Thursday, March 10, 2011

Math Flashcards for Kindle - Peter Darbyshire's 'Please' - Lights for Kindle

These were released yesterday and may be useful for families but of course there are no reviews yet.  Remember that Amazon has a 7-day return policy on most e-products if they're found to be unsatisfactory.

  These include conversions and, as usual, there are ascending levels of difficulty.
' You can use the cards as a study guide to introduce a concept, practice with multiple-choice answers, and progress to fill in the answer directly.
  To give students timely feedback, correct answers are acknowledged and incorrect answers are corrected immediately upon submitting an answer. A high score table tracks your ten highest scores to help you track your progress and improvement. '

Peter Darbyshire's Please (also, in the UK).  I just read Darbyshire's article in Province about the reaction of friends and colleagues to his decision to self-publish Please, his first novel, originally published by Raincoat Press in paperback a few years ago.

  It went on to win the ReLit prize for Canada's best alternative novel.  When it went out of print, instead of having it republished he decided to go the Kindle route.  In the article he mentions other authors who have been doing unexpectedly well with self-published e-books, which sell considerably better for them than their print versions do.

His Kindle book has 4-1/2 stars from 3 reviews.  Here are editorial review blurbs on the Kindle page for his book:
' "Hilarious social satire of daily life among the young and nihilistic ... a winner of a debut" -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"It's like an episode of Seinfeld in which all the characters are George ... it's must-read TV" -- CTV

"a consummate critique of the human weaknesses, counterfeit values and trend-driven desires that erode our hopes for meaning and purpose" -- The Globe and Mail '

Budding e-authors should also take a look at the very detailed article in TheNextWeb (TNW) on The Economics of Self-Publishing.

The information below is repeated for new Kindle owners (originally blogged in October 2010), as I have been asked often about lights I recommend for Kindle reading.

On the left is an excellent video on the Amazon cover with light. (Kindle-Edition e-ink blogs can't display videos, however.)

BEAM N READ 3-Led light, made by ASF Lightware Solutions.

  I'm including a couple of photos below to show light coverage on my Kindle 3 with the Amazon cover with built-in light and when using my new favorite light for the Kindle, by BEAM N READ.

This is worn around the neck and has a light, adjustable strap.  The light is said to last about 120 hours, and I've been using it for weeks and it's still going.  The 3 leds are the type that will likely go for forever, as long as there are batteries powering them.

  It comes with 4 standard alkaline AA batteries and a clip-on red filter to minimize night blindness and soften the light if needed, they say (I've never needed that).  Really lightweight and flexible with a patented flip-up design, reflector, and the adjustable strap, I now usually have it on when I'm home.  Going downstairs at night or to a darkened room, or when I just can't see something well enough, I can save on lights by just turning this on, which is done by flipping up the hood/reflector.

For reading a book or an e-book reader, you can also reverse it if you prefer (as I do) to hold the book higher than on your lap, and then flip the reflector down instead, so that the light angles up.  But if someone is sitting across from you that may not be very comfortable for that person, as the Led lamps would be directed at their eyes too.

 I love that it's always available when I need extra light.  No, I'm not associated with the company that makes them.  I was just tired of clipping on a light and adjusting it, as much as I love the ease of the Mighty Bright Xtraflex 2 which has the little foam pad where the clip-on meets the top of the Kindle's bezel.  The Beam N Read is pretty good at keeping the light from reaching the other person for night reading in bed.  There are times that I would like a somewhat brighter light, and when I do:

The 6-led version
 They also have a 6-led version that is VERY bright and probably overkill for reading a Kindle 6" reader, though I sometimes use it for situations where the light is just dim.  I am trying one for other uses, and for my DX in Landscape mode.  The batteries for this will last, they say, about 48 hours.  This one doesn't come with batteries included but has a magnifier for short-session, detailed craft work, but I found the texture quite hard to see through and I don't do crafts and probably wouldn't use the magnifier.

  I DO use both Beam N Read units for piano music though.

  I had bought a head lamp for a trip I took last October since we needed to go into some unlit places, but I don't like wearing something around my head just to read so I wondered if there was anything like this.  Amazon doesn't make this easy to find, but it is extremely useful, in my view, for any e-reader.

Clip-on lights
My favorite Kindle clip-on light has been the Mighty Bright XtraFlex2 Clip-On (Black, Kindle Version) for which they added a foam pad where the top clamp meets the Kindle's bezel and protects it from scratches from that clamp.  That's been $20 at Amazon (you might be able to get it elsewhere at $13), and I like that I can clip it right onto the Kindle instead of having to use the cover while reading, and the neck is very flexible so that I can bend it to avoid glare on the screen.  Some find it too bright for those sharing a bed at night although there is a 2nd, lower setting which is bright enough and maybe not as bothersome for another person nearby.  I did use it on a 10-hour airplane flight and needed to be careful it wasn't shining onto other people's areas.  It requires 3 AAA batteries,

A few months ago I actually bought also the "Travelflex" by Mighty Bright because it uses only one Led lamp and one AAA battery (vs the XtraFlex2's 3 AAA batteries), is extremely light and clips onto a pocket in my purse for use with the cover for the Kindle if needed, when I'm out.  That was before I got the Amazon case with light, which I've loaned to someone who really likes it.  It of course is less bright than the XtraFlex2, preferred by some for that reason, and takes almost no room in a purse or briefcase.

Screen coverage
Here are some pictures of the effect of some of these lights on my Kindles.

Lit by the Amazon cover with light, the upper right hand corner is lit more than the lower-left of course, and the light isn't as bright as I like but it's useful if you're out and need a light for reading.  The light needs no batteries but runs off the Kindle's own battery, and it shuts off automatically if the Kindle goes into sleep mode after about 10 minutes.

Lit by the Beam N Read, the lighting is even and brighter overall than the one built into the cover, but one would seldom wear the Beam N Read when out, probably, though I've done it :-).

It's worth remembering that the Amazon case alone is $35 and the one with the built-in light costs an additional $25.  Clamp-ons usually run $10 to $20.

This is an older shot of a silver Mighty Bright Xtraflex2 used on my Kindle DX - now sold only in Graphite color and with the new Pearl screen also used in the Kindle 3   (also, UK: K3).

Click on any of these three images to get the larger versions.

I hope that this article and the photos help some who are looking for good lights to use with the Kindle; the choice of a light is one of the most discussed items on the Kindle forums.

Kindle Fire  7" tablet - $199
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $79/$109
Kindle Touch, WiFi
- $99/$139
Kindle Touch, 3G/WiFi - $149/$189
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189, Free, slow web
Kindle DX - $379, Free, slow 3G web
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £89
Kindle Touch WiFi, UK - £109
Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi, UK - £169
Kindle Keyboard 3G, UK - £149
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
OTHER International
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $109
Kindle Touch WiFi - $139
Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi - $189
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
  Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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1 comment:

  1. I emailed Andrys last week about reading lights and have had a Beam N Read (3 led) for about 2 days now.

    I highly recommend it. There's no worrying about whether or not the clip fits correctly and it can be used for many things besides reading.

    $20 well spent.

    Randall H. Miller


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