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Old 09-07-2008, 08:17 PM   #1
Red Stapler
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How good are Amazon's pdf conversions?

Hi all,

One of the (many) reasons I want an ebook reader is to read a few free technical pdf's I currently have on my computer, most of all the Navy Electricty and Electronics Training series of texts. I have Mobipocket Creator on the Windows virtual machine on my Mac, but I'd also like the option of a quicker way of conversion than firing up the computer and booting up VMWare Fusion, then Windows, then the MB Creator app, and dragging and dropping the files between OS's.

The main question is, how many folks have used Amazon's conversion, and how well did the documents cone out? Since both Sony and Bookeen have had firmware updates that improve their pdf capabilities, I'm wondering if they might be a better choice (although in the case of the Sony I'd still have to fire up Windows for firmware updates). I'm aware that reading pdf's on these devices can be problematic. I've seen a few screenshots that seem to indicate that the Amazon converted files are fairly readable, but wanted some other opinions. Thanks in advance for any insights and advice you folks have.
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Old 09-07-2008, 08:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Stapler View Post
Hi all,

One of the (many) reasons I want an ebook reader is to read a few free technical pdf's I currently have on my computer, most of all the Navy Electricty and Electronics Training series of texts. I have Mobipocket Creator on the Windows virtual machine on my Mac, but I'd also like the option of a quicker way of conversion than firing up the computer and booting up VMWare Fusion, then Windows, then the MB Creator app, and dragging and dropping the files between OS's.

The main question is, how many folks have used Amazon's conversion, and how well did the documents cone out? Since both Sony and Bookeen have had firmware updates that improve their pdf capabilities, I'm wondering if they might be a better choice (although in the case of the Sony I'd still have to fire up Windows for firmware updates). I'm aware that reading pdf's on these devices can be problematic. I've seen a few screenshots that seem to indicate that the Amazon converted files are fairly readable, but wanted some other opinions. Thanks in advance for any insights and advice you folks have.
I have not been happy with conversion of pdfs with lots of table and images. They just don't convert well, IMO. Text is fine.

If you could upload one or a few pages from a pdf of the type of text and diagrams you would need, I'll have Amazon convert them and upload images so you'll have a better idea if the Kindle will work for you.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:11 AM   #3
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Don't have a Kindle myself, though another family member does. From what I could tell, the conversion appears to be about the same as using Mobipocket desktop software to do the job. OK for some documents, really unusable for others.
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:22 PM   #4
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Thanks daffy, I'm attaching a pdf I made of a few graphics heavy pages from one of the texts. And bwaldron, thanks for responding as well.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Mod10 - 15to24.pdf (254.0 KB, 175 views)
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:33 PM   #5
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Thanks daffy, I'm attaching a pdf I made of a few graphics heavy pages from one of the texts. And bwaldron, thanks for responding as well.
Got it. I'll post images as soon as the conversion comes back.
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Old 09-08-2008, 05:07 PM   #6
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Here ya go. I'm posting several pages. There are quite a few more in the zip file.

Everything looks pretty good with the images but there were a couple rough spots with some Greek letters. Those images are at the end.
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Attached Files
File Type: zip RedStapler.zip (530.8 KB, 168 views)
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:42 AM   #7
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I have taken the liberty to download the file and import it into Mobipocket Desktop Reader and I get almost the same look you show in your images.

A good example is the wavelength definition - your 1-8a.gif file - and the rubbish at the end of the page is exactly the same:

GLVWDQFH EHWZHHQ $ DQG ( RU % DQG ) HWF LV RQH ZDYHOHQJWK 7KH *UHHN OHWWHU ODPEGD LV XVHG WR

So I would not disagree with bwaldron in that Amazon’s conversion mechanism is the same (or a very close similar) as the one used by the Mobipocket Desktop Reader.

Final: I do think it’s useless for these kinds of documents.
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:39 PM   #8
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Well, except for the gibberish, it actually looks better than I expected. Thanks everyone for your help and input. It's kind of puzzling that the part where the conversion stumbles and creates gibberish looks (to me, anyway) like ordinary text in the original, where it looks like the graphics and images came out fairly well. Well, I did expect there to be trade offs in using any of these for pdf's. And it also sounds like there's no real difference in the quality between Amazon's process and Mobipocket's.
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