Windows software of the day [June 12, 2012]

Today’s Software

  • FBReader: read ebooks of various formats with a small and clean program
  • Calibre: download metadata, convert ebooks, and send them to your devices
  • Kindle for PC: read ebooks from your Amazon Kindle library on your computer

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About Windows Software of the Day

Windows has hundreds of thousands of programs. Because of this great volume and lack of a central store, software discovery (aka finding new and useful programs) is extremely difficult. With our Windows Software of the Day initiative, dotTech aims to change that. Everyday we post three programs, allowing our readers to discover new software, daily. Enjoy! [Subscribe to our Windows section to never miss an article: RSS Feed | E-mail]

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Software for June 12, 2012

FBReader

Want to read ebooks on your computer? There are a lot of ebook reading programs out there, and all of them offer slightly different features. FBReader is one of those programs. While active development is primarily on the Android version, it has a solid Windows version that allows you to read ebooks without getting distracted by features flooding from every which way.

Just because it’s not under active development does not mean that it did not get very far in development before being halted. FBReader supports tons of formats, like html, chm, plucker, palmdoc, oeb, rtf, and fb2. And, if your books are pre-compressed, FBReader can read books from zip, gzip, and bzip2 archives, so you don’t even need to use a decompressing tool first.

If you’re looking for a lightweight tool to read your ebooks, you can’t go wrong with FBReader.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v0.12.10

Supported OS: Windows XP+, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, etc

Download size: 5.1MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/41

Portability: Requires installation

FBReader homepage

Calibre

You’ve downloaded a bunch of ebooks… but now what do you do with them? Although you’ve tried reading them with FBReader, you’ve decided that the harsh glow of your LCD screen is too much, and you want to read them on your Kindle or Nook. Enter Calibre: this handy tool can automatically fill out a book’s information using automated online services, convert books into numerous formats, and sync books to Nooks, Kindles, and more.

To learn how to use Calibre, the developer created a eight minute screencast showing off its main features (this video has been rehosted by a YouTube user as the official copy is not on YouTube):

If you watched the video, you’ll know that Calibre is quite the tool. It can not only magically download cover art for your books, it can scrape various news services like the Economist, EPSN, The New York Times, and other papers. It can also sort your books by virtually any criteria, and has a farily awkward built-in reader as well!

Calibre is great for anyone who owns a Kindle, Nook, or other reader: it’s the iTunes of the ebook world, without the bloat.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v0.8.55

Supported OS: Windows XP+

Download size: 45.2-55.9MB

No VirusTotal scans; files too big

Portability: Portable version available!

Calibre homepage

Kindle for PC

Own a Kindle? Then the best PC reading program is by far and away Kindle for PC. If you use Kindle on multiple devices, you’ve probably noticed it automatically knows what you’ve read, even if you didn’t read it on any one particular device. Using Kindle for PC will continue this convenience across your PC, allowing you to do all the things you normally would on a Kindle.

Kindle for PC can look up words in a built-in dictionary, search inside your books, look up events, characters, and quotes from a book, take notes from books, and much more. It’s a fully-featured, Amazon-synching, Kindle client for your computer that allows you to read your books in even more places.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v

Supported OS: Windows XP+

Download size: 27.6MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Portability: Requires installation

Kindle for PC homepage

dotTechies: We have tested all the software listed above. However, Windows Software of the Day articles are not intended as “reviews” but rather as “heads-up” to help you discover new programs. Always use your best judgement when downloading programs, such as trying trial/free versions before purchasing shareware programs, if applicable.

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8 comments

  1. Jenny

    I agree with Mike and Ashraf on themes – all the time is too often, and can create stress for Locutus trying to fill others expectations.

    I like Mike’s suggestion of “sprinkle them in” :)

    Oh, and thank you for theme-ing today’s post Locutus :)

  2. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    I’m with Mike on this one. Every day themes may turn off a lot of people because they are a hit or miss; if you don’t like the theme then you have nothing for the day whereas offering three different soft every day gives people three chances of finding one they like.

  3. njwood60

    @Locutus: Yes I deifinitely think a theme is a good idea – although maybe it is the next day that you need the theme! It seems whenever a piece of software is mentioned everyone else has their own favourite program that does the same thing, so trying to mention a few programs in the same category would seem to be a good idea. Mind you, we might then start asking for a comparison! :-)

  4. Locutus
    Author/

    You might’ve noticed a theme here today!

    How does a daily theme feel to everyone? I can think of a few themes for software that could keep things slightly more interesting, at least to me. Today’s was ebook reading and management.