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Some time ago, I wrote a guide on how to create an online eBook library, accessible from a browser or Android/iPhone device. The benefits are many. You always have access to all your books, anywhere. You can directly share them with your friends. You don’t have to manage local libraries on your devices.

Since I wrote my first post, a number of better tools have come along which make this easier. Here is the new way to do it.

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I run SSHd on my Android phone. This means I can copy files via wireless SFTP, and back it up with BackupPC. It beats using USB or Dropbox. With Android 4.1 and up (Jelly Bean), the default umask for files has changed from “000″ (users/programs can write to nearly any file) to “077″ (users/programs can only write to files they own). This is better, but meanwhile many Android programs expect the old behaviour. QuickSSHd (a 99p Android dropbear SSH server) is one of them.

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My friend Soren recently gave me a Super Power Bank, a nifty portable Lithium battery pack with two USB ports for charging devices on the go. The Super Power Bank has a 6600 mAh battery with two USB ports for charging devices; one providing 1.0 A, the other 2.1 A. He asked me a question: do my devices charge faster on the 2.1 A port? Down the rabbit hole I flew.

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My OPDS library

Update 2014-04-25: This post has been superceded by my new method.

I have a personal server (tolaris.com), a large collection of eBooks, and several Android devices. I like to read books on the go, without the hassle of actually carrying dead trees. But I don’t want to manage local copies of ebooks on my phone or tablet. What I really want is a personal library, accessible anywhere, from which I can download my books at any time. And now I have that.

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Update 2013-02-08: It seems that this error is triggered by many different conditions. If you have my problem, the following steps may help you. If not, please don’t post “this didn’t help, any ideas?” I cannot help you further. If you have new information to add, please do post a comment!

Recently Google offered a sale on 10 Android apps each day for 10p (or 10¢). During the sale I bought a number of apps, because 10p is practically indistinguishable from “free”. Unfortunately, my bank believed this large number of sub-one-pound purchases to be fraudulent. Normally they’d be right; that’s exactly the kind of thing criminal organisations do when testing credit cards. But in my case, it was just a case of “SALE! SALE! SALE!” madness.

I cleared it with the bank, but after that I could no longer buy applications through the Android Market application. When I attempted to do so, the Market required me to check “I agree to the Payments for Android
Market Terms and Conditions”, then failed with the message “Error while retrieving information from server.”

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I acquired an Android-based tablet a few weeks back. After the inevitable period of “new toy!” passed, I started looking into ways to safely archive my data. I already use BackupPC to backup to my PCs, so why not an Android tablet?

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