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Nov 14, 2008

News: Thanks to listener Linda Hopkins, we learn from Amazon that Kindle samples are NOT designed to timeout.

Tech Tip: How to put [20,000] 2,000 classics on your Kindle using MobileReference (thanks to Nick for suggesting this one) -
1.    Connect your Kindle to your computer with USB cable.
2.    In your computer’s web browser, go to MobileReference
3.    In the main area of the web site, not the column on the left, scroll down to the section titled “Fiction Books.”
4.    In the last subcategory of that section, titled “Collection:”, click on “Classic Books Collection. Over 2,000 complete works. Only $19.99.”
5.    For use on the Kindle, it doesn’t seem to matter which platform you choose; I’ve just tested the “Desktop/Notebook/Tablet PC” platform, and that worked fine.  So in the row for “Desktop/Notebook/Tablet PC” platform, go over one column to the “Trial Version” column and click “Download Now.”
6.    You will be asked to enter your email address, so do that and then click on the green “Download Application” button.
7.    On the next screen, click on the live link which says “Click here to download: Best-Selling Classic Books Collection. Over 2000 complete works. FREE biographies and works in trial”
8.    From here, what you see will depend on whether you are using a PC or Mac, but the essentials are the same as with any other download from the Internet that you do on your computer.  For the Mac, I see a dialog box saying, “You have chosen to open” which is a zipped file containing numerous separate items.  I click on “OK” to open it with Stuffit Expander.  However your computer works, your goal is to be able to find a folder on your hard drive titled “ClassicsTrial”.  Mine shows up in a Downloads folder.
9.    Open a window that shows you the “ClassicsTrial” folder you just downloaded, and then open that folder so you can see all the items in it, beginning with “AlexandreDumasDEMO.prc” and ending with “WilliamShakespeareDEMO.prc.”
10.    Open another window that shows the Kindle icon, which you should see because your Kindle is attached to the computer by the USB cable.
11.    Doubleclick the Kindle icon, so you can see five folders, including the one labeled “Documents.”
12.    Drag the “ClassicsTrial” folder into the “Documents” folder of your Kindle.   I just tried this on my MacBook Air, and it worked fine – I assume the same process will work on a PC, but if you run into trouble you might try selecting all the individual books in the “ClassicsTrial” folder and dragging them in one big bunch into the “Documents” folder.
13.    Once you have the “ClassicsTrial” contents in the Documents folder of your Kindle, safely eject the Kindle icon and then unplug the USB cable.
14.    Checking on your Home screen, you’ll now see about three added pages of demo versions of classic books. 
15.    I’m pretty sure that once you sample some of the demo books, you’ll want to spend the $19.99 to purchase the actual collection.  I’m going to do that now but make sure they go to my SD card, to keep my main Kindle.
16.    The purchase process via Handango is routine, and you don’t have to wait for a registration code.  The folder is called “ClassicsFull” . It’s about 115 megabytes in size, so even with my speedy Comcast connection (31 megabits per second when I was doing the download last weekend) – it took a while for it all to load to my computer, and then another few minutes for it to load from the computer to the Kindle.
17.    I’ve got a 1 GigaByte SD card in my Kindle. After adding 2,000 classics I’ve got  838 MB left, or room for another 16,000 classics on a storage device that cost me less than $20.
18.    One thing I don’t like is that all these new titles appear in my Home pages on the Kindle, even though I put them on the SD card.  At least they are gathered by author, so you click on an author to see all the titles he or she wrote.
19.    All in all this is a great resource, and I want to thank Nick for suggesting that I follow the process for this week’s Tech Tip.

Interview: Jason Pontin, editor-in-chief and publisher of MIT's Technology Review, a rising star in the Kindle Store.

Quote: "The Lady with the Dog" by Anton Chekhov.

Comments: Bob Boyken, Jim Brooks, Gail Scott, Julie Booth and Will D.