Automate sending your Pocket Articles to Kindle

Standard

kindle wine glassSimple as it may sound, it doesn’t seem to be. A couple of Google searches, checked IFTTT but there wasn’t something which seemed easy and above all “Automated” with scheduled delivery options. The most famous way to do it is – Pocket to Instapaper to Kindle. Messy!

After much digging around and checking reddit comment threads I managed to find 2 good service providers:

En2Kindle – Free trial for 1 week, after which you need to pay a US $6 fee per year to keep the articles coming. Articles come as single pieces and are listed with their titles on the Kindle.

P2K.co – Free Service. I had some delivery issues in the initial few weeks and didn’t seem to work so I had to go back to En2Kindle and pay up the money. However I just noticed last week the service is back and the articles are coming. Articles get clubbed and are delivered in a “Kindle Magazine” format.

Once done, you can keep adding to your Pocket list and read the long articles with ease on your Kindle.

What my 2 year old kid thinks of the Kindle?

Standard

Kindle Printed Book

As a practice every night I try and read for at least 30 mins before I sleep. The other night I was reading on my Kindle. My little one walks into the room and comes around the bed side to see what I am doing. I see her pick up one of my other books (print version) and ask me why I was not reading this one.

I replied – “Papa wants to read this one tonight (and I point to the Kindle).”

Her response “Papa see this book (pointing to the printed copy) so nice colours – blue, pink, orange so nice nice, this (kindle) is only black black, not nice”.

She puts the book back on the table, smiles and walks out of the room. Least bothered if her opinion has made me switch to the “nice bright book” instead of the boring Kindle.

Kindle, I like you the old way

amazon kindle fire touch
Standard

This week Amazon launched 3 new varieties of the Kindle. So now, besides the Kindle Keyboard there is also the Kindle, Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire. I haven’t done a product test, but I have been a Kindle Keyboard 3G for just about a year now and here is my take from what I see online and also observed an interesting twitter conversation.

What was the Kindle intended for? Thanks to the eInk and superb battery life it was supposed to be your perfect e-reader. However with the new Kindle Fire, you can read in colour, watch movies, listen to music and check mail and more. DISTRACTION. Yes, pure distraction if you ask me. I think what I need from the Kindle is what it does best currently – good battery life, some music and capacity for a lot of reading material. Anything else on it and you are tempted to check mail, catch up on the latest episode of sitcom or even end up playing games. Yes, my Kindle does have an experimental browser – but because its so crappy I don’t get tempted to browse.

Of course there will always be the camp which wants to have a gadget which does it all. But the way I see it – Kindle for reading and any other tablet like iPad or the kinds for entertainment.

And it was interesting as I was composing this blog post I happened to see some interesting tweets from @praval.

My final take – if you are serious about JUST READING – buy the basic Kindle and I prefer it with 3G. But if you want to do more, then go compare if Kindle Fire is what you want instead of the iPad.

Books I read in 2010

Standard

At the start of the 2010, I read @jax ‘s tweet which said he wanted to read 100 books in 2010. Got me kicked. I said if not 100 I should at least do a ten to my record. And here it is, a snapshot of the books I read this year.

You Can Negotiate Anything – Herb Cohen

A book recommended by my father-in-law and I am so glad I took time to read it (actually a lot of time to finish it). Picked up some rather important skills and talking points which I am sure are helping me deal with clients and vendors with a lot more confidence.

Call of the Mall – Paco Underhill

This book is like a digest for the mall economy. Although very old now I think some of the key learnings of the mall culture are very important for who has anything to do with retail trade. How consumers behave, what irritates them and what are the essentials for a retailer in the mall. Also how malls just like hospitals need to be designed by retail experts and not just architects with great designs. Next on my reading list is the updated version of Paco’s Why We Buy.

Bollywood: A History – Mihir Bose

Loved this one. Start is a bit boring since you cant connect much, but then as you move into the 50s and 60s cinema you get to know the life of stars, how filmworld behaved back then. How the stars were Gods and producers mere worshippers so that they would be present on their film sets. There is a good chapter on the making of Sholay. Very interesting info from behind the scenes. Highly recommended if film making is your interest area.

Go Kiss The World – Subroto Bagchi

I was expecting a lot more advanced career advice. But I think the book is recommended for those who may have just started their career. And especially entrepreneurs would get some good lessons from how Bagchi quit his job and started Mindtree Consulting.

The Leader Who Had No Title – Robin Sharma

After reading Robin’s Discover your Destiny I truly became addicted to his words and beliefs. The book had tremendously helped me overcome a rather difficult patch of misery and sorrow. So I was very excited to read this next which was based on achieving more success at workplace. However I don’t think it could say something very different from what he’s always been telling in life. But nevertheless his books are always an inspiration and great to read on those nights when you wish you could have done a lot more better in life.

Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain

I admit. I am not a regular watcher of his TV show ‘No Reservations’ but I think the man got me curious to read more about this foodie experiences. And Kitchen Confidential was a good pick. Great inside story of what happens in restaurant kitchens and the life of chefs and cooks. I think an important lesson I took from this reading was that if I do ever start a restaurant I am going to need a very strong partner in the kitchen – an area where I won’t have no experience at all. So if you’re thinking of getting into restaurant business – read this one for sure.

The Flipside – Adam J. Jackson

Not that I don’t like them but I realised that I end up reading quite a few self-help books. At times they get repetitive but there is nothing more supporting than reading one of these books when going through a tough phase. The Flipside shares the stories of quite a few people who started a new chapter of life when things went wrong. It’s super inspiration and a must view for the pessimistic out there. The author also tries to write a little guide on how to look the positive things in times of crisis.

Linchpin – Seth Godin

Linchpin is my first Seth Godin book. I think I was saturated at my job and this book came in as a great inspiration just at the right time pushing me off the edge and helping me make a switch. Although Seth says at the end of the book that he does not intend to make you quit your job – for me, I think he just did. The book highlights the changing work scenario where being a cog worker won’t make you big anymore. At the same time the changing scenario demands and makes it easy for you to be linchpin at work. It’s notable to read – You can’t always do what you love, so to be the best start loving what you do. In another few months, I am surely doing a re-read of this book, because it can only add more value and demand you to do the best at work and your life.

So this is how the 2010 reading list looked like. Before the year ended, my wife gifted me the Kindle which I am hoping is going to help me read some more. If not books, more white papers, articles etc.. Currently I am reading Santosh Desai’s Mother Pious Lady – Making Sense of Everyday India and The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion.

Kindle – the ebook reading experience

Standard

If there is something wonderful about Christmas it’s the massive discounts and special deals. So the awesome offer at Amazon for their Latest Generation Kindle was not missed and my wife made sure she got me one to end the year on a high note.

Kindle 3 Amazon e-book reader

It’s been about a week that I have spent tweaking and configuring to extract the best from the Kindle and also experiment with other tools which make it a true delight for a reader. Here is a quick review to help decide if the Kindle is for you.

  • Kindle – Latest Generation comes in a fabulous size. At about 6inches it’s just about the size of an average book and is super-thin making it very easy to carry and have it on you all the time.
  • The build looks tough enough to protect itself from daily use, but I am going to get the cover very soon to protect its screen from accidental scratches or hits.
  • I love the built-in Dictionary. No more dictionary.com or searching for the big-fat print edition in the home library.
  • Kindle 3 supports social networking, so I can share notes from my reading material directly with twitter buddies and Facebook friends.
  • The experimental browser is useful and let’s you do a quick web browse if you feel the need.

How am I going to use the Kindle?

Buying the Kindle Books or subscribing to the periodicals is of course the best way to get content to your Kindle. And Kindle’s got a wide range of free ebooks too so that you can test the waters before making your purchase of the paid books. [See my Wish List on Amazon.] But that’s not all. You can do some other interesting stuff and here are a few of my experiments. Don’t know how many will get sticky and continue on my Kindle.

Sendmeastory – A very interesting service and I think it’s going to make for some nice variety reading. Must subscribe.

Instapaper – If there is a web page which you think will need to read at a later time, just bookmark it with Instapaper’s short-cut. Then configure Instapaper to send you email updates which will pull out the article and send it to your Kindle for reading. The page formatting for web pages is not the best so a good tip is to bookmark print-friendly pages.

Send your personal documents to Kindle – Amazon has a good service which lets you send some popular format files like the Microsoft Word, HTML and PDF files to an email address registered with your Kindle. They’ll convert it to a friendly format and it’s delivered to the Kindle. If you’re on the Wi-fi delivery is free but on the 3G it’s going to cost some money, so choose accordingly.

So what’s not happening with the Kindle.

It’s not back-lit, so you are yet dependent on good ambient light for your reading sessions. Of course the fact that it’s not back-lit makes it more comfortable on the eyes, I suppose.

If your dependency on the Kindle increases and you stop buying paper versions – then you are stuck without any reading material if you forget the piece or don’t have enough charge.

As much as I would love to have all my reading material on the Kindle, I think for us in India the printed editions are much cheaper than the $9-11 price ranged Kindle books from Amazon. So I may not stop buying printed books yet. And of course the Kindle editions are going to be very selective.

My bookmarks collection is going to be used a little less. I am going to miss them.

Should I Kindle or iPad?

Totally depends on what your purpose is. I’ve used the Kindle for about a week now and played with a borrowed iPad for a little time. I think the iPad is more of a no non-sense web browsing, photo viewing device especially when on the move. The Kindle is more for serious reading. No distraction of apps, emails, full web-browsing; so I guess the focus is on reading your downloaded material.

What’s your experience been with the Kindle or the iPad? Got some favourite apps you would like to share? Would love to hear from you in the comments area.