I've been contemplating some form of an E-Book Reader for a number of months. I go back and forth between a Nook and a Kindle (though I suppose I could consider a Sony Digital Reader as well (Amazon Link)). I've had an iPhone for years and although I love it, I'm completely convinced that nobody should read a book on a backlight device. If you've tried, I can only imagine you've had a similar experience to mine - it sucks, and your eyes get tired (especially considering I do most of my book-reading in bed). E Ink is the way to go (which both the Kindle and Nook (the black and white one) have).
No matter what the device is, however, I have complaints with DRM (the way they don't let you copy your digital books to other devices you own). Much like music, and how I listen to it on any number of devices, or places, I don't want to be limited to where I can read or reference digital books (I won't go into the discussion about how physical books are irreplaceable). With that in mind, I wanted to find a way to remove the copy-protection from the books I buy. If I buy it on Barnes & Noble, I'd like to reference it on my iPhone, or maybe on a Kindle (which I don't own). Or, if I buy it on Amazon, I'd like to read it on a Nook or my phone. You get the point. To that end, I found a couple invaluable resources for doing doing just that, and wanted to pass them along.
- I♥Cabbages is obviously interested in (and immensely skilled at) reverse engineering, specifically the copy protection around digital books.
- Darkreverser's blog is the treasure trove for the tools needed to remove the DRM from the books you buy. Obviously not adept at blogging, he opts to post updates to the tools in the comments, so read there for the newest tools (here, as of this writing).
- The tools you download are GUI Python scripts, which you'll run on your desktop. You'll probably need some extra tools installed to be able to do that:
- Calibre is the best (free) way to convert your books from one format to another. It has far more features than I understand, but it's easy enough to figure out the basics.
I've already bought books from both stores, and these handy tools have allowed me the freedom to read them where I choose. Now, I can buy where the price is better, and read wherever I choose. Don't mistake this blog post or my intentions. Don't steal books. My interest in removing copy protection is to let me read where I choose, not to let others read what I choose.
P.S. I promise not to post something immensely geeky to my blog tomorrow… but you should subscribe to my Links feed as well.
P.P.S. Have you played Minecraft yet? It's immensely pointless and addicting. Don't miss out on Minepedia to answer your questions, and Brown & Bloom to help things look better.
I've made a (practically completely useless) T-SQL ASCII Text Art Generator. Despite my affection for all things Apple, during the day people pay me to be a Microsoft/Windows geek - specifically a T-SQL and Microsoft's SQL Server (and Reporting/Intelligence Services) geek. I needed a little brush-up on loops, and went overboard to make this thing. If you feed in the right stuff, you'll end up with useless things like this:
88""Yb 888888 8888b. 88""Yb dP"Yb
88__dP 88__ 8I Yb 88__dP dP Yb
88""" 88"" 8I dY 88"Yb Yb dP
88 888888 8888Y" 88 Yb YbodP
I've made the code available for your useless purposes (and I offer no waranty or support for this stuff). You can see the clean version here and the more easily editable version here. I've licensed the code under Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike. Copy, distribute, transmit, adapt the work, so long as you give me credit for the original, and if you distribute this (or a variation) that you have a similar license. I have no clue how well it'll work in MySQL, but I'm sure somebody can find out. No matter what, enjoy.
I found great humor in Josh Millard's Useless Fliers. I immediately copied his idea, and made several of my own fliers/flyers, and posted them at work. My only problem was that I didn't want anybody to know it was me. Here we are now, months later and I still don't think anybody truly figured it out (though some were pretty close). Either way, it doesn't matter, since I've stopped. Despite that, I wanted to share my creations with you people reading the internet. Print one of these things out. Cut where appropriate. Post it. Enjoy the results. As with other creations, I'd love to hear about your own. Some of my favorite (of my own creations) are:
You can see the full listing of fliers, and download your copies to print out here. Several of them came about as inspired by McSweeney's Lists (a continual source of enlightenment). Happy posting! Read more...
The other day, Cabel Sasser (@cabel) (of Panic, fireworks displaying, and snack hunting), tweeted about some tile work uncovered in a building undergoing renovations (I'd love to know the building's name). Five days later, he tweeted again showing the unfortunate destruction of that same tile work. I thought it'd be a shame if that tile didn't get more attention/rememberance, and spent the time to digitize it.
Here is the base hexagonal pattern, and a modification using Panic's (and their awesometastic FTP application Transmit's) colors:
Additionally, I've gone and created a full-sized desktop picture (perfectly fits my 27" iMac).
Download: my original Fireworks PNGs. The file has both the main, hexagonal pattern, and the side square pattern. If you create your own versions, I'd love to hear about them.
I hate 80's Music, or at least that's what I thought, and what I've offended countless people by saying in the past. If you're a regular reader of my ramblings, you're familiar with my G2 series of mixes I make for Maria. Among the various mixes, I've tackled the 60's and 70's on their own mix, with the latter being one of the current kings of the hill as a double disc album. So, it's with a humble heart that I apologize to all of those people who I have offended with this mistaken odious proclamation. I'm sorry, I just wasn't giving the 80's enough credit, and the statement was too broad. I just hate Tears for Fears, The Cure, and that general style of 80's New Wave (as well as some of the overly synthesized or strong-beat) music. Now that I've probably offended the same fans of the 80's all over again, let's get on with this mix. Read more...