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Old 03-18-2008, 07:36 AM   #1
ecccoman
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Couple of questions from a prospect - Word Docs

I am a Sony eReader user for over a year. Fairly happy but tempted to upgrade. I have a few questions:

How long has the current version of iRex iLiad been on the market? Is there an older model that is generating much of the dialogue on this site?

I need the iLiad to read work related Word Docs. Is it necessary to convert these? What is the process for converting/loading them to the device?
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:50 AM   #2
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For reading word docs, there's a couple of things you could do:

i) save as rtf and read using the fbreader (I've not tried this)

ii) convert to PDF. I have a little script that uses openoffice to do this effortlessly. (You could optionally have it adjust the page size and margins to make it fit the iliad page size exactly, but I don't do that because I often have tables in the docs that I need to read and resizing the page on-the-fly can make for some very messy tables.)
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:56 AM   #3
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There are 2 versions of the iLiad with few differences between them and were both sold at the same price. The first generation iLiad has a few hours less of battery life and a different backing to it. The iLiad v2 has a better battery, and the backplane was upgraded for stability. They both have the exact same software and receive the same software updates. If you look, you can probably pick up a used V1 for around $500. But I'd recommend spending a little extra on a new one, so you can get the warranty.

You really have 2 options for viewing word docs. The first, and only officially supported way is to convert your word documents to PDF and then copy to the iLiad. This isn't that difficult. You can use Open Office or any of the PDF printers out there. It should look pretty good with little or no modification depending on the paper size of your document. However, the downside is, that with a PDF, you can only view it, and scribble on the page. You can't make changes to the document itself and then copy it back to your computer and have an updated word doc.

The second solution is to use my AbiWord port on the iLiad to natively view and edit the document. However, this isn't for the faint of heart. If you want to do any serious amount of typing, you'll really want to setup the USB keyboard modules, and edit that way. Also, screen refreshes can be a bit annoying since it's using an unsupported method of initiating them. But, if you have the patience and technical knowledge, it would work pretty well for keeping your document in the .doc format and being able to make changes on your iLiad and then see it on your PC.
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Old 03-18-2008, 02:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Adam B. View Post
The second solution is to use my AbiWord port on the iLiad to natively view and edit the document. However, this isn't for the faint of heart. If you want to do any serious amount of typing, you'll really want to setup the USB keyboard modules, and edit that way. Also, screen refreshes can be a bit annoying since it's using an unsupported method of initiating them. But, if you have the patience and technical knowledge, it would work pretty well for keeping your document in the .doc format and being able to make changes on your iLiad and then see it on your PC.
Is editing with abiword a realistic option, independently of the problem of reading microsoft docs files ? I mean, even with a usb keyboard I would have thought the redisplay while editing would have been too slow to properly edit the text. Or are you only invalidating small parts of the screen with your port, and is that enough ? What are the options to refresh the screen, programmatically ? (I am waiting for my iliad to arrive, but one of the thing I'm planning to do is to port gnustep on it)

Last edited by rio; 03-18-2008 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:04 PM   #5
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What are the options to refresh the screen, programmatically ?
The iLiad provides two refreshing options:

The first one is a complete refresh which fills the screen with black ink, clears it and draws the new picture (all within the well-known 1s refresh time).

The other one refreshes the screen partially, i.e. the changed parts of the screen. A disadvantage is that some kind of shadowing occurs after a while. But that's gone after the next full refresh. I think Abiword uses this kind of refresh when typing text.
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