SmallNews 2.4 is available for download. The main new feature in this release is support for the Amazon Kindle.
On the settings page, you can tick the box to create the Kindle version, and optionally provide an email address to send it to. This works well with the Kindle’s “personal documents” delivery service; if you put your @free.kindle.com address in here, the file will be delivered to your Kindle next time it connects by Wifi (more details on Kindle personal documents here)
The Kindle version generated is actually a .mobi (Mobipocket) file, so should also work with other readers which support this format, but I haven’t tried any of these. It is generated using Amazon’s kindlegen utility, which is only available for Intel Macs, so this feature will not work on PPC.
The licence prevents me from including kindlegen in the distribution package, so the first time it is needed, it is downloaded from Amazon. So if you are going to use this, you ought to agree to Amazon’s terms and conditions first.
One other change in this release – previously, PDFs could only be created if Prince XML was already installed. In this release, Prince XML will be downloaded the first time it is needed, in the same way as kindlegen. So, again, you ought to agree to the licence agreement before using this. Prince XML will be downloaded even if you had previously installed it, but it will be kept separate from your existing installation.
SmallDVD received a mention on The Unofficial Apple Weblog, in a list of alternatives to iDVD. The latest release of iLife doesn’t enhance iDVD or iWeb at all, so the TUAW article looks at the alternatives. I believe that SmallDVD is the only free alternative to iDVD listed.
I finally got round to ordering my Amazon Kindle, and it arrived yesterday. First impressions…
- It’s very light, and very nice to hold
- It’s much, much quicker than my Sony Reader,.
- The screen contrast seems better as well, making it easier to read in poor light that the Sony was.
- Emailing PDFs to it via your @free.kindle.com address works well
- The 6” inch ebook format PDF from SmallNews works well on the Kindle screen. The text could perhaps do with being one point larger, but that might just be my ageing eyes.
However, one big disappointment for me is that it doesn’t support PDF bookmarks, which makes it much harder to navigate around a PDF created by SmallNews. This is a major thing for me, so I am going to look into the possibility of SmallNews creating a Kindle native format edition.
Oops. The “fix” in SmallNews 2.3 for occasional crashes when writing to MySQL actually made things much worse. It wouldn’t crash… but it just wrote empty data to the database.
That’s fixed in SmallNews 2.31.
[ UPDATE: However, this does seem to have reintroduced the crashing problem. It only seems to happen on MacOSX 10.5 when using a MySQL database. More investigation required. In the meantime, to workaround the problem, just set the database type to “none” ]
This version also adds a new PDF format option. “Mobile phone” will create a PDF with pages 42mm x 42mm. The main device this is aimed at is a Samsung Genio, on which it looks pretty good. It also works OK with my Nokia E63, and I would guess it should be OK with other phones with QVGA screens and PDF readers.
SmallShrink 0.4 is available for download.
This version (at long last) makes it easier to work out which titles from the DVD you want to copy.
Also, I’ve finally got round to writing some instructions on how to use SmallShrink.
SmallShrink 0.4 only supports MacOSX 10.6. I thought that the previous version also worked on 10.5, but on closer inspection, it didn’t really. 10.5 support is feasible, and I hope to add it back in soon.