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October 29, 2011

Vanderbilt Football

Vanderbilt football is a lesson in humility. The team is just never that good and seems to be the official Homecoming team of the SEC, since opposing teams can count on a win against us. Mom invited me to come up to Athens to watch the Vanderbilt-UGA game on Grant's TV, but why would I want to sit through hours of agony as my team loses? This week Vanderbilt plays Arkansas, ranked No. 10 in the country. I wasn't even paying attention to football today until about 3:00. Flipping through channels I was surprised the Arkansas game was on TV, but there was a commercial so I got online to check out how bad we were losing. Very much to my surprise Vanderbilt was up 28 to 20 over Arkansas at the end of the third quarter. Of course, I checked it again to see if I had read it correctly and yes, that was the case.

I flipped back to the TV and Vanderbilt even had the ball. The first play I witnessed was a screen pass to the left and Vanderbilt got a 30-40 yard gain to get inside the Arkansas 20 yard line. Holy cow. The next play the quarterback kept the ball and ran straight ahead into a wide open field, getting a first down inside the 10 yard line. A running play tacked on another few yards, now inside the 5 yard line. Vanderbilt is about to go up 15 points over a ranked team! How can they mess this up, I'm thinking? How about fumbling the ball? Next play, Vanderbilt fumbles the ball. I turned the TV off before the Arkansas player could run it all the way back into the end zone. For a Vanderbilt fan, this is good defense: turn the TV off before the other team can score. Turns out Arkansas went for a 2 point conversion and tied the game. The game is still on, but the ending is certain. I only had to watch 3 plays.

October 17, 2011

UniqueFire UF-2100 3-mode

Reviewer's Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Uniquefire UF-2100


Switch:Reverse tail clicky
Modes:3 (can be modded to 5)
LED Type:Cree XM-L T6
Price Payed:$14.95
Date Ordered:26 Sept 2011


  • Bright!
  • Functioning mode memory
  • Only 3 modes
  • Optional 5 modes


  • Not regulated
  • Gets hot on High
  • Needs a Medium (instead of strobe)
  • Rough threads

Features / Value: 5 out of 5

I got this light as part of the second DinoDirect group buy (posted here), after people started saying how much they liked the light (in this thread). For everyday use, I am not crazy about the XM-L LED because it puts out fairly blinding light with not a lot more throw than smaller LED lights, but I like a good deal and at this price I have paid more for XM-L LED's by themselves.

The light is three modes, High-Low-Strobe, with mode memory that sets after the light is off for 3-4 seconds. I would like the memory to set faster than that (1 second), but this is okay. The memory is certainly better than some lights I have tested. This light is available from different dealers, including a 1-mode version from Manafont (reviewed here).

Note: Most of the pictures (except the indoor wall shots) can be clicked on for a version twice as big. Disclosure: the link to Dino at the top is an affiliate link, so while I can potentially get some percentage (edit: not really, their affiliate program doesn't seem to work), the purpose of this review is not to sell lights, but to give you my honest opinion and actual measurements.

UF-2100 LED and reflector

The reflector is smooth which is probably appropriate for a compact 18650 light, trying to get a little more throw from the small reflector. The stainless steel bezel is a nice touch with mild crenulation so that light can shine through when it is head down, but still won't tear up pockets.

Here's a really neat undocumented feature of this light: the driver can be modified to get 5 modes by removing a solder joint (described in this thread; after the review I did this mod in just a few minutes and got a Medium of about 50% of High). The 5 modes are H, M, L, Strobe, SOS, but having a Medium on a light as bright as this seems like a really good idea. Due to DinoDirect's fluctuating price system, the 3-mode may be more or less expensive than the 5-mode, but with some modification, you can buy the cheaper of the two and get the modes that you want. I love when a light has this kind of flexibility. Maybe you will like 5 modes now, but later on favor fewer modes. You don't have to commit or buy two lights.

The light tailstands fine, though the lanyard has to be pretty loose or removed to do so perfectly. Some people have said the tailcap protrudes a little causing it to wobble some, but mine is just fine. Swapping out one of DealExtreme's replacement tailcap covers didn't work because the DX boots are rounded whereas the UF-2100's is flat and the rounded cover protrudes too much. Because the body is round, there is nothing to stop it from rolling and a clip would be really nice. Even the Ultrafire X1 has a wire clip that is kind of flimsy but still works fine.

The knurling is pretty light, so this light will be more slippery than some, especially with gloves.

Design / Build Quality: 3 out of 5

Quality of the light seems about average for a budget light. The threads are definitely rough and were dirty, though there seemed to be some kind of oil on them for lubrication. Even with the threads cleaned, they are still a little rough. The o-rings are very thin, but there is one on each end of the body tube. The LED looks pretty well centered and I haven't had any problems with flickering though some people have gotten lights that needed some tweaking of the tailcap to get them to work properly. The tail clicky is nice, neither too firm nor mushy.

Tail, body, and head of light

Battery Life: 3 out of 5

I'll propose this scale for scoring battery life. This works for any light: 1 for 0-15 minutes (don't laugh, this is how long some of my 10440 lights run); 2 for 15-30 minutes; 3 for 30-60 minutes; 4 for 60-120 minutes; and 5 for more than 120 minutes. Therefore this light gets 3 stars for 45 minutes.

This light definitely runs hot on High, getting warm within 15 seconds and hot before too long. During the runtime tests, I kept the light head down in a shallow pan of water to keep it cool. It draws 3.32A with a fresh battery and the body is pretty lightweight. The heat mostly stays in the head of the light.

On an XTAR 2600 battery I was able to get 50 minutes of runtime. In running the test I left the light on with the head in a shallow dish of water to keep the head from overheating. Then I would stop every 10 minutes and get an at-rest voltage on the battery and current draws on High and Low. I ran the battery down a little too far, so I would say 45 minutes is a more realistic runtime.

Ultrafire WF-504B, Uniquefire UF-2100, Ultrafire X1

Time (min)Battery VCurrent High (mA)Current Low (mA)

Light Output: 5 out of 5

This thing cranks out quite a bit of light, driven very hard with not much regulation. I can't measure lumens of output, but would guess 500 lumens easily. The Low is pretty decent for outdoors up to 20 feet, though too bright for reading up close. I didn't notice any PWM and others have said it is a very high rate. I couldn't hear any ringing that is often a result of PWM, though some have said their light does ring a little.

First, here are some indoor shots taken 50cm from a wall. The UF-2100 is on the left and has a green ring around beam, maybe caused by reflection off the stainless bezel. It is up against a Solarforce L2 with the 3-mode Ultrafire XM-L drop-in from Manafont that so many have. The tint of this light is cool white, not cold.

At 1/100th second, to get something like what you see in person:
UF-2100 vs. Manfont drop-in 1/100th second

Now at 1/400th second:
UF-2100 vs. Manfont drop-in 1/400th second

And at 1/1600th second, the P60 drop-in has a more intense hotspot given its bigger reflector:
UF-2100 vs. Manfont drop-in 1/1600th second

Here's a shot at 1/100th second with both lights on Low:
UF-2100 and Manfont drop-in, both on Low

Now for outdoors. The plant is about 20 feet away. The overhanging branches are maybe 35 feet and the lights are aimed at the fenceposts about 120 feet away. The pictures are taken with a 4-second exposure which probably overexposes High mode a little, but works better at lower output to get something that looks like what you see in real life. While it looks like the light is pointed at the ground, that is just the big hotspot hitting the ground and bouncing back. This is why I say a XM-L can be quite blinding.
UF-2100 on High

For comparison, here is the Ultrafire 3-mode drop-in in the Solarforce L2 (you can also do a mouse over and mouse out thing on the picture above). About the same amount of overall light, but the P60 has better throw and the fence posts are better lit:
Solarforce L2 with Ultrafire 3-mode drop-in High

Now here is the UF-2100 on Low (with mouse over comparison to the L2 Low):
UF-2100 on Low

And the Ultrafire 3-mode drop-in on Low:
Solarforce L2 with Ultrafire 3-mode drop-in Low

Summary: 4 out of 5

This is a surprisingly bright light in a nice compact form, a true pocket rocket. It looks good and has a driver that can be modded to 3- or 5-modes, though you can't get rid of the flashy modes altogether.

Sunwayman V10A

Reviewer's Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Sunwayman V10A


Battery:AA or 14500 li-ion
Switch:Forward clicky
Modes:1 infinitely variable
LED Type:Cree XP-G R5
Lens:coated glass
Price Paid:$53.68
Date Ordered:19 Sept 2011


  • Forward clicky
  • Infinitely variable output
  • Very low Low
  • Nice quality build
  • Cool looking
  • Good throw


  • No preset modes
  • Gets hot on li-ion batteries

Features / Value: 3 out of 5

I saw a couple of Sunwayman lights when I went to GoingGear's store in town last year. They didn't have the V10A, but the M10A is very similar. The M10A has a magnetic ring and a few stops for different modes. But the Low wasn't all that low and the light wouldn't accept lithium-ion batteries, plus it is an expensive light and I didn't want to spend that much and not get everything just right. The V10A then came out with a very good Low, infinitely variable output, and would accept a 14500 lithium ion battery. I would have bought one except by that time I was hoping for a neutral tint version that was hinted at. As I waited, I realized the downside of the V10A was there was no way to get to a decent outdoor Low without guessing at where to set the magnetic ring. So I decided I wouldn't get one. But then DinoDirect did a group buy and made this $80 light available for about $55 and I figured I couldn't pass up a chance to get such a cool light. Even without the group buy, some people have been able to get the light for around $50 with a 20% off coupon. I'm not sure what coupons they have that are still valid though. So while I got a good deal on the light, at this price I still wouldn't say it is a great value, so one star off on value. Disclosure: The link above is an affiliate link giving me some kind of commission (maybe, we'll see; edit: doesn't appear to actually work, somehow not surprising) but that doesn't affect my review and the light is widely available from a number of dealers more reputable than DinoDirect though Dino has the best price I've seen after discounts.

Box, instructions, extra o-rings, tailcap, and lanyard

For a more technical review of this light, Selfbuilt has a ton of pictures and graphs here at CPF.

As for features, this light doesn't have that many really and I'll take off one star for that. It does have infinitely variable output using a selector ring, putting it on par with the Nitecore Infinilux and the JETBeam RRT-0, both of which are $100+ lights (some say Sunwayman makes the RRT-0 for JETBeam and NiteCore is owned by JETBeam, so maybe they make the Infinilux too). It also has a forward clicky which I like for momentary On, but Sunwayman wisely made the brightness control separate from the tail clicky. I would still like to see some detents in the motion of the ring in order to know about what level of light I can expect when I turn on the light, though if you leave the ring where it is it will just come on at the level where you were last, so in that sense it function similarly to a light with memory. The Low on this is very faint, okay for up-close reading. It seems to be the same or even fainter than Moonlight mode of the Quark series. Plus you can have anything in between by turning the ring about a third of the way around the tube until it stops.

Design / Build Quality: 5 out of 5

Obviously the build quality is better than budget lights. The light seems to be only two pieces: head and body tube. The tail does not seem to come off separately. There is a big o-ring at the head that makes for a very tight seal. There are also big square threads, but they are quite short (maybe 2 turns?) and I kind of wish there were at least a little more.

Threads and o-ring at the head joint

I love the look of this light though. It seems like some kind of piece of high tech military equipment with all the surface details and fins. The clip seems kind of weak to me, since it just clips onto the light (and I think I chipped the anodizing taking it off once). There are grooves for the clip on both ends of the body so that you can install the clip head up or head down. Still, clipping it to a jeans pocket the light does not clip in place firmly and I wouldn't want to lose an expensive light. It's fine for walking but if you were running or in the woods where something could knock it off, it would be better to put the light down in a pocket. Though I'm not a fan of lanyards, it comes with a clip-on lanyard which messes up tailstanding.

The tail clicky is very good, not too firm or too mushy. In lower modes the light has a instantaneous ramp-up to brightness. And I guess I am so used to reverse clicky lights that I kind of miss instant Off. With a forward clicky you have to push in and let go before the light goes off. There are some good pack-ins, including spare o-rings, tail cap boot, and lanyard. There is no holster.

Battery Life: 3 out of 5

Battery life is respectable on AA, but fairly short on li-ion batteries. I'll propose this scale for scoring battery life. This works for any light: 1 for 0-15 minutes (don't laugh, this is how long some of my 10440 lights run); 2 for 15-30 minutes; 3 for 30-60 minutes; 4 for 60-120 minutes; and 5 for more than 120 minutes. So on AA, the light gets 3 stars for 50 minutes while for li-ion it gets only 2 stars for 25 minutes.

Sunwayman V10A XP-G LED and reflector

For the first runtime test, on AA NiMH I am using a 2000mAh white top Duracell precharged battery ("Duraloop"). I run the light on High and stop every 10 minutes to test the battery voltage (at rest) and get current readings. Because the light can be set to any level, I measured High as maximum and Low as minimum but you could get anything in between.

Time (min)Battery VoltageCurrent High (mA)Current Min (mA)
501.127740 (dropping)

The light seems pretty well-regulated on a NiMH battery with a pretty constant current draw for most of the life of the battery. Selfbuilt's review indicates the same thing.

On lithium ion batteries (900mAh Trustfire flame 14500), it is a different story. The light is much brighter, but has no real regulation, and runtime is pretty short. Still, it is at least twice as bright on li-ion so it is well worth it. Knowing life would be short, I measured every 5 minutes for this test. I ran the battery down to 3.6V and stopped, but missed my cutoff just a little. During this test the light got very warm very quickly, so I left it head down in a shallow pan of water for cooling.

Time (min)Battery voltageCurrent High (mA)Current Min (mA)

A group photo of the Mr.Lite BLF AA-Y4E, Tank007 E07 BLF edition, Fenix L1D, and Sunwayman V10A, all AA powered lights. The Mr.Lite is a pretty big AA light and the V10A is almost as large:

Mr.Lite BLF-AAY4E, Tank007 E07, Fenix L1D, and Sunwayman V10A

Light Output: 5 out of 5

Sunwayman claims to use ANSI FL-1 standards and rates this light at 140 lumens of output on a AA battery. That seems about right to me. But on a li-ion battery, it might be 280 lumens, at least at first. The Sunwayman V10R, which uses a CR123A battery and the V20A which uses 2 AA cells, use the same circuitry for 210 ANSI lumens from 3 volts. The tint is cool white, but on maximum the light seems quite white and barely cool. At lower levels it seems a little cooler in tint. There seems to be a very shallow donut hole in the hotspot of the light, but it isn't too bad. I will say this light throws better than I thought possible on a AA light with such a small reflector, but it helps that it is cranking out so much light.

So here are some indoor shots with the lights 50cm from the wall and the V10A on the left. First here is a comparison using NiMH batteries (fresh Duraloops) in the Sunwayman and my Fenix L1D with a Cree XR-E Q5 LED. The XP-G puts out more light and has a bigger hotspot.

At 1/100th second:
V10A vs. L1D NiMH High 1/100th sec

And at 1/400th second:
V10A vs. L1D NiMH High 1/400th sec

And at 1/1600th second, hotspot intensity seems just as good on the V10A, just bigger:
V10A vs. L1D NiMH High 1/1600th sec

On li-ion, here is more fair comparison, with my Ultrafire X1, a compact 18650 light that has been modified with a neutral XP-G R4 and a NANJG 1.4A driver.
V10A vs. X1 Li-ion High 1/100th second

And at 1/400th second:
V10A vs. X1 Li-ion High 1/400th second

And at 1/1600th second. Being essentially direct driven, I think the V10A is brighter. Comparing these two outdoors there is really no competition with the V10A being brighter and throwier:
V10A vs. X1 Li-ion High 1/1600th second

Okay, now some outdoor shots. These are 4-second exposures to get something that looks kind of like real life. The plant is about 25 feet away. The overhanging branches are about 35 feet away and the lights are aimed at the fence posts 120 feet in the distance. Here is the V10A on a fresh AA NiMH:
V10A NiMH High

Now on a fresh Trustfire flame 14500 li-ion battery (you can mouse over the picture above to compare the two directly):
V10A li-ion High

For the comparison shots with other lights, you can mouse over to see the Sunwayman. So first here is the modified Ultrafire X1 with a XP-G R4 on High. On a fresh battery, the X1 driver will limit the current to 1.4A while the V10A doesn't, so the V10A is brighter. Plus the V10A has a R5 and the X1's LED is R4:
Ultrafire X1 with 1.4A XP-G R4

Now here is the Fenix L1D on NiMH in Turbo mode (advertised as 140 lumens) with a mouseover of the V10A on NiMH:
Fenix L1D Turbo on NiMH

And the Fenix with a 14500 lithium-ion (which is probably 180 lumens):
Fenix L1D Turbo on Li-ion

Now here is the BLF Tank007 E07 on High. This isn't a fair comparison because the Osram LED isn't anywhere close to as bright as a XP-G, but I know a lot of people own the E07. So first with a NiMH:
Tank007 E07 BLF on High with NiMH

And now on li-ion. I have done some testing on the Tank007 and it has nowhere close to the same draw as the V10A, so again, there is a big disparity.
Tank007 E07 BLF on High with Li-ion

And one more, since all of the lights so far have inferior LED's. Here is the Uniquefire UF-2100 with a XM-L T6 and powered by a 18650 (full review here). The size is at least somewhat similar since the UF-2100 is pretty compact.
Uniquefire UF-2100 High

Summary: 5 out of 5

I am pleased with the light. It's still not perfect: I'd prefer a neutral white LED and some stops on the control ring to make it easier to switch from High to a Low or Medium without guessing where to turn the ring. The clip isn't perfect either. But I like the forward clicky, the variable output, the look, and the super bright using a 14500. The build quality is excellent as well. It is a simple concept for a light that is well executed.

October 15, 2011

Domain Expiration

This week I got an email notice that the domain flashlightwiki.com (I originally misspelled it in case this post affected the renewal process) would be expiring soon. The sender noticed that I had a similar domain, flashlight-wiki.com, and thought I would be interested in entering an auction for the hyphenless domain name. It was written as if it came from a person, but it had to be automated. My wiki has done pretty well since I started it almost a year ago, just a couple of months after the flashlightwiki.com domain had been registered by someone else but never used (honestly, how many people are interested in a flashlight wiki?). I put some minimal ads on my wiki, but despite 12,000 page views a month, I get maybe $1 a month from the ads.

Right now I pay about $8 per year to register the domain name. Other than that cost, Wiki Media's software is free and I am hosting the domain on my igirder account that I was already paying for. I don't really want to pay much more and I am wary of changing the domain after the debacle of changing my ipod battery site from its original home on speedfactory's personal web pages to my own igirder domain and losing my page rank and essentially all the money I had been making at Amazon and AdSense. However, it might be worth an extra $8 a year to keep this new domain registered and make the switch someday.

So I looked up the domain by going to Network Solution's WHOIS page. WHOIS is a way of pulling up registration information on any domain name on the internet, whether it is google.com or fiveforks.com. All domains have registration information (though some people use fake names and addresses).

It turns out that the flashlitewiki domain expired September 4, one year after it was registered. But it isn't entirely expired. Instead there is a 40-day grace period where the original owner can renew the domain. After 40 days (which is where we are now) the domain enters a "redemption period" of 30 days. During this time the domain can't be taken over by anyone else, but now the owner can renew after paying a substantial ($135?) penalty. Because of the penalty, if an owner was just speculating and parking the domain, they probably really are letting it go once it enters the redemption period (otherwise they would just renew it before the redemption period and avoid the penalty). After the 30-day redemption period, there is a 5-day deletion period after which the domain no longer exists and it is available for anyone to register.

There is a whole market of buying, selling, and speculating domain names. People will buy a name that they think someone else might want and then "park" the domain (creating a generic web page, maybe with a couple of ads), hoping someone will want it and then have to buy it from them (beer.com sold for $7 million in 2004). They can charge whatever they want, though if I registered coke.com, the Coca Cola Company could take me to court to force me to give it up for some reasonable amount of money, since they own "Coke" as a registered trademark.

There is also a big market for expiring domains and you can pay services to snatch up the domain the minute the 5-day deletion period is over. Companies that are very good at snatching up domains will take competing bids from different people and snatch up the domain for whoever bids the highest.

The process is described very well at Mike Industries. This guy was able to get an expiring domain (eventually revealed to be newsvine.com), but he wound up paying $369 to do so and still isn't sure if he was actually bidding against anyone or if the bidding service was just taking him to the cleaners. Mike did just fine in the end because he was able to sell the site he built on that domain to Microsoft (via MSNBC) just a couple of years later.

So I'm not going to try and get one of these companies to buy this domain for me. But if it becomes available on November 18, I might pay 8 bucks for it.

October 8, 2011

Michael Lewis Articles

Michael Lewis was on The Daily Show this week. He has a book out called Boomerang about the global financial crisis. Essentially it is a compilation of feature articles he wrote for Vanity Fair about Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany, and California. He also wrote The Blind Side which was made into a movie with Sandra Bullock and Moneyball, another non-fiction book turned into a movie that has just come out and stars Brad Pitt.

For each article he goes to the country and reports on what he finds out. It is a pretty funny picture of each country (I've read the Iceland and Greece articles so far) plus gives you a lot of details about their economic troubles. Nothing complicated or technical, but still good information, if a little superficial (which he admits). The articles are almost more of a travelogue than news article. He says about two Greek tax collectors that although they are both whistle blowers fearing for their jobs, they can't stand each other. He writes "This, I'd be told many times by other Greeks, was very Greek." In Greece the government workers were making 3 times the average private sector wage. However, he also points out that in the private sector most people list themselves as self-employed and report almost no income in order to avoid taxes. If the tax agency investigated, you could just bribe them to leave you alone or fight the charges in court which would take forever. Knowing the court battle would take forever, the tax agency generally would just give up.

He started the series with Iceland where he talks about these really aggressive Icelandic fishermen giving up fishing to become investment bankers and ruining the country by taking the same kinds of risks as investment bankers that they took as North Atlantic fishermen. He points out that Iceland is just this really, really sparsely populated country and everyone knows everyone else. He asks a guy if he knows Bjork. He says of course he does. Everyone knows everyone in Iceland. And the guy adds that not only is Bjork a bad singer, but so is her mother.

He has also covered Germany who loaned out most of the money and are now stuck with paying most of the bills. Ireland is another place where the speculative bubble burst in a big way. And just this month he has written about California where the people insist the government stay in operation but also keep refusing to allow the government to collect taxes.

Vanity Fair only gives you a teaser of the first article on Iceland. But I found a PDF version here and a web version on a Congressman's website, though it is missing the last paragraph.

October 7, 2011

Stanza and ePub

This week I was looking up some long magazine articles and I thought this would really be better to read on my iPod than while sitting at the computer. There are choices on the iPod including Instapaper and Browse Later for saving web pages to the iPod, but reading articles in the browser is not one of the iPod's strong suits. You wind up having to scroll left and right to read each line.

Instead I figured I could just get the text of the article and read a text document. But you don't just put files on the iPod and open them like you do on a computer. I have a free eReader called Stanza on my iPod. It is pretty good, allowing you to customize the text size, color, background, etc. and it is easy to flip through pages with just a tap (as opposed to scrolling by brushing your finger on the screen).

Reading up on Stanza's help it said that I could add eBooks to the library in iTunes by dragging them to Stanza's file list. I wasn't aware iTunes had such a feature, but if the iPod is connected to the computer you can click its icon. Then click the Apps tab. Then scroll down and see a list of apps that support file dragging. Stanza was there. So I clicked on Stanza and a window of files opened. I could also add files manually by using the Add button. Pretty neat. The other good thing about this is my database program supports dragging as well and now I can save a copy of my databases this way instead of by moving them wirelessly one-by-one.

Stanza supports pdf's so I made a .pdf of my text file through Word. The result was a fixed page that I had to scroll around on and I couldn't zoom in without the text getting jaggy. No good. So I made the text bigger and then did a .pdf, but I seemed to get the same result. It turns out .pdf's don't get along that well with most eReaders. So I tried a HTML file, which Stanza is supposed to support, but it wouldn't open the file despite the HTML codes being incredibly simple.

Another thing I wanted to do was get my copy of the 9/11 Comission Report onto my iPod as it had been on my old Palm. I had never finished reading it. Stanza supports Palm formats which are .prc files. But for some reason my copy of the book was .pdb and it was also unrecognized.

Stanza's website said that really everything needed to be in ePub format and that in order to translate you would need to download a free tool called Calibre. I started the download on that, but it was 50MB! So I took a little break.

It turns out ePub is some kind of XML format, so it is based on HTML and therefore translates best from HTML formats.

It turns out Calibre is much more than a format translator. It is really a manager for eBooks on your computer. But it can do translations. I translated my HTML magazine article and the PDB copy of the 9/11 report. Then I opened up iTunes and added those to Stanza's document list. I had to tweak Stanza's appearance setting for bigger text and to turn off right-justification. There seems to be a line of thought that right-justified text is easier to read but the resulting varying spaces between words are awful. It seems like most books are not right-justified but have a ragged right edge (this may not be true). Anyway, it is just a setting in Staza so I now I have things like I like.

Well, except that the quotation marks in the magazine article aren't normal quotation marks, but curly quotes and those didn't come over at all. Nor did the frequent em dashes used in the article or the apostrophes. So I went back and cleaned that up in the HTML by using extended character codes. There are some HTML codes that are supposed to be easier to remember than numbers that you can use for curly quotes, for instance &ldquo for "left double quote". But XML doesn't use those codes, so you need to use ASCII numbers. So I started using 146 for apostrophe and 147 and 148 for opening and closing double quotes. But reading further it turns out that those ASCII numbers were not adopted in HTML 4.0 (what!?) and so there are 4-digit codes you are supposed to use: 8220, 8221, and 8217 for left quotes, right quotes, and apostrophe, along with 8212 for an em dash. The good thing is it was pretty easy to do some find and replace commands and fix the whole file.

There is actually a series of about four articles, so I think it could be worth all the trouble and at least now I know how to turn long text files into something I can read on the iPod.