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Old 05-10-2012, 03:46 PM   #1
bhdavis
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An idea

I'm planning on buying an eReader and I'm considering getting a T1. During the discussion in the "Which should I buy?" forum, it was pointed out how easy it is to add ePubs to the reader using DropBox and the web browser, and that got me to thinking. What if we could modify a DropBox client to work with the T1 without a web interface? It would work the way DropBox works on any other system- when a new file is added to DropBox, that file is propagated to every client immediately (if they're currently connected) or the next time they go online. There are DropBox clients for Linux and for Android, so once a T1 was rooted, it wouldn't be hard to install and I doubt it'd be difficult to configure to specify the local path. The next thing I'd do woul dbe to add a daemon to monitor the DropBox folder on the T1, and any time that an ePub file is added to the folder it would automatically be added to the library. Actually, the more I think about it, the less I'm convinced it needs to be a daemon running- it could simply be a part of the normal event monitoring that goes on with a GUI interface. Whenever any menu is displayed, it would check for files, and if present it would add them to the library. This auto-add feature could be disabled and a button could be added to manually sync up. If you then combine this with something like Instapaper and saving Instapaper ePubs to that folder, you'd have an easy wireless way to add ePubs and internet articles to your ereader for future reading.

What do you guys think?
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:04 PM   #2
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It would mean keeping a permanent wi-fi connection on the T1. Which drains the battery pretty fast.
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:08 PM   #3
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It would mean keeping a permanent wi-fi connection on the T1. Which drains the battery pretty fast.
No it doesn't, you could turn it on and off as you wanted. You could even have the daemon responsible for looking for incoming ePubs and starting and stopping DropBox to run based on whether or not the wi-fi connection is going.
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:20 PM   #4
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:04 PM   #5
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Im lorst.....as usual.
I would like it if it was really easy to load ePubs onto an eReader. From what I've read it can be a bit of a pain in the butt, and it seems to involve having to connect your reader to your computer to transfer the files via USB cable.

One solution people use is to copy their ePub files to DropBox- a Cloud file sharing service. DropBox makes files available to you either through an program that you run on your computing device so that those files just show up in a folder, but it also allows you to access them from any computer using a web browser. They take advantage of the web browser feature by going to the DropBox website, logging in, and then downloading their ePubs from that directly to their ebook reader.

What I'm suggesting is that we skip the process of going to the Web Browser to download the books and integrate DropBox software directly into the eBook reader itself. That way when you copy your eBooks to your dropbox folder it will be immediately (well, almost) available to you on your eBook reader. You won't have to go and download it first from the eReader's web page. Most eReaders are based on some variant of Linux, and a Linux DropBox client already exists, so that should be pretty easy to do.

Then I take it a step further. I propose that we (whomever we are) write custom software for the T1 to monitor the folder on the T1 that DropBox (installed on the T1) places files into. Whenever this program (called a daemon) sees a new file in that folder it will automatically process it and add it to the eReader's library. That way, whenever you put new ePubs into your dropbox, they'll automatically be added to your eReader (well, the next time you turn it on and connect it to a wireless internet connection).

The last step is that you could then use this set up with InstaPaper to grab news articles, web pages, etc. and save the ePub's that it produces to your DropBox folder. And Voila, you've got an easy to use custom newsreader. You don't need to pay for an expensive New York Times eReader edition- this will do it for you. Find some articles you want to read on your way home from work? Click, click, click- and they'll be waiting for you for your commute home.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:31 PM   #6
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I may be mistaken, but I believe the T1 would process the ebooks; there'd be no need for a daemon.

The drawback to this, of course, is everything in your Dropbox being sync'd to your T1. That's potentially 1) a lot of data, and 2) a lot of files that aren't ebooks. For example, I have about 6 GB of stuff in my Dropbox, and only about 3 GB of that are ebook files.
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:42 AM   #7
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I may be mistaken, but I believe the T1 would process the ebooks; there'd be no need for a daemon.

The drawback to this, of course, is everything in your Dropbox being sync'd to your T1. That's potentially 1) a lot of data, and 2) a lot of files that aren't ebooks. For example, I have about 6 GB of stuff in my Dropbox, and only about 3 GB of that are ebook files.
I wasn't sure if the T1 would automatically process the ebooks and add them to the library once it found the files on it's file system, so I just assumed that it wouldn't. But if it does, then that's great- a problem I don't have to solve!

I had already thought about the problem DropBox (many of them unrelated to eBooks), but you could solve that problem by using a separate DropBox account just for eBooks which is what I would probably do. Alternately, if the DropBox API is available, it seems plausible that one could write software so that T1 client didn't try to sync the entire DropBox folder, but just one specified folder.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:27 AM   #8
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Dropbox app comes with the rooting package. At least it did for the one I used.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:03 AM   #9
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as it stands the T1 ignores anything in your dropbox folder that is NOT a supported format and you can choose which supported files to download, I use dropbox to add the odd book but I use drag-n-drop (while charging)to add more than a few, it's not really that complicated unless you want to make it complicated by implementing "sync" and using PC Reader/ and/or Calibre in which case you need to RTFM. I have 2000 +books in 81 collections all transferred and organized very simply without once having to wrestle with PC Reader/Calibre, the KISS principle applies here . I use PC Reader to keep my firmware updated and Calibre to fix/convert formats....
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewH View Post
I may be mistaken, but I believe the T1 would process the ebooks; there'd be no need for a daemon.

The drawback to this, of course, is everything in your Dropbox being sync'd to your T1. That's potentially 1) a lot of data, and 2) a lot of files that aren't ebooks. For example, I have about 6 GB of stuff in my Dropbox, and only about 3 GB of that are ebook files.
Open a separate Dropbox account just for your books...
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:20 AM   #11
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Dropbox app comes with the rooting package. At least it did for the one I used.
Ok, cool, that's good to know.

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Originally Posted by bla View Post
as it stands the T1 ignores anything in your dropbox folder that is NOT a supported format and you can choose which supported files to download, I use dropbox to add the odd book but I use drag-n-drop (while charging)to add more than a few, it's not really that complicated unless you want to make it complicated by implementing "sync" and using PC Reader/ and/or Calibre in which case you need to RTFM. I have 2000 +books in 81 collections all transferred and organized very simply without once having to wrestle with PC Reader/Calibre, the KISS principle applies here . I use PC Reader to keep my firmware updated and Calibre to fix/convert formats....
Part of the reason I want something like this is because I like to read newspapers and news articles and I'd like to be able to do that easily on an eReader. Instapaper makes it really convenient to turn newspaper articles into ePubs, but it's a bit of a pain in the butt to then transfer them to the eReader. I'd have to do it every morning before work, but the system I'm envisioning here would allow me to bypass that. I can make a bookmark for my browser that performs the "Read it Later" function with InstaPaper, then it would activate the Download Link and specify the a path to my DropBox folder on my computer. That would sync up with the DropBox cloud- turn the eReader and WiFi while I'm showering, it downloads the ePubs and puts them on the device automatically and then I can grab it and go. Sure, it's not THAT much harder to do it with a USB cable, but why? I don't think this'll be hard to do. I just don't have the T1 device yet to do it on.


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Open a separate Dropbox account just for your books...
Yeah, that would work and that's what my first inclination was- on the other hand, I use my DropBox account a lot. It's way more convenient than using a USB memory stick, and at some point I'll forget to disconnect from the ePub dropbox account and I'll drop a bunch of crap for work into it which the eReader will then try to download necessarily. It's not the end of the world, but it'd be annoying. Plus, I can't see any reason why it should be difficult to get DropBox client on the T1 to only look in one folder. I haven't looked at the API for DropBox, so maybe it can't do that, but that seems silly to me.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:35 PM   #12
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THe thing is to use the built -in browser to access your dropbox not a dropbox client, that way you don't have to worry about sync issues, one tap starts the download of supported formats it's quick/simple
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:57 PM   #13
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THe thing is to use the built -in browser to access your dropbox not a dropbox client, that way you don't have to worry about sync issues, one tap starts the download of supported formats it's quick/simple
That will work, but it's not automated. I can't just send the ePubs to DropBox and give it a few moments to sync across the devices, I have to put the ePubs on DropBox, then pick user the browser to download them. My method would be totally automated and transparent.

I think I'm going to give it a try.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:26 PM   #14
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lol....whatever floats your boat... let us know how you make out
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:27 AM   #15
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In the end, it would be a lot simpler if you got an Android tablet (7") reader instead of an e-ink reader, and used a reading app like Aldiko combined with the Aldiko Sync app. It makes use of Dropbox to sync across devices (automatically or with a manual prompt) so that you have the same books on all of them and even open to the same page... Only problem as compared to e-ink is battery life and glare.
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