I just bought a Kindle and successfully loaded my first book onto it in Canada, using only Ubuntu. The process I used should work anywhere outside the United States. Here’s a quick summary for overseas, would-be Kindle owners.
1] Buy the Kindle. You need a shipping address in the United States where a friend or forwarding service will receive the Kindle and send it on to you. You can use a credit card from any country to actually purchase the Kindle, but not the books.
2] Deregister the Kindle from your Amazon account.
3] Buy yourself an Amazon gift voucher (I started with $20). Just buy a gift card and have it sent to your own email address.
4] Create a new Amazon account with a new email address.
5] Register the Kindle onto your new Amazon account. The Kindle serial number is in tiny letters on the back of the device.
6] Load your gift voucher onto your new Amazon account.
7] Browse the Kindle book store, purchase a book. You’ll need to add a shipping address to your account, use a US shipping address.
8] Got Your Account > Manage My Kindle and scroll down. You’ll see a list of your purchases, choose Download to My Computer then save the file.
9] Plug your Kindle into your computer (Linux, Mac or Windows all work) and drop the file into the documents folder on the Kindle.
Voila, you have a Kindle outside of the USA.
Do not add a non-US credit card to your Amazon kindle account. Use the account only for your Kindle and only put money on the account via gift vouchers. Any non-US credit card will stop Amazon sending books to you on that account. You could repeat the process to register the Kindle to a new account, but you might run out of email addresses!
I’ll post some thoughts on the Kindle once I’ve had a chance to try it out. Right now it’s charging via USB. 🙂
For those of you still wondering what Kindle is, go here. Think ipod for books. Here’s a picture to help you visualise: