Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Nooking it up

I find that reading books on my tablet is easier than carrying a book around with me. The main problems are that the tablet is still a little large and heavy and the battery life. With a vacation coming up in a situation where I might have trouble charging, I decided that a dedicated reader might be a good idea.

At the same time, my wife decided to try a reader.

We went with different models of the Nook. I went for the new touch-screen version. It is small, light, and has great battery life. My wife wanted something that was lit instead of depending on ambient light so she got a Nook color. This is a stripped-down tablet.

We went with these because, at this time, Amazon does not have a Kindle to match either unit.

I found my Nook to be exactly what I expected. It is light-weight and still fairly easy to read although not as easy as my tablet. I charged it, loaded it with some books, and was off.

My wife's experience is not quite as good. She has never gotten along well with touch screen and we haven't finished configuring everything on her tablet.

I can say that the Nook Color seems fairly responsive even though it uses an older and slower chip than others. It is surprisingly light-weight and it is able to play video files, at least the ones provided by Barnes and Noble.

One of the selling points to me was the existence of a program that stripes books from Amazon of their DRM (Digital Rights Management). I tried this Sunday to be sure that it works. Keep in mind that I am only using this to load books that I purchased on alternate devices.

Surprise. On Monday, Amazon sent an update to the Kindle for PC program that stopped the program from stripping the DRM. Fortunately I had an easy fix - remove the updated program and re-install the earlier version. I also turned off the auto-update setting.

Even with this, it is complicated moving  a book from Kindle to Nook. First I have to download the book onto my PC. Then I have to copy it to a different directory and use a command-line function to remove the DRM. Then I use a program called Caliber to reformat the book in EPub. Finally, I copy this to my Nook. The whole process requires three programs and four directories. This is a strong incentive to make future purchases from Barnes and Noble instead of Amazon.

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