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Sometimes when I put up new posts I wonder about what would happen to my posts/blog in 5 years (or less) from now. I would like to have a soft or a hard copy with me once I decide to open a new blog or just close the one I have. Also, we have seen many of our fellow bloggers leave the blogsphere and others that close or delete their blogs. Well, I think it would be nice to be able to have a hard copy of the blog.

Well, one of the Universities in the States decided to make this project where you can compile your blog into a soft copy or a printable book. Currently, I believe it only works for WordPress.

Here is the website: http://anthologize.org/

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I wrote about the Nook before, and apparently my blog has been getting many hits from people wanting to know about e-reader’s support for Arabic.
Currently, I have a Kindle with me. So, I hope this will be helpful:

Coverage:
In general, the main problem I found with the Kindle is that apparently the international version does not include Oman!! (That’s a big thanx to Omantel of course). You can’t even download updates for the Kindle in Oman because “There is no version available for Oman”.. yea, no clue! So, if you are in an Arabic country, please check this website before buying a Kindle. Even if you don’t plan to “purchase” e-books through Amazon, it is important to have a supported 3G network (for updates) cause lovely Amazon doesn’t think we need good-old wireless.

No stupid support for Oman "Unfortunately, we are currently unable to ship Kindles or offer Kindle content to Oman" .. Of course!!

Yep, no 3G network support for Oman

So, 3G network is supported for UAE, KSA, Israel (sorry no Palestine 😦 .. ), and Egypt.. and maybe some other countries.

Arabic Support:
Alright, Kindle supports .txt and .pdf files. I tried to enter Arabic text for both formats. The Kindle does not read Arabic text saved in .txt. The whole thing comes out as “???? ??? ????? ??? ?? ??????? ??? ?? ?? ? ???? ?? ?? ???? ??? ??” I’m sure that is not what you are hoping for.Now for .pdf files, here is a picture of how Kindle handles PDF files in general with images (I know, the Times article looks cool there..). It took a couple of seconds (maybe 30sec) for it to load, which is considered slow, but that is only because of the images.

"The Date Debate" article on the Kindle

Now, I added an Arabic .pdf file into kindle. Here, unless each page has 5 lines, the text would be hard to read. It is like reading font size 6 or 5. Like this:

إذا تقدرو تقرأو هذا الخط من غير ما تقلعو عيونكم فهذا فشيء جميل جدا

Anyway, point taken right?… Here is an image of how it would look like:

Arabic e-book in Kindle, a very small font size

Now, with all pdf files, you cannot make the font larger (English and Arabic). What you can do is press the “Aa” button and it will give you the option to view the pdf horizontally. A bit of a hassle, but if you don’t mind it then this will not be such a huge problem. With this however, you will have to view a single page in three sections (so you have to press the next button three times to read a full page). This of course will effect the battery life, and if you are a fast reader.. it will not be pleasant. Here is a picture of how it will look like:

Horizontal view of the Arabic e-book

Last thing, when you think about getting an e-reader for your Arabic e-books, consider the size of the screen. I can assume that all e-readers that support .pdf can view Arabic text, but with the screen size.. hmm.. it results in tiny font for all languages! unless you get a 9 inch e-reader!

Hope this helped some!

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