Monthly Archives July 2009

TKC 54 Ian Freed

News – Interview with Justin D. Gawronski, a plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit filed against Amazon in the wake of “the Orwell situation.” Clues to what improvements may lie ahead for the Kindle, gleaned from an online Amazon survey. Nicholson Baker pens a mainly unfavorable review of the Kindle in this week’s edition of The New Yorker.

Tech Tips – How to do math on your Kindle 1 or 2. How to go directly to web links from an item on your Kindle home screen.

Interview – Amazon’s Kindle VP Ian Freed.

Kindle Content – Finding an Anthony Trollope novel at and making it pretty with – from David Emberson’s excellent guide to the Kindle, The Kindle 2 Cookbook.

Comments – Paul Levin on Kindle bashing, Suzanne Levin on the DX, Jesslyn Hendrix on the major upgrade to Calibre, Mary McManus on lust for the Apple tablet, and an audio comment from Oregon urging you consider asking for a price rebate on the Kindle 2 even if you bought one more than a month before the price dropped by $60.

Voice comment line: 206-666-2713
Email comments:
Show notes:

53 Mike Elgan

News – Jeff Bezos posts a classy apology for Amazon’s Orwellian moment, earning a kudo from Andrys Basten. Mignon Fogarty in her excellent new podcast, Behind the Grammar, notes that one of the retracted Orwell books had been annotated by a student for school. Oops! Barnes & Noble teams up with Plastic Logic to challenge the Kindle. New evidence via USA Today that the Kindle is seeping into the mainstream.

Tech Tip – Note: The promised trio of tech tips turns out to be only a duo on the podcast, proving that I should have paid more attention to the missing second one from Larry Goss – about how to use your Kindle 1 or 2 to do math tricks. I’ll be sure to include it next week. The tech tips actually related on the podcast are 1) How to submit your blog for Kindle subscriptions, and 2) and how to read word definitions in larger font on the Kindle 2 or DX, courtesy of Allen MacDiarmid.

Interview – Leading tech blogger and columnist Mike Elgan returns to the podcast to give an engaging, insightful update on the State of the Kindle. Click here for his last visit to the show, on January 2, 2009. He’s also a lively and informative Twitterer.

Content – Check out Jan Zlendich’s excellent blog, The Kindle Reader, for frequently updated tips on good reading for your Kindle. The Kindle Quote is from my sister’s new creation, Stephanie’s Bible Blog, newly available for subscription at the Kindle store.

Audio Comments – Stephanie Bowe, Joshua Tallent, Linda Hopkins, Rick from North Reading, Mass., Peggy Poellot, and Bryan Person.

Email Comments – Stephen Windwalker (a guest on the show here and here) and Robert W. Rutkowski.

Note: I’m sorry this episode is a day late, the first time I’ve missed my Friday deadline since I began the Kindle Chronicles on July 26, 2008. Thanks to a true genius at the Cambridgeside Apple Store, Justin Granger, the recording of my interview with Mike Elgan was rescued this morning from the crashed hard drive on my MacBook Air. Thanks, also, to my mother for loaning me her MacBook Air for a few days, so I could complete this episode and upload it.

TKC 53 The One-Year Un-Anniversary

An amazing sequence of technical problems has resulted in my not having a podcast to upload today, which was going to be a celebration of the one-year anniversary of the show. The MacBook Pro that I usually use in Cambridge to prepare the podcast died yesterday. Tonight the MacBook Air was running slowly, so I called Apple Support, where a confident young man led me through a series of steps to speed it up. At the end of an hour the Air was inoperable, and there’s a good chance I will lose everything on the hard drive when I take it to the Apple store tomorrow.

I had a terrific interview on the hard drive with tech blogger and columnist Mike Elgan, along with some fine anniversary audio comments from listeners.

I wanted to put something on the feed to let you know what’s up, and my wife’s Mac Mini was available to do the job. So that’s the story of the one-year un-anniversary of the Kindle Chronicles. Thank you all for listening and supporting the show for the past year. There’s nothing left to do tonight except to curl up in my leather chair with my Kindle and read today’s edition of The Economist.



TKC 52 Suzanne Levin

News – An Orwellian development rocks the Kindlesphere. Amazon changes its mind about replacing cracked Kindles. Encouraging data indicates that the $9.99 price for new releases is holding its own. Be sure to ask for your $60 refund if you bought a Kindle up to 30 days before the price dropped.

Tech Tip – A comparison of Instapaper and Hatchetapp and how to move web content to your Kindle for free, with a hat tip to Heather Hollick. You can follow Hatchetapp on Twitter here, and Instapaper here. For an earlier tech tip on Instpaper, click here. For PC users looking for a way to download web content as PDFs, try this, this, or this – courtesy of Linda Hopkins. Or, from Bob Hare, try this, this, or this. For my testing, I used this article from the New York Review of Books.

Interview – Suzanne Levin, creator of the Chick with Books blog, comes out of the closet as a book AND Kindle lover.

Kindle Content – The Works of John Witherspoon and a whole lot of free Kindle books, courtesy of Stephen Windwalker’s Kindle Nation. Plus (not mentioned on the podcast), Free really IS free for a limited time on Kindle. Click here for Steve’s “Religion and Spirituality” freebies.

Your Comments – Greg Montague, Woody Woodward on Yahoo Mobile, Dan Barnett on Blackboard’s new Kindle link, Jake Pippin, Rebecca Robertson, Lu Hood, and Blair Slavin.

TKC 51 Tom Weber

News – Amazon lowers the price of the Kindle by $60 to $299, citing lower production costs. Or was it to maintain dominance of the eBook market? If you bought a Kindle just before the decrease, read this. Abhi thinks Amazon has sold at least 1 million Kindles so far. He is not alone. Will future Kindle books contain ads? An advert hints at a U.K. Kindle launch soon. And, now you can Kindle the Muse…

Tech Tip – How to put a To Do list on your Kindle. (Thanks, Allen MacDiarmid.)

Interview – Tom Weber, editor of , sees the Kindle bluring the lines among traditional journalistic forms.

Quote – An experiment using the Kindle DX in a Board meeting for the New England Foundation for the Arts. Not recommended.

Comments – Mary McManus, Peggy Poellot, and audio in Spanish from Esmeralda de Trafford.

TKC 50 Kesler Woodward

News – The Economist comes to the Kindle — thanks for the tip, Paul Biba — along with Foreign Affairs and the Detroit Free Press. More libraries offer Kindles. Hopes of a Kindle deal in Germany put on hold. No sign here yet of the rumored Kindle DX Textbook store.

Tech Tip – From Marcy McKenzie, how to read your calendar on the DX. Also, how to decide whether to ask Amazon for a replacement for your Kindle 2 to try for better screen contrast.

Interview – Kesler Woodward, my friend the painter and omnivorous reader from Fairbanks, Alaska, challenges my oft-expressed preference for reading on a Kindle versus print. You can subscribe on your Kindle to his “Painting in the North” Blog here.

Quote – “The Perfection of Sheep,” an original poem from A Poet’s Progress at Bennington – Vol. 1 by Len Edgerly. Kindle formatting by Joshua Tallent. Recommended by Andrys Basten of A Kindle World.

Comments – Cindy Brooks, Lu Hood, Mike Malloy, Peggy Poellot, Rob Rutkowski, Al McDiarmid, and an audio comment in French from Gille Brunet.

Interview Guest Next Week – SmartMoney Editor Tom Weber, author of “The Real Genius of the Kindle? The Return of Unitasking.”