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Old 11-28-2010, 02:04 PM   #1
Beetle B.
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Need a reader that lets me "click" hyperlinks rather than navigate through TOC

OK, here's the reason: I want to use Calibre recipes to get, say, news. What it does is it goes to, say, BBC, downloads all the news, and creates an ePub that is easily navigable on my computer. The first page will be a list of sections (Technology, Science, US News, Sports, etc). Then the next page will be a list of all the stories in, say, Technology. After that will be each Technology story, and then it will show me a summary of the stories in Science, etc.

On the PC, I can just go to the overview page, and click on the hyperlinks, and navigate.

On the ereader I just bought (Aluratek), the only way to select a link is to go to the TOC, which is a royal pain (there are over 40 "pages" of just the TOC). What I want is for it to let me select (say by the up-down arrow keys) the links currently being shown on a page.

Having a "back" button would also be a bonus, but not much of a pain if it isn't there.

I can attach a sample BBC ePub file if you'd like to get an idea.

That's what I really want. Other features I'd like:

1. A good support for file formats. ePub and PDF, of course, are a must. TXT would be really nice. I don't know how often used the other formats are (advice would be nice).

2. A convenient way to change the font size while reading (I shouldn't have to leave the ebook to go to some main menu, etc).

3. eInk display would be nice, but I can live with an LCD.

4. Battery life should be at least 24 hours (only an issue if it's an LCD).

5. Good storage capacity and/or ability to extend using SD cards. Also, what would a "good" capacity be (if I can't extend it)?

6. It would be really nice if things could be organized into folders. I assume all support this?

7. Other than for DRM related things, it must not be reliant on any Windows software. I run Linux, and if I get, for example, an ePub from Gutenberg, I should be able to transfer the file into the reader without Windows.

8. Don't care for WiFi/3G.

9. I'll use it just for reading - so I don't care about other apps/games, etc.

10. Easy to switch to landscape would be a bonus.

11. Bookmarks (per book) would be good.

I think that should cover it. The cheaper, the better. I actually am not willing to pay more than $150, and I'm sure no such reader exists in that range. However, hopefully the prices will come down in about a year or so. In the mean time, I'll make do with the Aluratek.

If you respond with suggestions, let me know which of the points above your device does not do well or at all.

Many thanks!
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:25 PM   #2
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I find the ability to tap a footnote link, read the info, and get back to my reading a terrific feature on my Sony 650, which has just about all of the many features you list ... except price, although there are lots of threads here about its being available cheaper than the $229 list price. The 350 has the same features, except a storage card slot, much closer to your price range.
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:38 PM   #3
Beetle B.
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Yeah, I was considering the 350. The main issue is the lack of SD card capability. I've read that you have effectively 1.4 GB on it - not sure how sufficient that will be in the long run. Perhaps I can wait for the 650 to get cheaper.

The other issue is that I suspect Sony ereaders don't play well with Calibre. I really need to have it working on Linux (except for the occasional ADE).

So you're saying that the 350/650 will allow me to just jump to a hyperlink on the page I'm viewing without having to go through some menus/TOC?
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Old 11-28-2010, 04:50 PM   #4
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I use Windows, but Calibre works fine for me in converting books and transferring.

I'd be willing to test a file for you if you'd like.
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beetle B. View Post
Yeah, I was considering the 350. The main issue is the lack of SD card capability. I've read that you have effectively 1.4 GB on it - not sure how sufficient that will be in the long run. Perhaps I can wait for the 650 to get cheaper.
I've read that after a certain number of books the software on the Sony's (350/650) starts to slow down and I think you could probably hit that point just with the 350's internal memory. Anyway, it's a moot point for my 350, I have 50 books loaded and still have 1.4 GB free. How much do you guys read in a week?

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The other issue is that I suspect Sony ereaders don't play well with Calibre. I really need to have it working on Linux (except for the occasional ADE).
Well, you suspect wrongly. I use Linux and Calibre with my 350 and it works fine. I don't do encrypted files so that's all I need.

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So you're saying that the 350/650 will allow me to just jump to a hyperlink on the page I'm viewing without having to go through some menus/TOC?
Hmmm. Not quite sure what you mean.

Ok, I just d/led the BBC news with Calibre and now it's on the 350. The first page is a graphic with the Calibre bookshelf and "BBC News". The next page is a list of sections. If I click on "Americas" and I then get the America section list of links with a article synopsis under each link. If I click on a article link I can then read that article. At the end of the article are two links, one to go to the Section Menu and one to go to the main menu. If I click on the Section Menu link, I end up back at the America list.

If that's what you want, then yes. I think it works the same as Calibre's internal viewer.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:11 PM   #6
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hmm..

i've never used Calibre for this before and Ive got to say- WOW i like this allot. However when I use the Recipe the news comes out in a PRC file. Is there a setting Im missing to have it create the recipe as an epub or do i just convert them before sending to device?
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Old 11-28-2010, 11:19 PM   #7
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oh it was just a glitch. I updated to the newest version of calibre and its workign as expected now and I get epub versions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doogman View Post

Ok, I just d/led the BBC news with Calibre and now it's on the 350. The first page is a graphic with the Calibre bookshelf and "BBC News". The next page is a list of sections. If I click on "Americas" and I then get the America section list of links with a article synopsis under each link. If I click on a article link I can then read that article. At the end of the article are two links, one to go to the Section Menu and one to go to the main menu. If I click on the Section Menu link, I end up back at the America list.

If that's what you want, then yes. I think it works the same as Calibre's internal viewer.
saves me some typing they work exactly like this in the PocketBook 360/301 and 602 and also in the Onyx Boox 60. Since they work this way in the 602 they will work in the 902 as well. I cant wait to have them in hand Wednesday.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:27 AM   #8
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Anyway, it's a moot point for my 350, I have 50 books loaded and still have 1.4 GB free. How much do you guys read in a week?
Yeah, I suppose it will do. If I'm running out of space, I can still offload some stuff to my HD - I doubt I'll need a lot on it at once.

The thing that will potentially eat up space is if I use recipes a lot (which I intend to). BBC takes up 5 MB. The Guardian takes up 6.5 MB. Add in a whole bunch of others. Then add in a whole bunch of days (I doubt I'll read them each day - rather just sit down once/twice a week and read them all in one go).

I'm guessing even then it will take up less than 500 MB.

Quote:
Well, you suspect wrongly. I use Linux and Calibre with my 350 and it works fine. I don't do encrypted files so that's all I need.
OK - I think it was with reference to encrypted stuff like ADE and I think Sony has its own proprietary system.

Quote:
Hmmm. Not quite sure what you mean.

Ok, I just d/led the BBC news with Calibre and now it's on the 350. The first page is a graphic with the Calibre bookshelf and "BBC News". The next page is a list of sections. If I click on "Americas" and I then get the America section list of links with a article synopsis under each link. If I click on a article link I can then read that article. At the end of the article are two links, one to go to the Section Menu and one to go to the main menu. If I click on the Section Menu link, I end up back at the America list.
Yup - that's precisely what I meant. With my Aluratek, I can't "click". I have to go to the TOC, which will list all the links in sequential order (42 pages of them!) Since Americas is somewhere near the middle, if I want to read a story from there, I have to scroll down the TOC to hit the Americas link. Then I see a list of all the stories, but no way to click any of those links, so I have to go back to the TOC (which is all the way at the top, and scroll down all the way again). Pretty useless.

If the 350 handles this well, and if the local store still has the discount ($150) tomorrow, I guess I'll buy it. Two quick questions: 1. Will it show up as a mounted drive under Linux - or do I need special drivers? 2. Can I store and view ebooks by folder?

Actually, this BBC stuff is the reason I want to upgrade. The Aluratek is more or less perfect for me for simply reading ebooks - not worth the extra $60 it will cost me to get the 350. It was only after playing with Calibre and seeing the news reading convenience that I'm willing to pay more. I expect I'll be using it primarily for this than reading ordinary books.

Quote:
However when I use the Recipe the news comes out in a PRC file. Is there a setting Im missing to have it create the recipe as an epub or do i just convert them before sending to device?
In the Preferences, under Behavior, select EPUB as your preferred output format.

Edit: Just saw that you've solved the problem...
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:07 AM   #9
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Yeah I had set it as Epub but then the Recipes were coming back as .prc. Then i checked again that I had set epub, tried the recipes again and they started coming out as LIT files. Then i knew something was wrong and did the update
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:36 AM   #10
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The pandigital novel does that. I had one before it was stollen.
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beetle B. View Post
If the 350 handles this well, and if the local store still has the discount ($150) tomorrow, I guess I'll buy it. Two quick questions: 1. Will it show up as a mounted drive under Linux - or do I need special drivers? 2. Can I store and view ebooks by folder?
When you plug the Sony into a USB port of your computer, it will start charging, switch into disk mode and show up as a standard USB hard drive. No special drivers needed. Don't forget to unmount the device when you are done. You can do this from within Calibre or other ways.

Just to further allay your fears about this, the OS on the Sony ereaders is Linux! You won't have troubles interacting with your Linux boxen, trust me.

You might be able to store and organize your books with folders, but you can't view them that way on the reader. You tag the files with a genre in calibre, similar to what mp3 files use, and view a "collection" on the reader.

I just did a bit of research. When Calibre copies the files onto the reader, it creates a author directory loaded with multiple books. So the reader has no problems with nested directories.

I've been playing a bit more with Calibre news and the Sony. I'm surprised how well this feature of Calibre is integrated into the reader:

After you d/l news, unplug and the device reboots, at the top of the home screen you are notified of a "new delivery" with a thumbnail of the paper where you usually select to continue the current book. The title of the current book is right below that icon, however.

The normal home screen always has a row of Periodicals/Collections/All Notes icons toward the bottom. If you have unread news it is indicated in the icon. Selecting periodicals, you see icons for each, in my case the Guardian and BBC news. Below the icon is the number of issues of each periodical available, where I have 2 BBC news and 1 Guardian. Selecting BBC news shows the 2 issues available which you can select.

Your habit of stockpiling news will probably work pretty well with this ereader, since Calibre auto-organizes everything.

Good questions! I learned some things about my toy!
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:45 AM   #12
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The Color Nook does what you want, except it is about $100 more than what you are willing to pay.
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:56 AM   #13
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The Pandigital Novel will do what you want for approximtaly that cost. However users have told me that you need to upgrade the firmware to get decent performance out of hte unit.
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