Wednesday, June 8, 2011

CHANGES to the "Manage Your Kindle" pages + Personal document settings.


Where we once had one confusing page for managing our Kindle(s), we now have a multitude of pages.  These may seem confusing also, but ultimately they're much clearer.

While almost finishing a blog entry on sending personal docs or articles to the Kindle today, I found that the Manage Your Kindle pages have changed in a huge way.

You can now find your Kindle Receiving-Email-Addresses (for receiving personal docs) in TWO areas:

  1. at the new Manage Your Devices page in a column titled "Kindle E-Mail Address."

    In order to EDIT these, you have to click on the Title and then a little "Edit" shows up, which you click in order to edit the address (and even your device nickname).  Amazon assigns these initially, from what I remember, but we can change them.

  2. AND, more importantly, you can find your Kindle Receiving-Email-Addresses more conveniently at the Personal Document Settings page.

    There, you can see more easily where you can click to Edit them.  USE THAT SETTINGS-PAGE FOR PERSONAL DOCUMENT CHANGES OF ANY KIND.

  That Kindle address for receiving personal documents is of course protected from spammers and from anyone you don't give specific permission to place documents on your Kindle -- so we don't tend to give out that Kindle address to others.
  Even then, there's protection because we have to approve the sending-addresses.

  The Kindle receiving-address is in the form:

CAVEAT - That [you] receiving-address can carry a charge on earlier Kindles that don't have WiFi access, and MOST OF THE TIME the address you should use, instead, is [you]

You need to specify which delivery-website-SENDing-email-addresses are approved for sending documents direct to your Kindle via the Amazon servers.

  GO TO the Personal Document Settings page.

  You can enter, into the box labelled "Approved Personal Document E-mail List," any email addresses that you want given permission to send documents to your Kindle.

  If you send -- or if anyone whose sending-email-address you approve sends -- a personal document to the [you] address, the document will be sent by Amazon servers to your Kindle over the 3G cellular network and, in the U.S., that is 15c per megabyte of a file. Outside the U.S., that's 99c per megabyte of a file.

  With a Kindle3 (these models have a WiFi component), you'd normally want to get the document via WiFi (instead of 3G), as it's free to you for the sending of personal documents to Kindle via Amazon servers (because Amazon doesn't pay for your WiFi access -- they do pay for any 3G cell phone network access).

  For WiFi-sends instead of 3G, then, you email a document for your Kindle address by addressing it instead to


  Amazon will send an email to your normal-correspondence email address (the one you registered with Amazon), and the email will include a link to your completed file, which you can:


- 1. download to a computer for transfer to your Kindle's "documents" folder via the USB cord (this is called "sideloading" -- the USB cable is attached to your Kindle and to the side of your computer for the connection and transfer of files


- 2. accept the personal doc on your Kindle3 when you are connected to a WiFi network somewhere.  If you don't have a WiFi network at home, then #1 above is the way you'd more quickly put it on your Kindle rather than wait until you're near a WiFi network.

  With 3G, we are almost always connected, no matter where we are. But '3G' delivery of personal docs isn't free..

NOTE: If you have no WiFi capability and you don't want to pay a 3G fee for personal doc emailings, then you choose Option 1 above.

That's the only 'catch' to the 3G service -- the sending of personal docs to the Kindle, emailed via Amazon servers.  It's very confusing to most though.

At the Personal Document Settings page, there is a Maximum Personal Document Charge section, where you can specify "Maximum Charge Limit"

  Set this to "0" (ZERO) if you don't want any charges ever.  Personally, it's worth 15c for me to send a doc under 1 meg (1 meg is larger than the average novel) via email than it is to hook up the cable and do the file management transfer.
  It's best to enter the limit so you don't inadvertently incur little 15c charges or a large one for a big PDF with images when forgetting to use the "free" in [you]

B A C K G R O U N D  info on "3G" and "WiFi"
  The word "wireless' here pertains to both 3G and WiFi networks.
If the e-reader is not attached to a computer but it can access online sites, it's using a "wireless network."  I've seen that many use the term "WiFi" when they mean "3G" mobile-wireless, as it's a confusing area to most who have had no reason to even think about these words before.

As the image at the left indicates, 3G Wireless involves huge wireless networks that cover very long distances -- our cellphones access these networks.  This is often referred to as 'mobile wireless' -- or wireless on the go.  Coverage involves very large areas and involves cell towers.

This involves very "local" and ultra short-range wireless networks -- usually in effect for a home or an office or office building, set up by the individuals using them, but increasingly, cafes and shops are offering customers use of their own WiFi networks while there.

The picture on the left is of my 7-year old Netgear WiFi network router.   Mine takes a signal from Comcast's high-speed cable internet service and routes that cable-modem signal via a wire to my main computer and then broadcasts the signal "locally" around my home so that it's accessible without-wires by my printer/scanner and my laptop.
 My neighbors have WiFi networks in their apartments as well, and we all use the normal security of some kind of passkey so that others can't "steal" access to our wee networks and slow us down by sharing them without permission.

 If you're getting a WiFi-only reader and expect to download books directly to the e-reader without having to hook it up to a computer, you'll need to have a WiFi network set up.  They're very inexpensive these days -- it costs about $40 for a good router -- but someone will need to set it up and understand how to maintain it.  Friends can help.  It's not difficult (except for those without experience with computers), and software that comes with the small router can make it almost automatic.

I think the reason that the Kindle reader 'took off' when other e-readers received much less interest is the capability that Amazon built into the reader so that owners can access the cellphone or mobile networks wherever they are (except in some remote areas) to just download a new book on the spot upon hearing about it.

Amazon has said they wanted customers to be able to use the Kindle without need for a computer.
  With 3G mobile wireless, it doesn't matter where you are -- you can usually download a book you want or do a look-up online.  As Amazon's pages point out, there's no need to look for a "hot spot" -- a place that offers a WiFi network that is sharable by customers, whether for a fee or for free (Starbucks and McDonald's WiFi networks are free).

"WHISPERNET" is a term that Amazon first used for Amazon's 3G wireless, and it's been used since then for the 3G wireless service at Amazon.  However, sometimes they use the word for WiFi wireless as well now. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

Send to Kindle

(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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  1. Thanks for an excellent summary of Kindle document management.

    I would add that, for those without computers, that WiFi router setup at home does require that a helpful friend bring over a laptop to configure its security and passwords. Without that, most WiFi routers default to being wide open to anyone. Also, keep in mind that there are routers that don't work with Kindles. My aging Apple Airport Extreme is one. Kindle support can tell you which won't work.

    Also, if someone's only use for home WiFi is Kindle downloads, the cellular model may make far more sense. The extra $50 for one will easily be recouped by avoiding the cost of just two or three months of broadband service.

  2. Thanks, Inkling,

    I've encountered so many people with WiFi problems, including people who thought all homes just naturally had WiFi available, that I never recommend WiFi only.

    As you say, some devices are not compatible with some routers. Just a lot of headache, for a $50 savings, when the other can connect almost anywhere and can be important in an emergency.


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