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Topics - Mike D. aka jmiked

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The Book Corner / The Dragon with the Girl Tattoo
« on: November 29, 2010, 06:29:24 am »

"Lizbreath Salamander is young and beautiful. Her scales have an iridescent sheen, her wings arch proudly, her breath has a tang of sulfur. And on her back a tattoo of a mythical creature: a girl."



And not available in the US.

Thanks to Bill Crider for pointing this out in his blog.


Writers' Cafe / What format do you submit to Amazon?
« on: November 20, 2010, 09:00:57 pm »
I have a question for the authors here. What format do you furnish to Amazon to get your books into the Kindle store? How closely does the result match your input?

I'm interested in the process in and of itself, not because I'm going to publish anything.

Who watches all the "Making of" extras on DVDs.

The Book Corner / Bryant & May fans
« on: October 29, 2010, 02:46:47 pm »
Looks as though a UK TV series of Christopher Fowler's books about Bryant & May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit is in the works:


Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / Kindle app for Mac
« on: October 19, 2010, 06:55:05 pm »
Just updated... provides two-column display, adding and editing notes, dictionary look-up, search within books, etc.

We're talking Kindle app for Mac itself here, not for iPad, etc.


Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / Kindle app update today - 12 Oct
« on: October 12, 2010, 03:10:03 pm »
Now you can toggle between one and two column display in landscape mode.  ;D ;D


Looks like it does two-column display.


The Book Corner / Resource for backlisted books
« on: October 05, 2010, 05:10:01 pm »
I ran across a mention of the Backlist Ebooks web site on Lee Goldberg's blog:

As it gets more listings, it may become a great place to find out about electronic versions of those back lists of your favorite published author.


I just read the announcement that the 0.6.20 version of Calibre has the ability to do "light" editing of ePub book files. Presumably non-DRMed files only.

Youíll be able to fix typos and such. Sounds nice, I would hope that at some point there will be a similar feature for Kindle format books, but I'm not holding my breath.

Heavy-duty editing of ePubs will still be relegated to Sigil, an open source program that has been around for a while.

Meanwhile, you could always convert your non-DRM mobi/azw files to ePub and do some changes, then convert back. I've done this, and there hasnít been any downside to this at all (yet).


Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / Portable WiFi for iThings
« on: July 09, 2010, 05:59:10 pm »
I have a laptop, iPod Touch, and iPad, all are WiFi with no cellular data capability. Today I received my new MiFi card that will allow me to use all three (even at the same time) on a cellular data network. It's nice to not be tied to a long-term contract (I pay monthly), and I only have to pay for one plan. And it's the size of a credit card!

I decided to get one of these for my geocaching excursions where I am out in the boonies and would really like to have access to some maps and real-time info. My needs aren't very data-intensive, and you can find plans that start at around $10 a month (not very useful, the $20 one is better).

I thought that some people might not be aware of this option, so I would post about it.


Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / Stanza for iPad
« on: June 03, 2010, 10:23:48 pm »
Contrary to statements on the developers website, they were working on an iPad specific version of Stanza. I just downloaded it from the iTunes store, and it's great!

This thing will let your set margins, justification, line spacing, hyphenation, select from bout 97 typefaces, in-app brightness control, send books wirelessly from Calibre, change metadata, set background and text colors, paragraph spacing, indents, set tags/groups from within the app, and more.

What's not to like? I have a new favorite book reader.  :) :)


Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / MacWorld iPad Starter Guide
« on: May 25, 2010, 11:15:04 pm »
As an alternative to the manual that Apple furnishes, here's a link to a page where you can get a free guide to the iPad from MacWorld magazine:


This was a surprise. I had bought a book last week to learn REGEX (regular expressions). I'd been reading it in iBooks with no problem. I decided last night to read it on my K2 before going to sleep (just to see if the Kindle still worked), so I turned on the bedside light, hopped into be and started reading. Within a few minutes, I was completely confused by the sample expressions that were being given. I got up, went and got the iPad, and compared the two. It turns out the results of the expressions were being nicely highlighted in iBooks, but not on the Kindle at all, and highlighted in an almost invisible shade of blue on the iPad Kindle app.

I wondered why it didnít seem to matter what expression was used, it always found nothing!

I shall continue my learning experience reading in iBooks.


The Book Corner / Out of touch publishers
« on: April 17, 2010, 09:27:31 am »
I've been looking for some books by authors I like, and have found the Kindle prices of some to have skyrocketed over the last month or so. Today I discovered what most of them have in common: they all say "Hatchette Book Group" in the "Sold By" field.

Several weeks ago, Still Life with Crows by Preston & Child was listed at around $7.00. Now it's $19.99! Paperback price: $7.99.

Assumed Identity by David Morrell (first published in 1994) is now listed at $22.99 for the Kindle edition (pb at $6.95).

These people are just insane!


Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / Foot/End notes in iBooks app
« on: April 14, 2010, 12:23:14 pm »
I just discovered that in the iBooks app, you can tap on the footnote number in a book and it will take you to the note, then tapping of the number again will take you back to the text you were reading. Thatís lot less trouble than running the cursor around with the K2 joystick.

Cool. Score one for touch screens.


Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / iPad User Guide
« on: April 12, 2010, 05:44:57 pm »
I hope everybody was smarter than I and found the User's Guide right off. It's in the Safari Bookmarks section at the bottom of the default list.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D


Let's Talk Kindle! / Amazon KindleGen program (makes ebooks from html)
« on: April 12, 2010, 12:06:06 pm »
I found a message over on Mobilread that quoted an email from Amazon which gives the URLs for the Amazon HTML to AZW generator and instructions. There's a version for both Mac and Windows.

"KindleGen is a command-line tool used to build eBooks. This tool is best for publishers and individuals who are familiar with HTML and want to convert their HTML, XHTML, XML (OPF/IDPF format), or ePub source into a Kindle Book. Please click the following link to download this application along with the User Instructions:

You can also find more information and instructions for using the KindleGen in our Kindle Publishing Guidelines document. Please click the below link to download the same: "


Apple devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod...) / I blacked out....
« on: April 11, 2010, 10:37:42 am »
The last thing I recalled was standing in front of the iPad display at Best Buy. The next thing I recall was standing outside the store with an iPad box in my hand. I don't remember anything in between. Honest.

Just a warning.  ;D


I just noticed that there are now several of A. E. van Vogt's Golden Age science fiction novels available for the Kindle. These were ground-breaking stories in their day, and van Vogt's stories outsold those of Heinlein for a while. Not exactly a modern style of writing, but he throws out new ideas at an incredible rate.

Don't be mislead by the reference to the movie Alien on the cover of Voyage of the Space Beagle. You wonít recognize it.  ;D

Quite reasonably priced.

If anybody is interested in a critical analysis of van Vogt's work, here is a pointer to a lengthy (but limited) excerpt from a history or SF written by a well-respected SF author/critic:


Let's Talk Kindle! / New sort feature in Kindle Store?
« on: February 26, 2010, 05:55:49 pm »
Have I not been paying attention or is the "New Releases" sort feature a new one? It seems to filter things that are not from major publishers.


The Book Corner / Dick Francis - RIP
« on: February 14, 2010, 02:16:40 pm »
Drat. I just read that Dick Francis passed away today, at 89 years of age.

I'm going to miss not seeing new work from him, I could always count on being entertained by his books.


Let's Talk Kindle! / Purchasing books from Kindle
« on: December 27, 2009, 08:54:41 pm »
I just noticed that there seems to be no warning that you have already bought a book when you look at it via the Kindle (as opposed to from the web view). Anyone know if you can buy a book twice by clicking on the Buy It Now button on the Kindle in this circumstance? This could be a bit awkward if two people on the same account start clicking away on things.


Let's Talk Kindle! / Creative's eBook Reader
« on: November 01, 2009, 10:58:45 am »

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