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Some basic Kindle questions

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Grabbrass, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. Grabbrass


    Aug 14, 2001
    Almost Heaven
    Thinking about getting the basic wifi Kindle. Have some questions and would appreciate feedback from GTers that use one.

    1. I have a lot of books in pdf format already. Does the kindle read them well, or is it better off to convert them with calibre first??

    2. The specs tout wifi access to wikipedia. Does that work well? Can you see images on wikipedia or just plain text? Does the browsing in wikipedia work as well as a browser on a PC? Do all hyperlinks and etc function?

    3. You can access wikipedia, but not any other websites??

    4. Any rumors of a redesign soon? (I like the current design, but if a revision is just around the corner I'll wait & see)

    5. Are you satisfied with the product?

  2. glock39


    May 26, 2005
    Tyler, TX
    Yes, you're usually better off converting PDF's with Calibre. Reading it as a PDF gives you the originally formatted page, which can be zoomed in on but doesn't have word wrap. With fine print, you have to zoom in to get the text bid enough to read, then scroll the whole page back and forth to get to the end of each sentence. Converting a PDF gives you a text file, with word wrap and selectable font sizes. The down side is that the conversion software is not 100% accurate. There are some errors introduced where the software had to "guess" at what the word was. With most clean PDF's, these errors are minor and you soon learn to ignore them. With dirty or fuzzy PDF's, the errors can make the text annoyingly unreadable. If possible, an electronic format (like EPUB or a .rtf file) is always better as a source document. The official Adobe Reader used to have a PDF-to-text converter built-in, which may or may not give better results than the Calibre software.

    The Kindle web browser should work with all websites. The Kindle screen does surprisingly well with B&W photos, but many web sites have color schemes that display horribly on a B&W Kindle screen. Simple black text on white background sites do OK. With many sites, the dark background swallows the slightly darker text and/or hyperlinks, making them difficult to impossible to read. The browser itself is slow and clunky. Good enough to read some websites, but not really fun to use. You really need a color screen for web browsing. I've also had occasional trouble getting it to connect to a wireless network. The cheapest netbook you can find will do far, far better on the Internet than a Kindle.

    Overall, I'm quite pleased with my Kindle as a book reader.

  3. Hunca Munca

    Hunca Munca nonplussed

    Dec 20, 2006
    allegheny county
    You may want to convert a book to .mobi from .pdf and compare it to one still in .pdf and see which you like better.

    I would not rely on the base kindle or nook to be a good web browser. It is just too slow.......
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  4. longhaulcop


    Oct 31, 2003
    I love my kindle, it's a great reader. Calibre allows you to setup chapters and book covers as while as many other features. Some pdf files convert fine, tho I had one that left out "L"s for some reason especially when there were in pairs.
  5. Grabbrass


    Aug 14, 2001
    Almost Heaven
    Yeah I wasn't intending it as such. I'd be buying it for 99% reading books. Just want to know a little better what its limits are. Thanks.

    Amazon's Kindle Tablet is coming but the rumor on that is $250 and an lcd screen.
  6. srhoades


    Jul 14, 2000
    No need to use Calibre. Send the PDF to your Kindle email address with "convert" in the subject line, and it will now be in Kindle format instead of PDF.
  7. RDW


    Mar 12, 2003
    Kindle for Dummies at Amazon!
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  8. srhoades


    Jul 14, 2000
    IMO and color LCD defeats the whole purpose of the Kindle. The e-ink is superb and extremely easy on the eyes.