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As I wrote a couple of days ago, my wife and I got a pair of Kindle 2 book readers.  While she started fresh, I had a little work to move my book content over to the new unit.

When I ordered the two new Kindles, they showed up under my Amazon account as my 2nd and 3rd Kindles.  Once the units arrived, we enjoyed our out-of-box experience, which was on par with the excellent Zune packaging.  The Kindle took recycling to a new high since essentially everything but the cling wrap, the protective cover instructions, and the quick summary card was paper-based.  I ended up disposing of all the Amazon packaging in our paper recycling bin.

I prepared for the transfer of my content with a backup of all the Kindle document content to my computer hard drive.  I copied everything to a My Documents folder.  When you hook up a Kindle via USB, it shows up as a standard USB drive.  The Kindle documents directory holds all your content.

After copying my books to the computer, I deleted them from my Kindle 1 in preparation for selling it.  To clean up before copying everything to the Kindle 2, I deleted the blog files since new versions would be downloaded when I synched up.  I also deleted the My Clips files, since they were an experiment on my part that contained nothing of interest.  One lesson learned here was that the Kindle 1 Mobipocket eBook Auxiliary Files (the ones with a .mbp file extension) seem to be different from those on the Kindle 2.  When I copied them, none of the associated documents would open.  Once deleted and the unit restarted, everything worked fine.

I like keeping a backup of all my Kindle content on my main computer, since my Windows Home Server will make an image backup as well.  That way, a restore will be easy.

Swapping the Kindles around with the Amazon management interface was straightforward.  The only issue with my wife's Kindle was reading the tiny serial number (miniscule gray text on a brushed aluminum back) and typing it into the text box.  For this, I can only blame aging eyes, .

After the first day of use, the results are positive for both of us.  My wife likes the convenience.  We bought four books she wanted and downloaded them wirelessly without a hitch.  She like reading it one-handed and its thinness is a big plus for her when compared with some of the weighty paper books she has toted around for years.

I like the Kindle 2 for all its improvements over the first version -- size, weight, layout, etc.  I really like that they shifted to a micro USB port so I can use the same charger as my cell phone.  That is one fewer thing I need to take on trips.  I miss the switch to turn off the cellular modem.  While the menu interface is OK, it is not as convenient when I am in an airplane.  The four-way controller is a big improvement over the previous scroll wheel.  It took a bit of adjustment to shift from the two-key sleep activate/deactivate to remembering to use the slide switch.  I wish they had made the switch a little easier to move.  That switch is the only means to control power -- a brief slide will shift it in and out of sleep mode, holding it 5-10 seconds will power the unit off, holding it for more than 15 seconds will reset the unit.  That reset function is your only way out of a freeze-up, since they removed the reset button, the keyboard reset and the ability to access the battery.

As we use the new readers, I will post our longer term impressions.

Update: I thought my backups were along the lines of a good standard computing practice, but this and this concerns me.  I read the Amazon terms of service and do not see where they say they will do remote deletions, so I agree that Amazon appears to have violated their own terms of service since the books were purchased in good faith.  This is not a Kindle deal breaker, but I will continue with my computing precautions for all my electronic content.

Posted on Friday, July 17, 2009 3:31 PM Personal | Back to top

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