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Old 10-03-2007, 11:15 PM   #6
nathany
Enthusiast
nathany began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 29
Karma: 16
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Canada
Device: MacBook Air and Preview
Technical books

* What kind of device do you read the technical e-books on?
* What original formats do you use, and how do you prepare/convert them?

I have a number of PDF books, mostly from Pragmatic Programmers, and all but one is DRM-free. Some I have in paper form too, and just use the PDF for reference. The shorter ones (like on Subversion) I've read entirely on my laptop.

I use Preview on a MacBook Pro to view the PDFs. It's worth playing with the options in the View menu. Like "Automatically resize" so you can simply enlarge the window and the font comes with it. Usually I've been using "Continuous" with page breaks, which lets you keep on scrolling. I recently got an external LCD, so I am trying Book mode.

Another program I've tried is called Tofu, which does some reflowing, but haven't really used it. Interesting concept.

I have a bunch of documentation in HTML form that was either provided downloadable, or I scraped from the web with DeepVacuum. This is more reference material than e-books, and I just have a Docs folder in Safari's bookmarks for all the local documentation.

I've tried Safari Bookshelf, but found it to be too slow, and at least when I tried, the somewhat pricey downloadable PDFs weren't indexed/searchable.

* Are you happy with your solution? What would be better?

It works alright. Sometimes I take notes or key in the examples as I go, so I'd like be in front of my computer anyway.

It would be nice to have a sort of "library" of these books... right now it's pretty disorderly. I suppose Adobe Digital Editions would do something like that. Of course there is source code and such to manage too.

* Does your solution require perfect eyesight?

No. But I imagine an iLiad or something would be better on the eyes. I could only justify buying one if I was for-certain going to develop for it as well. But right now I'm not to excited (nor ready) to jump into Linux/GTK programming.

* Have you given up and decided to read the paper versions for now?

See above.

@hapax: Apple has, that's why the power cable is magnetic, so the laptop stays put when someone trips over the cable. At least a partial solution, which wouldn't be necessary if your battery is charged and will last as long as you need.

Last edited by nathany; 10-03-2007 at 11:18 PM.
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