bound, or expensive.

Well, sort of expensive but not by much


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Robert Nowall
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Well, it all came to a crashing halt when I discovered how WiFi plays into it all---my reliance on computer cable hookups has come back to bite me. I don't have WiFi here in my home, and can't link to what shows up in the list on the Nook itself---password protected, poor signal strength, not available, and all that stuff.

So it's a matter of (1) moving my Nook unit to somewhere where I can get a connection, or (2) figuring out how to set up and hook up some kind of WiFi connection right here. Probably the latter. After wrapping it up here, I'll research the matter and see what I need to do.

Other than that...man, that "Terms of Service" document was really something else...one of the longest I've ever seen...


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Robert Nowall
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Update: I bought a router and a gizmo to plug into my computer...after some glitches with the software and instructions, it all came up and it all works...seems to be slightly faster than the cable I hooked up with, but that may just be my imagination.

What? My Nook, you say? Did I set that up? Oh, yeah, yeah, I'll get to that again, in a little while...


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Robert Nowall
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Well, even with this new gear, it took awhile to link up---but I've done it. I activated a long-dormant Barnes & Noble account, and I bought three books: The Lord of the Rings complete, Heinlein's Space Cadet, and a cheap Collected Edition of the Works of H. Beam Piper.

That'll do for a start...things nice and familiar, that I can read while getting used to manipulating things on the Nook screen. So far, so good. (Also, I have to assess just how much I want to spend on this format---The Lord of the Rings alone cost eighteen-ninety-nine.)


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LDWriter2
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The Rings one would be like three books but even for three books that would be a lot.

But could you keep us posted on the battery life? Right now that is a stickler for me. 8 hours can go by very fast esp. with music and the internet.

And how much was the Piper book?

[This message has been edited by LDWriter2 (edited June 10, 2011).]


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Robert Nowall
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The Lord of the Rings was the whole shebang, all three volumes---it's really just one big book until recently published in three volumes. I think I've bought six or seven different editions in the last thirty-five years---this just makes one more.

They had several different sets of H. Beam Piper available, with different content---the one I bought cost a dollar ninety-nine. (Space Cadet cost nine ninety-nine.)

I did go looking for a couple of other things, like Edgar Pangborn (no titles available), and Bruce Catton (some, but not what I wanted.)

*****

I found I have Internet access through my Nook and WiFi---I haven't tried it out, just a couple simple sites (including my own).

*****

Overall, I'd say doing this cost me about five hundred dollars---but the WiFi upgrade is something I should'a done years ago.


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LDWriter2
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I don't remember his "Space Cadet" but I might if I saw the cover.

But could you try something else? Downloading or sharing or whatever the term is for this, word processor files. .rtf and .doc. The Nook lady, I talked to, seemed to be a little unsure of how it would handle those type of files even though it should be able to open pdf files.


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Robert Nowall
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Space Cadet is so old, and has been reprinted so many times, that you could've seen it in just about any cover.

I found, with the online access, that I could reach my own site and read my own stuff, and also some Internet Fan Fiction sites where I could also read my own stuff. For the moment, that's good enough, and it doesn't seem to cost anything. I've got a few other things in mind. (For instance, I managed to locate and bring up this very page, just now.)

I don't know, as of yet, whether you could put your own files on it. I'll try it out, sooner or later.

Neglected to mention that, so far, I've charged it just once, Tuesday evening, and haven't as of yet had to charge it up again---but, probably, my overall use of it doesn't amount to two hours. (Puts itself asleep in about two minutes, I think---but I can reset that.)


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Wordcaster
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Just bought my wife a kindle -- our second kindle in the household.

If anyone has watched the show, Hoarders, you will find yourself eager to clean your house -- and that includes books.

I love ebooks because they take up no room!


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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My problem is that most of the books I have around don't have e-editions.

If I could find someone local who could scan them into e-books for me, at no more than an e-edition would cost, then I'd be getting somewhere.

Or even, I suppose, find a way to scan and convert them myself.

Any ideas? Any software out there that does that for you?


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Wordcaster
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I think of my library like a wardrobe. I'm not going to get every ebook at once and throw out the old. Over time, I hope to cut down on the hard copies I have -- aside from my favorites or collectable editions.

As far as converting books to ebooks -- there are quite a few that have been done by others and can be found with a google query. Considering that the books in question are not likely public domain, the technical legality comes into question. But if you are trading from an already purchased book to an electronic form, is it ok? I don't know and honestly I really don't like doing that.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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If I were going to make an e-version of a book that didn't already belong to me, that would be illegal.

If I were going to sell an e-version of a book that did belong to me, that would also be illegal.

But to make an e-version of a book that I already own, to be used for myself on my own e-reader would be the same as my making a photocopy of a book I already own for my personal use.

If I'm incorrect, I would certainly like to know, but I don't think I am.


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Utahute72
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I got a kindle for by birthday (about a month ago) and I love it. Primarily got it for the reading light built into the cover. I can read and not wake my wife up at night. Also there are a ton of free books, mostly classics, on the site. So far I've read the classic Dracula and Frankenstein. Interesting to see the writing style back then. Also downloaded the last two WOTF books. Reading OSCs Razor in jail at the back of one right now. Great battery life, it lasted about a month even using the light at night.

As to the original question, Ender's game is up there now, but still at the same price as a paperback. The second thing I like is having multiple books along at the cost of a small space. I hate running out of book half way through a long flight.

[This message has been edited by Utahute72 (edited June 11, 2011).]


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Pyre Dynasty
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You're right Kathleen, you have the right to make a copy for personal use. The actual on paper copyright law is very small, but that is one of its clauses.

I'd suggest paying someone to do the scanning for you. Unless you have a good system worked up scanning a whole book can take more of your like than you would like. (I once had to scan every page I referenced in a twenty page paper.) I suggest going for PDF though, scanning into a character recognition program (which Word can do) often comes terribly flawed. You don't get searchability but you get a perfect version of the book. (I have also had to go through character by character and fix a story for Warp and Weave. It would have taken less time had I typed the thing in myself.)


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Wordcaster
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quote:
you have the right to make a copy for personal use.

What is the US law regarding downloading bootleg copies of books you already own? I tried to look up information on the subject, but came up empty.

Robert discussed that he bought Lord of the Rings, even though he already has a paper copy. Since it is sold in a different format, I think he did the honest thing. Is it only ok if you do the work yourself to make a copy? Is paying someone to do it for you the same as going to an illegal site and buying the trilogy for $3 instead of $20 (whatever the price is) on Amazon?

I'm ok with the personal ethics of making a copy, in particular when there is not an official e-version available. I was just wondering if there is a specific policy in accordance with the law of how and when you can make copies.


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Robert Nowall
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I couldn't find a current link for it, but they're pushing another change in the copyrights. The main theme seems to be jailing anyone who lipsyncs to copyrighted music and posts it on YouTube...but likely, there'll be penalties for somebody making use of other things, say by copying a book in their possession and creating an e-file of it.

But why is it that these changes always benefit the big guys, but never the little guys who just want to have a little fun?

Should'a mentioned, too, that the H. Beam Piper edition was cheap because the copyright on Piper's published work has lapsed---something to do with time passed after Ace Books purchased the estate. (Some posthumous publications may still be under copyright.) Somebody compiled it for sale on Barnes & Noble, but there might be cheap versions---maybe even free versions---out there, somewhere. There's a lot of public domain stuff---anything by H. P. Lovecraft or Robert E. Howard, say---and content like that might be worth your while even at the rate I paid.


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LDWriter2
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Copyright is one of those areas where it's hard to find agreement on. But as writers it's important that we know the law. It's how we make our money. We don't actually sell the story or novel we sell the right for someone else to publish it. So how would you feel if someone was stole that right and you were not able to make money off of it? Even if they stole one copy and you only lost a few cents? That's why Smashwords gives a warning not to give a story to a friend, you're suppose to buy it to give it away. (I wonder how many people they expect to really do that but it's there) But as I understand when you buy a song from iTunes you can place it on up to five computers or devices that are registered with iTunes.

There's the fair use clause, which we have been discussing all of a sudden, seems to get a bit foggy at times. Evidently I have the right to upload to my computer a CD I bought but do I have the right to place various songs on a blink CD and give it to someone as a gift? I've heard that you can copy to another CD once for you own use.


The lip-synching thing would be hard to set up I would think. I can see why the artist would think someone is stealing the use of that song (Or pay) from them. After all the Girl Scouts had to pay something a while back for songs sang at a campfire. But as I said it's gets complicated trying to set something up.


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Wordcaster
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@Ldwriter2

Ok, sticking with the music example: let's say I own a certain music cd and want to listen to it on my ipod. My laptop doesn't have a working cd drive, so is it wrong to download a certain song from that same album for free? If I had a cd drive, i'd do it myself. Or what if I got a friend to make me an electronic copy of that same cd for me?

Am I cheating the music band when I burn my own cd to my own hard drive for my own use? Am I cheating the band if a friend does it for me? What if it is someone I don't even know?

Where's the line? And what does the law say about it?


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LDWriter2
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That's what I mean by foggy. I'm no expert, I'm going by what I learned by listening in on discussions by others who have studied the law have said and what I have read of it myself, but the fair use clause is not as clear as it could be. Unless of course there have been changes recently.

Certain things I don't think they worry too much about but in other situations writers, singers etc, are very strict. Getting back to writing: Like technically all unapproved fanfic is illegal even if you don't get paid for it. I said unapproved because now and then someone will open a contest to the public. Paramount and Star Trek did that, the people who control Dr. Who did it and I'm sure there are others. But with the free fanfic, the copyright is still owned by someone else but a lot of the time they ignore it. Some writers have given their okay for fanfic but others have sent out cease and desist orders.


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Robert Nowall
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Ah, but parody is protected---and all my fanfics were parodies, or at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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LDWriter2
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Getting back to e-readers I forgot to mention this. When I spoke to a Nook lady this time I mentioned the eye strain problem some have and she thought that if I can handle three to five hours on the computer my eyes should have no problems with the Nook.

There's one person here who has that problem with the Nook but you didn't mention computers... as I recall anyway.


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muranternet
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Might have been me. I dislike reading anything longer than about 3000 words on an LCD screen. When I write I don't concentrate on the screen in the same way. I can stare at a screen for hours playing a game or doing short burst reading like blogs, but I've found editing and critiquing a lot more enjoyable and productive since I started doing it on e-ink.

Ironically, since I enjoyed modding the Nook Color so much I picked up a used Motorola Droid and turned it into a 3.75" tablet computer, which I'm using to post this message. I like it a lot as a PipBoy 3000, wrist mount and all, and even figured out how to tie a real keyboard to it for a little writing platform. And I hate reading prose on it.


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Robert Nowall
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I find it a little awkward to hold in my hands as is, and I get a certain amount of cramping from flipping the pages and / or keying in letters and numbers. I've got one of those book-sized protectors for it---bought it the same time I bought the thing itself---but haven't yet put it to use, and don't know if it'd solve the problem.

Low battery did sneak up on me, but I was able to grab the recharger and plug it in for an overnight charge without trouble.

I've wondered if I could access my AOL account from its web access...someday, soon, maybe, I'll try it...


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Wordcaster
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Kindle (and I assume Nook) tip: disconnect WIFI for extended battery life. It takes mere seconds to turn on if you desire internet access.
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LDWriter2
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Something else I forgot. They finally have a halfway decent discount for the color Nook.


$25 off...

If you join their book club.

(Rolls eyes upward) I've been a member for over ten years.


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Robert Nowall
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The process of setting all this up seems to have screwed up part of my AOL files...just where, I can't say. I'm on through an older version right now.

Most likely it's the WiFi, nothing to do with the Nook, though.


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LDWriter2
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Now they are offering 100 e-books with any Nook. But they are certain ebooks, it looks like classics perhaps from the free section. Of course some of them are probably worth reading. Jules Verne etc.


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Robert Nowall
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One thing I don't like...the way Barnes & Noble charges separately for each e-book purchase, even on the same day...I wish it was set up more like iTunes, which lets things accumulate for a week or so and then sends the bill...
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LDWriter2
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Bought a Color Nook tonight... it's charging,


Learned something new too, you can share your account with someone, in which case they can read your books. And you can have more than one bookmark per book in case more than one person is reading it at the same time.


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Utahute72
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I thought I'd post something that was on the local news. It was specifically about Nook, but could apply to other e-readers. Seems a guy bought one and it was defective. Since it was new he returned it and was given a used one as a replacement. Barnes and Noble was adamant about not taking the second one back until the local media got involved, so before you buy make sure there is a reasonable return policy, not a swap for used or refurbished if the thing is defective.
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Osiris
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I have both the kindle and the iPad now, so I'd like to share my thoughts for those wondering which to get.

The quick and dirty description is that the kindle is a specialist geared towards reading e-books as comfortably as possible, while the iPad is a generalist that allows you to read e-books and do a host of other things.

Here is why the kindle is superior as an e-book reader:

- It is much lighter and smaller than the iPad. This means if you are like me, and like to read in bed holding a book up, your arm won't get sore. I can't imagine doing this with my iPad. This makes it more portable and easy to travel with. I can slip my kindle into my front pocket (admittedly I'm a larger than average guy), I can't do this with an iPad.

- The battery life of the kindle is much much longer. I charge my kindle about once a month. The iPad, I charge about three times a week.

- Hardware keyboard. I don't really like to do long stretches of typing on either device, but I prefer the tactile hardware keyboard over the software one.

- Now for the most important reason: the screen. The e-ink matte screen simulates the paper experience far better than the glossy iPad screen. This means less eye strain, and more importantly, no glare. I used my kindle on a flight from Santa Fe to Boston, sitting in the window seat with unfettered sunrays shining on the screen and had absolutely no problem reading it. This would be impossible with the iPad.

Now, why is the iPad a better general device? The kindle has a beta web browser, but it is clunky. There is no question that for checking e-mail, browsing the web, or doing anything BUT reading, the iPad is superior.


So it isn't really and apples to apples comparison. The kindle is designed to replace the hardcopy book, and the iPad is designed to replace certain commonly used, non-intensive functions of the laptop or desktop: e-mail, web-browsing, social networking, and other 'light' applications.

So, all three of these devices (kindle, iPad, pc) serve a purpose in my life. The kindle is for reading e-books at home or on the go. The iPad is for looking up information quickly and checking my e-mail, and the PC is for when I write or do work in my day job from home. There is some overlap in all three devices, but if I hate writing more than a few sentences (such as this post!) on anything but my laptop or PC, and I don't want to wait for a computer to boot up or have to log in if all I want to do is check my e-mail or look up a restaurant on yelp.com.

Hope that helps, if anyone has any more questions on iPad vs Kindle let me know.

On to the other topic...

quote:
But to make an e-version of a book that I already own, to be used for myself on my own e-reader would be the same as my making a photocopy of a book I already own for my personal use.

I've asked my lawyer brother about this before, and he isn't a copyright lawyer, but my sense is that the law is pretty fuzzy about this. The main interest is financial, so copying a book and selling it would be illegal, but retaining it for personal use, I think, would not get you in trouble. I don't think the law has really caught up to the technology. Seems like my thinking on this is supported by this link:

http://geekdrop.com/content/is-it-illegal-to-download-pirated-e-book-if-you-own-the-hard-copy


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Robert Nowall
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The "lend" function isn't with every book---certainly it's not with the copies of Lord of the Rings and Space Cadet I bought and downloaded.

According to the screen, I've got sixteen books in my library. Five are purchases...two are user's guides...six are "samples" of some kind, only one of which I actually "ordered"...and, somehow, I acquired three "classics of literature" with my last purchase, unintentionally.

Of the three purchases I haven't named yet, there's Eric James Stone's e-book...the [problematic] H. Beam Piper collection...and a public domain text of Verne's Voyage au Centre de La Terre. So far I've only read Stone's e-book---excellent, by the way---and I'm up to the beginning of The Return of the King, taking it a couple of chapters at a time before I turn in for the day. I suppose, once I'm more familiar with it, I'll pick up some more stuff...

I've recharged it three times so far...far as usage goes, the charging is on a par with my iPod.


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