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Old 01-23-2011, 01:26 AM   #136
ringerc
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Oh, I forgot: for the Kobo Wifi, synchronize the clock using "ntpdate" the first time the kobo connects to a wifi network on a given day. That'd keep the clock nice and accurate without user intervention, and "ntpdate" is a tiny program.

(Correction: Analysis of wifi traffic captured with tcpdump shows that the Kobo Wifi already updates its clock with NTP. Good work folks!)

Last edited by ringerc; 01-23-2011 at 09:08 AM. Reason: Feature already supported!
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Old 01-23-2011, 04:03 AM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringerc View Post
For all those requesting PDF reflow: It's a nightmare; nearly impossible for many PDFs. It's only practical for PDFs that contain "article" metadata that maps text flows, which is almost none of them. Most PDFs don't retain information about the logical flow of text, making conversion of PDF to text difficult and painful, especially in PDFs with columns, breakouts, headers and footers, etc. Reflow would be even worse.

...

If you want to reflow a PDF, convert it to plain text or HTML (if you can) then use Calibre to produce an ePub version.
I'm only an end-user and I don't want to claim that reflow is the panacea of all PDF-related ills, but using an ereader with reflow isn't that bad at all in my experience. It's reasonable to say that PDFs with complex layouts will suck, but my experience with novels in PDF format, such as library ebooks, is that reflow works very well.

I still prefer books in EPUB format if at all possible, but sometimes choices are limited and I'm pleasantly surprised by how readable reflowed PDFs are.
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:44 AM   #138
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viviena: Good point. Really, really simple PDF files can be reflowed. However, those PDFs are the also the ones that're very easily converted to ePub via a tool like Calibre. Perhaps rather than support PDF reflow, what the Kobo would be better off doing would be supporting optional conversion of PDF into a more practical format as a one-off operation, either in-device or via an external tool like Calibre / Kobo Desktop ?
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:31 PM   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringerc View Post
In rough order of descending personal preference:
  • Goto page
  • Ability to remove a book from "currently reading"
  • Speed page turning by pre-rendering the next page when a page turn is done, so it's cached in RAM and ready to display when the next page turn is requested.
  • Option to group books by series
  • Ship Calibre with the device or recommend it in the manual
  • Disable loading quotes, or get fresh ones occasionally. They get repetitive and annoying.
  • Option to override ebook formatting to enable/disable full justification - with hyphenation support, otherwise it'd look absolutely awful. This means the Kobo needs to carry hyphenation suffix databases for supported languages, but these are freely availible from the Apache FOP project, TeX, etc. Hyphenation without justification is horrible, please don't implement it. The best H&J algorithm is Knuth's as used in TeX and is extremely well documented.

More pie-in-the sky are:
  • A QtWebKit based browser based on QtDemoBrowser / Arora for the Kobo Wifi. Seriously. Yes, URL text entry would suck, but it'd be REALLY HANDY for reading long articles etc on the wifi. D-PAD for navigation, as is done on non-touch-screen phones. I'd love to have a bash at implementing this myself if the Qt embedded based kobo user interface app were open source or had a plugin interface. e-Ink is gorgeous for reading articles and stories, it's a shame not to have a browser to allow access to them w/o needing Calibre.
  • Ability to browse and search Wikipedia from locally cached copy using the above browser.

There are also a couple of things that'd really improve the user interface:
  • UI BUG: When the Kobo Wifi connects to a network and it detects that an update is available, there may already be another button press in the queue when the prompt asking you to update pops up. As this defaults to "ask me later" you can accidentally skip an update. There's no way to force a re-prompt within the Kobo Wifi UI, which is a pain especially if you're not easily able to use Kobo Desktop (corporate PC, unsupported platform, etc). To solve this, input should be flushed before reading the user's response to the update prompt. (filed as http://kobo.zendesk.com/requests/156556)
  • Queue user input and skip intermediate redraws when there's another action queued, allowing the user to move around a UI they know well without having to wait for the screen to catch up at every step. Detailed description filed as http://kobo.zendesk.com/requests/156564 .

Oh, and finally: document the use of the Linux kernel, busybox, and u-boot in the manual along with the licensing info for all the userspace components. Include a reference to where to get the source code in the manual to satisfy the conditions of the GPL/LGPL licensed components, including the kernel.
My Kobo Wifi has Calibre in the user manual.

I like everything else you mentioned (except the very technical made my eyes cross).
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:08 PM   #140
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D-Pad mashing

Another little thing that'd be really, really good would be to ignore D-Pad "enter" key events that come immediately before/during/after a left or right key event. It's way too easy to mash the center button while navigating left or right, and it's quite distracting having to banish the menu before resuming reading.

This is the only real usability concern I have with the Kobo in day-to-day use.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:36 PM   #141
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An attempt to buy a book via kobobooks.com brings another firmware request (and website fix request!) to mind:

- Add a search option to filter by download format. If it's saddled with Adobe Digital Editions DRM, I don't want it, and I'm not alone in that feeling (ref: iTunes).

This will also help kobobooks.com and publishers get more data on how many people want to avoid DRM-afflicted publications. The stupidity of DRM is illustrated by how much easier it would be to get a $0 "unofficial" copy of a book - if I chose to, which I don't - than it is for me to buy and use the DRM'd version. If I wanted to give it away to friends, I could already do so; instead, I have to explicitly opt to choose the more difficult option in order to legally buy the book.

I'm working on modifying my Kobo's firmware and have to reset it back to factory settings every now and then, so DRM is particularly painful for me, but others dislike it quite enough and it's *pointless*. I know publishers won't give up on it for several years yet, but I'd at least like to be able to hide books that suffer from it in my searches.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:04 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringerc
.......so DRM is particularly painful for me, but others dislike it quite enough and it's *pointless*.....
I've purchased quite a few books since receiving my Kobo reader. I guess they must all be DRM versions. I've had no troubles downloading or reading them.

What type of problems are you experiencing with DRM version books that make them painful for you?

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Old 02-02-2011, 12:04 PM   #143
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Add a fonts directory and maybe a font selector

It would be a good thing to have a place for an alternate default font, perhaps containing Chinese or Arabic or even the complete UTF basic set (65000 chars)... It's not like the 1 GB flash doesn't have the space. This would allow reading a wider variety of foreign language books.
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Old 02-06-2011, 04:55 AM   #144
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Yeah, being able to override fonts would be nice.

One I've just run into: Being able to have the Kobo's book list remember the last view mode so it stays in view by author or (once supported) by series/tag would be really nice. It always snaps back to view by title, which is annoying.
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:01 PM   #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringerc View Post
One I've just run into: Being able to have the Kobo's book list remember the last view mode so it stays in view by author or (once supported) by series/tag would be really nice. It always snaps back to view by title, which is annoying.
I begged and pleaded for this to be fixed during the beta but it never happened.
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:38 PM   #146
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Yeah, being able to override fonts would be nice.

One I've just run into: Being able to have the Kobo's book list remember the last view mode so it stays in view by author or (once supported) by series/tag would be really nice. It always snaps back to view by title, which is annoying.
By series would be awesome. I tend to read from 1 to whatever before I flip to another author.
And I may be being stupid, but there used to be an "overview" option so that we could view a synopsis (if loaded). I don't have that since the 1.8.3 upgrade and I miss it.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:34 AM   #147
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And I may be being stupid, but there used to be an "overview" option so that we could view a synopsis (if loaded). I don't have that since the 1.8.3 upgrade and I miss it.
I believe one of the Kobo developers said in this forum that they decided to remove the Overview feature from the 1.8.x firmware, as it didn't seem useful to people.

Myself, I'm not sad or angry over its omission, but I did appreciate the Overview feature. I transfer new ebooks whenever I buy them, but rarely do I get around to reading all of them straight away. Often a month or two later, I'm poking through my Library and I don't recognise some of these new ebooks. The Overview feature helped in jogging my poor memory.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:46 AM   #148
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One I've just run into: Being able to have the Kobo's book list remember the last view mode so it stays in view by author or (once supported) by series/tag would be really nice. It always snaps back to view by title, which is annoying.
YES!! I second that. And third and fourth it, too.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:48 AM   #149
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One other one: give a genuine "low battery" warning before you have to plug the thing in to recharge, not just a "plug me in NOW" screen when you can't read even one more sentence without plugging in.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:53 PM   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scudder View Post
My list (many already mentioned, but figured it is better to state again in case someone is counting):

1. Feature to handle books in a series
2. Option to turn-off "Auto-off"
3. Power-on returns to last page read in last book opened (bookmark?)
4. Mark book as "Read" without having to page through entire book
5. If you are going to keep the quotes, then lots more of them :-)
6. Goto page (might not be necessary with bookmarks and "mark-as-read")
Plus One
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