Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book Readers > Barnes & Noble NOOK

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-01-2012, 01:39 PM   #1
Tabit
Junior Member
Tabit began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 3
Karma: 10
Join Date: Dec 2012
Device: Nook
Nook 1st Edition and PDFs

Hello all, this is my first post. Please forgive the rant, I needed to vent a little. If you want to get to the point just skip to the TL;DR at the bottom.

I have had a Nook 1st edition for about 2 years now, and it has spent most of that time just lying around unused on an end table or nightstand. Why is this you ask?

In short: PDFs.

Almost all of my ebook collection is in PDF. These are not novels, these are textbooks and other technical material that have graphs, equations, diagrams, etc. etc. (I am a math student, physics minor, with interests in many other sciency fields). These are things that do not convert to ePub so well.

So, why did I buy a Nook? Because it seemed obvious to me that one would be able to zoom in on these dense pages, and then move the view about as necessary to see different parts of the page. That is how all PDF readers on computers work (pretty much all readers period actually), so obviously a device designed to read books would do that, right? Wrong.

Apparently it is so obvious no one has thought to include it yet. This is a MASSIVE screw up on B&N's part, and they have no legitimate defence for omitting what has been obvious to software devs since at least the early 90's. They have made the Nook completely worthless for entire segment of the book market.

TL;DR So my actual question is this: Are there any firmware hacks that will allow me to zoom in on dense PDFs so that they actually become legible? I really like my Nook, and wish I could make good use of it. Thanks.
Tabit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2012, 03:18 PM   #2
geertm
Guru
geertm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.geertm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.geertm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.geertm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.geertm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.geertm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.geertm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.geertm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.geertm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.geertm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.geertm ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 807
Karma: 1204798
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: The Netherlands
Device: Nook, Nook Touch and Nook Color
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabit View Post
Hello all, this is my first post. Please forgive the rant, I needed to vent a little. If you want to get to the point just skip to the TL;DR at the bottom.

I have had a Nook 1st edition for about 2 years now, and it has spent most of that time just lying around unused on an end table or nightstand. Why is this you ask?

In short: PDFs.

Almost all of my ebook collection is in PDF. These are not novels, these are textbooks and other technical material that have graphs, equations, diagrams, etc. etc. (I am a math student, physics minor, with interests in many other sciency fields). These are things that do not convert to ePub so well.

So, why did I buy a Nook? Because it seemed obvious to me that one would be able to zoom in on these dense pages, and then move the view about as necessary to see different parts of the page. That is how all PDF readers on computers work (pretty much all readers period actually), so obviously a device designed to read books would do that, right? Wrong.

Apparently it is so obvious no one has thought to include it yet. This is a MASSIVE screw up on B&N's part, and they have no legitimate defence for omitting what has been obvious to software devs since at least the early 90's. They have made the Nook completely worthless for entire segment of the book market.

TL;DR So my actual question is this: Are there any firmware hacks that will allow me to zoom in on dense PDFs so that they actually become legible? I really like my Nook, and wish I could make good use of it. Thanks.
6 Inch e-ink ereaders are not a suitable for the kind of PDF's you want to read. You would have had problems with other 6 inch e-ink ereaders than this Nook, too. You bought the wrong kind of device.

For the kind of PDF's you want to read you need one of the larger tablets, not an e-ink device.
geertm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2012, 04:32 PM   #3
Tabit
Junior Member
Tabit began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 3
Karma: 10
Join Date: Dec 2012
Device: Nook
Quote:
Originally Posted by geertm View Post
6 Inch e-ink ereaders are not a suitable for the kind of PDF's you want to read. You would have had problems with other 6 inch e-ink ereaders than this Nook, too. You bought the wrong kind of device.

For the kind of PDF's you want to read you need one of the larger tablets, not an e-ink device.
I am aware that other e-ink ereaders also have this issue, but I am aware of no physical limitation as to why they could not do it. I am fairly certain (but open to proof otherwise) that this is solely a software issue. The proof for this is the web-browser which operates exactly as a PDF reader should so far as 'panning' around the page is concerned.

So in short, "They don't make them like that." is not an excuse, it's the problem. They should make them like that because there is no reason (other than possibly marketing) not to.

So my original question stands, has anyone gotten around to making a hack that adds this feature?

EDIT: I should also point out that the reason I did not imediately return it after purchase was because I came across considerable discussion of this being a feature in an upcoming firmware update. Obviously this never came about.

Last edited by Tabit; 12-01-2012 at 04:44 PM.
Tabit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 04:26 AM   #4
HQH
Junior Member
HQH began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 2
Karma: 10
Join Date: Dec 2012
Device: none
Your complaint is exactly mine, except that I eventually gave up and just started reading novels on it.

You have a few options, all of them begin with rooting the device.

To the best of my knowledge, there are four PDF readers for the 1st edition nook: the stock one, djvudroid, apdf(viewer), and orion. Basically, the ideal situation is that you can display your textbook in landscape, without margins, zoomed to fit width, while preserving structure. The stock reader mangles PDFs unless they're entirely reflowable text, so that's out. apdf might work, but it only supports a limited set of zoom ratios, so you can't zoom-to-fit. Panning is also awkward. I never managed to get djvudroid to build, and I only found out about orion a few days ago and haven't tried it.

Even if you find a good reader, you'll probably have to preprocess your PDFs to crop the margins-there are a variety of programs that do this automatically, and none of them work very well.

Of course, it's relatively easy to write a PDF viewer that does the right thing for the 1st edition nook if you already have a PDF rendering library and logic for display to eink (and you know how to write to a quirky obsolete version of android!). Unfortunately, I've just never been motivated enough to work on one. No one else has either, because as soon as the NST came out, software development for the 1st edition nook completely stopped.

If you decide to buy a NST, the situation, surprisingly, isn't completely better. The "best" pdf reader for the NST is probably EzPDF, and it leaves a lot to be desired (it plainly was not written with e-ink in mind). Here writing your own gets a little easier, but I just wanted to read some textbooks, not learn how to develop for yet another platform.

The other reply you got isn't entirely off-base: you'll find that even if you manage to arrange things perfectly, a lot of books remain really inconvenient to read straight through. Unfortunately, the e-textbook market is going nowhere, LCD tablets are terrible for reading, large e-ink devices are rare and costly, and I guess not enough people with nooks are interested to fix the problem to the extent it can be fixed.
HQH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2012, 04:29 AM   #5
HQH
Junior Member
HQH began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 2
Karma: 10
Join Date: Dec 2012
Device: none
I just wanted to add that I've since had a little time to try out orion on the Nook 1st edition. It's much better than I expected it to be, and supports four-way cropping, arbitrary and fit-to-dimension zooming, (relatively) convenient scrolling, and even configurable tabular ordering for scrolling through a page that fits in neither dimension.

I've only used it for a few hours, but it's definitely good enough for several of the books I'd loaded on my nook but given up on being able to read. The cropping feature is adequate, in that, so long as one's pages are mostly consistently framed, there is no need to pre-crop the book for reading. I have noticed, however, that some scanned books have somewhat fuzzy text regardless of magnification. This is probably a result of however the display chooses to display things that don't hit one of the 16 gray levels exactly. If so, I'm hoping it can be fixed with some sort of requantization/unsharping with imagemagick. Most books didn't have this problem, but I thought I'd mention it in case you have a lot of sortof-fuzzily scanned and poorly postprocessed PDFs, as I seem to.

Orion is even open source, so if it's an "almost" for you, you can probably fix it. It also supports djvu (though I haven't tested this) and cbz (which isn't really a use case for me). I think this may be close to as good as it gets until someone releases an affordable e-ink device with a larger screen.

Orion can be found here:
http://code.google.com/p/orion-viewer/
HQH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2012, 05:07 PM   #6
Tabit
Junior Member
Tabit began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 3
Karma: 10
Join Date: Dec 2012
Device: Nook
Thanks for the reply HQH. The info you provided was a great overview, and exactly what I was hoping for. Looks like I will be giving Orion a go. Thanks again.
Tabit is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nook 1st Edition Not Reading Internal Memory vpredoehl Calibre 0 11-28-2012 10:24 PM
Classic (Help) Two questions about Nook 1st edition. ersott Barnes & Noble NOOK 5 09-14-2012 12:27 PM
Nook 1st edition 1.0.0 firmware version rfog Barnes & Noble NOOK 1 06-01-2012 10:40 AM
Ended 2 Nook 1st Edition (Classic) GameMonsters Flea Market 1 11-16-2011 05:08 AM
1st vs 2nd edition device jake__ iRex 2 03-03-2009 12:06 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:19 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.