Issues Synching Amazon Kindle Notes and Highlights to iPhone

The Issue

I don’t mind reading Amazon Kindle books on my iPhone, but sometimes a bigger screen is nice. Thankfully Amazon has Kindle apps for PC, Mac, iOS, Android, etc. The issue I’m having is that my notes and highlights don’t usually sync correctly from Kindle for Mac to Kindle for iOS.

I tried manually synching, but that just seems to push the furthest read page rather than notes and bookmarks. I tried all the combinations you can imagine in terms of the order in which I open the app on the two devices. No success.

The Fix

What I ended up having to do is archive the item on my iPhone and then re-download it to get the correct set of notes and highlights. My guess is that it’s a bug in the iOS app.

Anyone else having this issue and figured out a different work-around?

Share

How to backup your website

Hard Drive in Flames

Everyone knows (or should by now) that cheap web hosts (Bluehost, Dreamhost, MediaTemple, etc.) don’t backup your data for you. So you’d better do it yourself. If you’re on any respectable host, you should have ssh access to the box.

Connect to your box via ssh and run the following commands to create a backup of your site.


cd ~
mkdir Backup
nohup zip -r Backup/YYYY-MM-DD-HHMM.zip www/ > backup_log.txt &

(Replace YYYY with the 4-digit year, MM with the 2-digit month, HH with the 24-hour format of the hour, and MM with the 2-digit minute)

cd ~ navigates to your home folder

mkdir Backup creates the backup directory in which the backups will be stored

nohup is short for no hangup and allows processes started by users at the terminal to continue running even after the user logs out

zip is a program which combines many files into one and compresses them to make the end result even more portable

-r tells zip to burrow into all subdirectories in order to grab all of the files

Backup/YYYY-MM-DD-HHMM.zip is the path to the backup file

www/ is the directory to backup (it may be html, htdocs, httpdocs, etc. on your box)

> backup_log.txt redirects all output from zip to the backup_log.txt file so you can review the file later

& tells linux to run the zip program in the background so that you can logout or perform other tasks without killing the process

Now all you need to do is download that zipped file. Use your favorite SFTP client to login to your box and snag it. I recommend FileZilla Client for all platforms. If you’re looking for an FTP server, FileZilla Server is perfect.

Share

It pays to be pink. At least Garmin thinks so.

For my mother’s birthday I purchased a TomTom One 130. The updated maps had the other half of my road, so I was happy it could navigate more efficiently. Tonight I stumbled across a new site called DealWaiter. I plugged in “Garmin Nuvi” and it had a few results but also had a link to buy it immediately on Amazon.com. I’m sure that link is purely platonic, right? Hah! It turns out the Garmin Nuvi 250 comes in two colors: pink and silver.

I was blown away by the price difference:

Amazon.com - Garmin Nuvi 250 - Price comparison between silver and pink versions
Amazon.com - Garmin Nuvi 250 - Price comparison between silver and pink versions

Silver: $109.99
Pink: $471.99
——————–
Difference: $362.00

The difference alone could purchase
3.3 units of the silver model!

Garmin isn’t the only company who discriminates based on color. Want a black Mac? Better have some “I’m rich!” money laying around. Apple used to have both black and white MacBooks and the typical difference was $100+.

What ridiculous discrepancies have you found?

Share

How do you watch your television shows?

Old TV Set

Midway through Heroes: Season 3 I realized how quickly video streaming technology has evolved in the last few years. Think about the multitude of ways you can now get your fix.

EDIT:
Loren brought to my attention another category which I left off entirely, which is software/hardware combos for consuming the aforementioned services:

Just 15 years ago that list was a lot smaller: TV, video rental stores, VCR.

What’s your favorite viewing service?

Share

Speed Up That Cheap Website with Cheap Amazon S3


Do you have an economy-grade website host? Me too. BlueHost is great for only $6.95 per month but its response times and transfer rates are terrible. Fear not — Amazon S3 to the rescue. For pennies a day you can supplement your cheap website host using Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3).

Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.

Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers.

It is simple. So simple.

  • Sign up for an account.
  • Download and install the awesome S3 Firefox Organizer (S3Fox) Firefox add-on.
  • Upload the files you want to be served up like hotcakes.
  • Update the links in your HTML files to point to the new location.
    Example: http://s3.amazonaws.com/jeremy/blog/images/large_bandwidth_sucking_header.jpg
    Note that the example is intended to show the format of the URL and does not point to a valid resource.

Too good to be true? Nope. The S3 files are served up lickety split and best of all it takes the load off of your cheap host which allows it to function much more efficiently. So far I have moved my site’s header and the LightBox JS file. Why didn’t I move the other JS files and images? Because Google hosts all of the popular JavaScript libraries for free.

How much does it cost?
Very little, unless your site becomes wildly popular. 1 million requests costs one dollar plus 17 cents per GB transfered. That’s right. 1,000,000 GET requests = $1.00 + $0.17/GB.

Let’s assume the average size of the elements being served from your Amazon S3 bucket is 10KB.
10KB = 0.01MB = 0.00001GB
1,000,000 requests x 0.00001GB = 10GB
10GB x $0.17/GB = $1.70
1,000,000 requests x $0.01/10,000 requests = $1.00
Total Download Cost: $2.70

Your cheap site can now support 1,000,000 requests per month for a whopping $9.65 ($6.95 for BlueHost and $2.70 for Amazon S3). And if your site gets Dugg or on the front page of Reddit, Amazon S3 will scale without sweating a drop.

Share