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Old 02-21-2008, 08:54 AM   #1
Lunavoco
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Reading RPG eBooks as .pdf

I jsut saw the Sony 505 at borders and was amazed. Immediately i scoured my budget to see if I can swing the $300 pricetag. I can't But I will soon.

In the mean time, I was wondering if anyone has used ANY of the eReaders to read or refrence an RPG rule book.

How was your experience? I am used to reading the rule books on the computer, so I don't think the transition will be too dificult.
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:07 AM   #2
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What are the dimensions of the PDF page and does the PDF have any DRM?


If it has DRM, then you can't read it on the 505. If the page size is 8.5" by 11", then it might not look good on such a small screen.
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:29 AM   #3
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Usually, these PDFs are A4 or letter-sized, with the text on two columns and some images.
For the PDFs available on the darknet, most of them are full-image scans without any OCR (and without DRM of course).
I have no experience in the PDF rulebooks that can be obtained legally, though, but I'd say the darknet-available ones are the majority.

As such, I would say that the Sony can read them but is not the ideal solution.
The Iliad would seem to be a much better solution for the page size, and also for the 16 grey scales instead of 8. The main problem being the much higher price, though.
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:46 AM   #4
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I'd agree about the Iliad as well, though not due to grey-scale as there's no discernable difference, but more along the lines that the Iliad has a larger screen. Actually, if I were you I'd start saving my pennies and drop for something with a larger screen and color. Right now the Reader would not be a good choice for viewing D&D rules or other modules mainly due to its size. Better get a second-hand TabletPC to tide you over. Good luck!
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azayzel View Post
I'd agree about the Iliad as well, though not due to grey-scale as there's no discernable difference, but more along the lines that the Iliad has a larger screen.
That's what I wanted to say, but what I wrote was not very clear, I fear.
Quote:
The Iliad would seem to be a much better solution for the page size
was supposed to mean "the larger screen fits the PDF page size better".
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:09 PM   #6
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I've got a few RPG books on PDF (Shadowrun 4th, a few White Wolf books, GURPS Mysteries). Generally speaking they are "readable" on the 505 but not friendly.

To be legible you need to have it max-size and landscape - which makes it difficult to read two-column. (You have to back up to start the second column, and the refresh delay is noticeable enough to disrupt reading, plus it's still a bit of eyestrain). I haven't tried the prs library yet, but on Linux I was able to use some pdftotext tools with success on the non-locked files (WW has crappy PDF files, but the other vendors are more friendly). This causes some text spacing issues here and there - I wrote some perl one-liners to clean up most of it.

On the whole I wouldn't recommend it for RPG books yet. Reading is painfully tiny, and the 505 is horrible to use as a reference (no search capability, and the refresh delay makes flipping pages quickly quite difficult). I say this loving the 505 for general reading.

This was one of my areas of interest as well, and from what I've learned none of the E-ink devices will be much better yet (though the Illiad and Kindle might offer text-searching).
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:26 AM   #7
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The Kindle doesn't read PDF. So that's out 100%. The iLiad is the best one for reading PDF. It also has (besides the biggest screen and highest resolution), the best PDF reader available for it.
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Old 02-27-2008, 12:17 PM   #8
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As an avid roleplayer and owner of an iLiad (currently the e-book reader with the biggest screen), I'm afraid I can't really recommend it. Most PDF RPGs have a big enough border that you can increase the size of text on the screen so it's readable; or you can turn the page sideways and read half a page at a time. The main problem is the fact that turning a page takes a couple of seconds. So if you're reading an RPG page by page that's OK, but flicking through for a particular rule in the middle of a game is right out.

Roleplaying things you *can* do with an iLiad (but not other readers). If you've got a character sheet in PDF format, you can fill it in on screen with the scribble function, so you could keep your character info together. And it's a good scratch-pad for things like keeping track of combat. But the days of carrying a whole stack of rulebooks to your game in a nice small gadget have yet to come.
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:37 AM   #9
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I do buy PDF rulebooks, especially from HERO games, but I can't say that I'd want to read them on a small screen.

What I normally do is print them out if I'm going to use them to any degree, as I find PDFs are a pain to read on screen.
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:47 PM   #10
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The Iliad looks sweet (http://www.irextechnologies.com/products/iliad), but $700 is alot of of money to drop. You could almost get a laptop for that. I have to agree with the people that say the Sony reader will do the job, but it is an ugly solution. I have a PRS-500 and it is not great for that use. I still like it for reading books, but I wish it supported the .lit format. I hate converting books.

I need a reader that will read Microsoft .lit books that I purchase online. Is there one that does that?
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:34 PM   #11
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I need a reader that will read Microsoft .lit books that I purchase online. Is there one that does that?
Just devices that run some form of Windows.
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Old 02-28-2008, 11:35 PM   #12
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Just devices that run some form of Windows.
Well, i can get the pc version of Microsoft LIT Reader for free. What I need is some kind of electronic device, like the Sony PRS-500 (505) that will do it.

Doesn't Microsoft put out an electronic paper device that will read their .lit format? They push their way into every other aspect of technological life, why not this one?
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:17 AM   #13
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I was referring to PDAs running Windows Mobile, as well as the device from UMPC down to uberPDA that run Vista. Microsoft has not announced a dedicated ebook reader.


I wish they would; I like the format.
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:40 AM   #14
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What I need is some kind of electronic device, like the Sony PRS-500 (505) that will do it.
Well, the Sony won't read it directly, but there are tools around that allow you to easily convert from LIT to LRF (Sony 'native' format).
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Old 03-02-2008, 03:55 AM   #15
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Well, the Sony won't read it directly, but there are tools around that allow you to easily convert from LIT to LRF (Sony 'native' format).
Equally, there are tools which will just as easily convert LIT to MobiPocket, for devices like the Gen3, Kindle, or iLiad. Buying LIT files really doesn't restrict your choice of device, provided that you live in a country where such format conversion is legal for you to do.
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