Monday, July 26, 2010

Kindle firmware updates

Amazon's Kindle DX or Apple's ipad?

I had a kindle dx and I saw the ipad in action (I've played with it for a while), so I think I'm in a good position to comment on both. The most important thing I want to say is that the ipad is not the 'kindle killer'! Both of them serves a different function, I must stress. If you prefer to read books, the kindle is the only choice that you'll want to get because of the screen. The ipad uses backlighting LED screen to light up, so it's like reading off a monitor. Actually, if you have the iphone, it'll look exactly like that - a very smooth and clear display with adjustable brightness. I've not tried reading a book off an ipad but I can imagine after staring at it for 2-3 hrs in one go, your eyes can feel the strain even if you turn down the backlighting. Kindle uses a e-ink technology - it's hard to describe but it looks very good, almost like reading newspaper. Usually I forgot that I'm reader off the kindle and just read pages after pages for hours in one go with no strain. Unfortunately, you need a light source like a table lamp or natural lighting, just like reading a normal paper book.

Go on and zoom into the picture, it looks even more fantastic in your hands!

Kindle dx cost around 530++ SGD while the cheapest wifi, no 3G version of ipad cost around 760++ SGD. Kindle dx actually has a free 3G network worldwide (not sure if Singapore has it since I had the US version), so it does allow limited but free access to certain websites, though in black/white only. It's not meant for surfing the net, but it does allow for a very good exploration of certain things from wikipedia. Ipad is superb for surfing the net and I've not had such a pleasurable experience doing so from other devices. It's very intuitive and very visually stunning. It's really hard to let it go after playing with it as the colours are very vibrant and sharp. Really got to use it to feel it.

People will kill for this baby. The allure of apple.

Actually the main purpose of this post is to give back to the community that allowed me to know how to 'hack' my kindle dx. Amazon had a new firmware update which had the features that I always wanted (pdf zooming, if you want to know) in my kindle. However, since amazon did not officially launch the kindle in Singapore, I can't register it and hence cannot update the firmware. I searched for a way to register the kindle and found it here. It was a great sharing by 'Nifty' and I'm sure a lot of people would have thanked him tremendously, like I do.

The instructions are clear already enough. For those who had a kindle but wanted to register the kindle under your name, just follow the instructions clearly. I had problems downloading the files so I took the liberty to download it and upload it to another site myself, in case anyone had problems like me. The two files needed to make it work are found right here.

Would I get an ipad? I might. Sure, it's expensive, but it surely expands my fun :)


AK71 said...

Hi LP,

Like the iPad? Buy it! I am thinking about it too. :)

Money spent on anything which contributes to a general sense of well-being and happiness has to be money well spent, don't you think?

Tea with AK71: Money well spent.

la papillion said...

Hi AK,

Haha, think only lah, won't buy it yet. I had bought a kindle, cannot be too happy :)

But I spent to raise your level of happiness is money well spent!

PanzerGrenadier said...

Hi LP and AK71

I already have an iPhone, so one gadget at a time is my limit.

Somemore, my office provides me with a Lenovo Thinkpad T410 which is also a nice toy, so think will give iPad a miss unless I open up another source of income to pay for it! haha. :-)

Be well and prosper.

Alvin said...

I hope they lower the kindle price further with ipad competition. So I can buy at a discount to it's value :D

la papillion said...

Hi Alvinm

Oh, they already lowered down the price of kindle already. The kindle dx is now selling for around 530 sgd, used to be around 700-800. It's much more affordable.

If you don't mind 2nd hand stuff, you can go ebay perhaps 6 mths later, and get a pre-owned one for less perhaps 350 to 400sgd? If you like reading, you'll love the kindle dx.

I used mine almost everyday :)

Kyith said...

take a look at the new kindle which will retail at USD 139.

LP, can you do a screen shot of the kindle reading a PDF book or magazine without reflow?

la papillion said...

Hi Drizzt,

Dark elf interested in kindle? :) haha!

The kindle is cheaper these days, very much affordable :) However, bear in mind that this 139 USD version is the one with smaller screen. Personally, I feel that if your main purpose is to read pdf files (ahem, there is a reason why you HAVE to read more pdf files than the kindle format, email me), it's better to get the bigger screen version, kindle dx. The screen is as big as the ipad, but black/white of course.

Sure, I'll snap a picture of my kindle reading a pdf file and put it up :)

la papillion said...

Hi Drizzt,

Looks like you might have to wait a while before I can show you the pics. I realised that I don't have my camera with me right now, so all I have is my sucky hp camera. Tried taking some shots but it's too blur to be of help.

I see whether I can take some shots when there's more natural light. Alternatively, you might want to watch some youtube vids on kindle. I did a fair amount of research on youtube before settling for my kindle, so you might find it useful to see how the kindle handles all the different types of files :)

Hope it helps!

Kyith said...

no problem bro, take your time.

i am mainly a PDF reader. Development books, Magazines and all sort of those.

I have a feeling an android device or ipad suits me but i am not willing to breach 700 SGD just for it.

So i wonder if ebook readers like kindle and nook and kobo can do those well.

Currently i am reading on my ipod touch via good reader. it enables direct pdf reading easy on a 3.5 inch device. looking for something bigger.