Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by Bowser, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    A tablet is a different thing from an e-reader. If you want to check your email, surf the web and listen to music then you don't really want an e-reader - you want a general-purpose tablet. Personally, I can't see the point of going for a half-way tablet like the Fire, but they are relatively cheap, so that's a factor I guess.

    Regarding formats:

    Kindle (AZW), KF8, TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI
    - These are text formats. Kindle books are usually AZW. Without the copy protection, they are MOBI. I'm not sure exactly what KF8 is. TXT is plain text, and PDF is Adobe Acrobat format. With Kindle, you don't get EPUB.

    - these are microsoft word formats

    PRC natively
    - I'm not sure what this is, either.

    - these are picture/photo files, as used on web pages, for example.

    Audible Enhanced format (AAX) non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, PCM/WAVE, OGG, WAV
    - These are audio file formats, other than MIDI (although MIDI files are usually used to generate music).

    - I don't recognise all of these, but I think they are video formats.

    HTML5, CSS3, 3GP, VP8 (WEBM)
    - these are hypertext markup formats used to make web pages.
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  3. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    While I originally got my Kindle Fire so I could read books on the couch after my cancer surgery, it can also give me tv news broadcasts, music videos and the like. Overall I am pleased with its performance and capabilities, especially considering the price.
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  5. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    There is about a $250.00 difference in price.
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  7. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Worth every penny.
  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    The advantage with the Kindle Fire is that it has a browser and you can look at the internet on it (if you have wifi). It's also designed to deliver Amazon's 'Prime' service, which allows you to download temporary-loan ebooks (like a library) for free and to download movies and tv shows from their service. I'm not really interested in that.

    But the Fire is an Android device and I've never figured out how to side-load ebooks to Android devices. Its e-books all seemingly have to come from the Amazon store. Since I already have hundreds of ebooks (and thousands of shorter articles) on my laptops and thumb drives (mostly downloaded from the internet for free) , that makes it kind of useless to me as an ereader. I rarely use my Kindle Fire these days (I don't even know if the battery will still hold a charge), since I typically look at the internet on my laptop and my cellphone, and the Fire won't display the ebooks I want to read. (I use the laptop for that.)

    I have an old original Kindle and a Kobo e-ink e-reader and both of these appear on my laptop as an external storage device the same way a usb thumb-drive would. So I cut-and-paste pdf-format book files into them easily and they display on the device as if I'd downloaded them from the store. I'm not sure if you can still do that with the newer Kindles or whether they try to prevent it and lock you into using the Amazon store.

    I typically find myself using the Kobo, since it's built like a bulldozer and is still working after the better part of ten years heavy use. I've grown attached to it, it's like an old friend. (I got it for next to nothing at a Borders Books going-out-of-business sale.) I like the fact that I can carry hundreds of books at once in a pocket format, but don't enjoy the reading experience as much as I do with a physical book.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
  9. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    I was talking to a coworker who told me she can barrow Kindle books form the local Library. I need to check that out. I checked out Samsung and Kobo on Amazon, they cost about twice as much as the Kindle--and that's the low end machines. I'm not committed yet, but I do appreciate your thoughts. Thank you.
  10. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Buying e-books these days is like paying for porn.
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    How do you justifying piracy of software/music/books etc.?

    Do you believe that creators of content should not be remunerated for their work? Do you think that you are entitled for some reason to not having to pay for these things created through the labour of others? Or some other reason?
  12. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Yer right.

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  13. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Get a plain ol Androids tablet 7 or 10 inch your preference.

    $50 to $120 Australian $.

    I use a few free readers. Some I find good for certain books and some for others.

    Since each reader keeps track of which books I am reading and where I am up to no problem.

    I would agree though picture heavy books are better in physical form.

    PDF format is sometimes a hassle to handle with the readers I use.

    I bought a $80Austraian (800,000Rp Indonesian) new Advan 7" Android tablet in Bali.

    Found out it is also a two sim unlocked phone which will work in Australia but never used it in that mode.

    Only minor problem is it restricts the file explorer to the inbuilt version.

    No problem downloading from Google Play Store with WiFi

    The main reader I use is ub reader

    Shows good looking book shelves of your books (as do others)

    The text format I prefer is epub.

    I try to keep my ebooks on micro SD cards in various categories.

    Annoyingly they are fiddley to handle, can't find a decent sized storage device (I'm thinking of something like a A4 size album with pages to store coins would fit the bill)

    Hard to label so need stick label on the coin (SD card) pocket.

    Apart from that all is sweet.

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  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    I have a Asus Memo Pad 7", does alright as a portable browser, free game player, email, notepad etc... But in bright light the screen is difficult to read from due to glare, hence the e-reader enquiry.

    And I guess another benefit of them is that as you get older and the eyesight deteriorates, you can just increase the font-size... and hope never to have to use a Braille version!

    I'm loathe to get tied into any proprietary store; have always used Android rather than Apple, etc, and use a PC and not a Mac. So that would probably sway me toward the Kobo. Although that said, most books I buy are from Amazon...

    Meh, for the moment I shall stick to hard copy... only way to get that authentic book smell and feel.
  15. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    "You get what you pay for."
  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Pretty much any book in print can be found somewhere on the internet. However I'm inclined to agree with James about pirating books. Just for reasons of ethics.

    But that being said, there's no end of free material that can be downloaded to an e-reader (provided that it reads pdfs and accepts side-loads) without violating copyright.

    Openstax is a site, associated with Rice University in Texas, that has all kinds of introductory college-level math, science and economics textbooks downloadable in various formats (including pdf) for free. The texts look to my eye to be pretty good, by reputable authors and peer-reviewed. has hundreds of thousands of papers in all areas of philosophy, including many areas of the philosophy of science, many downloadable to free.

    They have more than 4500 topic areas including all areas of philosophy and individual philosophers:

    Here's an introductory logic textbook in pdf format called 'For All X', written by a State University of New York professor. It seems to me to be comprehensible to intelligent newcomers to the subject.

    Here's another introductory logic text entitled 'A Modern Formal Logic Primer' by Paul Teller of University of California, Davis. It was published in 1989 by Prentice Hall, but is now out of print and its copyright was returned to its author. So he put it online for educational use. It's pdfs of scans of the printed book.

    If you look along the left side of pretty much any Wikipedia article, there's a utility for converting the article to pdf format. You can transfer the product to your e-reader or you can collect a number of them together into your own custom designed Wikipedia books and download those. They already have many books on all subjects already created by other Wikipedia users.

    Go to university websites and look at faculty members' webpages in departments of interest. They often have links to downloadable versions of their own papers.

    David Chalmers has lots of them

    The Internet Archive can be a treasure trove of older out-of-copyright books.

    University of California e-scholarship has dissertations, papers and even some books

    And on and on... it's limitless. Just start doing web searches for subjects of interest and you will find more material than you can ever read.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016

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