Ebook week Day 4 “The Kobo Aura ebook reader”

I hate paper books. I don’t know why. Some people love them, tell them they smell good, feel nice, love to put them on a shelf, stroke them, sniff  and do other deeds that I classify under “papyrus-porn.”  I have never been one of them. One of the reasons is that for the longest time I have been reading books that are hard to find (or just ‘not around’) in this part of the world. With Amazon these days its whole different thing. You can have your copy of Fifty Shades flown in by Drone overnight and your husband doesn’t even have to untie you to accept the delivery. But back in the late 90’s it was different. I loved sci-fi books.. I loved ENGLISH sci-fi books. I traveled all over the country to one or two obscure bookshops to pick up overpriced paperbacks of Star Trek Novels and all kinds of geeky stuff I liked to read. Behold my amazement when the internet came along and i could actually DOWNLOAD (perhaps not completely ‘legal’) copies of all kinds of wonderful stuff I loved to read. So when other people where tapping appointments with non-existing pens into their Palm pilots .. i was using the little buggers to read books on. Like some proto-geek I would walk around with this little PDA in front of my face .. reading.
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When Ereaders came along I was the first to hop on board. When other geeks were still trying to make fire .. i had my first Sony PRS505 and I loved it. I loaded up 700 Star Trek novels on it and kissed reality goodbye.  However the whole tablet rave broke the loving relationship between my Sony and me .. and I started reading books on my Tablet and .. my smartphone. “Why have a separate device to read books on, if you have tablet that can do books .. and the internet , and twitter, and Facebook, and porn .. ” (Kidding : i never said ‘Porn’!)  And that is where the problem is. (not with Porn of course) but with all the other stuff. The tablet might be ok for reading , but the urge to get distracted is enormous.
You can’t “hide in a book” when you are reading on your tablet. Its that simple. the amount of Dings, popups and temptations to quickly check Facebook are too damn high ! So this week I decided to get a Kobo for my birthday.
I went for the Kobo Aura because of 3 things. 1: Its small. 2: It has a backlight (so I can read in bed) and 3: it syncs with POCKET. The design is well done, the Kobo feels nice to hold and has a long battery life even though it has a wifi connection. This “should” enable you to buy books online and all that crap.. but what its awesome for is Syncing down all those articles you tagged for “i’ll read this stuff someday’ in Pocket.
 
The digital magazine.
So aside from reading the book I had put on the Kodo using Calibre (at night , with the nice backlight) I also have a little “digital magazine” in my hands. The Calibre articles sync down over the wifi connection and give me small byte-size reads when I don’t feel like diving into the next chapter of my book. The fact that there is hardly any other form of connectivity (there is a browser on the Kobo .. but come-on,) helps you stay focused and relaxed during your reading.
I am very happy with the Kobo. The form factor (and the fact it does not have a raised bezel around the reading area) make it enjoyable to use. Its big enough for reading, but small enough to carry around. The limited Wifi is an added bonus but its the Pocket integration that helps this baby shine. A perfect balance between connectivity with the grid .. while still offering the disconnected “seclusio

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Ebook Week Day 2 : Undrm your Ebooks.

If there is one thing that I hate with a passion, then it is DRM or  Digital Rights Management. To explain it as simple as possible DRM is the technology used to screw over a paying customer. It is a form of copy protection that should prevent piracy of digital content but instead creates a paradoxical situation where it is more annoying for somebody who PAYED for said content vs anyone who chooses to pirate it.

When I forked over 15 of my well spent dollars in the Google Play store for an Ebook a couple of weeks ago, I was under the assumption that, since Google has no E-Readers of its own, I would be able to read said book on whatever Ebook reader I purchased. Lets be honest : I bought the book, Payed for it and I bought the e-reader. No biggie .. right ? Wrong ! Turns out that when trying to read the ePub file on my recently purchased Kobo Aura , the thing would not open. “DRM Protected” was the error I got.  Possible solutions were : Reading the book on my android tablet (in the Play Books app) or buying it all over again in a DIFFERENT online bookstore (with DIFFERENT drm). Not gonna happen Google, Not Gonna Happen.
Alternatively I could download a piece of Adobe software, hook up my Ebook reader, Authorize my ebook reader online, make an account with Adobe and “transplant” the book. Meanwhile the guy at the Pirate Bay who got a pirated copy of the book has been reading it for the last 4 hours and is way past the second chapter. Yet as a paying customer I have to jump through adobe hoops ? No .. no thank you.
Enter “All DRM Removal” : a great app for Windows or the Mac that lets you strip the DRM of your favorite ePub file using a simple drag-and-drop application. The first three books you “strip” are free, but then you have to pay for the app. I dropped my “Drm infested” ePub into the app and sito-presto : I got a new ePub file back.. Drm free ! After dragging it over to the ebook reader it worked like a charm.
I would not use All DRM Removal to completely strip the DRM of an ebook collection you don’t own (thats piracy , remember ? ) but for the occasional book you buy in a DRM’d store .. This is the app to set them free. Happy ebook’in !
Link.
DRM removal by Epubor.com

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