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Topics - Mike D. aka jmiked

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Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting (Kindle) / Original publication dates
« on: October 26, 2009, 04:31:38 pm »
I don't remember seeing this posted before, so:

If you would like to see the original publication date of a book, pull up the description of the book in your web browser (which is how I normally browse for and purchase books) and go to the "Also available in:" area. It will generally list the hardcover and possibly the paperback versions. If you put your cursor over the word "Hardcover" (or "Paperback") for a moment, a popup window will appear with the original publication date of the hardcover. Quick and easy.

For publication dates of series of books, the best place is Fantastic Fiction:


The Book Corner / Just the book I need.
« on: October 25, 2009, 09:52:19 am »
A perfect Kindle book.  ;D ;D


Not Quite Kindle / Kindle Board colors
« on: October 24, 2009, 06:54:53 pm »
Is it just my computer, or have the KB colors been a rather unpleasant shade of lavender for the last several weeks?

 :) :)


I just found a Firefox add-on that will convert a web page to a mobi file (or ePub or LRF). It will optionally send it to Calibre to add it to your library (it requires Calibre to have been installed for the add-on to even function at all).

I've only tried a few pages, but it works pretty well.

It's at:

The Bookit dialogue shows up in the Firefox Tools menu.


Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting (Kindle) / Calibre new version
« on: September 29, 2009, 05:43:15 pm »
It's up to 0.6.14, and the changelog says it works on Mac Snow Leopard. I have it running now and it seems to be working OK.


Not Quite Kindle / Recommend some plants
« on: August 14, 2009, 12:47:48 pm »
I know someone here will be able to help.  :)

I just killed a Bonsai tree I've only had for four months. I need some recommendations for some indoor plants I can hang in the open area between the kitchen and the living room that wonít kill my cat if she decides she needs a dietary supplement. This place is right beside a sliding glass door and the kitchen window, so it does get light.

Any ideas welcome.


Not Quite Kindle / I am soooo lucky!
« on: July 21, 2009, 01:06:32 pm »
I went down to San Antonio last Saturday to attend a presentation by the owner of the Gretsch Guitar company and won a guitar and an amplifier in a drawing (see picture below).

I like it a lot, not only does it fill a hole in my collection, but it promises to be my most played guitar, it's so easy to play.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D

Fred Gretsch, me, and Joe Carducci

The Book Corner / Cost of publishing ebooks
« on: April 20, 2009, 08:42:42 pm »
I saw this posted on the Yahoo Kindle mailing list:

It's an interesting short read.


Let's Talk Kindle! / Magazines and the Kindle
« on: March 28, 2009, 07:26:28 pm »
I bought a copy of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine several months ago because it had a story that I wanted to read. I read the story, and the magazine has been on my K1 all this time. I got my K2 and tried to send the magazine to it to reread some of it, and got a message that it couldnít be sent. After emailing customer service, I was told that magazines just go away after a few months. I'm very upset. I have magazines from the 1950s that I still reread.

This is the equivalent of the bookstore sending someone to my house after a few months to steal the issues I've bought.

I wonder what idiot at Amazon thought this was a good idea. Needless to say, I'm not buying any more magazines for the Kindle.


The Book Corner / A publisher strikes again!
« on: March 15, 2009, 04:40:38 pm »
The good news: The Colin Dexter books about Inspector Morse are coming to the Kindle.

The bad news: The only one that will be available at present will be the last one of the 12 or 13 volume series, where Morse dies. Go figure.


Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting (Kindle) / New version of Calibre
« on: January 27, 2009, 10:37:35 am »
I've been following the improvements to Calibre, a library-management tool that works on the Mac as well as Windows (and Linux, I think).

It can now detect your Kindle send books to it via the USB connection, as well as edit metadata and do conversions from other formats. It's also a library-management program that can keep track of all your ebooks on your computer. It appears that you can keep your ebooks on your computer and then send them to the Kindle when you want to read them, then you can delete them (manually) from the Kindle when you are through.

This morning I took an HTML file, opened it with Calibre, converted it to MOBI, added title and author metadata (as well as ISBN) and sent it to my Kindle. On a cursory examination, everything looks pretty good.

It might be worth a look. I need to play around with it a bit more to see if it will make the things I need to do any easier on my Mac.


The Book Corner / Donald Westlake R.I.P
« on: January 03, 2009, 06:51:34 pm »
Well, darn. Donald Westlake passed away on Wednesday, 31 December.

 :( :(


The Book Corner / Ebook advertisement in magazine
« on: December 28, 2008, 09:39:51 am »
First time I've seen an ad that mentions an ebook.... Page 21 of the new Mystery Scene has an ad for Marcia Muller's Burn Out and says "Available in hardcover and as an eBook."

And oh, yeah, I enjoyed the book. Recommended.


Not Quite Kindle / What was your first car/favorite car
« on: December 26, 2008, 10:23:51 pm »
Hey, JMiked, love the Alfa logo!  Do you have an Alfa?  My husband had a '74 Spider Veloce when we met, and has owned a '67 GTV, a '67 Gulia Super sedan, and some four door sedan that he can't recall.  I was very upset when he sold the Spider, although he bought something else to replace it.


Whoa! I got to this really late, sorry. Yes, I owned a 1966 Giulia Sprint GT. It was a gem of a car, and I've always regretted that I sold it. Until I remember the incredible booming exhaust resonance at 70mph, the lack of air conditioning, the seats that were too short, the steering wheel that was too far away, the weird tire size, the unusable back seat, the claustrophobic side windows, and a few other things. But it was a real driver's car, very precise, very responsive.

I was lucky, I guess..... I didn't care for the pre- or post-1966 models all that much with the exception of the Canguro (never produced) and the Montreal (not legally available in the US).

I finally had enough of no A/C in the Texas heat and traded it off on a 1968 Mercedes sedan. Talk about culture shock.


The Book Corner / New Douglas Adams books this week
« on: December 26, 2008, 08:49:31 pm »
Woo-hoo! Three Douglas Adams books ported to the Kindle this and next week.

The Book Corner / Strange book classifications at Amazon
« on: December 22, 2008, 10:21:44 pm »
I went to look at the latest Mystery and SF book lists (sorted by Publication date) a while ago and found the following titles listed in the recent publications for one of the other (and both) or those categories:

The Anti-Slavery Alphabet by Anonymous
The Canadian Almanac and Directory: 1887-1888 by Clark Company
Essentials of physiology for veterinary students by Diarmid Noel Paton
The Seven Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World by George Rawlinson
Sign Language Among North American Indians Compared With That Among Other Peoples by Garrick Mallery
The Story of Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
1991-1992 Official Congressional Directory, 102d Congress by Ronald
Florists Review by unknown
An impartial history of Ireland from the period of the English invasion to the present time by Dennis Taaffe

Not very useful, in my opinion. I emailed Feedback about it.


The Book Corner / Commentary on the Publishing Business
« on: December 16, 2008, 09:17:15 am »
Lawrence Osborne writing in Forbes Magazine:

A Writer And Reader On Why Book Publishers Fail

The Book Corner / Free Book - The Public Domain
« on: December 01, 2008, 06:46:03 am »
Hereís a link to a free book (PDF) from Yale University Press that the geekier of us might like:

The Public Domain

Iíve downloaded it but not read it yet. The chapter titles sound interesting.


Edit: I could swear I didnít see the Free Book thread when I looked before I posted. Also, this book isnít easily converted into something Kindle friendly. Sorry.

The Book Corner / Favorite novels - jmiked
« on: November 05, 2008, 05:31:45 pm »
I'm stealing the idea from from Bacardi Jim...... here are my 10 favorite novels... all 13 of them.  ;D

Some of them arenít on the Kindle yet, and may not be for quite some time. But Iím still going to dig them out and read them.

My criteria here is that these are the books I read over and over. Iím not claiming any literary superiority for them. Iíll probably be posting them over the next few days. Unless I get a cease and desist order.  ;)

13. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Despite Holmes being absent for a goodly portion of the novel, I think this is the quintessential Holmes story. Itís certainly been made into more movies than any other Holmes story.

Itís got a mysterious moor, a family legend of a ravening monster, characters haunting the night fog, you name it. It may be the Holmes work that allows for the most character development, as arguably the short stories donít allow much room for that.

The Sherlock Holmes Complete Illustrated Collection was one of the first things I downloaded for the Kindle. I slipped up and didnít get the Mobilereference version the first time but I intend to rectify that soon, as it has the original Sidney Paget illustrations. There are a number of free editions out there, but I donít know that they offer the illustrations, which to me are critical to setting the atmosphere of the stories.

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