Friday, February 10, 2012

Kindley advise me

I've been thinking about buying an Amazon Kindle. But I'm not sure if it will really be useful for what I want or whether it will just end up sitting on a shelf like my Eee PC and other gadgets of the month.

I know that the real purpose of the Kindle is for reading electronic books purchased from Amazon.com. However I don't see myself using it for that very much. What I am interested in is reading ham radio and electronics publications that are increasingly being made available in electronic format. Are these magazines viewable on a Kindle or do they use some proprietary format only supported by a special application that needs a PC or Mac?

One of the publications I'd probably use it for is CQ, as I'm not sure it is really worth the international postage. Then there is World Radio, which is only available in electronic form, which I have never read due to the inconvenience of having to use a PC to do it. Now ARRL is bringing out an electronic version of QST. I still look forward to the printed magazine landing on the doormat but I do pay quite a premium for that.

I'd be interested to learn from Kindle users what formats the device supports. A couple of months ago the back issues of the now defunct 73 magazine and Ham Radio were put online. I downloaded the Kindle application for Windows and was disappointed with the results. The magazines were available in Kindle format but it looked as if they had been badly scanned using an OCR system and half of the content was in Greek! The PDFs were huge files and looked more like a poor quality FAX. The best format appeared to be one called Deja Vue. I downloaded a reader for it. Does the Kindle support that?

My eyes might find it easier reading on a device that lets you zoom in and enlarge the font. Does the Kindle let you do that?

How well does the Kindle support PDF files? I expect I would use it for those a lot. With a Kindle could I read PDFs I've downloaded and stored on a drive on our network or a memory stick? I've often considered, for nostalgic reasons, ordering some electronic back issues of Radio Communication (now RadCom) from the years when I first got interested in ham radio, though so far I have always changed my mind when I see the cost!

So over to my readers. Your thoughts on this, if you would be so kind!
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