642nd post: Kindle - 3 weeks later

It has been 25 days since the kindle arrived (Seemed longer to me) and in that time, I have finished reading 2 Harry Potter books, plus quite a number of manga volumes. These, however, form quite a small number of the amount I had already loaded on to it.

Since then, I had figured out how to take screenshots on my kindle.  How to take the screenshot varies on which version it is (press and hold the keyboard and menu buttons for mine). If you do it correctly, the screen would flash and the screenshot would appear in the documents folder when you connect it to the PC.

Of course, the Kindle has a hidden feature where you could view images: just create a "pictures" folder in the root directory. To make sure it is optimal for the screen, make sure the image is as close to 600*800 (3:4) as possible in monochrome, though images could still open if you didn't do that. The loaded images would appear on the main menu in the same way as a normal ebook, but using the folder name as the title and, obviously, lacking the author area.

I recommend that you create collections if you are going to load a lot of books and images, especially if a group belong to the same series. Makes your life easier scrolling through the long list of books you have loaded.

When you delete a book or text files (you can download .txt files via the browser and would appear as a book), it would be removed from the device memory. But, if you remove a folder of images, it would disappear from the list, but still resides in the device memory. It would remain the the memory until you delete it via the PC in the same way you loaded it. A 150-page book rendered as image takes up about 20MB of space, versus just 4MB for a 800-page text-only (plus a few images) book. Quickly takes up memory if you have several of it. 20MB is after optimization for the device, so it would be more if you just put images as they were without any modifications.

When I said you could load images, I don't mean that you could only put in photos from your camera (though you could if you want to), but being able to load comics onto this. I recommend Mangle to create a version that is the most suitable for reading on the Kindle 1-4 and the DX. The page where you last read would appear when you open it again.

American visual novels are usually in colour and you would feel strange seeing it in black and white. As Japanese comics are usually printed with just one tone of black ink, the technique of dithering is used to give the illusion of shades, and unprinted regions of the paper (which is usually white) for the light colours. This is where manga shines at, becuase the e-ink display is basically just white or black. Grey is achieved by alternating white and black in a region, with spacing depending on the shade of grey.

The image viewer is, however, not without its some odd problems:
  • You would need to exit the image viewer before putting it on standby mode or you would be stuck at a blank screen on resuming and would need to close and reopen again anyway.
  • If you enabled full-screen mode, you would need to disable it before you close the image viewer or the full screen mode would mysteriously be disabled (with the option in the menu assuming as if you are still in full screen mode) when you open another image folder. You need to "disable" and "enable" again to view it in full screen.
  • When you kept viewing previous images, part of the image you previously viewed is still clearly visible with the image you are supposed to be viewing overlapping that may be cut off (blank areas especially) by the said previous image. Switch to neighbouring pages to fix this. The same odd problem might happen when you just enabled full screen mode.

This image has been zoomed in
The Kindle comes with an "experimental" web browser that does support images and cookies. Though the keyboard isn't really nice to type with, you could actually access twitter on this thing. (Redirects you to the mobile version if you try to visit the main site.) You can use the previous/next page buttons to scroll the pages, and he directional keys to select links and such.

Trying to visit sites like Neowin, or even this very blog, would cause the Kindle to crash and would have to restart it to get it working again. Too much things the Kindle couldn't handle? Except when using for the first time, or just recovered from a crash, the last page you viewed would automatically load.

Crashes seem to only happen when I visit certain sites with the browser, but don't make me talk about recovering from crashes.

I had brought it out and about for some days. The size is about the same as the iPad Mini. While reading on the train, I found no disruption reading it while the train enters and leaves tunnels during the day. On a backlit LCD screen, I found myself needing to adjust the brightness to comfortable see anything. Sometimes, the problem with these LCDs are the screen is too dim to see anything, when viewing in a bright place, but adjusted for a dark place and vice versa. On-screen brightness controls (as opposed to a physical one) that may be burred somewhere in the settings means that this is a pain to adjust.

If I had not discovered ebook and the e-ink display, I might had gotten the more expensive iPad just to read books since my iPod Touch is too small for it. Also, reading off a computer screen, even if it's not a CRT screen, isn't a comfortable way to read.


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