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Old 08-24-2010, 10:55 AM   #16
taming
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At the moment, the navigation control can increase or decrease font sizes; move one page forward or one page back; or select a menu option. It does not interact with the content on the page at all. I have no idea if a firmware update could change that or not.

EDIT: This is pure speculation, but my guess is that Kobo aims to make an affordable entry level reader and not much more, in terms of hardware. The bigger goal is to sell books through Kobo and provide multiple ways to read the books purchased through them. If I win the lotto this weekend, I may very well buy a more full featured reader. I'll still buy Kobo books. Kobo has created a customer for life (well as long as they have so many books available to Canadians on their site).

Last edited by taming; 08-24-2010 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:16 PM   #17
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The point is, this is basic functionality. It would not cost more to add it. Other ereaders using the exact same (or similar) hardware are able to do it. Why can't the kobo? This issue, the lack of a go to page function (and thus the consequent need to page forward multiple times if you lose your place), the lack of proper bookmarking (as opposed to mere resume), and the over all sluggishness of the device all contributed to my selling the device. I loved the bluetooth functionality. I loved the way it felt in my hand. I loved the use of cover images. But there are definite improvements to be made in the firmware, improvements that you find in virtually every other device that uses the Adobe Mobile software, including those that sell for less (such as the Sony Pocket Edition). Kobo can definitely be competitive (I really like their book store), but they need to implement basic functionality so that the device becomes less onerous to use. I mean, Kobo sells books that are heavily foot-noted (I'm reading Clive Hamilton's "Freedom's Paradox" currently). As it stands, I could not get the full use out of the book I purchased from their own store on their own device.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:52 PM   #18
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Kobo needs a hotkey for quick-flipping to the appropriate foot/end-note at the end of an ebook. Perhaps the "BACK" key could be mapped as such. I'm not aware of any real purpose for the "BACK" key while reading...I'm thinking...what does it currently do?

Even if a page, no matter how it's sized, has more than one note, the Kobo could flip to the first endnote appearing on that page and then allow you to page forward to whatever note your looking for, which shouldn't be too far away.

And if hyperlinks are indeed supported by ADE then most of the work is already done. The "BACK" button sets a temp-bookmark, selects the first hyperlink on the page...you read, flip through, whatever, and hitting "BACK" again returns you to, and deletes the temp-bookmark.

I'm sure it's not quite that easy, but I still have the hope, and expectation that the
Kobo is a work-in-progress. i.e. It's good, but could be better.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:16 PM   #19
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I've more or less decided that the Kobo is not really suitable for reading non-fiction books. Since I (almost) only read non-fiction that makes the Kobo purchase slightly less than ideal.

There are two major problems. The first is footnotes, whether they are at the end of the chapter, or at the end of the book. You just can't directly go and read a footnote when you encounter it in the text.

The second is illustrations. That may be specific to the titles that I've bought and read. But it is really annoying coming across the notes for a diagram or illustration at a random location within a chapter, and then not having the illustrations available at all. Obviously colours cannot be show, but graphs, line drawings, b&w illustrations, and colour pictures shown as black and white should definitely be available. Without the illustrations some books are worthless.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:36 PM   #20
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If your interest lies in non-fiction, then perhaps a device such as an iPad or Kindle DX would be more suitable. Non fiction books do tend to lie within the PDF realm and a bigger screened device is a much better option.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:22 PM   #21
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Oh I hadn't thought of maps. A lot of non fiction books I read have maps and stuff. Hmmm.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:09 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artig View Post
The second is illustrations. That may be specific to the titles that I've bought and read. But it is really annoying coming across the notes for a diagram or illustration at a random location within a chapter, and then not having the illustrations available at all.
The kobo displays illustrated epubs adequately (given the screen size). For examples, see Three Men in a Boat or Perelman's Physics for Entertainment.

Of course, they would be even better with hyperlinks so we could flip backwards and forwards.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:47 AM   #23
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I don't doubt that the Kobo is capable of displaying the illustrations. But when you buy a book from Whitcoulls (Kobo), which can only be read on the Kobo or in Kobo Reader, then there's an expectation that the illustrations from the paper book will be included in the ebook version.

At the very least it would be reasonable to inform potential ebook buyers on the website when the illustrations are not included.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:47 AM   #24
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But when you buy a book from Whitcoulls (Kobo), which can only be read on the Kobo or in Kobo Reader, then there's an expectation that the illustrations from the paper book will be included in the ebook version.
This is a bit OT, but can't all Kobo books be read in Adobe Digital Editions (as well as the Kobo app) on a computer?
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:05 AM   #25
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This is a bit OT, but can't all Kobo books be read in Adobe Digital Editions (as well as the Kobo app) on a computer?

if they are epub format, yes - are they also DRM'd ? If so ADE will have to be registered accordingly .
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:00 PM   #26
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If your interest lies in non-fiction, then perhaps a device such as an iPad or Kindle DX would be more suitable. Non fiction books do tend to lie within the PDF realm and a bigger screened device is a much better option.
I disagree. There are plenty of non-fiction books, such as works of history and philosophy, that do no lie within the "PDF realm." The Kobo isn't bad at showing black and white illustrations either. I just think more thought has to be put into the firmware. I mean, readers that have more or less stock Netronix firmware have these capabilities. Why shouldn't the Kobo? Did they have to re-engineer everything from scratch in order to allow compatibility with Kobo-format books (i.e. the books stored in the SQlite database)?

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Old 08-27-2010, 02:44 AM   #27
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So the book I'm reading (Packing to Mars by Mary Roach) has footnotes.

Normally those are on the bottom of the page in a paper book.

I understand in an epub they won't be at the "bottom" of a page since the pages can change if you resize the font.
I don't see why that should matter. Unfortunately, there is no support for footnotes in the epub format (a subset of XHTML based on HTML4 -- there was footnote support in an earlier version of HTML, but it dropped out). There's an obvious workaround which (a) would be vastly preferable on an ereader than putting notes at the bottom of the page, and (b) is implementable right now, with no change to the epub specification (namely: put a rel="footnote" attribute in the link, and have the reader extract just the target element from wherever the note is and display it as a popup), but nobody actually does it.
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