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Old 05-06-2009, 08:54 PM   #166
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It strikes me that PDF support, in conjunction with the recent change to bandwidth-based fees associated with stuff sent to @kindle.com for wireless delivery, is a potential revenue-enhancement mechanism for Amazon: PDFs can be HUGE as they tend to have lots of bitmaps and so on. I'm not one of them, but there will always be people who prefer the convenience of wireless even if it costs them something.

One wonders if that isn't reason enough for them to retrofit PDF support to K2/K1. Yes, the screen is too small, but Sony reader seems to do something useful with the same screen size. I'm sure there will be plenty of reasons to upgrade to K3 without holding off until then, and it would remove a competitive advantage vis a vis other readers in the meantime.

None of this alters the fact that PDF is a lousy ebook format, of course.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:13 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
As noted by tomsem, Amazon is using Adobe Reader Mobile 9 to render PDFs on the DX. This capability could be added to the Kindle 2 as well, but on the DX Amazon is not using the reflow capabilities of ADE for PDFs which would be needed (or be helpful) on a 6" screen. So it would take a bit of work to add PDFs to the Kindle 2. Amazon does have an alternative reflow method - send your PDF to them for conversion to MOBI.

One interesting property of ADE that the DX uses, but which is a much requested upgrade for the Sony Readers, is the clipping of PDF margins. The DX does this by default, but the Sony Reader's portrait mode leaves the margins intact (I'm not sure about their landscape mode). This means that Bookeen and other new ADE licensees have no excuses for leaving the margins unclipped.
My comment was a one line comment and apparently not very clear. The original poster basically asked if Amazon could provide a PDF viewer for the Kindle 2 with a software update or if there was a hardware requirement for the PDF functionality. Here's a more indepth answer that I hope will clear up any confusion.

The PDF viewer functionality is provided by software so technically it is possible for Amazon to provide a PDF viewer for the Kindle 2 (and Kindle 1 as well). However, the Kindle 2 only has a 6" screen, which is just slightly larger than a 3″ x 5″ index card, and from a practicle matter this sized screen is just too small for displaying many PDFs. A large number of PDFs are based on 8 1/2" x 11" pages. The new Kindle DX can display this page in portrait mode by removing margins from the PDF and by scaling down the page slightly and still have an acceptable page that can still be read. The Kindle DX can also be turned sideways and essentially display half of a full-sized 8 1/2" x 11" page, and clicking the Next Page button will display the next half. None of this is really possible with the small screen size used in the Kindle 2. Shrinking a PDF page would result in text too small to read. Dividing a full 8 1/2" x 11" page into sections would require cutting it into at least fourths. So a PDF viewer on the Kindle 2 just isn't likely from a practical standpoint.

[Edit: I hope none of this sounded disrespectful to Wallcraft because that's definately not the intention.]

Last edited by Daithi; 05-06-2009 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:17 PM   #168
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According to the hands ons being reported so far, speed is slightly slower than the K2. Same engine + same technology + but applied to more info to refresh each page = slightly slower refresh.
Personally, this would be the showstopper for me. I find the Kindle refresh rate is fine for forward reading but for reference books, textbooks and even newspapers, I like to be able to flip back/forth quickly and still prefer paper.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:38 PM   #169
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daithi View Post
My comment was a one line comment and apparently not very clear. The original poster basically asked if Amazon could provide a PDF viewer for the Kindle 2 with a software update or if there was a hardware requirement for the PDF functionality. Here's a more indepth answer that I hope will clear up any confusion.

The PDF viewer functionality is provided by software so technically it is possible for Amazon to provide a PDF viewer for the Kindle 2 (and Kindle 1 as well). However, the Kindle 2 only has a 6" screen, which is just slightly larger than a 3″ x 5″ index card, and from a practicle matter this sized screen is just too small for displaying many PDFs. (snip)
Ah, yes, the practicle--the smallest possible unit of practicality: inherently indivisible. ;-)

But seriously, you could view the pdf page in landscape mode, half an A4 page at a time on the K2 screen. If you also cropped the margins, you'd be at something like 90% full size--like the KDX screen in portrait mode. This would be somewhat suboptimal, I grant you, but not completely terrible.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:40 PM   #170
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I agree....a firmware update or two and the K2 could do pdf


Quote:
Originally Posted by tomsem View Post
It strikes me that PDF support, in conjunction with the recent change to bandwidth-based fees associated with stuff sent to @kindle.com for wireless delivery, is a potential revenue-enhancement mechanism for Amazon: PDFs can be HUGE as they tend to have lots of bitmaps and so on. I'm not one of them, but there will always be people who prefer the convenience of wireless even if it costs them something.

One wonders if that isn't reason enough for them to retrofit PDF support to K2/K1. Yes, the screen is too small, but Sony reader seems to do something useful with the same screen size. I'm sure there will be plenty of reasons to upgrade to K3 without holding off until then, and it would remove a competitive advantage vis a vis other readers in the meantime.

None of this alters the fact that PDF is a lousy ebook format, of course.
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:05 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by catsittingstill View Post
Ooo, citing from memory--living dangerously there, dmaul! Either that or you have a much better memory than I do.

It helps that your filing system has to please only yourself :-)

The file-by-topic unorganized system would have been tough for me, as a paper could be about protein 1's a) structure and b)biochemistry but also the first reference for method Z, so I would be wondering where to file it. Hence the one big box sorted by name method.
Well, by cite from memory I mean general sites for broad findings, theories etc. I do have a great memory for those things. Made the Ph D comp exams much easier! If I need a quote, or a specific quantitative finding etc. I pull the article out of the cabinet (usually have the folders of articles related to what I'm working on out and stacked on my desk anyway. Or I'll just quickly pull up the PDF on my PC.

As for organization, like I said my fields probably easier to categorize. Easy to put stuff in folders for say types of policing, particular criminological theories etc. That isn't going to apply in more complex fields like yours.


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The downside, alas, is when you lose university status, you can't access anything anymore, whereas you used to be able to look at the paper journals the same as before; you just couldn't check anything out.
Unless you retire as a full professor with emeritus status, then you keep your access. But I'm decades away from thinking about that!
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:11 PM   #172
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Well, by cite from memory I mean general sites for broad findings, theories etc. I do have a great memory for those things. Made the Ph D comp exams much easier! (snip)
One of my former bosses used to cite from memory. Every so often I'd be proofreading and catch a citation that was just flat out about something completely else than what he was talking about. Made me quite paranoid about doing anything of the sort myself. But if it works for you, go for it :-)

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Unless you retire as a full professor with emeritus status, then you keep your access. But I'm decades away from thinking about that!
Wistful sigh!
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:11 PM   #173
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So a PDF viewer on the Kindle 2 just isn't likely from a practical standpoint.
I think I was basically agreeing with you, except that Amazon has an Adobe Digital Editions license and so could provide PDF support on the Kindle 2 as good as on any other 6" device. This basically isn't very good for letter/A4 documents (impractical) and so I expect Amazon would say pay the extra for the bigger screen (or try its PDF to MOBI by email option).
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:17 PM   #174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsittingstill View Post
One of my former bosses used to cite from memory. Every so often I'd be proofreading and catch a citation that was just flat out about something completely else than what he was talking about. Made me quite paranoid about doing anything of the sort myself. But if it works for you, go for it :-)
Yeah, I only do it for stuff I know for sure is right. I mostly research in a pretty small niche where there's only maybe 10-15 pieces total that need cited, and only 5 or so that are major pieces that I cite in most everything I write about it. I also have all my electronic PDFs named by author and year so I can just look in the topic folder when I'm not sure on a year or name/spelling etc.

It's much different in fields like yours where you have probably hundreds and hundreds of studies on the topics you work on.
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:24 PM   #175
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(snip)

It's much different in fields like yours where you have probably hundreds and hundreds of studies on the topics you work on.
It varies. Some of the papers I worked on had probably only 50 or 60 references. The grant applications my boss would ask us to proofread probably had 200+. At that point I *definitely* couldn't keep them straight. There was a set of about a dozen core papers I could keep mostly straight without looking. But when I actually checked on myself, "mostly straight" was about 80% of the time, which wasn't good enough, so I verified every cite, every time. A lot of work, but I thought it was worth it to avoid potential embarrassment.
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:27 PM   #176
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I think I was basically agreeing with you, except that Amazon has an Adobe Digital Editions license and so could provide PDF support on the Kindle 2 as good as on any other 6" device. This basically isn't very good for letter/A4 documents (impractical) and so I expect Amazon would say pay the extra for the bigger screen (or try its PDF to MOBI by email option).
I went back and read your post and I think I must have misread it the first time. Oh the irony.
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:21 AM   #177
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:21 PM   #178
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It varies. Some of the papers I worked on had probably only 50 or 60 references. The grant applications my boss would ask us to proofread probably had 200+. At that point I *definitely* couldn't keep them straight. There was a set of about a dozen core papers I could keep mostly straight without looking. But when I actually checked on myself, "mostly straight" was about 80% of the time, which wasn't good enough, so I verified every cite, every time. A lot of work, but I thought it was worth it to avoid potential embarrassment.
Ah, we're about the same then. I'm just more confident with the dozen or so core sites in the main topic I research that I can bang out the names and years for the in text cites without mistake. I still have to look them up (or copy and paste them from references on older papers) when doing the bibliography of course.

And if I happen to make a mistake I'll catch it when I go through and double check that every text citation is in the bibiliography, and that nothing is in the bibliography that isn't cited in the text.
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:40 PM   #179
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Frankly, to me it looks too big to carry around--awkward. I'd be constantly worrying about breaking the screen. I can see keeping one at home or in the office for reading PDFs and newspapers though. Of course, all I really want a reader for is to read fiction and non-fiction books, so a Portable reader does it for me.
I suspect the backing on this screen is plastic. At least it will be when the full production machines ship in late June.

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Old 05-07-2009, 09:05 PM   #180
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It's priced pretty well imo. Saving a few more bucks then purchasing! One of my relatives gets my old Kindle 2 hehe.
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