Thejesh GN

A Blog, A Website and A container for all my views with excerpts from technology, travel, films, india, photography, kannada, friends and other interests. I am Thejesh GN. Friends call me Thej

Books, Books and Books

Posted by Thejesh GN On May - 1 - 2012

Thanks to Audible and Kindle. I have already read/listened to nine books this year. I am very happy about it considering that I read 5 books in entire twelve months of 2011.

1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
2. The Art of Deception by Kevin Mitnick
3. Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin Mitnick
4. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
5. Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius
6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
7. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
8. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson
9. What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard P. Feynman
10. Burning Chrome by William Gibson (Progress)
11. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Progress)

I want to do at least 25 books this year. Suggestions please. You know what I like :)

Audio Boooks and Pain of DRM

Posted by Thejesh GN On January - 19 - 2012

Since last december I have been listening to books than reading. It makes my daily commute enjoyable. The last three books have been Steve Jobs, Art of Inception and Ghost in the Wires. That’s three books in one and half months, not bad. I used to listen to lot of podcasts while driving. I have reduced podcast listening and shifted to audio books.

I have a platinum account on Audible and I get 2 books for month in that plan. It works great except its DRMed and wont work on Linux. I need to figure out a way to export the audio so I can save them for later use. Audible allows backing up to the CDs through. CDs for heaven’s sake, who uses CDs anymore for backing up? And itunes is a PITA.

I am looking for good software which can undrm the books for me for my own personal usage. I found this list of tools but not sure yet. I would love to pay for the software. HELP.

This such a good example of DRM troubling god fearing, paying and non-pirate customer. All I want to do is backup what I have bought and it shouldnt be such a pain to a paid customer.

Book: Anything you want

Posted by Thejesh GN On July - 10 - 2011

Anything you want

Just finished Anything you want by Derek Sivers. Its not your boring business book even though it talks about CDBaby. Its a small book with lots of stories. It reads like a blog, hence its more personal than most of the business books. But it does have some good suggestions for anybody who wants startup anything.

Some interesting quotes from the Book

  • When you make a company, you make a utopia. It’s where you design your perfect world.
  • “Revolution” is a term that people use only when you’re successful. Before that, you’re just a quirky person who does things differently.
  • If you’re not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, say “no”.
  • Resist the urge to punish everyone for one person’s mistake.
  • Whatever you make, it’s your creation, so make it your personal dream come true.

Another interesting part of this book is about the way it got published. Its published by Domino Project, started by Seth Godin.

The Domino Project is named after the domino effect—one powerful idea spreads down the line, pushing from person to person. The Project represents a fundamental shift in the way books (and digital media based on books) have always been published. Eventually consisting of a small cadre of stellar authors, this is a publishing house organized around a new distribution channel, one that wasn’t even a fantasy when most publishers began.

For most of us Indians, its not available if its not on FlipKart :( So Domino Project please do push it to FlipKart. Kindle owners don’t have to worry.

Using Barcode Scanner for buying books in India

Posted by Thejesh GN On April - 13 - 2011

isbn.net.in is the easiest way to get book prices from all e-stores in India. Given an ISBN code it gives prices from almost all e-stores in India, Very useful. But if you want to check book prices on the go (specially in a physical book store), then it’s not an easy. It’s tedious to get ISBN from the book and then enter it on mobile. What if we combine everything into simple android app I thought. ISBN.net.in has JSON API anyway. But wait yet another android app? How many apps will I install?

I have Barcode Scanner installed already. It can read barcodes off the book and pass that to any url. There you go. All I need to do was attach the read ISBN code to URL.

//example

http://isbn.net.in/0142000280

//custom search url 

http://isbn.net.in/%s

1. Once you install the barcode scanner
2. Go to settings
3. Scroll down to custom search url and add

http://isbn.net.in/%s

4. Come back and scan the code from any book
5. Once it reads the code, click on custom search button
6. Voila!

Thanks to Swaroop for isbn.net.in and cost on kindle would be great :)

Kindle and hacking heroes

Posted by Thejesh GN On March - 14 - 2011

amazon link to book After a very long break I am back into reading books. I must say my attention span has reduced. I had to concentrate hard for the first twenty pages to get into the groove. No internet (actually avoiding it) helped. I was at Hyderabad airport and flight was delayed by an hour. I generally plan well and hence I was there an hour before. I started reading Hackers – Heroes of computer revolution. Its an interesting book which gives history of computer hackers and how the culture grew. I cant believe I hadn’t read it until now. The definition of hacker I found in this book is one of the best

Hackers believe that essential lessons can be learned about the systems—about the world—from taking things apart, seeing how they work, and using this knowledge to create new and even more interesting things. They resent any person, physical barrier, or law that tries to keep them from doing this. This is especially true when a hacker wants to fix something that (from his point of view) is broken or needs improvement.

I couldnt resist, I switched on the tethering on my Nexus 1, connected my kindle to internet through wifi and shared this quote with my twitter followers. All this from with in Kindle and with out getting distracted. I am not sure if this is called social reading(?). First two chapters are available on Project Gutenberg for free download and whole book costs $11 on Kindle store. Its a must read book for anybody who want to know about hackers.
Some pictures I clicked. This is unpacking
Kindle unpacking
Clicked inside the flight
Kindle compared to coke bottle
May be this year I will read more books. Probably because I carry the whole library all the time. Kindle is the best thing I have bought in recent times.
BTW this wired article hackers will be the heroes of the next revolution by the same author Steven Levy is an interesing read.

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