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I have been reading quite a lot of PDF eBooks of late at work, such as Implementing CIFS. As I don’t like reading on a bright computer monitor for long periods, purchasing a Kindle seemed like a good idea due to the high contrast, non-backlit E-Ink display. Having loads of free classics books available to download was an added bonus.

 

“…displayed like an image, and not text”

PDFs on Kindle almost work, but are a bit of a pain. Unlike regular Kindle formatted books, they are displayed like an image, and not text. The major difference is that you cannot resize the text of a PDF, instead you have to “zoom in”, as if the PDF was an image. This is a bit annoying, because you cannot make the text to a big enough size to read on one page without rotating it – so you end up using the Kindle in landscape, rather than portrait mode. This is not as comfortable as the page turning buttons are now on the top and bottom of the device. Still, the PDF formatting is perfect, e.g. images and tables look fine.*

 

On the plus side

  • The online store is better than I imagined for finding books, even free ones. They literally download in seconds, which is very satisfying, but a little disconcerting as you could easily flutter away all of your money very quickly.
  • Minesweeper can be played by pressing ALT+SHIFT+M from the Home screen. Press G to play GoMoKu (4 in a row).
  • I’m currently experimenting with Instapaper, which sends long articles from the internet to your Kindle, so they’re easier to read.

What’s Missing?

More games! Some text-adventures would be nice (lots of hacking in this area!).
I would love to hear from you if you have any similar Kindle experiences of reading PDFs.

* As an experiment, I e-mailed the CIFS book to my amazon kindle email which automatically converts it to Kindle formatting. The theory being that I can then resize the text and read it the normal way around. Unfortunately it loses the formatting of the columns and images, so it seems the “rotation method” is the best solution at the time of writing.

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Free Dune Novels

dune-catI’m currently reading Children of Dune by Frank Herbert, the third book in the Dune series. As I was getting more engrossed by sandworms and spice, I decided to take a look at a few Dune fan sites on the net.

I found that Brian Herbert (son of Frank Herbert, author of Dune) and Co-writer Kevin J. Anderson had released 3 free short stories to accompany the Legends of Dune series.  Now this is by no means breaking news, but I was disappointed to discover that they had been removed from www.dunenovels.com and the only place I could download them from was a Greek fansite :-/

So to ensure, they don’t disappear from the web anytime soon, I have decided to also host them myself at grepmonster! Download below:

Hunting Harkonnens (2002)

Whipping Mek (2003)

The Faces of a Martyr (2004)

I have read Hunting Harkonnens, the prelude to the first Legends of Dune novel: Butlerian Jihad. It is set 10,000 years before the first Dune novel in a time where humans are battling for survival against machines (which is probably where The Matrix or Terminator pinched a few ideas).

The story follows the adventures of a Piers Harkonnen, who is surprisingly kind in comparison to the old Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. It is also set on the icy world of Caladan (home of The Atreides), which again is a stark contrast to Arrakis. I shouldn’t give anymore away, it is only a short story after all!

Enjoy reading.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~:o

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