of the Kindle I failed to mention in my last post and that could possibly be noteworthy for traveling knitters: it can read pdf files — extremely handy for loading up a few patterns to take along on a trip.
It’s always a trauma for me when I travel. Which yarn? Which patterns? It never fails. I take more of one or both than I can possibly use just to be sure I have a worthwhile project to occupy my traveling down time. It’s nice to know that now, I can take several extra pdf patterns with no extra bulk.
As a graphic designer, creating a pdf from any pattern in my library isn’t a huge challenge. But even if I couldn’t create my own pdf files, there are so many great patterns in pdf format this shouldn’t be a limitation for most people. Additionally, the Kindle manual states “you can e-mail Microsoft Word, TXT, HTML, RTF, or image files like JPEGs and GIFs to your dedicated Kindle e-mail address . . . and we’ll convert the document into Kindle format and wirelessly send it directly to your Kindle . . . for free.”
Meanwhile, pdf’s are easy enough to load on the Kindle all by yourself. Connect the USB cable from the Kindle to the computer, open the Kindle device, drag or paste the file(s) into the “documents” folder and you’re off to the races. Once you have disconnected the Kindle from the computer, the pdf file name shows up in the list of items available on the Kindle at the main menu.
It’s possible to change the viewing orientation and the viewing size, which makes using charts a possibility — if they are in black and white. The Kindle screen isn’t in color.
It would be a bit unwieldy to use the Kindle for a large chart. However, it certainly is workable for small charts, like the type one might use for socks or a simple shawl. It’s hard for me to imagine traveling with a really complicated project. I like my travel projects to be interesting, but not so attention-intensive that I miss out on the experience of traveling. If you prefer traveling with really complicated lace or other charted projects, then the Kindle won’t serve as a suitable way to store your pattern. You would spend more time adjusting the screen than you would knitting.
If you have a set of ear buds or headphones, you can also load audio books on the Kindle for travel listening. I dragged a collection of mp3 files into the “audible” folder and they work just fine. I think there’s a way to play mp3 files in the background while you are reading a book or using a pdf; but, I haven’t figured that out yet and I won’t have to because, after seeing how nice the Kindle was, I got bit by the electronic device acquisition bug.
I bought a Nano in blue to match my Kindle. However, the day after I bought it, I had an epiphany and called Apple to exchange it for an Ipod Classic. They had already shipped, so I got to see both the Nano and Classic side by side. Yes, the Nano is darling. It is the cutest little mp3 player I’ve ever seen. I loved it. But, for me, the 160 GB capacity of the Classic and the ability to plug it into external speakers was a bigger draw. Bye, bye Nano. Maybe you can come home with me again at Christmas.
After Apple releases the next version of the IPad, I may splurge for one of those too. But meanwhile, unlike the Ipad, the Kindle has no monthly wireless access fees and like the Ipad, if you opt for the model so equipped, it can access 3G networks which opens up some additional travel possibilities.
The Kindle comes with an experimental application for reading web pages. I tried it to look at Ravelry and found it unworkable. Even so, I’m delighted to find the Kindle can do more than I expected. I’m looking forward to being able to take a few extra knitting patterns on my next trip in addition to books for travel reading. With it’s portable size and ease of use, in my opinion, the Kindle is really worth its $189 price tag.