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Old 07-12-2008, 04:12 PM   #1
Daedalus
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Recently bought an Iliad and looking to get the most out of it - can you help?

Hello all,

I have recently purchased one of these beautiful Iliad Readers (I have the book edition) and I have fallen in love, despite my lack of experience with this kind of technology.

So far I can clearly tell that the Iliad is going to significantly change the way I read and write from now on. I am downloading a huge number of literary works, articles and literary journals for free as e-texts. It is wonderful for reading pleasure as well as for research.

Personally, I will always love books as sensuous objects, being a huge bibliophile. However, it is certainly a very convenient way to collect and read texts and will be invaluable in my research. I think it will reduce the amount of books I have to buy, although I will always buy paper editions of favourites for my personal physical library and many books that aren't yet available in digital format for my studies.

I have a couple of questions and I hope you won't mind if I ask them here. As I previously said, I am really awful with technology! I have searched the forums and read a great deal of posts but a lot of it is going way over my head! If any of you have the time to reply with a kind of 'idiot's guide' to the following then I would be grateful.

1) I would love to be able to use a dictionary while reading on the Iliad. I always read with a dictionary and at the moment I am wondering around with the Reader and a physical dictionary, which just seems silly to me! Is there any kind of searchable dictionary that I could use on the Iliad?
I have read a few threads where people were talking about having the ability to click on words in DRM files but this was lost on me! As I mainly read self-made PDFs or free PDFs from various academic websites and the like, would this kind of dictionary work?
All I really want is a searchable dictionary file I can call up for the occasional troublesome definition. Any assistance on this would be great!

2) I am a little confused about the notes system - I realise that I can write all over PDFs and I tend to do a lot of underlining and add the occasional word in the margin but there is not much space to make a huge amount of notes. I tend to write while I read and make plenty of notes. Again, at the moment I am tending to carry a notebook and pencil around with the Iliad so that I can note down quotations or ideas that I have when reading. This seems a bit counterproductive really so I am looking for some help here.
I notice that you can call up the keyboard while reading a PDF although it doesn't seem to do anything - does that have anything to do with notes?
What I would really like to do is to call up a blank notes page while reading and be able to write bits and pieces to it occasionally. Is this possible? How do other people manage their note-taking?

I've had my Iliad for 3 days and so far I think it is wonderful. There are certain things that I think could be improved, in particular the manual, which I found to be confusing from the point of view of someone not really experienced in this technology.
There also seems to be some basic functionality lacking which would make the Iliad absolutely perfect, for instance having a searchable dictionary bundled and having the MyNotes software bundled too! I've just spent £400 and I didn't expect to have to pay out for extras!

As a final quick question, I would be grateful to anyone who could tell me their favourite 3rd party application - the one they have found most useful. I am not looking for a definitive recommendation, I just thought it might be interesting to hear how other people have been using their Iliads and give me some ideas too!

Apologies for the long post and many thanks in advance for any responses!

D.

Last edited by Daedalus; 07-12-2008 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 07-12-2008, 05:02 PM   #2
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Any MobiPocket dictionary (or several dictionaries) will work. You need to put it in the Books/Mobipocket directory and open it once. I don't think this works when reading PDF files though, only when reading MOBI ebooks. It should work as a dictionary if you open it directly. There are a couple of free dictionaries in the MOBI download forum, for example: GNU Collaborative International Dictionary of English and Webster's Dictionary 1913.

I can't help with your note taking question, because I don't do any note taking.

I use the 3rd party FBReader as my primary ebook reader. It can read a wide range of DRM-free reflowable ebook formats.
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Old 07-12-2008, 05:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
I use the 3rd party FBReader as my primary ebook reader. It can read a wide range of DRM-free reflowable ebook formats.
Thank you for this reply - just one question though, what does 'DRM-free reflowable' mean? Can you give me the explanation involving small words and big pictures? So far I only know about PDF format and I haven't tried anything else.

Another question - I have heard lots about the FBReader but I still don't really understand why it is so useful apart from that it helps with lots of different files! I'm sorry, I'm totally lost with all of this stuff! I have just been making PDFs and hoping for the best! I'm not the quickest at understanding this stuff!

Cheers,
D.
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Old 07-12-2008, 06:52 PM   #4
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PDFs designed for the screen size was the original way to use the iLiad, and still works well. A "re-flowable" format is one that can adjust (reflow) to the screen size. The MobiPocket Reader uses the reflowable MOBI format. I have screenshorts in Mobipocket Font Switcher where changing the font size changes how the text is layed out on the screen. A simple web page is a good example of a reflowable format (HTML).

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is the encryption put on ebooks (and DVDs etcetera) to prevent authorized use. Many MOBI ebooks from mobipocket.com or fictionwise.com have DRM, and are keyed to the "PID" of the iLiad. Note that if you see "Secure MobiPocket" that means MOBI with DRM. Not all publishers add DRM, and there are plenty of DRM-free MOBI ebooks (e.g. again from FictionWise, which sells both kinds). Try the DRM-free (and actually free) MOBI e-books from the Mobi/PRC Books Forum.

FBReader is just another option for reading ebooks. There would be less need for it on the iLiad if the MobiPocket Reader included all the features normally associated with MobiPocket Reader software, but the version on the iLiad is very basic. I suggest starting with MobiPocket Reader, and if its font or its lack of hyphenation or whatever drive you crazy then try FBReader. It is much more customizable for exactly how you want text to appear on the screen, but it is also a slow to turn pages on the iLiad. The other advantage of FBReader is that it reads a lot of ebook formats, but many of these can be converted off-line to MOBI. If you have a Windows PC, then try the Windows Desktop MobiPocket Reader. This can be used to read MOBI ebooks on your PC, but it will also manage your iLiad MOBI ebooks (if you want) and can convert DRM-free non-MOBI ebooks to MOBI.
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Old 07-13-2008, 08:14 AM   #5
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Wallcraft - thank you for your help. That has really helped me get it clear in my head. I spent some time on the Modipocket Reader and downloaded some bits and pieces. I also installed a dictionary, which works wonderfully. Really appreciate your help on this.

Now, if anyone can help me with the notes business that would be great! Plus any advice about 3rd party applications.

Thanks again,

D.
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:55 PM   #6
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When I create a pdf, I often add blank pages at the end of each chapter, or the end of the document, to scribble my notes on. Its not ideal, but its quicker and easier than going in and out of 2 files (one for reading, one for writing).

While you can call up the keyboard in pdfs, you can't use it to type into pdfs with the iLiad's default software. I don't know if that's possible with 3rd party software.
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:38 PM   #7
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The things one learns just browsing!

Thanks, Wallcraft, one (of many) headaches removed.
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Old 10-10-2008, 05:39 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
FBReader is just another option for reading ebooks.
Does FB support dictionary search?
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:16 AM   #9
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Does FB support dictionary search?
No. FBReader on the iLiad (0.8.04 at least) has word search within the current document, but no dictionary or bookmarking capability.

You can try out FBReader on almost any desktop system (Windows, Linux, or OS X), see its download page. The 0.8.04 iLiad version is essentially the Linux GTK+ Desktop version, although the latest release is 0.8.17.
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Old 10-10-2008, 11:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
No. FBReader on the iLiad (0.8.04 at least) has word search within the current document, but no dictionary or bookmarking capability.

You can try out FBReader on almost any desktop system (Windows, Linux, or OS X), see its download page. The 0.8.04 iLiad version is essentially the Linux GTK+ Desktop version, although the latest release is 0.8.17.
Thanks!
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