I own an Amazon Kindle and while I don’t buy ebooks online, I do use the device as a replacement for paper. Before I had it, I used to take hard copies of longish articles so that I could read them while offline. The Kindle is a great replacement. You can covert almost any format into something it can support using calibre and then read it at your pleasure.

There are many articles on the net which I’d like to read but don’t have the time to do so. It would be nice to have a Chrome extension that would allow me to convert the web page I was viewing into a .mobi file which I could then drop onto the Kindle and read it. There is an extension that does exactly this called “send to kindle”. I’ve used it and it works nicely. Due to Javascript restrictions on executing commands on the local machine, this uses a service hosted on Google AppEngine. As far as I can tell, it receives the page URL, fetches it, does some processing and then sends the processed document to youremail@kindle.com which will convert it into the Amazon proprietary .azw format and sync it to your Kindle when you get online.

This works fine and has been in the market for quite a while now which makes it quite robust. If you know me personally, you know that I’m a little paranoid about giving out stuff to third parties. The approach above requires that Amazon and the klip website (which is the one where the app resides) know about every page I visit and convert. Amazon even has a history of documents you’ve converted. Not nice.

So, I rolled out my own. Tomobi is a chrome extension to send the current page URL via HTTP to a web app that converts it into a .mobi file and keeps it in a directory. It currently just works for me and is not tinker free to get up and running. Details are on the github page.

Let me know if you like it.

This project was called mobify but I renamed it since that’s the name of a company.

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