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Old 06-26-2007, 05:13 AM   #1
nmackay
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What do you use your Reader for?

A huge number of things that I want to read, and often read just once, come in electronic formats: manuals for software, a subscriber-only daily news email, blogs, RSS feeds, news paper items, items on websites, student papers and drafts, academic & professional journal articles, and as part of my work is in history, all those out of copyright texts on Gutenberg, and more (I have read novels on my Reader, but never bought one from Connect).

Like many people I want to read all this text in the comfort of my armchair or bed, not perched on an office chair looking at a computer screen, and do not want to print it out. Enter my Sony Reader, which I love. But enter a problem too: Sony seem to think that I should buy preformatted books from Connect and have put nothing into software that would allow text from all these sources to be easily reformatted to suit the reader. The frustration of trying to turn Letter/A4 PDFs into forms legible on the Reader is an example. The Reader then can’t do the job that I think is best suited for: READING ALL AND ANY ELECTRONIC TEXT THAT YOU OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE TO READ ON COMPUTER SCREEN. Look how many of the posts on this site have to do with smart people spending time on means to convert text forms to fit the Reader.

Of course the problems in trying to convert page sizes of electronic media to suit the Reader would be much less if the Reader was closer to the large page sizes we handle in paper.
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:12 AM   #2
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Quoting from my article here
Quote:
I’ve bought the reader for three reasons.

1. I want to examine this new technology so I can prepare to develop or design for it.
2. I want to take something to read with me when I’m travelling. This should be lowweight, low energyconsumption and easy to read.
3. But the most important of all (and here comes the connection to our website) I have gigabytes worth of manga scanlations that I never had time to read.

I want to take these mangascanlations with me on a portable reader and read them whenever I have the time.
Granted, I have one of the lightest (and coolest) laptop available on the market, the Samsung Q30, but even with a weight of 1kg, it’s not handy to take it with me on the road. Besides, the energy consumption of the laptop is high. It won’t last a full longhaul flight.
A PDA has the same problems (and the screen is too small), the Sony reader would be perfect.
I never expected the reader to be capable of reading all types of documents perfectly. Even 2 out of my 4 laptops can't do that due to the limited screensize. Not to speak of all the other gadgets I had.

That's why I investigated first to see if the format the Reader uses can be reproduced and if there are tools available for it. There was, therefor I bought it. And it does what it does.

I'm not sure if the reader was ever supposed to be for quickreads (like news, rss-feeds) as it's not easy to add new content to it (swapping cards or connecting to the PC is "not easy". For quickreads I'd rather use my laptop, phone or PDA. The reader is meant for you to grab something nice to drink, settle yourself in your loungeseat and read for hours.
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmackay View Post
The frustration of trying to turn Letter/A4 PDFs into forms legible on the Reader is an example.
But why would you even attempt to use a device with a 6" screen to read documents designed to be displayed on an A4 screen? It's an exercise in futility. If reading A4 documents is a priority for you, you need a device with an A4 screen, such as a Tablet PC. As discussed ad nausiam in this forum, it is not the Reader's "fault" that PDF documents cannot sensibly be formatted for a different screen size.

Quote:
The Reader then can’t do the job that I think is best suited for: READING ALL AND ANY ELECTRONIC TEXT THAT YOU OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE TO READ ON COMPUTER SCREEN.
You may believe that to be the Reader's purpose, but personally I disagree. The Reader is intended to replace a paperback book, not a computer screen.

Quote:
Of course the problems in trying to convert page sizes of electronic media to suit the Reader would be much less if the Reader was closer to the large page sizes we handle in paper.
But then it would be a different device, aimed at a different market. I completely agree with you that there is indeed a market for A4 devices, but it's not the market that the Reader is aimed at. The Reader is designed primarily for reading fiction, and it's very, very good at that.
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:42 AM   #4
kacir
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I use my reader to read books. Period.

1. I Find a book in txt, html, rtf or any other freely convertible formats from a number of legitimate (free as speach, free as beer, or paid) sources and a few questionable ones.

2. I "format" the book. That means: Load it into OpenOffice.org, change font to sans-serif one (like Helvetica or Arial) change font size to 16, change page margins to 0.01, change space between paragpaphs to slightly larger than default, change the first line indent, save as rtf. The resulting file is a mess (contains excesive amount of various unnecessary formating tags) but I do not care as long as the Reader can display the file the way I like it. It takes the Reader a minute or two to open the book. So what? I will spend many, many hours reading that book.

3. I Read the book. One (or perhaps two) at the time.

That is it.
It is a Reader. For reading BOOKS.
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:30 PM   #5
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I fall into the reading books category myself.

I've used it for other things on occasion (maps, directions, etc.) and never had any real issues getting stuff onto it, but I also avoid PDF's entirely, unless they're ones I've made myself fitted to its display.

I put stuff in RTF for text and JPG for pix, both of those conversions are pretty painless if you have a reasonably decent set of apps. There are plenty of free ones that work just fine for the purpose.

I won't rehash the "why PDF isn't a book format" point again, I just went into it yesterday, and I need a bit more rest than that before I do it again.
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:07 PM   #6
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I use it for reading books and a "designed for the Reader" operations manual for a company I work with.
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Old 06-26-2007, 05:42 PM   #7
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I am taking classes online and I read the lectures on my Reader. Besides, I work for a company overseas and I use the Reader for reading the documents they send me. And of course, I also read books. I spend way too much time with my Reader!

I would like to find an easy way to read forums on my Reader. Yeah, I know, probably not very convenient.
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:07 PM   #8
NatCh
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RSS2LRF, perhaps?
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:54 AM   #9
JSWolf
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I want a show of hands... who here does not use your Sony Reader for reading?

No hands I see. So the answer to what you use the Sony Reader for is READING!

Did anyone buy the Sony reader to use it as an MP3 player and not a reader? Show of hands please.

What, no hands again? WOW! People are actually using a reader to read! Well done folks!
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:23 PM   #10
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I bought the reader to exclusively read books. I travel for a living and wanted a device to keep me entertained while on the road. It completely fills that need.

As a bonus, I load company emails that I want to read later.

I love gadgets and this is right up there at the top of my gadget collection.
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:54 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
I want a show of hands... who here does not use your Sony Reader for reading?
Come on ...
Why do you need to be so sarcastic? (Or is it sardonic?)

There are PLENTY of people on this forum that have purchased the Reader to:
1. Manage, store and lug around their huge e-book library
2. Read web pages, rss feeds and suchlike documents in an off-line fashion
3. Read PDF documents formated for printing on A4 (preferably with very small fonts and lots of complicated graphics) ***
4. Read manga
5. Have access to large number of reference [technical] documents
6. be able to purchase (and read) books from the Connect store
... as oposed to simple reading of fiction, one book at the time

*** See?
I can be sarcastic to ;-)
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by kacir View Post
Why do you need to be so sarcastic? (Or is it sardonic?)
I think sardonic is the better description in this case.
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:18 PM   #13
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Where's your "flogging a dead horse" smiley when we need it, Nat?
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:23 PM   #14
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Heh, it's on another forum!
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:55 PM   #15
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I bought it for reading books, lots and lots of books.........
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