Tag Archive: Multimedia


I’ve got an Amazon Kindle 3G for my Birthday (that’s in the end of January) and after almost a year using it I finally decided to make a full extended review of the gadget.

First of all, what’s a Kindle?
Well, according to the dictionary inside Kindle itself (talking about that in a few minutes) a kindle is “something on fire. [to] arouse or inspire (an emotion or a feeling). The origin of the word comes from Old Norse – kindill ‘candle, torch’. Amazingly the normal meaning of the word has some reflection on the device itself. The “Amazon Kindle” is an e-book reader with an e-ink screen (non-touch) and a hard-key keyboard and directional pad, along with specific keys and context keys.

The logic behind Kindle
As far as I’m concern, Kindle the ultimate gadget of the first decade of the 21th Century. Even with several negative aspect (most of them software related so easily address by Amazon if they want to) the Kindle completely changed the way I read (and I’m sure the sentiment is spread around other Kindle users). The idea o Amazon Kindle is to provide eager readers (like me) with a stable and reliable platform for reading books. Most of the books will, of course, come from Kindle Store on an “AZW” format.
However, Amazon was not to ambitious and allows us to use other formats in our Kindle. The most popular is mobi and is the one I use for most of my non-Amazon Books.
Kindle as another great support to help to make it so popular. The service in itself is cross-platform. You have a Kindle Application for Windows, IPad/Iphone and Android. If you have them all (plus the Kindle Device) connected to the same Amazon account, ever time you open an amazon-book on one of the platforms it will sync that book in all other platforms that your account is linked to, sync your notes and highlights as well. Imagine this, you’re on a train voyage (from or to work) reading a book on your Kindle/Ipad and you found that specific part of the text you want to use for a presentation, so you highlight it. As soon as┬á you connect the device to the internet (on kindle 3G that’s 24/7) that highlight will go to amazon server. After the trip you arrive home, start your windows pc with internet connection and open the Kindle Application. Open the book you where reading on the train, and the highlight you’ve made is immediately available for you to copy to you favourite word processor.
This my friends is magic, or better yet, is technology at the service of production and progress ­čśÇ

Is the Kindle perfect?
Of course not! It’s made by humans, therefore it’s imperfect (sorry Amazon :p)

Positive aspects of Amazon Kindle 3G:

  • Light weight;
  • Long battery (that thing last forever);
  • e-ink screen, I use glasses and I don’t get my eyes tired from reading on it;
  • 4GB of internal memory (trust me, you don’t need more);
  • Tons of free and low price books available on the internet (specially from Project Gutenberg).

The negative aspects of Amazon Kindle 3G

There are several negative aspects of Kindle, most of them, as I said before, are software related. For starters I’ll talk about those that are related with hardware and build. The other one are, in my humble opinion, things to improve.

  • No ou-of-the-box external light source, e-ink has no self lighting system;
  • Could use a little more cpu power;
  • a touch/colour interface as option wouldn’t be bad;
  • dedicated keys to the music player;
  • numeric keys.

Things to improve. This are all software related so they can be implemented with some work (since I’m only starting now to learn programming I have no idea how hard it would be to develop them)

  • A decent music player. According with Amazon site Kindle can play music, so a decent music player would be nice;
  • A better desktop companion for Kindle Device (se more about it below);
  • The option to use accentuated characters (like the Portuguese ├ú or ├í). This characters aren’t available even with the symbol button;
  • Better viewer for pdf;
  • The ability to choose your own stand-by screens without hacking the device;
  • It would be great to sync highlights and notes on non-amazon books with the desktop application (or future kindle companion);
  • Price of new releases of books, most of the time the difference is minus $1 from paperback to kindle edition. That way to low difference to make us choose the kindle edition.

About a Desktop companion:
Right now our only option to manage our private e-book collection and sending it to kindle is Calibre (expect a full review in the following weeks). It would be a great markting move from Amazon to provide buyers with a desktop companions where you could edit, type, add pictures, bookmarks, chapters selectors, and so on, via a Desktop companion that would be an e-book (in azw or mobi – my favourite) editor/creator that even a 6 years old could use.

Conclusion:

As I said before, Kindle Device (from concept to gadget) is the innovation of the first decade of the 21th Century. I’ve already recommend it to several friends and business connections. I recommend it to anyone that likes to read.
5 stars buy ­čśÇ

Dell Home & Home Office | Ubuntu | Dell.

I was surfing the Portuguese news when I saw a reference to this site. Being a Linux user (on my Asus EEE 901) I immediately did a google search for Dell’s site in order to confirm this.

After reading the site above I simply couldn’t believe what I was reading. So there’s a major producer of personal computers going full on linux… The looks like Paradise for open-source defenders.

And the best part is that one of the reasons they advance for the support is one of the most important for companies nowadays. Safety!┬á Every business, big or small, multinational or local, depends on this simply concept. the safer the system you’re on, more confident your customers will have on your services.

As for my part, the only reason why I don’t migrate to Linux fully is a very shameful one, I just love Computer Games, either World of Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls, Neverwinter Nights or others. And despite the fact of having wine, it’s not the same thing. For instances, I can run WoW on my Asus EEE 901 via wine at 4-9fps, which is very very low, however, in a short period I used windows xp on the same computer I could run WoW at 14-20fps, which is playable. Now I know the graphic card on netbooks are poor at best, but the same game, on the same system with a diferent Os, emulation vs. native made a huge difference.

I just hope other companies follow Dell’s example, and somewhere in the near future Linux is more supported by Games producers, Software producers and Hardware producers, allowing us to have true freedom of choice ­čÖé

Cheers Dell!

My second review of an Android application, this time thanks to great community of XDA

User Rolle3k has develop a ripper for youtube that I had the honor of try today.

The concept is quite simple. After instalation do the following

  1. You browse youtube with the built-in application and choose the video you want to view and download after;
  2. press menu and chose the “share” option;
  3. from the multiple options presented, choose youtube ripper;
  4. there will be a text box saying the web adress of the video you’re about to rip, ignore it;
  5. press “rip it” wait a little bit (depends on wi-fi/3G speed) and it’s done.

Please note: do not turn your screen or the download we’ll stop. Hope the dev solves this, since it’s only a beta release.

The program saves the files as .mp4 on a folder called “youtube” on your sd card. It’s quite fast, took 12seconds to rip a 2Mb file on my wi-fi and 32seconds on my 3G network.

Tested on a MyTouch 3G 32B, stock Donut 1.6

Originality: 6/10 – there are more apk that attempt to do this
functionality: 8/10 if we could choose the target folder and file name it would be 10/10
usefullness: 10/10 sometimes I see this great video on my android and want to save it, this does the job ­čÖé
General: 7/10 it’s still a Beta so a lot of work is on the way, but it’s my conviction that Rolle3k will succeed

Bottom line:
It’s a great application and we can only hope to see more of it in the future. I suggest everyone to install it and give it a try. And the price is also good – it’s free, but don’t forget, people have to eat so press the adds and donate if you feel the application is really good.

News page about the application on xda

Application thread on xda

p.s. sorry for not posting any screenshot but since I’m running on a stock rom I can’t take any (hope google solves it in the near future)

So I bought an Omnia II. The first thing I decide to try was the video options right on the day I bought the phone I recorded a video from a concert at a cultural forum. The video and sound quality is simply amazing. And a positive point I must refer that the device was in my hand, not a support and the room was full of people.

After this try out I decide to test the dvix playback on the device. I’m a big fan of “Legend of the Seeker” so I copy the latest episode (s02e16 I think) to the device and started the playback. And it came my first disapointment. Altought the playback is quite smooth, the image quality is unclear at best. The colors are wrong as you can see on below.

on the other hand, I also tested the video playback with an episode of “Queen’s Blade” and the quality is very nice.

So, the point right now is: Does the bad colour quality on “Legend of the Seeker” is due to be a “people” video, or is it the codec? My guess goes for the first because I also tried the playback with “Stargate: Universe” and “Star Trek: Voyager” with the same lousy results in therms of colour.

Bottom line: It’s a good option to see movies and videos because I don’t have to convert them to mp4, like I have to do to see the videos on my android or my psp 1000; but if I have the time to convert the videos, I’ll definitely go for the android or psp option.

p.s. the pictures where taken from my android, and as far as I can tell, the p0int I want to make, about the colour, is quite explicit.