Calibre – a Kindle’s best friend, Part 2
The initial post on the calibre software guided one through the process of installing and running the program to download preloaded periodicals. This post will describe a method I have devised to automate the entire process of downloading and delivering the periodicals to your Kindle every day, week, and/or month–without requiring one to leave calibre running or their computer turned on.
Configuring calibre to deliver periodicals to an email address (optional)
Calibre can “push” (send) downloaded periodicals to one or more email addresses. This can be either setup as the default delivery method, or simply alternative delivery options whenever the need arises to email the eBooks rather than transfer via USB cable.
Step 1: Open calibre
Step 2: Click on the “Preferences” icon in the top toolbar; select the “Email Delivery” icon
Step 3: Enter an email address from which calibre will email your periodicals. You will need to have POP/SMTP access for the email address, therefore, calibre recommends the free Gmail for those who are uncertain about this or do not have access (e.g. free Yahoo accounts). To use your Gmail account, enter your gmail address in the “Send email from:” field, click the “Use Gmail” button, and enter your gmail address again in the “Username” field as well as your password.
Step 4: Add email address(es) to which you want to send your periodicals and choose the format (e.g. Kindle owners: MOBI) in which the periodicals should be.
Step 5: Check the “Auto send” box(es) for the email address(es) to which you want calibre to automatically deliver the periodicals whenever they are downloaded and created.
Step 6: Click the “OK” button
[Note: If you choose your Kindle email address (e.g. email@example.com) as one of your email addresses, you must add the sending email address (from Step 3) to "Your Kindle Approved E-mail list" from the Manage Your Kindle website. ]
Schedule your computer to “wake up”, open calibre, and download your periodicals (optional)
To avoid keeping your computer and calibre running all the time, yet still have your periodicals downloaded and pushed (or ready for transfer via USB) to your Kindle, follow this guide:
Step 1: (Windows users) Download the free software, WakeupOnStandby (only 409 KB). This program does not intall itself on the computer or registry, so after extracting the compressed zip file, place the wosb.exe file in a folder or even a portable USB drive for it to remain (e.g. the Desktop; My Documents; folder labeled “Auto Wake” in your C: drive; etc.)
Step 2: Open the program by double-clicking the wosb.exe file
Step 3: Specify the time when you want your computer to first wake from sleep/hibernation (e.g. tomorrow morning). Be sure you select the correct AM/PM option.
Step 4: Check box number 2 and enter the location of calibre in the field, “”Run the following file/program/web page when computer wakes up.” This is best done by clicking the “…” button next to the field and browsing to the calibre.exe file (e.g. “C:\Program Files (x86)\Calibre2\calibre.exe”)
Step 5: In box number 4, indicate how ofter you want this action to happen. For example, for daily downloading of morning newspapers, click the “All” button to check all the boxes.
Step 6: In box number 5, click the “Start” button.
Step 7: Ensure that Windows allows WakeupOnStandby to auto-wake your computer. For Windows 7 (visual guide here):
- Open the Control Panel in the Start menu.
- Open Power Options in the Control Panel.
- Select Change plan settings next to the power plan you want to set.
- Select Change advanced power settings.
- Select Change settings that are currently unavailable in the Power Options window.
- Set Allow wake timers to Enable under Sleep and then click OK to save the changes.
[Note: for laptops, you do not need to leave it unfolded--the program will wake the computer and run calibre even with the screen in the down position if you choose.]
Scheduling your periodicals
Assuming you have identified the periodicals you wish to regularly download (see previous post on calibre), you next need to schedule their downloads to coincide with your WakeupOnStandby schedule (or at a time when you plan on manually leaving your computer and calibre running).
Step 1: Click the icon labeled “Fetch News”
Step 2: Locate a desired publication in the catorgorized tree-list (note: there is a )
Step 3: Check the “Schedule for download” box and select the frequency and/or time of the download. [Note: an ideal time is probably 5 minutes AFTER the scheduled wake up time of the WakeupOnStandby program] A few examples:
- For a daily newspaper, choose “Every day” and enter a time (e.g. WakeupOnStandby is scheduled to wake the computer at 6:30 am–> choose 6:35 am as your download time)
- For Sunday-only newspapers, choose “Every Sunday” and enter a time
- For weekly periodicals, choose the day of the week that corresponds to the morning after the periodical tends to be update online (e.g. Time – updated Thursdays, so choose “Every Friday”; Newsweek – updated anywhere from Friday to Sunday, so choose “Every Monday” to be safe) and enter a time.
Step 4: Repeat the same for any other desired publications, clicking the “OK” button when you have finished.
[Note: make sure you enter your username/password for sites that require registration when the calibre subscription dialog box has such fields (e.g. New York Times)]
You can now exit calibre.
You should now be set. If you did not check an “Auto send” box(es) for any of your email address(es) from the first set of instructions, then your periodicals will be transferred to your Kindle once you connect the USB cable to the Kindle (note: if your computer has gone back to sleep, you will need to wake it up, first). Otherwise, your periodicals will have been sent to your Kindle (if you selected the “Auto send” box for your firstname.lastname@example.org email address) or other email address(es) as soon as calibre finished downloading them.
Expect .5 – 3 MB per periodical and remember that Amazon will charge 15 cents per MB for deliveries to your Kindle via the email@example.com email address (i.e. $4.50 – $13.50 per month of automatic deliveries).
For me, I either connect my Kindle to my hibernated laptop before bed or in the morning–calibre automatically transfers the periodicals to my Kindle–for free–in less than 30 seconds. When I vacation, I can simply select the “Auto send” box for my firstname.lastname@example.org email address.
I also have my wife’s BlackBerry email address in my email list and have the “Auto send” box checked. For instructions on opening these attachments from your Kindle for BlackBerry app, see here, saving your periodicals to ‘Device Memory’ -> ‘home’ -> ‘user’ -> ‘kindle’ -> ‘eBooks’.