Monthly Archives December 2009

TKC 76 Deb, Darlene & Tom

News – Eric Engleman of TechFlash reports that Amazon’s no-numbers announcements of record Kindle sales are getting on Wall Street’s nerves. One of his sources is this item from Reuters.

Tech Tip – It’s New Year’s Eve. Do you know the IP Address of your Kindle? Thanks to Kevin Warner, I learn how to find it.


Interview – Darlene and her sister Deborah talk about how they share Kindle books using the same Amazon account. Separately, I talk with Tom, the third Kindle buddy sharing Darlene’s account. He lets us know that a Mighty Bright XtraFlex2 may not necessarily meet with your bed partner’s approval.

Content – On listener Allen MacDiarmid’s recommendation, I spent $4 to purchase Why Is This Hill So Steep?, a very promising analysis of the history (so far) of eBooks, by Steve Jordan.

Comments – Greg Montague on a new game for the Kindle via the 2.3 update, Kevin Warner’s Whispernet troubles in western Australia, Patrick Scott’s link to “And the word was KINDLE,” an excellent profile of the Kindle in FLYP featuring a video interview with Jeff Bezos, Jonathan Bloom on DTP, Jim Jones on the difference between the story and the book, Kathy on why she bought nooks instead of Kindles for her sons, and David DeMorest on why he sent his nook back unopened and kept the Kindle.

Next week – Darlene and I will be in Las Vegas to cover the International Consumer Electronics Show, checking out all the would-be Kindle Killers. Stay tuned!

TKC 75 Kris Kindle & Bufo Calvin

This is a special, abbreviated edition of the podcast featuring an interview with Kris Kindle, courtesy of Bufo Calvin, who, for his part, offers a list of terrific tips for anyone who will be learning how to use the Kindle this week because one arrived as a gift.

Here is my own suggestion: consider buying a Kindle subscription to Bufo’s ILMK blog, which offers a steady supply of highly original and useful information about the Kindle. He has also authored two books available in Kindle editions, Free Books for Your Kindle and Frequently Asked Kindle Questions.

In our phone conversation on Wednesday, December 23rd, Bufo also mentions his latest creation, 221B Blog Street: The Adventures of Mr. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson…one chapter a day! If you subscribe to that one, you will receive a new chapter of a Sherlock Holmes short story or chapter of a novel each day directly to your Kindle, a recreation of the serial publishing era.

Next week my wife, Darlene, and I will return to Denver for a while. Her press credentials for the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) have been approved, so she will be joining me for coverage of the show in Las Vegas next month.

Thanks for listening, and I hope your new year brings many good reads on your Kindle.

TKC 74 Eric Engleman

News – The Kindle iPhone and iPod Touch app 1.3 now works in 60 countries. Via the New York Times, Stephen Covey — not Stephen King — makes the e-deal heard round the publishing world. Anne Rice wonders if it’s a good idea. The nook is rooted, the nook is rooted! Audio interview with Robbie Trencheny, the California high school student who started NookDevs. Click here to follow him on Twitter. Mr. and Mrs. GeekTonic post their must-read reviews of the nook.

Tech Tip – Len’s 2Doo list 2.o, with help from Larry Goss. Also, your host proves to be a dim bulb in the mysterious matter of a Mighty Bright clip-on light that wasn’t getting the nightime job done.

Interview – Eric Engleman, senior tech writer at TechFlash, pretty much covers just one company – Amazon. That gives him a lot of time for hard work the development of good sources, which gives him unusual insight into what’s ahead for the Kindle and its competitors. We spoke by Skype/landline on December 15, 2009.

Content – Via Bufo Calvin’s blog, I learn that Barnes & Noble’s Fictionwise has a Kindle store!

Comments – Esmerald deTrafford’s downloading woes down under, Bruce Bouchard on Babylon Dictionary software, Vern Elmore on eBeam, Ted Inoue on Kindle version 2.3 fonts (click here for the one I use for darker, larger font on my Kindle-US), Craig Findlay’s net additional cost to upgrade from a Sony PRS505 to a Kindle International is 20 pounds thanks to eBay, Alex Bowman looks forward to the next meetup, Craig Scarberry on Cory Doctorow, Al MacDiarmid’s very bad time updating to 2.3, Peggy Poellot speaking up on behalf of the original Kindle, Blair Savin’s sunlight 2.3 problem, and Richard Fischer on the Magic Catalog of Project Gutenberg.

Next Week: Will TKC staff succeed in their (her, actually) reasonable request for one week off a year? Stay tuned….

TKC 73 Brent Evans

News – The Wall Street Journal reports on Simon & Shuster’s less-than-brilliant strategy to fight the $9.99 eBook pricing of Amazon by delaying the launch of eBook titles. Lauren Walter reacts here, and Seth Godin explains what the publishers are missing here. A reader of Stephen Windwalker’s Kindle Nation blog weighs in on the general topic. USA Today provides an overview. ITEM 2: Kindle for Macintosh is coming soon! Item 3: Amazon announces work on making Kindle “a breakthrough device for the blind,” with audio reaction from Chris Danielson, spokesman for the National Federation of the Blind.

Tech Tip – Amazon is rolling out the ability to delete items from your Kindle archive. (Hat tip to Rick Askenase for spotting this one.)

Interview – Brent Evans of GeekTonic returns to the podcast (click here for his last visit, in March) for a gabfest on our first impressions of the nook. Click here for my unboxing video. We tried out the LendMe feature, which was cool, but agreed the Kindle is easier to use than the nook and works better. Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal agreed, in print and video, as did David Pogue of The New York Times (print here, video here).

Content – Motoko Rich of The New York Times broke the news that The Atlantic has launched “the iTunes-ization of short fiction” with exclusive $3.99 Kindle versions of two short stories, “Shovel Kings” by Edna O’Brien and “Cynara” by Christopher Buckley.

Comment – The word from Guam.

Next Week’s Interview Guest – Eric Engleman, senior technology staff writer for TechFlash and the Puget Sound Business Journal, who writes a must-read blog all about Amazon.

TKC 72 Sarah Rotman Epps

News – 1) Inkmesh analyzes 11,604 eBook titles and finds that Amazon is the clear winner in lowest prices, with Barnes & Noble a distant second and Sony “doesn’t even seem to be trying.” 2) no nook yet – my nice email from William Lynch, president of Barnes& . 3) Amazon reports that November was the best ever for Kindle sales. Sandeep Aggarwal of Collins Stewart comes up with a weirdly low estimate for total Kindle 2009 – 500,000. Sarah Rotman Epps is a lot closer to reality, I’d wager, at 1.8 million Kindle sales in ’09. 4) A fun David Pogue video on eBooks and a more substantive comparison of leading eReaders by his paper.

Tech Tip – Bruce Bouchard helps me find an old French dictionary and a Spanish-English dictionary as well as a 1913 Webster’s Unabridged and a very big Collaborative International Dictionary of English, courtesy of the MobileRead forum. These can all be made your primary Kindle dictionary. Another one I liked enough to pay money for: the Merriam-Webster French to English Translation Dictionary. My dream English dictionary is not yet available for Kindle, but one day…

Interview (Begins at 17:00) – In a telephone interview on November 29, 2009, Forrester Research’s eBook/eReader sage, Sarah Rotman Epps, talks about what’s ahead for the Kindle, the Nook, the looming Apple tablet, and much else. Additional coverage of Sarah’s forecasts here.

Content – Opening this court file on my Kindle and DX in PDF and converted-to-Kindle formats.

Comments – Ann Miner’s link to Seattle Channel interview by Nancy Pearl with Paul Collins that wandered into a Kindle discussion at about 22 minutes (iTunes podcast link); Craig Scarberry’s recommendation of the excellent Books on the Nightstand podcast; Jean Remple on OCTO covers (more on covers here and here); Ann Miner with a good idea for Amazon; Marcy MacKenzie on a meetup with Bob Cope; an Amazon PR spokesman confirms the Facebook post stating that “a better way to organize your Kindle libraries” is coming; Jim Jones links to the Cushing Academy of Canada-Sony Reader style; Tom Lichty links to a charming coming-of-Kindle-age column by Margie BoulĂ© in The Oregonian; Kevin Warner, a new Kindle owner from Down Under; Len Charnoff’s tutorial video on Inkmesh; audio comments from Pastor Mark Pierce of Church Requel and Bob Lee.

Next Week – Let’s try this again: Brent Evans of GeekTonic is scheduled to join me for first impressions of our yet-to-be shipped nooks (here’s hoping!).