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Old 02-05-2011, 08:32 AM   #12
EatingPie
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Device: Sony PRS-500 (RIP); PRS-600 (Good Riddance); PRS-505; PRS-650; PRS-350
Quote:
Originally Posted by kacir View Post
They DID make their own version of Caecilia. At the very least they have modified Caecilia heavily, and they have bundled actual bitmaps inside the font file. Normally, the font is "hinted" or "instructed" - hinting is a short code in language similar to assembler for each letter that tells rendering engine how to round dimensions so the letter boundaries fall exactly to the pixel grid. This is absolutely crucial if you want to have text on a low resolution display(*) to look crisp, sharp and with highest possible contrast. Amazon went one step further and included actual hand tweaked, I believe(**), bitmaps for certain letter sizes (the default sizes)

I have used Font Matrix program to have a look at the actual Caecilia font copied from Kindle 3.

(*) Do not argue! 166dpi IS a very low resolution from a typographic point of view ;-)
(**) well, if you look at capital "T" the left and right "arms" of T are not symmetric, which is typical for hinted fonts. For some reason, that escapes me, auto-generated hinting info for typical T letter doesn't contain code to make sure that T letter is symmetrical. When you print the text using the same font in high resolution from Corel Draw, for example, the "T" is symmetrical. I would expect that hand optimized bitmaps should avoid this problem.
Well, it certainly does look different than Caecilia on the Sony Reader, and I do not have the version from the Kindle. So your observations look like they eliminate the renderer (for the most part) and put the onus on the font itself.

Fortunately, I said "very, very unlikely"; it's always good to leave yourself an out when you can.

I would love to compare a copy from the Kindle to Linotype's Caecilia. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to Jailbreak the Kindle and access the font.

Nice job taking the font apart looking at it in such detail!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
Ironically I was just thinking the same thing about spacing last night while I was reading on my Kindle. I typically use a line-height of 1.2 or 1.3em in my EPUBs. I wish that Sony had as much user control over fonts as the Kindle does on the device rather than having to mess with your EPUBs. The Kindle has variable line spacing with 3 settings. I wonder which one you were comparing to, Pie? At medium it does seems a little larger than my typical settings. The large is really large. The small is a little small for me. i tend to read at medium on my Kindle.
I used whatever the out-of-box default was, because it was a brand new, never used (except turned on), Kindle. On top of that, owned by an avowed computer-phobe.

I actually liked the way the spacing looked. It seemed natural to me, appealing. But I didn't spend a lot of time reading, so I don't know if I would have kept liking it.

Quote:
I know what you mean about the screens. However, when I compare my 950 & K3 side-by-side, it seems to me that the K3 screen is glossier. Also fingerprints seem to show a little more on the Sony screen than the K3.
Very interesting! My thought was that either Sony used a coating of their own due to the new touch screen, or that they simply purchased a slightly different format of Pearl display from e-Ink, similar to how computer makers allow you to buy either glossy or matte displays on laptops.

I've had two separate experiences with a Kindle/Sony side-by-side, the last time at a focus group which involved two Sony models (not the 950). So it wasn't just some anomaly, but the full production run. Now I'm curious if the 950 has yet another screen "type."

-Pie
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