May 8 2011
I use my Kindle daily and am pretty proficient with working with the device. Angie James emailed me and asked if I knew about the free.kindle.com feature and I said yes. She told me that she wasn’t aware of it and that I should put together a blog post about it. I pretty much do whatever Angie tells me to.
I am not familiar with the nook so Brian will be posting his top 10 nook tricks later this month and I’ll also be posting an essential app guide for iPad users. Today’s post is for the Kindle users.
First, a quick review of the keyboard on the Kindle:
1. Send documents to your Kindle for free. Every Kindle device owner gets an email address. This is so you can send things to your Kindle via email. It is also the only ereading device that allows this. Sending yourself books costs money UNLESS you use the free version: free.kindle.com.
If you would like to download your personal documents for free, you can send attachments to “name”@free.kindle.com to be converted and e-mailed to your computer at the e-mail address associated with your Amazon.com account log-in. You can then transfer the document to your Kindle (1st Generation) using your USB connection.
For example, if your Kindle email address is Jay@Kindle.com, send your attachments to Jay@free.kindle.com.
If you have a wifi unit, you can simply turn on your wifi and your free documents will be downloaded. If you are out of wifi range, you will receive an email that your Amazon Kindle documents are ready to be downloaded and a notice will show up on your 3g Kindle homescreen:
As commenter Li notes, if you set your “Max Charge Limit” to 0, all your emailed books will be sent to the free address.
2. Easier access to the browser. Kinstart.com is the brain child of Sherwood Stranieri and is a home page designed specifically for the Kindle browser. From the About Us section:
The Kindle includes a built-in web browser, but most websites are not easily viewed on the Kindle’s grayscale e-Ink screen. Kinstant helps Kindle owners get more mileage out of their devices: by connecting them to Kindle-compatible websites, and by filtering sites to achieve faster download speeds.
You can customize your own Kindle Start page at Book Monk.
Don’t forget to save either Kinstant.com or Bookmonk.com as a bookmark so you don’t have to enter the address more than once.
3. How to read ePubs There are three types of epubs out there. There is the unsecured or DRM free ePub, the regular DRM’ed ePub, and the Nook book which is an epub file sold by Barnes & Noble but with a special proprietary DRM that does not work on anything other than the nook app or nook devices.
For all types of ePubs, you will need to use a 3d party program like Calibre to convert the ePub into mobi or azw so that your Kindle can read the file. Think of Calibre as the intrepreter between the ePubs and the Kindle.
There are plugins out there that can help you remove the DRM if it is not illegal.
4. Optimizing PDFs. Get rid of those margins on your PDFs using a program like BRISS or learn a little reg expression to make clean conversions.
5. The @ function. From the home page, you can access some shortcuts using the @ command. From the home page, hit DEL to bring up the search box. Hit SYM and then select the @ command
@dict + term and it will bring up the definition of the word
@help (lists the @ functions)
@print + word opens the Kindle store and searches for @print + the term. It is a strange and useless command right now
@store + term will open the Amazon Kindle store and search for the term(s) entered (ALT + HOME will bring up the Kindle store as well)
@url + URL will open that URL in the browser
@web + term will search google for the word or words entered
@wiki + term will search Wikipedia for the word or words entered
@wikipedia (same as wiki)
6. Deleting books. The quickest way to delete a book is to move the cursor under the book and then pressing the rocker to the left. The longer way is to move the cursor under a book, press ok (the rocker middle). The book details come up. Scroll down to select delete.
If you want to delete books purchased at the Kindle store for good, you must go to Amazon.com and go to your Account Settings and then the “Manage My Kindle” page. Toward the bottom is a list of all your recent book purchases. Search for the book you want to delete.
7. Calculator. On the Home page, you can access the search bar by pressing the DEL key. In the search bar, you can do some simple math calculations such as 10.50 * .15 and then press ENTER (the bent arrow) to find out the tip.
- Simple Functions: (+ – * /)
- Advanced: power (^) and square root (sqrt)
- Trigonometry: sin, cos, tan, atan
- Division by zero yields infinity result (?)
8. Time and Date. By pressing the MENU key inside a book or on the home screen, you can quickly check the time as well as the battery level and whether you are connected to the wifi network.
9. Delete a highlight or note.
- To delete a highlight simply, move the cursor to the area of the highlight and press DELD.
- A note is depicted by a small number in a box , position your cursor close to the box and then press DEL.
- You can also use “View Notes & Marks” via the Menu. Move the cursor under the note you want to delete and then press DEL.
10. Navigating around the home screen. Your home screen books can be browsed in four ways “most recent, by collection, by author, by title”.
- You can quickly jump to a page on the home screen by pressing ALT + a number key (top row) and then the MIDDLE of the ROCKER.
- If you are browsing your books by “author” or by “Title” you can quickly move through an alphabetic index of your books by typing a LETTER and then MIDDLE of the ROCKER. For example if you are browsing by TItle, pressing “m” and then the MIDDLE of the ROCKER, will take you to the M titles.
Do you have a tip or hint or tweak for Kindle users?
Commenter Hugh has a tip about navigating inside a book. To advance a chapter, press the right arrow button on your directional rocker or d-pad. To go back a chapter, press the left arrow. This only works if the book you have purchased utilizes chapters.