Saw a couple of new, unusual uses of the Kindle
and am including those here.
Original posting 4/9/10, 8:38 AM, updated 4/10/10, 4:21 AM
[By] 'Jason MathewsI should explain that you can't print from the Kindle itself but you can easily connect your USB cable (it's a part of your power cord) to the Kindle in order to move a text or PDF file from the Kindle to your computer for printing. (You can also, of course, move a PDF file to your Kindle for reading on that device or even send a PDF TO your Kindle direct, via wireless Whispernet, but that costs 15 cents for each megabyte of a file.)
On a recent trip to Memphis, I used my Kindle to print both my itinerary, which was useful to check in, and my boarding pass. I printed both to PDF, and I had the boarding pass on the Kindle screen when I approached the counter to board. I asked if they could scan the screen, as I was curious if it would work. The woman didn't even skip a beat. She just scanned the screen, I heard a beep, and she waved me through. For some reason I didn't think it would work, but it did! '
Another plus is that you can use your computer to "print" text that you want to keep, TO a PDF file on your computer (see CutePdf utility) and then move that new PDF file to your Kindle, where you can read it -- or where a ticket agent can scan and process it :-)
At any rate, putting your personal docs onto a Kindle is easy to do. Another post in the same week was about putting knitting patterns on the Kindle. And there was a post about using a ziplock type bag to read the Kindle in the pool, but I don't have the faith that person has in ziplock bags for that purpose although many use them for the bathtub, in case. Others use the commercial waterproof ones, and I bought one for protection from wind-blown sand in the desert but found a normal Ziploc bag worked just as well.
FUNCTIONAL DIFFERENCES WITH IPAD TO BE AWARE OF
With the iPad, there is, strangely (since it's more of a computer), no innate printing capability either but there is a somewhat convoluted workaround for that).
Also, you can't just use a USB cable and transfer a file back and forth to an iPad. Files have to be "sync'd" with the iTunes program on the computer (after you buy a $29 connection kit that has the needed adapter piece). Email can be used though.
UPDATE - 4/10/10, 4:21 AM
CF has commented that for just sync'g, the cable included with the iPad is enough. The $29 camera connection kit would still be needed for transferring photos to the iPad. Thanks, CF!
IPAD NEWS THIS WEEK OF INTEREST TO KINDLE USERS MAYBE
People getting it for parents or grandparents should know a computer is needed, as well as a copy of iTunes for activating the unit and for syncing files.
There is no simple file manager for it.
Since there is no SD slot or USB port, an adapter is needed as well as a lesson in how to get photos onto the unit. Attachments can be sent and received in the basic email (including getting printouts but only if you have a computer and printer). Web mail doesn't work for attachments with the iPad according to some.
Experiences with the e-reader feature
Steve Jobs said on Thursday that 300,000 iPads were sold on the first day and 150,000 in the 4 days following that, with about 600,000 ebooks downloaded, which makes that an average of 1.3 books per owner. This has indicated to some that the unit is being bought mainly for its web-browsing and video capabilities, as Kindle users tend to download/buy books in multiples, which makes sense since it's dedicated to reading. Most of this theory is confirmed in the many reports of how the iPad is being used.
Typical are the reports on its relative heaviness for long-form reading. Bloomberg's BusinessWeek wrote,
'...the device's horrifically glare-prone screen and weighty industrial design serve to underscore the benefits of dedicated E-Ink devices.Melissa J. Perenson, writing a thorough early report for the same periodical, writes:
...Color imagery looks beautiful on the page. Unfortunately, the touch screen is so highly reflective that it kicks up a vicious glare in a well-lit room, and practically doubles as a mirror in full sunlight.
...if you're accustomed to holding a book up to your face while standing in a packed commuter train, the iPad will give you more of a workout than you might have bargained for. '
'... how well does the iPad--with its glossy, glarey screen and slightly greater weight--do as an e-reader? [A fuller review is coming, she says.]Page Numbers on the iPad
...I found it too heavy to comfortably hold in one hand, which is troublesome if you plan on using it as an e-reader...I found using two hands much more viable, but my relatively small hands then had issues trying to reach across the expanse of the vertical unit's on-screen keyboard. Furthermore, I quickly realized my hands would tire in this position after reading just a few chapters of a long novel. '
The Kindle uses absolute Location numbers, which map to specific word placements, as font sizes chosen while reading will change page-numbering.
The iBook's five fonts, ten font sizes and resulting combinations will result in a given piece of text with 50 possible page numbers depending on the font settings, so these are not keyed to a hard copy book's page numbers.
Problems for those using productivity tools
While I've read many reports from consumers extremely happy with their iPads, they're usually those who've bought it for more rational reasons such as enjoying web-surfing and shorter emails from the couch (rather than buying into the sales pitch of "magical, revolutionary" that raises expectations for those who use them for 'productivity' reasons using applications that Apple introduced during the launch as "the best you will ever use").
As it turns out -- for that crowd interested in the productivity aspects of it, things have been less than ideal.
iTnews' Anthony Caruana writes, in his article "A dozen reasons to not buy an iPad" that readers should wait for the next version because of the many basic problems being reported at the Apple support forums
Among those problems are that presentations created with Desktop Keynote do not work on Keynote for iPad for the various reasons given in the article. It's not possible to play back video on slides and some visual effects, and there is "no way to display presenter notes on the iPad while it's connected to a projector." Also it can't connect to wireless projectors despite connectivity credentials. Affecting more business users:
' Now users are fuming that they can't open Microsoft Office files and are finding all sorts of basic features missing.Reported WiFi reception problems
Users have found that they can't create spreadsheets in Numbers and then export them for sharing with colleagues as Microsoft Excel files. Pages can import and export Word's formats but lacks support for headers and footers, footnotes and other essentials.
Keynote is causing grief with reports of poor font support, broken animations and video playback. Worse still, some edits on the iPad, when synced back to a desktop Mac, result in the loss of critical elements such as speaker's notes. '
Multiple problems with WiFi reception include weakness shown by the iPad in cases where other mobile devices are showing full strength. Part of the reason is said to be a weaker WiFi antenna placed in the back behind the logo when that very area is often propped up against something. (People had already reported problems typing on a flat surface when the back of the iPad is somewhat convex.)
Apple has recommended one fix that doesn't address the other problems, but one person found that raising the display's brightness level (draining battery a bit more) will help the WiFi reception.
The list goes on, and those still reading can get it at the linked article.
A few iPads being returned by some well-known people
It's unusual to see an article about this statistically-meaningless number on a very popular gadget, but it's worth looking at why they're reported to be doing that. For most of those people it's highly affordable, and one of them should have just waited for the 3G version. I think gadget-minded people are inherently fickle anyway.
Refund policies and restocking fees
Also, while Amazon has a very company-confident 30-day full-refund policy on its Kindles (they can be returned for pure dislike rather than functioning), the Nook has a 14-day policy with a restocking fee and Apple has a 14 or 15-day return policy with a 10% restocking fee.
For those who have iPads and are loving them
Also check out 50 really useful iPad tips and tricks
Kindle's Resale Value
Today's San Francisco Chronicle carries a Business Insider article by Jay Yarow, astonished at the obviously crazed used-Kindle sellers and buyers.
' Now that the iPad is out, the Kindle is toast, right? Apparently not.
People are still willing to shell out over $200 for the black and white e-reader.
We did a quick scan of Craigslist in New York and Austin, as well as completed eBay auctions. People are still asking for, and more importantly, receiving, over $200 for used and new Kindles. '
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