Sunday, February 28, 2010

Need an extra Kindle?

Originally posted February 28, 2010 by Cindy O'Neal

If you have an IPhone, ITouch, or a Blackberry, you have an extra Kindle reader. You just need to find the proper app, download it and install it. The best way is to do it from the device itself. I don't have a Blackberry, but I do have an ITouch. I use it for all sorts of things, listening to audio books, checking email at night (using the wireless network) when the house computers are turned off, and reading books when I want something really small in my hand.

With the ITouch, you need to be able to connect to the Internet, touch the App Store button and do a search for Kindle. That will take you to the app store where you can choose to download and install it on your little machine. Once installed, open the app and log in with your Amazon account. This will also set it up as an extra Kindle device tied to your account. You will have access to all the books you have purchased on Amazon. Like other apps installed on your ITouch/IPhone, it will look for updates automatically whenever you are connected to the Internet, so you will always have the latest and greatest.

The Kindle for ITouch app isn't a Kindle killer. It won't do everything your Kindle will do, but it can be a pretty good addition to your e-reader arsenal. Some don't like reading on the ITouch, they think it is too small and the back-lit screen is hard on the eyes. I don't have a problem with it. I can go between my ITouch or a regular Kindle with no problems at all. Actually it can be more discreet when it comes to sneaking your favorite book into the bathroom. Just tuck that sucker into your pocket. No one needs to know you are carrying your "library" with you. Of course they may suspect when you end up in there an ungodly long time.

If you have a book on your Kindle and want to read it on your ITouch/IPhone, it will synchronize the last page read between devices, as though it is a regular Kindle. I like this... You can choose to not synch if you are sharing a book with another family member too. Lately I have been reading the I Heart Bloomberg series on my ITouch and since Kelly finished them already, my ITouch wanted to synchronize to the end of the book on "Kelly's Kindle."   Kinda felt like a little stalker there for a while... My little ITouch Kindle was telling me where my daughter was on her machine. Of course you can choose not to synchronize too, which is what I did in that instance. Nifty huh?

You can get free book samples sent right to your ITouch/IPod Kindle. It is a "send to" choice when you are shopping on Amazon in the Kindle store. If you can connect to the Internet with your ITouch/IPod, you can also access your book archives on Amazon.

From what I understand so far, you are allowed up to 6 devices on your Amazon Kindle account. This seems to be plenty for us right now, but I can see where I would be happier if the number were higher. We have four computers in this house, one is a Macbook. I already have the (free) Kindle for PC app on my main computer, but if I add it to my Mac (and I would love to, just to test and see for myself), that will bring me up to my limit of 6 devices (Kindle 1, Kindle 2, Kindle DX, PC and ITouch). When a new Kindle appears, I know I will want one, and that will bring me up to 6, unless I want to start thinning out my old Kindles or remove the software from the PC). Oh well, I will cross that little bridge when I get to it and let you know. I DO love these little machines!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

About Mrs. Wizard

Originally posted February 27, 2010 by Cindy O'Neal 

Cindy O'Neal has been writing under the name of Mrs. Wizard since 1992. Her personal website, is a collection of her writing, software reviews, and a celebration of all things Windows and Computers, with a little Mac advice thrown in. Bottom line? If she has played with it, used it or loved it, and it has anything to do with computers, she likes to share it. She has been (and still is) a personal trainer for people who want to make friends with their computers, or special software in a non-threatening, very user friendly way. Her attitude is, if she can do it, you can too!  You just need to want to.

She has had a Kindle since the first version was out, embracing the technology with both hands. She couldn't resist the Kindle 2 or the DX and gave the Kindle 1 to her daughter Kelly hoping to "kindle" the same joy of reading in her. It has certainly worked with the latest Melody Carlson Bloomberg series. Mother and daughter both have enjoyed every word and are looking forward to more of Ms Carlson's goodies and that Kindle 1 is hanging in like a champ.

From the Desk of... Mrs. Wizard began as an extension of, morphed into a personal blog with a computer twist, and now has settled into a way for her to share her experiences and love of the Amazon Kindle. The goal of this blog will be to present you, dear reader with a daily, down and dirty, short and helpful tip or trick for your Kindle. You may not have time (or the inclination) to go through the owners manual, but with a short and sweet something every day in this blog, you will learn a lot. When she learns something new or exciting, she will share it with you, especially the best places she can find to dig for more FREE books and her other favorite resources. Here's hoping you have many wonderful hours with your Kindle!

Warmest Regards,
Mrs. Wizard (aka Cindy O'Neal)

Series books

Originally posted February 27, 2010 by Cindy O'Neal 

Some of the best reads I have found have been part of a series. If you find an author you just LOVE, you may want to start at the beginning of a series of books and read them in order. The problem sometimes is being able to quickly find a list of the author's work and the order a series may be in.

An easy way is to look up the author in question on Wikipedia. It is a great resource to look up authors and you can end up with just the information you need.

For example, I did a Wiki search for Christine Feehan. She writes the neatest vampire/romance series. I went through every one of her books (several times). When the Wiki page appears, look toward the top (on the left) for a clickable table of contents box. You will see any series books the author has done under the Bibliography heading. You can either click a series by name and instantly "jump" to that area or you can scroll down the page a bit and get to it that way. If the author has been around a while, Wikipedia should have lots of great information, certainly enough to get you started on a series in the proper order.

Jolene, a new Kindle buddy, told me about a place called I went to the website to give it a try and was favorable impressed. It is totally dedicated to tracking fiction book series. You do need to register (free) and create a user id and password in order to use it properly, but registering was pretty quick and easy.

I did check the Feehan series and it looked as though FictFact was missing a couple of the last books, but just browsing through the site introduced me to authors I hadn't even heard of yet, and added to my future reading list (of course). It is certainly a place to bookmark as a valuable resource. So many books... so little time! Never ending stories! Geez!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Googling with your Kindle

Originally posted February 26, 2010 by Cindy O'Neal 

A successful Google search all depends on what words you use. Make it short and sweet and to the point. The Kindle is a great search tool. It's Whispernet connection is good just about anywhere. If you have your Kindle handy, you have access to Google.

Just for giggles, grab your Kindle and turn it on. Type these words...

recipe chocolate chip cookies

...just like that... no punctuation, no capital letters, just the words.

Then toggle the 5-way controller switch to the right until Google is highlighted. Press in the 5-way switch and give your Kindle a few seconds... Is this not the neatest thing since homemade bread or what? Use the Next Page or Prev Page buttons to see your choices. Use the 5-way controller (up or down) to select the recipe link you want to peruse. Press in on it to make your selection. Then prop your Kindle up on the kitchen counter and go for it!

You don't need a fancy recipe book when you have the entire Internet in your hands.
There are only these few steps to searching Google with your Kindle. If you aren't satisfied with your first results, type in a different set of words. You will be searching like a pro in no time. If you would like to go beyond the basics in the searching arena, try these words for your next Kindle/Google search...

google search tips

Life is good!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wiki Searching on the Kindle

Originally posted February 25, 2010 by Cindy O'Neal 

Road trip vacations can be great fun, especially if you take your kindle and let your "other half" drive in peace. Our last trip was great; hubby drove and I read lots of  good stuff on the Kindle (and didn't back seat drive). It was a fantasy trip as far as hubbys are concerned.

Every now and then, we would have a conversation about one thing or another. It happens. And questions would come up, like ... is Mickey Rooney still working? or is he retired? Sometimes it would be something that would eat at us mercilessly until we could find the answer.

Enter the Kindle... connected all the time with Whispernet... just a few buttons away from a Wikipedia search. We found the Kindle would connect even when our cell phones wouldn't. Of course Whispernet is part of the whole package with your Kindle. And with Wikipedia, you can add a huge (free) Internet encyclopedia to the mix. As of this post, there are more than 3 million articles in English alone. It is an amazing addition to your information resources.

Many new Kindle owners don't eat, sleep or dream computers, so they may not be really comfortable using the Internet as a resource. The Kindle makes searching books and the Internet really easy. It really is like having a library in your hands.

With your Kindle turned on (and the Internet turned on of course), just begin typing what you are looking to find out more about. Then toggle the 5-way controller (toward the bottom on the right, between the Menu button and the Back button) to the right until you see Wikipedia highlighted. Press in on the controller and wait a few seconds for a list of answer choices to appear. Toggle the controller button down (or up as needed) until the one you want to explore is underlined. Press in on the button to go to the article. Use the Next Page or Previous Page buttons to go through articles. Use the Back button to go back to the original Wiki search.

It is hard to argue with a Wiki!

Tomorrow: Googling with your Kindle

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dictionary at your fingertips

Originally posted February 24, 2010 by Cindy O'Neal 

Yep... it sure is... and it makes your Kindle that much more valuable. You might even stretch yourself a bit with the books you choose knowing you have a quick and easy way to look up anything you might not be familiar with.

To look up a word, use your toggle switch (5 way controller) to place the cursor immediately to the left of the word in question. Push it up or down, or to the left or right. The moment you begin manipulating the switch, you will see the cursor.

Once you have the cursor where you want it, the definition will appear. If you need to see more, press the little down arrow button (last button on the right, 4th row).

When you are finished reading the definition, press the Back button to continue reading where you left off.

You're going to be soooooo smart!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sharing your Kindle books

Originally posted February 23, 2010 by Cindy O'Neal 

It isn't easy, but it is do'able. All my Kindle books are tied to my Amazon account. I have (had) the Kindle 1, a Kindle 2 and a Kindle DX (Love them ALL). I gave my first Kindle to our daughter, Kelly so it could continue to be exercised and loved. Instead of deactivating it and activating it for her personal Amazon account, we kept it on my account. When she wants to purchase a book, she just sends me an Amazon gift certificate to cover the cost (usually for several books). Then she can search for and purchase the books she wants right from her Kindle. She also has access to all the archives associated with the account.

Not too long ago, we discovered the I Heart Bloomberg series... Kelly loved the first one, so as she was finishing it, I jumped on (my favorite place to shop) and purchased the second one for her. It was neat being able to "send to Kelly's Kindle"... can't tell you how good that made me feel as a mom. As a voracious reader, it is wonderful when you see a book "grab" someone you love, and see them enjoy it so much. She has finished the 4 book series, and I finally decided to give the first one a whirl... it grabbed me too! Sure am glad we have the whole series on our Kindles!

Monday, February 22, 2010

MobiPocket Reader

Originally posted February 22, 2010 by Cindy O'Neal 

This is an absolute MUST freeware application you need on your computer if you own a Kindle. It is amazing! The free MobiPocket Reader software is a great way to read free ebooks on your computer, but it is also a terrific way to take your very own documents (Word Documents, html files, pdf files, text files) and convert them to something your Kindle can easily read by dragging and dropping your completed file right into the reader software. The converted files automatically go into a folder named My eBooks, which can be found in your Documents folder. Handy huh?

I have quite a few of my favorite homemade "Lotions and Potions" recipes listed in one document, then converted with the MobiPocket Reader for use on the Kindle. When I update my original file, I usually just delete the old converted file, and replace it with a new one. I have another "homemade ebook" with my favorite food recipes. It is amazing how much easier it is to grab the Kindle when you want to make your special pancakes or bread recipe... sure beats rummaging through a book or a drawer full of loose papers.

There are also two Creator editions (free) if you are familiar with web editing, html files and would enjoy the satisfaction of creating your own ebooks from scratch. My food recipes were done with the Creator edition. I basically created a web page (html file) with Dreamweaver, gave the titles to each recipe an H1 designation. The creator edition of MobiPocket has an option to create a table of contents (clickable) ... I just told it to look for every H1 designation, and that would be an item to link to... Now this is really simplified for brevity, but it really was easy...a lot easier than you would think... a few mouse clicks and I have a very professional ebook, complete with a clickable table of contents.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Extra duty for the Kindle

Originally posted February 21, 2010 by Cindy O'Neal 

My Kindle goes everywhere with me. One nice thing about being a gal is carrying a pocketbook with us at all times, and the Kindle has its own special place in my bag.

I can't tell you how many times a question will come up ... at the oddest times, and in the oddest places... could be in the car, or at a meeting... anywhere. With Whispernet, your Kindle can access the Internet (free to you as a Kindle owner) from just about anywhere for a quick google, or wikipedia search. It is great to have that kind of information at your fingertips at all times. I don't know what a guy is to do... guess that is their problem.

To do a quickie search, turn on the Kindle and begin typing your search query. Then toggle the little switch to the right until either google or wikipedia is highlighted. Then press in on the toggle switch and you will immediately be transported to the answer... Quick tip... make your search text just as detailed, but short as possible.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Great Blogs Afire!

Originally posted February 20, 2010 by Cindy O'Neal 

Two blogs I subscribe to on my Kindle... They are a great way to always have the latest information!
Kindle Nation Daily
I love My Kindle

Kindle resources

Originally posted February 20, 2010 by Cindy O'Neal 

You know on I have a special section just for nifty places to get free books for your Kindle and other great resources? Hmmmmm? You didn't?
Well, here it is!
There is a whole section just for the Kindle.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Jungle Search - Kindle Freebies

Originally posted February 12, 2010 by Cindy O'Neal 

This is a great way to cut to the chase and find free or low-cost books for your Kindle. Put Jungle Search in your favorites (or bookmark it) for future (and frequent) use.

In two clicks you can be taken to the latest free offerings (updated twice daily)
Click the Kindle Search tab, then click the words Free Books. That's all there is to it!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Kindle Propping TIP

Originally posted February 1, 2010 by Cindy O'Neal

I caught myself wondering how I could burn a few calories while reading a good book the other day... and needed to prop my kindle so it could be hands free... chewing gum isn't a practical Kindle stopper... you don't need a wad on various tables in various rooms... but I discovered a simple rubber band, even a small one, placed on a table, then sit your kindle on it and prop it against something and it won't slip at all... Great for when you need to have your hands free but don't want to risk your Kindle sliding... I use this technique in the kitchen when I have my favorite recipes open on the kindle.

Oh... did you know the kindle is also a great google searcher for recipes? Try it... just type the recipe you are looking for with the word "recipe" at the beginning or end of the search term. Don't worry about any punctuation... then move the toggle button to the right and press when google is highlighted... you will have more choices than you can shake a rubber band for propping your Kindle with.