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Mobipocket eBooks display odd characters on Kindle

Mobipocket eBook display odd characters on Amazon Kindle for some special characters. The book I purchased (see image) displays multiple question marks enclosed in a border for many special characters. This is very distracting and makes the book difficult to read on the Kindle.
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  • 1
    We've updated the Mobi file to fix this issue. Please download the new version from your Electronic Media or Mobile Electronic Media.
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  • I’m frustrated
    I bought my first three electronic O'Reilly books yesterday, and I agree that this is frustrating. O'Reilly seems to blame Amazon for not properly supporting open ebook formats. I'm fine with Amazon improving its support of open formats as long as they offer them for download via Whispernet. I'm happy to pay $0.10/book for automatic backups and to avoid fiddling with the USB cable. That's why I bought the Kindle in the first place.

    Another obvious solution is for O'Reilly to step down from their high horse on open formats and offer their library on Amazon.com in the native Kindle format. O'Reilly must realize that they are just as closed minded as Amazon on this format issue, and in the meantime, they are only hurting themselves and their customers.

    I dropped my Safari subscription years ago because I never managed to get through an entire book using a web browser as a reader. The experience was just too uncomfortable. Imagine how many techies would (re)subscribe to Safari if they could access their bookshelf wirelessly from their Kindle...as long as the content looked just as good as a native Amazon book?

    I hope that O'Reilly gives this some thought. Like many, I have money in my pocket that I'd like to spend on more O'Reilly ebooks, but I don't like spending for an inferior product. I'll wait until Amazon and O'Reilly have sorted out their differences and are able to offer a quality product with the convenience that Kindle users have come to expect.
    • I feel silly for not reading the rest of this thread. It seems that Keith at O'Reilly is able to fix the Mobi files so that they look better (no question marks, at least). I think that's great! Hopefully this fix works for all of their titles.

      That said, this is obviously only a partial solution for Kindle owners. Being able to buy O'Reilly books and download them via Whispernet directly from Amazon would be much more convenient. I remain hopeful that these two media giants can work things out.

      -- David
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  • > Being able to buy O'Reilly books and download them via Whispernet directly from Amazon would be much more convenient.

    I could not agree more David. In addition to Whispernet download we would gain Amazon backup of the books as well as WhisperSync between multiple Kindle readers, including the iPhone. This would be a great service O'Reilly could offer its customers with Kindles.

    Bob
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  • I’m much happier
    To make MOBI files that display properly on Kindle without lots of
    question marks and broken table/list formatting, do the following:


    1. Download and install calibre (works on Linux / Windows / OSX)
    from http://calibre.kovidgoyal.net/

    2. Load O'Reilly books in EPUB (not MOBI) format into
    calibre

    3. Set output format in calibre to MOBI

    4. Select all of the O'Reilly books (in EPUB format)

    5. Click on "Convert E-Books"

    6. Under "Page Setup", Select "kindle" for "Destination
    profile:" for each book (I have not found a place to
    set this as the default, but that would be better for
    converting 400+ books).

    7. calibre will convert the books...takes several minutes

    8. (for users), connect Kindle via USB cable and click
    "Send to device"

    9. Enjoy beautifully formatted O'Reilly books on the
    best ebook screen currently available. Outlines
    around tables and table cells are missing, there's a
    bit of extra vertical whitespace around figures, and
    code is line-wrapped, but the presentation looks
    perfect besides these minor issues.
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  • All of the Mobis on oreilly.com have now had this fix applied.

    Please let us know if you see further problems.
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