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Old 01-20-2012, 12:45 PM   #1
Marrko
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Multitasking

I tried to understand what it can be a "multitasking" for e-reader.

It was mentioned somewhere here while comparing Boox M92 to PocketBook 912 (with that feature). One can find in User Manual of the PockeBook that multitasking means to be able to switch from one task to another through simple Task Manager.

Sounds great, but it seems to me that - at least in case of readning books - it does not produce anything new or better in terms of usability. This is because of two key reasons:

a) even without multitasking, any decent ereader will remember last viewed place in a book before closing it.

b) even with multitasking, you can not see two books at the same time on screen (as there's no windowing interface available).

On the other hand, implementing of a global copy & paste function could be something really productive while attemting to work with a couple of docs at the same time.

How do you think about that ?
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marrko View Post
I tried to understand what it can be a "multitasking" for e-reader.



On the other hand, implementing of a global copy & paste function could be something really productive while attemting to work with a couple of docs at the same time.
Where to would you paste it?
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:24 PM   #3
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Example of copy & paste need

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Where to would you paste it?
A case I was analysing is - by definition - working with a couple documents at the same time.

Example - I work with two notes: I read one note, and write second one as ad vocem to the first one. So I need to quote some text from the first note within the second one. Hence this copy (from the first note) & paste (to the second note) operation is a core activity which must be performed.
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:33 PM   #4
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The multitasking is very interesting cause you dont have to load (wait time) books or webpage, when you swap to on of them
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marrko View Post
Sounds great, but it seems to me that - at least in case of readning books - it does not produce anything new or better in terms of usability. This is because of two key reasons:

a) even without multitasking, any decent ereader will remember last viewed place in a book before closing it.

b) even with multitasking, you can not see two books at the same time on screen (as there's no windowing interface available).
There is a better usability, because you can (within books) switch between books faster. You don't have to close one book, go to the menu/library, open another one, read something, close it, go to the menu/library, open the one before...

Have a look at the task switcher:
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backi View Post
There is a better usability, because you can (within books) switch between books faster. You don't have to close one book, go to the menu/library, open another one, read something, close it, go to the menu/library, open the one before...
This.

Maybe not so usefull with literature, but when working with textbooks, scientific papers and/or having a webpage open, this feature is da bomb. Can't wait till Onyx implements it.

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Old 01-20-2012, 04:07 PM   #7
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In theory ...

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Originally Posted by Floghi View Post
The multitasking is very interesting cause you dont have to load (wait time) books or webpage, when you swap to on of them
In theory "you dont have to load (wait time)". But in practice it all depend on the true technical mechanism of "multitasking". It is not for granted that performance of it in such a special architecture like ereader with limited resources will be not poor.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:06 AM   #8
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With those petite memory M9x has, multitasking can be a pain in da arse.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:35 AM   #9
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What "petite memory"?? It has 256MB, just like PB903 and multitasking works just fine there, as evidenced by jbaach's video.

If someone doesn't like it, one doesn't have to use it............. so what is the problem exactly?
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marrko View Post
A case I was analysing is - by definition - working with a couple documents at the same time.

Example - I work with two notes: I read one note, and write second one as ad vocem to the first one. So I need to quote some text from the first note within the second one. Hence this copy (from the first note) & paste (to the second note) operation is a core activity which must be performed.
I know what copy and paste is. I use it all the time on my tablet and on my PC.
I use text from a book, transfer it to a note, a database, a wordprocessor, email. This seem to be purpose of c/p.
What do you do with the notes?
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:44 AM   #11
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I got confused with your questions, Snyder. Look again at our conversation:

Me:

On the other hand, implementing of a global copy & paste function could be something really productive while attempting to work with a couple of docs at the same time.

Snyder:

Where to would you paste it?

Me:

Example - I work with two notes: I read one note, and write second one as ad vocem to the first one. So I need to quote some text from the first note within the second one. Hence this copy (from the first note) & paste (to the second note) operation is a core activity which must be performed.

Snyder:

What do you do with the notes?

Seems to me like your questions are a kind of weird ...
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by kamizase View Post
What "petite memory"?? It has 256MB, just like PB903 and multitasking works just fine there, as evidenced by jbaach's video.

If someone doesn't like it, one doesn't have to use it............. so what is the problem exactly?
You've probably been overconfident in Onyx engineers' skills, as I've been aware, they can't even write a proper trimming algorithm and asked me for writing their codes (paid service ,sort of).

for them, multitasking on M9x means 1G ram with 2ghz CPU...

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Old 01-21-2012, 05:13 PM   #13
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Come on, even iRex devices had multitasking since 2008 or earlier. I am sure hardware supports it.
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marrko View Post
In theory "you dont have to load (wait time)". But in practice it all depend on the true technical mechanism of "multitasking". It is not for granted that performance of it in such a special architecture like ereader with limited resources will be not poor.
Oh, please. Today's ereaders have much faster CPUs and much more memory than engineering and scientific workstations from 20 years ago. Although those workstations were much slower than computers today, they did real multitasking just fine. The resources required for the mere task switching being discussed here are well within those provided by ereaders and the linux kernel. Even the 1984 macintosh with 128KB RAM (2000 times less) could task switch.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:01 PM   #15
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Tales about IT 20 years ago are a bit off topic, don't you think so?

Coming back to the present state of affairs, you need to realise that ereader hardware architecture is underpowered in many ways because of two requirements - a) battery must last weeks, not hours; b) thickness and weight of the system must be very small. Which in turns means that the heat emission from mainboard must be almost null. Hence computational power is limited.

Last but not least, core function of reading (reading app at the high level and driving e-ink screen on the low level) is computationally very much resource consuming. Keep in mind that this function must deliver reasonably short wait times while redrawing pages, even if processor is operating only at 800 Mhz max.

Last edited by Marrko; 01-22-2012 at 03:59 PM.
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