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Old 01-26-2008, 06:17 PM   #16
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Interesting test with Asterix, although a manga would be better suited for those 6" screens.
Maybe we should start a wiki page about reading comics on e-ink devices ?
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:39 PM   #17
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Interesting test with Asterix, although a manga would be better suited for those 6" screens.
Maybe we should start a wiki page about reading comics on e-ink devices ?
There is a Manga wiki page. It could probably be expanded. There is also a cbr/cbz page that could stand some expansion.

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Old 01-28-2008, 01:28 AM   #18
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One of the earlier posters mentioned Hanlin might not be GPL-compliant ... can anyone elaborate? Companies ripping off the GPL really get my goat ... suffered through it with the gp2x.
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:10 AM   #19
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What this usually means is that they a) use software published under the GPL, or b) use derivatives of software published under the GPL, or c) link against software published under the GPL, without, as the GPL requires, making freely available the source code of said software.

To what extent this applies to Jinke, i.e. which GPL'd software they use or link against, I don't know, although their using a variant of Linux certainly means that they at least must offer the source code of the version of Linux used, in order to satisfy the GPL. Which, AFAIK, they don't (unless it's part of the SDK?)
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:14 AM   #20
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:18 AM   #21
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Sorry for the delay.
Here you go with a few attachments...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

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Attached Files
File Type: pdf normal-pdf.pdf (2.35 MB, 214 views)
File Type: doc normal.doc (464.3 KB, 215 views)
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Old 02-14-2008, 01:14 PM   #22
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I´ve made a short review of my newly arrived Hanlin V3 on youtube. It´s the first e-ink device I could try out so I wasn´t really able to compare it with other devices. Basicaly I intended it to be a small decision helper for all those interested in this device, since there´s really few infos in english on youtube for this device.

here´s the link: Hanlin V3 video review
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:33 PM   #23
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Thanks Nivi78 for your YouTube review. Simple & fair. I've had my V3 for about 3 weeks now & I am very happy with the device. Have read a few books & decided my preferred format is FictionBook (.fb2) files. It has the most flexibility in terms of resizing fonts etc. I agree with Nivi78 that PDF performance is a bit hit & miss, but other formats such as doc, txt, epub & rtf all seem to perform quite well.

I have a lot of books in MS Reader format (.lit). Currently I am using ConvertLIT to remove DRM if present; ABC Amber LIT Converter &/or Book Designer 4.0 to convert to FictionBook format. This works really well, with minimal editing required but it would be nice if someone came up with an open-source version of MS Reader for the V3.

I think the V3's readability is excellent - no eye strain or fatigue. Just as good as paper. The device is robust & feels solid & comfortable in the hands, but I do think the leather cover is essential. You can even clip a booklight to it for reading in bed.

I bought the Hanlin V3 specifically for reading books rather than technical documents, & after a bit of trial & error with various formats I am now very happy with the experience.

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Old 02-17-2008, 05:21 AM   #24
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Thanks for the review, Nivi78. I'm just waiting for my V3 to arrive, and toying with Book Designer.

Any news from Jinke concerning Mobi support for the V3?

Last edited by Kraken; 02-17-2008 at 05:40 AM.
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:20 AM   #25
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I just got back from a business trip last night and found the package with my new V3 waiting for me. (From what my wife told me, TNT has made a mess of the shipping. If it hadn't been for the minor miracle that our phone number was the only piece of contact information they somehow managed to keep intact, I very likely still wouldn't have the unit, but that's a different story.) So I haven't been able to toy around much, but here are my thoughts so far:

1. e-Ink is awesome. 800x600 doesn't sound like much in this time of 1600x1200 monitors, but boy does this look nice!
2. The UI is not designed by Apple, but it sure looks like it'll get the job done in a no-frills, no-unnecessary-features way. I like stuff that doesn't get in the way or tries to out-smart me in the most stupid fashion possible, so yay! I haven't yet gotten the Recent Files folder(s) to do anything useful, but we'll see about that.
3. Hierarchical folder support FTW. At a predictable 8 items per page, it should be possible to organize all my 1000-odd ebooks into a tree with minimum average access time on the included 1 GB memory card (no book more than 4 clicks away from the bookshelf index).
4. Whoever created the Robinson Crusoe .WOL that came pre-installed on said memory card needs to get slapped about the head with something hard and heavy. The same goes for whoever decided that this was a good file to present to the unsuspecting uservictim as a first impression. That... thing is full of errors: commas where there should be full stops, words running into each other without an intervening space, wonky formatting. It is, quite frankly, a mess. Doubly so as it could easily have been avoided had someone cared to do a proper job of it.

Next items on the TODO list:
- Play around some more with the gadget.
- Find a tool that takes a directory full of files and generates a fixed-width directory tree of minimum depth with human-readable folder names (e.g. A-Bra, Brb-Cel,...), or failing that, build one myself.
- Read.
- Post to MobileRead.

Last edited by Gudy; 02-20-2008 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:54 PM   #26
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The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

OK, I've played around some more, and my impressions differ a bit from localj's (#2 in this thread):

The Good:
I don't know whether I have to thank lBook or Apollo XXI for this, but my V3 already came with the latest firmware installed. Nice.

The TXT parser is pretty damn good. I could just throw a PG TXT file with those line breaks at it, and it did the right thing. No reformatting necessary. This is different from localj's experience, perhaps due to a newer firmware version? After I formatted it as one paragraph per line with an empty line after each paragraph, it also just worked. It choked on a file with one paragraph per line but without an empty line between paragraphs, and displayed that as one continuous stream of text. But since I've never seen one of those out in the wild, this doesn't really detract from the praise.

The Bad:
The HTML parser left me a bit less enthused. Links to other files in the same directory don't work. Not entirely unexpected, but it would have been nice. That it doesn't know how to deal with 3-byte UTF8-coded punctuation characters is forgivable, that it doesn't know the "mdash" named entity (&mdash and just prints it verbatim, OTOH, is not.

Seriously. Named entity. Hello? It's not like there is an endless number of those (there are, in fact, around 250 of them), and mdash is certainly not the most exotic among them. This needs fixing.

After loading the offending HTML into Book Designer and converting it to FB2, it worked, although the dash was too short now. I'll probably have to play around with BD a bit more.

The Ugly:
ZIP file support doesn't work. It doesn't even show the ZIP files in the book shelf. RAR archives work just fine, though.

WTF?!
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:42 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gudy View Post

The Bad:
The HTML parser left me a bit less enthused. Links to other files in the same directory don't work. Not entirely unexpected, but it would have been nice. That it doesn't know how to deal with 3-byte UTF8-coded punctuation characters is forgivable, that it doesn't know the "mdash" named entity (&mdash and just prints it verbatim, OTOH, is not.
I agree. html is unusable. If you have a lot of html content try chm - it seems working.
There are some chm compilators on the net - even Microsoft has one for free.

Quote:
After loading the offending HTML into Book Designer and converting it to FB2, it worked, although the dash was too short now. I'll probably have to play around with BD a bit more.
There is an option in BD - (on page saving FB) where you can set dash type (long, medium or short).

Quote:
The Ugly:
ZIP file support doesn't work. It doesn't even show the ZIP files in the book shelf. RAR archives work just fine, though.

WTF?!
Nope - it's never works.
Funny thing is they support epub format which uses ZIP compression, so decompressing code exists in ROM.
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Old 02-21-2008, 06:37 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by jeczmien View Post
I agree. html is unusable. If you have a lot of html content try chm - it seems working. There are some chm compilators on the net - even Microsoft has one for free.
Meh, the HTML parser is even worse than that. It seems that POS has absolutely no usable support for html entities whatsoever, named or numeric. Which means that any attempts to get the thing to display an ampersand should prove interesting, as encountering an ampersand apparently causes it to just swallow that and the following character. Strangely, putting German umlauts into the html as naked UTF-8 works just fine, but that doesn't help with the ampersand problem.

The worst of that is that the FB2 parser suffers from the same problem, thus rendering two of the ostensibly supported formats damn near unusable. Three, if you count ZIP.

To recap: TXT, GIF, JPG, RAR, and PDF (formatted for the small screen) are confirmed to work in a usable fashion. HTML and FB2 have very limited usability, and ZIP doesn't work at all. With that track record, I'm almost afraid to try any of the remaining formats.

Quote:
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There is an option in BD - (on page saving FB) where you can set dash type (long, medium or short).
Yup. Found it. Thanks!
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:08 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Hadrien View Post
Interesting test with Asterix, although a manga would be better suited for those 6" screens.
Maybe we should start a wiki page about reading comics on e-ink devices ?
yeah, I was playing a bit of the devils advocate when i gave danara the pics - asterix is A4 and always in colour, so any problems would show up pretty well, most american comics tend to be smaller than A4, and majority of traditional manga tend to be black and white printed on recylced paper - although I was surprised when my nephew informed me Waterstones have started selling b&w manga, but on a paperback format and size (slightly smaller than A5). Any of these scanned in would read brilliantly on these readers. unfortunately you dont get much choice (at least here you dont), and any scanlations you can get hold of will be the larger size.
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Old 02-23-2008, 08:15 AM   #30
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Quote:
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Meh, the HTML parser is even worse than that. It seems that POS has absolutely no usable support for html entities whatsoever, named or numeric. Which means that any attempts to get the thing to display an ampersand should prove interesting, as encountering an ampersand apparently causes it to just swallow that and the following character. Strangely, putting German umlauts into the html as naked UTF-8 works just fine, but that doesn't help with the ampersand problem.
I've played around some more and need to revise that assessment a bit. Named entities are still an almost complete loss. " works, but it's just about the only one that does. Numeric entities mostly work. Which means that there is one, and only one, way to get an ampersand displayed in an HTML file on the V3: & # 3 8 ;

Most other "special" characters can be displayed either as numeric entities like with the ampersand above, or as naked UTF-8 characters, provided you set the charset to UTF-8 in the content meta-attribute in the HTML head. The problem is that with some of those (I suspect at least the mdash and ndash), kerning problems abound, i.e. you get characters running into each other. This is most likely a font problem.

To sum up, should anyone from Jinke or lBook read this: support for named entities in the HTML parser would be really, really nice. The font issue is more pressing and definitely needs to be fixed ASAP. Additionally I would like to see the ability to upload our own fonts to the device.

ETA: Also, if RAR archive support could be made a bit more stable, that would be nice. RAR files made with WinRAR and Compression Method set to "best" reliably fail to open. Even if you leave Compression Method set to normal, extracting a file fails for some archives, I've yet to pin down the reason for that.

Last edited by Gudy; 02-23-2008 at 07:23 PM.
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