Extending Kindle…

Well I’m getting through my exams slowly. 4/10 done. They’ll be over on Thursday week. Literally cannot wait. The freedom will be amazing!

Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking up a few things to do when I finish, or even start preparing now. I’ve bought some Ilford HP5+ film for my Olympus, which I’m intending on developing and processing myself. We’ll see how that goes…

But, more importantly, I’ve been using my Kindle more and more, and found some great things to go with it. I guess if you have an eReader, you’ve probably come across Calibre. It’s like a library tool, you could attempt to call it the iTunes on eBooks, except that it’s coded with Java and as such is 1) slow, 2) buggy and 3) so ugly. However it does work and can convert most things under the moon to .mobi (the most standard (if you can call it that) format that Kindle’s accept). It also has this other cool feature where it parses websites of various publications at regular intervals, and essentially aims to get the newest issue and download it for you. It doesn’t necessarily work, but it gets a nice cross section of articles (sometimes many of the same article…) and as such is a great idea, especially considering it’s free.

That’s all well and good, except that you still have to connect your Kindle via USB to get it. However, ReadBeam solves this. It essentially uses the Calibre framework on a server somewhere to get a small selection of magazines (I’m interested most in Wired and The New Yorker) and then send them to your device’s email address. So you can get your subscriptions anywhere for free if you’re on WiFi, or a small fee if you’re on 3G. However. I think it’s possible to go further. Granted it costs to receive documents on 3G, but you can still go on the internet and download documents for free. So my rough aim at the moment is to create some kind of personal repository of recent subscriptions of magazines on the web (probably through an email address) so I can actually get them anywhere for free. Yay! Pretty simple to implement I’m sure, but I’m focussing on working now, so it’ll have to wait.

I’m also thinking about getting my Arduino working again (it didn’t break, I just haven’t used it in a while) so I can try out some of the cool projects recommended in the most recent Wired. Anyway, just some thoughts for now.

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