Kindle for PC – a gripe

by Neil Rickert

The book “Evolution: A view from the 21st Century” (James Shapiro) is currently available free for Kindle, as reported on Jerry Coyne’s web site.  Shapiro is known to have some very non-standard views on evolution, and I am interested in reading those.

This post is mainly a gripe about my experience with the Kindle software.

I don’t currently have a Kindle device, nor do I currently want one.  So I thought I would read on the computer.  I mostly use linux, but Amazon does not have Kindle software for linux.  There is probably software for linux that does the trick – maybe even Okular that I have installed.  But the free book offer from Amazon does not give me a way of downloading as a file.  It requires that I have a registered Kindle or Kindle-for-PC software, and download with that.

My first step was to download the software on a Windows box (WinXP home).  That gave me an installer executable.

The next step is to install.  Typically, one needs to be an Administrator to install software in Windows.  So I opened an Administrator command prompt to install from there.  My normal Windows account is that of a limited user.  Having started the Administrator command prompt, I proceeded to begin the installation.

Sigh – and here is the gripe.  The software installed for the Administrative user only.  It put the application on the Adminstrative user’s menu, and created a Kindle database in the Administrative users files.

Scrap that.

I logged out as limited user, and logged in as admin.  I then changed my normal login to be an Administrator instead of a limited user.  I then logged back in as the normal user.  I then ran the installer again.  This time it set things up for the normal user.  I could now change my normal account back to a limited user account, logout, then login again.  Starting the Kindle application now as a limited user, it seems to work.  Perhaps I will run into problems later.

Sorry, Amazon, but that’s just the wrong way to do it.  It should be possible to run the installer as an Administrator, yet have the software made available to a limited user.  One of the reasons that Windows has virus problems, is that software developers pull the stupid trick of having software that only works for admins.

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