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Old 04-03-2009, 06:16 PM   #1
KingDani
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some collective questions of a noob

hello there ,
i have just received my 1000S , and after using it for over 4 days ,i upgraded to firmware v 1.5
right now , i have some problems ,namely:
1. device does not have any charger , so we are left with the USB PC charge , which is not much of a hassle, but after the suspend feature added , it is. in fact , the device goes to sleep mode, during a charge. previously in v1 i realized that for the device to get a full charge , i need to leave it on. what can i do now?
2. i have read somewhere , that the device SD slot is not IO capable , is that correct? i was meant to add either BT or Wifi connectivity to it , with the help of some SD modules , if it can not be a host for such devices , my dreams are dead.any new leads?
3.if there any alternative software to myscript notes , to import our hand written material?
4.there is no brightness settings on the device right?
5. i have heard about iliad , that it is capable of play back , for files such as MP3s , in DR however, that is not the case. i figured since MP3 is protected by copyright , there would be need for some 3rd part apps , any suggestions?
6. a while back i have come upon a great solution to see web content in the format of PDFs in this forum which was in fact a plugin addon for FireFox , is it PDF Download?
8. i have used the latest version of FBReader and even used the new contentlist , but i couldn't open PDB files , which are originally intended for iSilo program to view them , is it natural ? i mean the program opens the file when i click on it , and then in the FBReader page , all i see is the basic first page of help file. any suggestions?
7. on a more wide basis , could you please refer me to a more widely based service ,that gathered all the programs developped for DRs? i have read that all software developed for iliad would work here , but as far as i researched ,that is not the case. correct me please , if i'm wrong.
i know every new user is a pain in the ... , but please , bear with me.
cheers
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:06 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by KingDani View Post
i have used the latest version of FBReader and even used the new contentlist , but i couldn't open PDB files , which are originally intended for iSilo program to view them , is it natural ?
This is what should happen. The PDB format can hold a number of different ebook formats, see Wiki: PDB. For FBReader's capabilities, see Electronic Book Formats (supported and unsupported). It handles three PDB ebook types: Plucker, PalmDOC and zTXT. It does not handle iSiloX, which is a proprietary format only supported by its developers.

The updated Digital Reader contentlister uses the filename extension, .pdb, and associates it with FBReader. It should really look inside the file to distinguish between the various PDB formats. This is what FBReader's built in file selector does (it won't even list iSiloX filenames).
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDani View Post
<snip>
1. device does not have any charger , so we are left with the USB PC charge , which is not much of a hassle, but after the suspend feature added , it is. in fact , the device goes to sleep mode, during a charge. previously in v1 i realized that for the device to get a full charge , i need to leave it on. what can i do now?
You can change the power management settings so that the device never shuts down when connected to a power supply.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDani View Post
2. i have read somewhere , that the device SD slot is not IO capable , is that correct? i was meant to add either BT or Wifi connectivity to it , with the help of some SD modules , if it can not be a host for such devices , my dreams are dead.any new leads?
I have no idea if the DR supports SDIO, but since they don't say so, I'm guessing not. The USB port is stuck in slave mode, but that *could* (in the future) be hacked into host mode to allow connection of BT/WiFi adapters. This may take a while; we'll need some mighty brave hackers because the USB is the only way to connect to the PC, and there is no way to recover if something goes wrong with the driver. There is also no way to directly access the internal memory on the DR, so there is no way to "unbrick" the device (without sending it back to iRex) if the OS gets screwed up. Moreover, I am yet to find a USB-mini male to USB female connector.
If this is important to you, you'd best wait for the 1000SW.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDani View Post
3.if there any alternative software to myscript notes , to import our hand written material?
There are some user-developed scribble merging software packages (like this one) around in the forum, do a search.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDani View Post
4.there is no brightness settings on the device right?
Nope, this is e-ink! You could theoretically provide a contrast control, but the DR has no such option for now. Basically, if you want the screen to be brighter, sit in an area with better lighting conditions, just like you would do with a real book!
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDani View Post
5. i have heard about iliad , that it is capable of play back , for files such as MP3s , in DR however, that is not the case. i figured since MP3 is protected by copyright , there would be need for some 3rd part apps , any suggestions?
The DR has no soundcard or any device that is capable of putting out audio, so no, it does not read mp3 or other audio files. A remote possibility is for the USB port to be hacked to allow USB soundcards. There is also the future possibility that the 1000SW might allow streaming of audio data to a wireless headset (perhaps via a third-party app). The mp3 format itself is open (and doesn't even support DRM), so that is not the issue. For now, get an mp3 player, although it won't read back text to you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDani View Post
6. a while back i have come upon a great solution to see web content in the format of PDFs in this forum which was in fact a plugin addon for FireFox , is it PDF Download?
I am not sure what you mean. PDFCreator, however, is free and lets you print anything to PDF, including web pages. You can even save directly onto the SD card on the device, if its connected. You can also export the website into an HTML file (and its corresponding folder holding all the images) and view it with FBReader.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingDani View Post
7. on a more wide basis , could you please refer me to a more widely based service ,that gathered all the programs developped for DRs? i have read that all software developed for iliad would work here , but as far as i researched ,that is not the case. correct me please , if i'm wrong.
Until someone comes up with a sticky-worthy thread to gather all the apps for the DR, you're best off searching the forums for them. Frankly, there are not that many around right now. You could also visit the official software forum, though you'll have better luck here. Here is a quick list: FBReader (and its CTB update), Leafpad text editor (the keyboard update may come in handy), Xournal note taking app, Sudoku.

Edit 04/21: I wasn't aware of it earlier, but there is a wiki.

The DR is a different platform, so I don't think iLiad apps will work without some modification. I am not familiar with iLiad development, so I can't comment on how easy this would be. Apps that predominantly use only GTK+ (or directly talk to X) should be easy to port though.

Last edited by Grimulkan; 04-21-2009 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:51 PM   #4
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For webpage to PDF, that may have been me recommending the PDF Download add-on, which does a decent job converting webpages to docs, if you don't mind that happens through Nitro PDF's server. You can get it straight from Firefox's own Tools -> Add-ons menu. Otherwise: http://www.pdfdownload.org/

All the other questions have been answered, methinks. As far as audio goes: there's no real speaker and there's no headphone jack and there's no bluetooth for a headset... how would it be audible even if you could generate it...
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Old 04-04-2009, 04:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
This is what should happen. The PDB format can hold a number of different ebook formats, see Wiki: PDB. For FBReader's capabilities, see Electronic Book Formats (supported and unsupported). It handles three PDB ebook types: Plucker, PalmDOC and zTXT. It does not handle iSiloX, which is a proprietary format only supported by its developers.

The updated Digital Reader contentlister uses the filename extension, .pdb, and associates it with FBReader. It should really look inside the file to distinguish between the various PDB formats. This is what FBReader's built in file selector does (it won't even list iSiloX filenames).
thanks man , really appreciate the help. but if i recall correctly , the FBReader WinXp version did support isilo formatted files. am i wrong? did my memory somehow faded away by Richard Alpert?
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Old 04-04-2009, 04:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimulkan View Post
You can change the power management settings so that the device never shuts down when connected to a power supply.

I have no idea if the DR supports SDIO, but since they don't say so, I'm guessing not. The USB port is stuck in slave mode, but that *could* (in the future) be hacked into host mode to allow connection of BT/WiFi adapters. This may take a while; we'll need some mighty brave hackers because the USB is the only way to connect to the PC, and there is no way to recover if something goes wrong with the driver. There is also no way to directly access the internal memory on the DR, so there is no way to "unbrick" the device (without sending it back to iRex) if the OS gets screwed up. Moreover, I am yet to find a USB-mini male to USB female connector.
If this is important to you, you'd best wait for the 1000SW.

There are some user-developed scribble merging software packages (like this one) around in the forum, do a search.

Nope, this is e-ink! You could theoretically provide a contrast control, but the DR has no such option for now. Basically, if you want the screen to be brighter, sit in an area with better lighting conditions, just like you would do with a real book!

The DR has no soundcard or any device that is capable of putting out audio, so no, it does not read mp3 or other audio files. A remote possibility is for the USB port to be hacked to allow USB soundcards. There is also the future possibility that the 1000SW might allow streaming of audio data to a wireless headset (perhaps via a third-party app). The mp3 format itself is open (and doesn't even support DRM), so that is not the issue. For now, get an mp3 player, although it won't read back text to you.

I am not sure what you mean. PDFCreator, however, is free and lets you print anything to PDF, including web pages. You can even save directly onto the SD card on the device, if its connected. You can also export the website into an HTML file (and its corresponding folder holding all the images) and view it with FBReader.

Until someone comes up with a sticky-worthy thread to gather all the apps for the DR, you're best off searching the forums for them. Frankly, there are not that many around right now. You could also visit the official software forum, though you'll have better luck here. Here is a quick list: FBReader (and its CTB update), Leafpad text editor (the keyboard update may come in handy), Xournal note taking app, Sudoku.

The DR is a different platform, so I don't think iLiad apps will work without some modification. I am not familiar with iLiad development, so I can't comment on how easy this would be. Apps that predominantly use only GTK+ (or directly talk to X) should be easy to port though.
thanks for all of it.
i was under the impression that iliad has the same platform as DR , and i also read somewhere that it's capable of playing music. if that is the case , then iRex went down the road of specializing the device. i have the best tool to listen to music or even better , Audiobooks,and that's ipod nano 16GB 4th generation, highly recommended. i just wanted to check if there is any CAPABILITY of DR that i don't know about.

as for the SDIO , i meant those SD cards which incorporates memory and a WiFi chip inside , and not using the USB port. additionally , i sense that iRex chose to close the platform as much as possible ,and piece by piece add the functionalities , though i seriously doubt that when 1000SW is out ,they work on something like that.

cheers
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Old 04-04-2009, 04:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allovertheglobe View Post
For webpage to PDF, that may have been me recommending the PDF Download add-on, which does a decent job converting webpages to docs, if you don't mind that happens through Nitro PDF's server. You can get it straight from Firefox's own Tools -> Add-ons menu. Otherwise: http://www.pdfdownload.org/

All the other questions have been answered, methinks. As far as audio goes: there's no real speaker and there's no headphone jack and there's no bluetooth for a headset... how would it be audible even if you could generate it...
it indeed was you , now that i look at your avatar.
by saying "if you don't mind that happens through Nitro PDF's server" you mean security and privacy issues? i won't convery any sensitive webpages i assure you
thanks again
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Old 04-04-2009, 07:34 AM   #8
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we'll need some mighty brave hackers because the USB is the only way to connect to the PC, and there is no way to recover if something goes wrong with the driver. There is also no way to directly access the internal memory on the DR, so there is no way to "unbrick" the device (without sending it back to iRex) if the OS gets screwed up.
As long as you don't mess with the boot loader, you won't brick the device that easily. When you've broken the USB connection, you can extract a firmware update to the SD card manually, insert the card into the device and press the reset button. This will restore everything on the device, including the kernel. Of course there is always a risk that the flash wears out or a cosmic ray causes a glitch, so it's not for the faint of heart.

Last edited by Gertjan; 04-04-2009 at 08:16 AM. Reason: fixed typo
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:40 AM   #9
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if i recall correctly , the FBReader WinXp version did support isilo formatted files.
The Windows and Linux versions use the same ebook format code base, and the DR version is the full up Linux Desktop version. I have never tried isilo ebooks with FBReader but I would be very surprised if they work. The shared .pdb extension makes it very easy to confuse ebook formats. Almost every Palm-based ebook reader will read PalmDOC ebooks, so if you successfully opened an ebook with both iSilo and FBReader my guess is that it is actually a PalmDOC.
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Old 04-04-2009, 12:41 PM   #10
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As long as you don't mess with the boot loader, you won't brick the device that easily. When you've broken the USB connection, you can extract a firmware update to the SD card manually, insert the card into the device and press the reset button. This will restore everything on the device, including the kernel. Of course there is always a risk that the flash wears out or a cosmic ray causes a glitch, so it's not for the faint of heart.
I know X does a few non-standard things. For instance, bringing down X restarts (or hangs) the device instead of bringing up the shell. I was worried that X itself checks for firmware updates on the SD card, so it would need to boot up to load SD drivers. Neat, if the bootloader handles reflashing the internal memory, then its pretty darn unbrickable You're sure about this, right?
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Old 04-04-2009, 04:24 PM   #11
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an unbrickable device? wow , a treat for hackers i suppose.
my question is , how then there are so few developed programs for it?
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Old 04-04-2009, 05:30 PM   #12
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I know X does a few non-standard things. For instance, bringing down X restarts (or hangs) the device instead of bringing up the shell.
I don't know how you've tried this but it should be possible to it bring down. However, as most applications and services of DR1000 are started in the X session (including the display update mechanism and IPC) there is not too much you can do without X running.

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I was worried that X itself checks for firmware updates on the SD card, so it would need to boot up to load SD drivers. Neat, if the bootloader handles reflashing the internal memory, then its pretty darn unbrickable You're sure about this, right?
A software component (sysd) on the DR1000 checks for firmware updates when an SD card is mounted. If it finds one, it will ask you to install it and - when confirmed - hard reset the device. Pressing the reset switch does exactly the same (though without the recommended proper shutdown). The hard reset causes the system to boot into a special 'upgrade' mode - independent of the normal kernel - where it overwrites the root file system, kernel and other system parts when necessary. After the installation it reboots for a normal 'soft' boot.
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:42 PM   #13
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<snip>
A software component (sysd) on the DR1000 checks for firmware updates when an SD card is mounted. If it finds one, it will ask you to install it and - when confirmed - hard reset the device. Pressing the reset switch does exactly the same (though without the recommended proper shutdown). The hard reset causes the system to boot into a special 'upgrade' mode - independent of the normal kernel - where it overwrites the root file system, kernel and other system parts when necessary. After the installation it reboots for a normal 'soft' boot.
I was under the impression that the OS needed to be booted up so sysd could access the SD file system etc. I am not worried about the bootloader doing the actual reflashing, but the component that tells the DR to go into that special upgrade mode. Perhaps this component does not need X like I thought, but won't it need other kernal components? Any idea which files we should not mess with (or where sysd is deployed)?
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Old 04-05-2009, 06:05 AM   #14
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I am not worried about the bootloader doing the actual reflashing, but the component that tells the DR to go into that special upgrade mode.
It's controlled by hardware. sysd under /usr/bin checks for updates (which indeed requires access to the SD) and makes the device do a cold reboot. This triggers the standby micro to go into the upgrade mode. In case sysd does not run, you can cold reboot the device by pressing the reset switch.

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Any idea which files we should not mess with?
As long as you only change files on the main partition, you should be fine.
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:06 AM   #15
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after upgrading to 1.5 , i get the device being powered up automatically everytime i try to put in charge mode via USB cable. any suggestions to prevent that?
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