Introduction: Get Started With a Kindle Fire

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The Kindle Fire is a pretty cool device, especially for just $200. No, it's not an iPad, but it does come with enough to stand on its own. What it doesn't come with, however, is a clean set of instructions. Basically, there's just a card inside that says "plug it in and be amazed!"

Sure, you can dig around in the ebook pre-loaded to figure it out, but here's a collection of things I wanted to know right away and had to figure out.

Step 1: Change the Volume

The Kindle Fire only has one button, the power button. Tap it to turn the Kindle on and tap it again to put it to sleep. Longer presses actually turn it off.

That's great, but no volume buttons? Nope, it's stuck in the settings menu. To get to those, tap the little gear on top. Now you can change the volume by selecting "Volume" and sliding the volume control.

Step 2: Locking the Screen

Also in the settings menu is the screen-lock so that it doesn't change orientation if you turn it on its side.

OK, fine, that makes sense. Still annoyed with the lack of volume controls.

Other controls in there do what you'd expect as well.

Step 3: More Settings!

Tapping the "More" button will get you ore settings. No big surprise there, but to save you the time of digging around here are the two main uses: security and keyboard. Security lets you lock your Fire and the keyboard settings let you turn off auto capitalization or auto-correct.

Step 4: How to Put Ebooks on Your Kindle Fire

Sure, you can buy content from Amazon. I've done it plenty of times myself. And then there are other files that you will want on there such as PDFs or other ebooks.

Here's a total list of files you can transfer over: DOC, DOCX, PDF, HTML, TXT, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, PRC, and MOBI. One format that is NOT here is EPUB so you will need to convert these to MOBI with a program like Calibre before transferring.

To do this you will need a micro USB cable and it didn't come with the Fire. If you have a previous Kindle, the same cable will work. Otherwise you can get one online for just a few bucks.

to transfer the files over, just plug the Kindle Fire in to your computer and transfer files into the appropriate Kindle folder. So put books in Books, and pictures in Pictures.

Alternately, you can email the files to the email address on the screen. It should look Your email address that is your account will automatically be able to do this. You will need to authorize other email addresses, however.

Step 5: How to Take Screenshots

Taking pictures on other devices can be insanely easy. Not at all with the Kindle Fire. While the iPad lets you take a picture by holding a couple buttons, you'll need to follow this22-step tutorialfor getting screenshots.And even then your Kindle Fire needs to be connected to your computer and the screenshots are always in landscape orientation.

So unless you really, really want screenshots, don't bother.

Step 6: That's It

OK, that about sums up what I wish I knew about the Fire when I started it up. If there's anything else you're wondering about, feel free to leave a comment.