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This Weekend's Reading: "Grant" and "Lincoln and His Generals"

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I’m reading this weekend for class, Lincoln and His Generals by T. Harry Williams.

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For pleasure, I’m reading Grant by Jean Edward Smith, this on my Kindle.

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Kindle 3 DX Announced! Yes I've Pre-ordered Mine

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KindleDX

Publishers. Are you listening?

Many of you know that I was pretty excited about my Kindle 2. See all my previous posts on it here. This week, Amazon.com announced that they will release the new Kindle 3 DX this summer which has a larger form factor (9.7-inch diagonal screen). Other key enhancements include the following:

  • More storage – 3,500 hundred books instead of 1,500 on the Kindle 2
  • Native PDF reader on board where as the Kindle 2 required conversion
  • Accelerometer on board which is the technology that causes the screen to move from portrait to landscape when you rotate the device 90 degrees. VERY COOL! I believe Amazon refers to the feature as an “Auto-Rotating Screen.”

K3Rotated

The DX using the same electronic-ink technology that prints digitally to the screen and is amazingly readable. Images are even more incredible to view than text. And it uses the super fast Sprint national high-speed (3G) data network that Amazon refers to as Whispernet (at no CHARGE!).

Man I wished I had had this when I was in engineering school. You try carrying a ginormous calculus textbook that covers Calc I, II, and III, physics for engineering book, chemistry, statics, and all the lab books around all over campus in a backpack!

Great for work, school, and pleasure. Highly recommend.

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New Kindle 2 Book Acquisitions – Military Strategists

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I’ve added some titles to my Kindle 2. I own print versions of most of these but want to use the text-to-speech capabilities of the Kindle 2 to review them again while mobile.

jominiartofwar1

  • Title: The Art of War
  • Author: Antoine de Jomini, Capt. G.H. Mendell, Lieut. W.P. Craighill
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1387 KB
  • Publisher: MyEclectica.com (March 14, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00162BZDW

clausewitz-on-war

  • Title: On War
  • Author: Carl con Clausewitz
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1088 KB
  • Publisher: MyEclectica.com (February 22, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00156DW1C

theartofcommandinganarmy

  • Title: The Art of Commanding An Army
  • Author: Frederick the Great
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 107 KB
  • Publisher: MacMay (November 26, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001M5U5O8

withfrederickthegreat

  • Title: With Frederick the Great: A Story of the Seven Years’ War
  • Author: G. A. Henty
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 586 KB
  • Publisher: LeClue (February 7, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0013L9678

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This just in – Amazon Kindle for iPhone Application

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Amazon hit my mailbox with their announcement about the launch of a Kindle application for the iPhone and iPhone Touch. This effectively makes available to iPhone users the 240,000 books currently in the Kindle Store. I know my previous posts on my new Kindle 2 (see below) generated a lot of discussion so I’ll be interested in whether any of you iPhone users plan to give this a try. I have an iPhone Touch and will give it a go myself. I’ve heard some of you say that you have some challenges reading books on your iPhone so will be interested in your thoughts. I’m assuming the size factor is one of the key issues.

Of note, I’ve read posts around the net about rumors of a larger Kindle targeted toward the student market. I’ve heard it would be 81/2 by 11 inches and thus perfect for textbooks and  storing school documents or journal reading assignments. VERY COOL if it happens. The Kindle 2 missed some rumored launch dates so rumors are rumors.

The folks at Oxford University Press seem to be jumping on the Kindle bandwagon. As I mentioned in my post titled Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln’s Opponents in the North, Weber’s book is available in a Kindle version. Also, their dictionary is preloaded on Kindle 2 and can provide word-by-word definitions at the bottom of the page as you read through a book if you so desire.

It will be interesting to see if Amazon will port their application to other phones and networks in the near future. Sprint’s Instinct, HTC Touch, and the upcoming Palm Pre (I want one) would seem to be excellent options.

What this does signal is another way to quickly download, carry, and read not only books in print but the myriad of “public domain” documents available, many being primary source material. See my previous post here on just a few of those titles already loaded on Amazon for download at either no charge or minimal charge that should be of interest to those into 19th century American and / or the American Civil War.

Here are quick links to the previous posts on Kindle 2. I recommend, if you are intrigued and considering a Kindle 2, that you read the comments.

My New Kindle 2
More on My New Kindle 2
WOW – This just In! Kindle Store has 7000 Public Domain Books including Civil War Memoirs
Free or Inexpensive American Civil War Titles for Kindle

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Free or Inexpensive American Civil War Titles for Kindle

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I’ve spent some time at the Kindle Store perusing their books for deals on American Civil War Books. I’ll follow up with additional lists on Military History and History in general although they are numerous. One plus – many of the Army Field manuals are available for $0.99, You could, of course, download most of the latter from other sites and load to you Kindle as well.

Of note, David Woodbury over at of Battlefields and Bibliophiles has posted an outstanding piece on the digitalization of books phenomena which you can read here.

Here’s my list so far of ACW books that are free or under $2.00 in the Kindle Store. Bear in mind that most of these are in the public domain so you can also load them to your Kindle 2 for free in the manners I described in previous posts.

General Histories

History of the Civil War, 1861 – 1865 by James Ford Rhodes $0.99

Memoirs and Biographies

Sheridan

Sheridan

Personal Memoirs of P. H. Sheridan, General, United States Army Volume 1 by Philip Henry, General, 1831-1888 Sheridan – $0.00
Personal Memoirs of P. H. Sheridan, General, United States Army Volume 2 by Philip Henry, General, 1831-1888 Sheridan – $0.00
Personal Memoirs of P.H. Sheridan, both volumes in one file by Philip Henry Sheridan – $0.99

Grant

U.S. Grant

Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant Volume 1 by Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885 Grant – $0.00
Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant Volume 2 by Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885 Grant – $0.00
Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant by Ulysses S. Grant and Mark Twain- $0.99
Letters of Ulysses S. Grant to His Father and His Youngest Sister, 1857-1878 by Ulysses S. Grant and Jesse Grant Cramer – $0.99
Campaigning with Grant (1907, [c1897]), First Person Account of Ulysses S. Grant During the Civil War by Horace Porter – $1.59

Stonewall Jackson

Stonewall Jackson

Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War, both volumes in a single file by Colonel G.F.R. Henderson – $0.99
Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War by G. F. R. Henderson – $0.99
Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War by G.F.R. Henderson and Viscount Wolseley – $0.99

Lee

Lee

The Life of General Robert E. Lee by Captain Robert E. Lee (his son) – $0.99
A Life of General Robert E. Lee by John Esten Cooke – $0.99
Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee by his son by Captain Robert E. Lee – $0.99
With Lee in Virginia, a Story of the American Civil War by G.A. Henty – $0.99

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W. T. Sherman

Memoirs of General William T. Sherman by William T. Sherman – $0.99

Thirteen Months in the Rebel Army by William G. Stevenson – $0.99
Captains of the Civil War – A Chronicle of the Blue and the Gray by William Wood – $0.99
Military Reminiscences of the Civil War, both volumes in a single file by Jacob Dolson Cox – $0.99
Military Reminiscences of the Civil War, Volume 1 by Jacob Dolson Cox – $1.84
Military Reminiscences of the Civil War, Volume 2 by Jacob Dolson Cox – $1.84
Reminiscences of Two Years with the Colored Troops by Joshua M. Addeman – $0.99
Army Life in a Black Regiment by Thomas Wentworth Higginson – $1.00
Heroes of the Great Conflict: Life and Services of William Farrar Smith, Major General, United States Volunteer in the Civil War by James Harrison Wilson – $0.99
The Scouts of Stonewall: The Story of the Great Valley Campaign by Joseph A. (Joseph Alexander), 1862-1919 Altsheler
The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government by Jefferson Davis

Regimental Histories

History of Company E of the Sixth Minnesota Regiment by Alfred J. Hill – $1.59

Women

Woman’s Work in the Civil War; A Record of Heroism, Patriotism, and Patience by M.D. L. P. Brockett – $1.80
Memories: a Record of Personal Experience and Adventure During Four Years of War by Mrs. Fannie A. Beers – $0.99

Fortifications and Armaments

A History of Lumsden’s Battery, C.S.A. by Dr. George Little and james R. Maxwell – $1.99
History of the Confederate Powder Works by George W. Rains- $1.19

Naval

"The Fight Between the Alabama and the Kearsarge" [NH59354]

The Story of the Kearsarge and the Alabama by A. K. Browne – $0.99
The Cruise of the Alabama and the Sumter, both volumes in a single file by Raphael Semmes- $0.99

Railroads

The Great Railroad Adventure – a True Tale from the American Civil War by Lieut. William Pittenger – $0.99

Prisons

Andersonville: a Story of Rebel Military Prisons, all four volumes in a single file by John McElroy – $0.99

Other Biography

John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth

The Life, Crime & Capture of John Wilkes Booth by George Alfred Townsend – $0.99

Speeches and Legislative Documents

Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address by Abraham Lincoln – $0.49

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln – $0.49
The Emancipation Proclamation (Preliminary and Final Version) by Abraham Lincoln and William Seward – $0.80

Jefferson Davis’ Inaugural Address by Jefferson Davis – $0.99

Civil War Photography

Taking Photographs During the Civil War – $0.80

Fiction

The Little Regiment and Other Episodes of the American Civil War by Stephen Crane. Published by MobileReference (mobi) by Stephen Crane – $0.99
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane – $0.99

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WOW – This just In! Kindle Store has 7000 Public Domain Books including Civil War Memoirs

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So in my last post, I was saying you could get public domain books to your Kindle for 10 cents if you wanted to find them and upload them for conversion by Amazon and send to you wirelessly. I just found a terrific Kindle Blog that has the following post that indicates that in late January, Amazon loaded 4700 Public Domain Books to their Kindle Store. This saves the hassle of uploading. The post on February 7 indicates that there are 7000 Public Domain books available on the site now. Amazing!

So I just went out to the Kindle Store. Remember that Phil Sheridan’s Memoir that I uploaded and then crossloaded? It was already there on the Kindle store for free broken into parts.

Check it out here.

Grant’s Memoirs are also there.

I “bought” (for zero dollars) both memoirs and seven volumes of The World’s Greatest Fiction. All of these were downloaded and ready for me to read within less than 20 seconds.

Wow…

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More on My New Kindle 2 – Using it with Public Domain Books

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My new Amazon Kindle 2

My new Amazon Kindle 2

There has been a lot of interest in my Kindle 2 since last night’s post here. Harry Smeltzer from Bull Runnings has asked some great questions that have led to a little experimentation on my part. You’re welcome to follow in the comments on the original post but here’s some information many of you will find helpful. Also, I made a correction to my original post. Amazon doesn’t convert files you upload for conversion to PDF but rather to Kindle (.AZW, .AZW1). This is what it sends to your Kindle wirelessly or that you can download from the site and move to your Kindle via USB. Read below for more details. I have the same interest Harry does in reading public domain books on the Kindle.

—Snip from comments—

—Harry said—

It sounds like I should be able to download pdfs into the device myself, and would only need Amazon if I wanted something converted to pdf. Or would I need to go through Amazon anyway to get it into a format compatible with Kindle? The reason I’m so nagging about this is that I would love to be able to read these public domain books (thousands available for free from various sources, including Google) on something other than a computer.

—My reply—

AHA! This is COOL.

OK Harry – so here’s the scoop. The Kindle will read the following file formats:
Kindle (.AZW, .AZW1)
Text(.TXT)
Unprotected Mobipocket (.MOBI, .PRC) (Without DRM)
Audible (.AA, .AAX)
MP3 (.MP3)

So I just downloaded saved an ASCII text version (.TXT) of “The Memoirs of General P. H. Sheridan, Complete” (i.e. both volumes) from Project Gutenberg. I connected my Kindle via the USB to my MAC and simply dragged and dropped the .txt file into the Documents folder on the Kindle. I disconnected the Kindle and VOILA, I have published the entire work to my Kindle.

Now you can also upload to Amazon for conversion files in the following formats:
.DOC
PDF (this is experimental)
Structured HTML (.HTML, .HTM)
JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG)
GIF (.GIF)
PNG (.PNG)
BMP (.BMP)
Compressed ZIP (.ZIP)

They will convert it to Kindle-speak (see formats above) which appear to be UNIX-based and wirelessly send it to your Kindle for $0.10 like I mentioned before. That said, I sent the same book as above in Word (.DOC) over and hour ago to be converted and it hasn’t happened yet. But it’s a BIG HONKING file to be sure. So it may just take some time for really big stuff.

It goes without saying, but I will, that this is not intended to be used for copyrighted materials. I recommend that you review the copyright rules for any site you get ebooks from. Project Gutenberg has some excellent guidelines here. They have some books which are, for example, licensed for use on their site but that license does not allow readers to distribute it. Those in the Public Domain can be used IF you remove the Project Gutenberg trademark and license (which I did for the Sherman Memoir).

Another nice feature is that the dictionary constantly runs at the bottom of the page. So if you run the pointer down the page, it automatically looks up the words and provides a definition at the bottom. I need more text books in this format!!!

Very cool.

My New Kindle 2

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My new Amazon Kindle 2

My new Amazon Kindle 2

I took the plunge and bought an Amazon Kindle 2. This was a tough decision because (here’s where my family roll their eyes) I’m a bit obsessive about my books. But there are times when I’d really like a book NOW. So I’m considering this an expensive experiment. Here are my impressions so far.

  • Packaging was very cool. Nicely done.
  • Instructions were very easy to follow. I was up and running in seconds.
  • The device came set up and registered so I didn’t have to register it. I could start browsing the Kindle store and downloading.
  • I bought the standard leather case (see below) and I’m glad I did. It lets me feel like I’m holding a real book which I like.
  • The Whispernet technology was amazing. Well done Sprint.
  • It came with The New Oxford American Dictionary loaded for free which is always handy.
  • I can preview books for free.
  • I’ve bought already The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, Richard Crawley ($0.99) which I ordered from the Kindle itself.
  • I then ordered – via my computer on Amazon’s site – David Liss’ book, The Whiskey Rebels: A Novel - and with one click, it was automatically sent to my Kindle 2.  It was done in seconds. Sweet! And I paid $9.99.
  • I can also download and listen to audiobooks but these I must download to my Mac and then transfer to the Kindle. The unit has two speakers and a headset jack.
  • The Kindle  comes with text-to-speech technology so i can have any text book read to me if I choose. The voice intonation is not at all bad. It’s not a performance but it’s quite functional.
  • I can archive content on Amazon’s site and reload anytime I want which is great. No need to hook up to the computer or store on an external harddrive.
  • I can bookmark, mark up, highlight, and add notes to what I’m reading.
  • I can store personal documents. I can send any document to my Kindle email and Amazon will convert it to pdf [CORRECTION - IT DOESN'T CONVERT TO PDF BUT A PROPRIETARY FORMAT but read the comments for more options] for free and ship it back to my computer. To send it to the Kindle, they will charge a small fee. This is one of their “experimental” features.
  • I can transfer MP3s to my Kindle to listen to music while I read. The transfer would be from my Mac.

kindle2-case

My leather case

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