Using the Motorola Droid as an Ebook Reader

Motorola Milestone mobile phone, the European ...
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The trend with smartphones these days is to go big in size and with a blazing screen! Ofcourse that makes it almost perfect (ok, not all phones have a Retina display!) for ebooks. So if you’ve got a Motorola Droid then you’ve got a capable ebook reading device. It might seem pretty straightforward an idea, but hey, if motorola had thought of it they would have thrown in some basic ereader app..! So the trick is that you’ve got to go find apps that will turn your Motorola droid into a ebook reader.

Here’s my choice of three apps that will let you turn your motorola droid into an ebook reader:

Aldiko, with one of the coolest looking interface for an ebook app on the Android platform is a perfect choice to begin with. The app easily organizes and brings a beautiful library complete with the wooden shelves look.

Aldiko Ebook Reader for Android Devices

FBReader is a open source ebook reading client for the Android operating system and plays well on the Motorola Droid. Its a bit rough around the edges lacking that shine that Aldiko brings in, but hey I’m not complaining because its a great app for the price – Free!

eReader has been a long time player in the ebook market and has recently come out with client apps that will allow eReader users to consume ebooks on their mobile devices like the Motorola Droid. The app intergrates well with the eReader book store and you can easily buy books and carry them with you wherever you go. The app is not just for reading books that you bought from eReader but you can as well import your own existing ebooks in supported format into the app and enjoy them on your droid.

You can read my complete breakdown of apps that will enable your Motorola Droid ebook reader functionality as well as the best places to get your ebook from.

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Windows 7 & Mobile Intel 9xx chipsets

Windows 7

I recently updated my “old” windows notebook to Windows 7!! I was quite hesitant about the change as this “old” machine is an Intel Pentium R 2.33Ghz which I was not sure would play nice with Windows 7. There were posts on the web that did say that Windows 7 is definitely tolerant to older machines and does perform admirably well on them, so I decided to take the jump. The Windows 7 installation went like a breeze and within a few minutes my machine was ready to go. I noticed that all, if not most of my drivers were automatically installed and configured. The only part of my machine that did not play well with Windows 7 was my integrated graphics chipset the Intel 915 GML (which isn’t the best at everything but can be tweaked out to do some decent gaming!). The computer was pretty usable but the display driver that Windows 7 used surely slowed things down considerably
(for stuttering! even on standard def.). A quick search on the Intel site revealed the Intel 915 & 910 chipsets were not supported on Windows 7 (nor will they ever be owing to their XPDM architecture), after tweaking things to the best possible performance I decided the old machine just didn’t have the stomach for Microsoft’s latest OS. If you are looking to run Windows 7 on older machines I suggest that you think twice, though there are blog posts saying that its a possibility it definitely doesn’t mean that you would end up with a reasonably usable computer.

On a sidenote, I really loved the Windows 7 experience, already missing it 😉

Blurring sensitive data in Screencasts!

Warning: Rant!

Screencasts have taken off in a big way recently and is one of the best ways to learn or explain “stuff” ( yeah, really technical wording there!). On the Mac side of things numerous tools are available for screencasting like iShowU, Screenflow, Camtasia (for the Mac), Screnium etc. You’ve got to wonder, if so many applications are coming up then screencasting must really be a big thing. Its actually the boom in podcasting that has brought about the explosion of screencasts and its become a norm to now provide not only screenshots of a new application but also a screencast video showing how your app works!Youtube has also been a major factor in this phenomena, you can find everything from Photoshop post-processing screencasts to really niche screencasting sites like Bioscreencast which specializes exclusively in screencasts related to bioinformatics.

I have been playing around with Google wave for some time now and wanted to make a screencast of a few tricks that I learnt along the way. The problem is that casual screencasters like me don’t have dedicated machines for just screencasting – so when I use my personal machine/account for the job I do not prefer to share my contacts to the world. I quickly thought that applications like Screenflow and Camtasia should have a feature to selectively blur content (in this case email addresses & profile images) on a screencast.

After about fumbling around for more than hour I realised the fact that almost none of the currently available screencasting applications on the Mac provide this feature. Camtasia from Techsmith which has been one of the most popular screencasting apps has this feature in the Windows version of their Camtasia suite but not on the Mac! Seriously, is this such a tough feature to implement in a screencasting app? I mean all the apps support screencasting at HD resolution! but do not feature an essential requirement like blurring sensitive data on a screencast..come on!

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