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Old 10-31-2010, 11:43 AM   #1
Digger65
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Question Puzzle with PDFs, Sony, Calibre: at wit's end

Hi, cannot figure this out.

If I load a file into calibre from the harddisk and then send it to the Sony Reader (I have a PRS-900) I cannot access the file. On the reader I get an Invalid Page error, but if I look at the file in the Sony Reader Library it tells me my computer is not authorised for the file. However these are non-DRM pdfs from public sources.

I'm running on a mac, and my device and the Sony software are properly authorised.

After a lot of trial and error I've figured out the problem is with calibre.

If I load the same source pdf into the Sony software it displays fine on the device. But of course I don't have the benefit of the metadata manipulation.

If I load the same source pdf into Sony Reader Library, sync, then use calibre to load the pdf from the reader into my calibre library I can then manipulate the tags and send it back to the reader. But then I have two versions and I have to go into the Sony software and delete the original non-tagged version. However the version sent from calibre will actually display.

Any idea why a pdf that is loaded into calibre initially cannot be sent to my device?
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:46 AM   #2
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Welcome to MobileRead, Digger65

Someone will step in shortly with help.......enjoy the forums.
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:59 AM   #3
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It does sound somewhat like DRM might be involved after all. If it is a public source as you write, could you post the URL the PDF can be found at? That might be helpful.
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:15 PM   #4
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Manichean,

It seems to be true for any pdf. I've tried it with pdfs saved from the McKinsey quarterly website (http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/home.aspx), with pdfs from the HL7 website (www.hl7.org), with a pdf of my car's owner's manual from the manufacturers website, and dozen's more.
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:23 PM   #5
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Can you open the PDF file directly after you downloaded it, without feeding it through either Calibre or the Sony library application?
Can you put the PDF on the reader without going through either Calibre or the Sony library? If so, does the PDF work then?

Edited to add: Which version of Calibre are you running?

Further edited to add: Tried to recreate with a PDF from the HL7 website you linked: Downloaded, I was able to open it on my computer, so there doesn't seem to be DRM. Loaded into Calibre, opened from the library without problems. Sent to my reader (which is not a Sony, and the point where this test falls apart) and opened without problems.

Last edited by Manichean; 10-31-2010 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:30 PM   #6
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I've been keeping up with the updates, so currently calibre 0.7.26
Reader Library 3.3.00.07130
Mac OsX 10.4.11

But now it's getting interesting. I tried what you suggested. If I drag the pdf directly to the reader it opens fine. So I tried sending one to the reader, and then after ejecting and closing calibre I could not open the pdf. The usual invalid page error. So I reconnected the reader, dragged a copy of the pdf into the same folder in the reader database next to the one from calibre and ejected.

The duplicate pdf opens no problem. I did notice that calibre is renaming the pdfs that it transfers. It appends an underscore and two digit number to the end.

Then I tried opening the pdfs from the reader as if it was a disk using Adobe. The one I dragged on directly opened fine. The one from calibre flashed a damaged file error message, but it went by too quick for me to read, then it opened. I resaved it, ejected, and tried to open on the reader itself. It opened fine! But now the author and title fields display as unreadable characters (boxes). Very strange.

I need to try a few more combinations of activities.
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Old 10-31-2010, 03:03 PM   #7
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Okay, so if I send a pdf from calibre to the device, and then I open the pdf directly from the device using Adobe I get a quick error message that flashes by too quickly to read, then the file opens. If I look in the properties I find that the author & title fields are in Asian characters. If I change those by typing in English then the eject the device I can suddenly see the pdfs on the reader.

I'm going to try turning automatic management back on and then editing the pdf file's properties on the reader when I have trouble opening them.
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Old 10-31-2010, 03:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digger65 View Post
Okay, so if I send a pdf from calibre to the device, and then I open the pdf directly from the device using Adobe I get a quick error message that flashes by too quickly to read, then the file opens. If I look in the properties I find that the author & title fields are in Asian characters. If I change those by typing in English then the eject the device I can suddenly see the pdfs on the reader.

I'm going to try turning automatic management back on and then editing the pdf file's properties on the reader when I have trouble opening them.
You might want to try turning off the PDF metadata writer plugin (customize -> plugins -> metadata writer plugins). It could be that something is going wrong when calibre tries to change the metadata in the PDF.
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:10 AM   #9
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(Succumbing to temptation -- I have wanted to do this since my original reply ) Another thing you could do is drop your copy of Spelunker Today while at Witt's End. This is often the last point.
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Old 11-01-2010, 02:44 PM   #10
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Spelunker today?

Chaley, why would I be carrying a copy of Spelunker Today? I have an ereader, you know. Or did you mean delete my copy of Spelunker Today from the device?
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Old 11-01-2010, 02:53 PM   #11
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I knew it would be too obscure.

One of the first text dungeon games was called Adventure. I first ran into it in 1977 (I think -- might have been '78). The player had to wander into and around a great cave, find treasure, and avoid being killed or getting lost. Lots of classic game phrases came from Adventure, such as 'You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike'.

The game ended when the player got 500 points. A zillion people got to 499, then gave up. That last point was earned when the player carried a copy of Spelunker Today from (I don't remember) to the part of the cave named 'Witt's End'.

Your post title reminded me of the game. You were at wit's end, trying to puzzle out how to get that last point (uhhh PDF).
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Old 11-02-2010, 01:36 AM   #12
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I knew it would be too obscure.
Not obscure. Invisible!
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:45 AM   #13
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[Adventure]
Oh, I see. Well, I only got as far back as being eaten by a grue...
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:36 AM   #14
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I'm with Manichean -- Zork generation. Don't remember Adventure. Did land the module on the moon on a teletype connected to a CDC-6600 a few times. And I did pilot a DEC VT-100 playing Star Trek on the DEC-20.
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:21 AM   #15
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Did any of you get the "Watch it!", response?

(One of the authors live about a mile from me and was embarrassed with all the enthusiasm he got over the game.)
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