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Old 06-29-2008, 02:22 PM   #1
obzenic
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DS Lite

As an ebook reader.

With something like DS Libris or whatever.
It is a homebrew application but it effectively runs content from a micro SD slot.

Potential for such a form factor/device?
Your thoughts?

(Keeping in mind there's a few rumors afoot that the DS is due for a refresh around mid July at E3, and that in Japan they are actually pitching it as a tool for teaching and as a bit of an ebook reader...)
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Old 06-29-2008, 02:56 PM   #2
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There are some hacks for this.... I've tried them out, its... well, ok.

If you're used to reading on a palm device it'd probably be okay. I found it far too small.
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:40 PM   #3
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I just thought it was interesting - apparently nintendo pushes it a bit as a kind of book reader as well as a teaching device in Japan (with a stack of things to learn english or other languages etc).

Personally I like such a form factor if it were turned sideways, I also like the size. But the very fact that i've got to run through a bunch of hacks to make it half usable is not cool... In short, in its current incarnation i don't think it makes the cut yet either.
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:57 AM   #4
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I use ReadMore & DS Reader on a DS lite, & I'm pretty content. I mainly use it for reading text files from Gutenberg. The DS is actually what started my interest in ebooks.

As far as use, I prefer ReadMore because it allows you to hold the DS like an actual book. However, ReadMore is slower when it comes to changing fonts/opening files (at times I thought the program had frozen). For this reason I usually use DS Reader for larger files. I'm not familiar with DS libris yet, but I'll be sure to try it out.

My DS isn't hacked though. I just use a M3 simply cartridge + micro SD card to run the programs (a R4 cartridge works just as well). I'm not that tech-savvy, but I managed to figure out how to run the reader programs just fine.
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:14 PM   #5
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How big are the screens on a DS and DS Lite? What is the resolution?

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Old 07-03-2008, 09:28 PM   #6
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I fear hacking
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
How big are the screens on a DS and DS Lite? What is the resolution?

Dale
Dale:

Per the Nintendo DS wiki:
Quote:
Screens: Two separate 3-inch TFT LCD, resolution of 256 x 192 pixels, dimensions of 62 x 46 mm and 77 mm diagonal, and a dot pitch of 0.24 mm. The gap between the screens is approximately 21 mm, equivalent to about 92 "hidden" lines. The lowermost display of the Nintendo DS is overlaid with a resistive touchscreen, which registers pressure from one point on the screen at a time, averaging multiple points of contact if necessary.

Per the Nintendo DS Lite wiki:
Quote:
Differences in the DS Lite over the original DS:
Brighter, more durable top and bottom LCD screens, with four levels of brightness.
BTW, the LCD screens measure, imperially, 2 7/16" horiz. x 1 13/16" vert. and 3" diagonally.

The Moon Books Project is a website dedicated to bringing classic literature, comics, and films freely and legally to users of the nintendo ds game console.

That website even has some screenshoots using the Nintendo DS in landscape and portrait orientations. See the first two attached images below.

You don't even need to "hack" your unit; just get a R4 (Revolution for DS) cartridge and a MicroSD card and your set!

I like the ReadMore homebrew software, with an 8pt font, and holding the screen in portrait mode (i.e. taller vertically). The Nintendo DS Lite is best suited/more comfortable for portrait mode and even feels like you are holding a book. It won't replace my ebook reader, but is a nice alternative.

But the best software is DSOrganize (homebrew) which has a nice built-in text reader (landscape only) as well as a web browser capable of surfing the MobileRead.com website (it even displays avatars and smilies and allows you to download to the MicroSD card! Wow!). Again, won't replace my laptop for mobility, but a nice substitute!

I haven't spent too much time with this (as my kids are attached to their Nintendo DS!), but can see this maturing into a niche area for Nintendo...
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Last edited by nrapallo; 07-04-2008 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:10 PM   #8
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nrapello has made a great summary.

adding homebrew software to a DS isn't really "hacking" per se - it's more or less putting a card in (just as you would any commercial game) and running an application like you would from windows or linux or OSX.

Not totally sure about the effect on your warranty in other countries but here (Australia) it's perfectly legal, in fact, here all kinds of modification chips for game consoles are legal.
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:35 PM   #9
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Thanks, looks like it should be a wiki page to me.

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Old 07-04-2008, 02:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Thanks, looks like it should be a wiki page to me.

Dale
It is quick and dirty for now but it now exists. The eBook Reader page also lists readers for this device.

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Old 07-04-2008, 06:46 PM   #11
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The Moon Books Projects archived books consist primarily of text files from Project Gutenberg (minus legal preambles).

The file for each Author/Category listed contains multiple texts in a .zip. To date, the most popular ones (all with over 500 downloads) are as follows:
Code:
Archived Books 

EBOOK AUTHOR/CATEGORY         ZIP SIZE  D/L's RATING/TIMES
===========================================================
Aesop                         235.52 kb   821  Not rated    
Albert Einstein                79.35 kb  1071  Not rated    
Alexandre Dumas                 5.57 mb   652  Not rated    
Arthur Conan Doyle              3.01 mb  1368  Not rated    
Atlantis Collection           472.84 kb   508  Not rated    
Beowulf                        61.26 kb   986  Not rated    
Bram Stoker                   938.06 kb   889  Not rated    
Brothers Grimm                875.81 kb   955  Not rated    
Charles Dickens               341.54 kb   554  10/1    
Dante                         272.36 kb   941  Not rated    
Edgar Allan Poe              1009.66 kb  1313  Not rated    
Franz Kafka (English)         208.12 kb   630  Not rated    
H. G. Wells                     3.08 mb  4995  10/1    
H. P. Lovecraft                 1.16 mb  1838  7/3    
Homer                         781.51 kb   748  Not rated    
Jules Verne                     1.91 mb  1020  10/1    
Leonardo Da Vinci             553.74 kb   864  Not rated    
Lewis Carroll                 341.83 kb   733  Not rated    
Magic and Illusion Collection 797.04 kb   673  Not rated    
Mark Twain                      3.74 mb   996  Not rated   
Miyamoto Musashi               56.96 kb   704  Not rated    
Philosophy Collection         620.51 kb   911  Not rated    
Reference - Computing           2.16 mb   654  Not rated    
Reference - Sexuality         234.02 kb   857  Not rated    
Readers Encyclopedia            2.91 mb   503  Not rated    
Websters Unabridged Dictionary 10.78 mb   977  Not rated    
Sun Tzu                        24.51 kb   782  Not rated    
William Shakespeare             2.92 mb   744  10/1   
They even have old comic books like:
Code:
Comics

COMIC                              SIZE  D/L's
===========================================================
 9 Comics - Miscellaneous     190.71 mb    816  
 6 Comics - NYC 2123           44.44 mb   2254  
85 Comics - Heroes            140.73 mb  74686  
It seems that this idea is quite popular or maybe is just a novel idea that warrants a "look-see".
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:29 PM   #12
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This review was recently posted, If you’ve got a DS Lite, you’ve got an e-reader and mentions all the things you need to get started reading ebooks on the Nintendo DS. There are many images showing the DS Lite being used as an ebook reader! A sample image is shown below.

And talk about keeping up with the times, The Moon Books Project's archived books even have the freely distributable ebooks by Cory Doctorow, science fiction books on the DS:
A Place so Foreign
Craphound
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom
Eastern Standard Tribe
EBooks, Neither E nor Books
Home Again Home Again
Return to Pleasure Island
Shadow of the Mothaship
Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town
Super Man And The Bug Out
Overclocked
Check the new Nintendo DS wiki.
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Last edited by nrapallo; 07-06-2008 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 07-13-2008, 12:43 PM   #13
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I have used my DS for browsing and reading on-line fiction before, but haven't tried downloading with it yet.

It is small, but in a pinch is really handy.
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Old 07-13-2008, 01:40 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the info! My daughter just got a DS Lite for her 14th birthday, and when I suggested to her that I might be able to get it to read ebooks, she was all smiles (she uses my old eBookwise 1150 currently). Thanks especially for the link to the Teleread article! I read Teleread every now and then, but missed this article.
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Old 07-14-2008, 12:24 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the info! My daughter just got a DS Lite for her 14th birthday, and when I suggested to her that I might be able to get it to read ebooks, she was all smiles (she uses my old eBookwise 1150 currently). Thanks especially for the link to the Teleread article! I read Teleread every now and then, but missed this article.
Funny, my 9-yr-old daughter is too busy playing all those DS games that her Dad keeps getting/finding for her... (bad Dad).

She has a REB 1100 (precursor to EBW 1150) and likes to read on it BECAUSE SHE CAN'T PLAY GAMES ON THAT DEVICE! (Sorry for shouting but it expresses my sentiment!)

My 7-yr-old daughter also wasn't too interested in reading on the DS Lite (she also has a REB 1100), but her "problem" is that she likes my REB 1200 too much to care for the small form factor on the DS Lite.

Oh well, I tried...

Last edited by nrapallo; 07-16-2008 at 11:11 PM.
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