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Old 11-27-2008, 10:48 AM   #1
tucidide19
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Hello, I'd like to have some information I don't seem to find anywhere else.

As a Comparative Literature scholar, I have pretty high expectations from an electronic reading device. In the first place, I've heard that this DR (unlike the Iliad) is capable of searching a string of text in a given file. Is that true? Is the lookup tool capable of handling large files (2+ MBs)?
My second question concerns the annotations. Is it possible to enter machine-readable notes (e.g. via an on-screen keyboard, as I had in my old Pocket PC)? That would be a boon, as I often find myself labelling specific passages with catchwords, so that I may easily return to them later.
Finally, is there any way to multi-task on these devices? For instance, "reading" different books at a time, keeping a dictionary open in background, etc.. Nothing too demanding for the processor, but the software often makes these transitions quite complicated.
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:20 AM   #2
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as I understand the (current) featureset of the DR, the answer to 1 is a definite No(t yet). that aside, if you enter phrases that occur multiple times, i imagine the CPU will need a fair bit of time to read through the whole of the book, so it might not be very practical even if it does work.
as to 2: the iLiad already has bookmarking features, at least for the PDF reader.. you'd then have to draw a box around whatever you find interesting on the relevant page, as you can [there] only bookmark specific pages, not sections of text.
3: yes, but from the complaints I've seen on the fora, at least the 'quick' dictionary lookup isn't working very well yet.
reading multiple books simultaneously shouldn't be a problem, though.
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Old 11-27-2008, 06:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tucidide19 View Post
I've heard that this DR (unlike the Iliad) is capable of searching a string of text in a given file. Is that true? Is the lookup tool capable of handling large files (2+ MBs)?
Yes on both counts.

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Originally Posted by tucidide19 View Post
My second question concerns the annotations. Is it possible to enter machine-readable notes (e.g. via an on-screen keyboard, as I had in my old Pocket PC)?
Not to my knowledge. This could be done by software, but is not implemented, AFAIK. You could (ab)use bookmarks for that purpose, but you have to leave the document and use an external computer to edit the name of the bookmark.

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Finally, is there any way to multi-task on these devices? For instance, "reading" different books at a time
Yes. You can switch among up to five open documents at the moment.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:09 PM   #4
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I have to say that for a professional reader, various issues related to performance may also be a problem. My concern would be that the responsiveness of gui to certain interaction may be a little bit slow for a fast paced reader/editor.
I am quite fast (I have to be) in reading, and due to nature of documents I read, I sometimes have to skip pages quite fast only by taking a short look on what the page contains. Unfortunately, under these circumstances, dr1000s is too slow for me. Sometimes I press a button accidentally, and the outcome is a bitter "arrgghh" from me, for I now I'll lose about 5 secs for getting back to previous state.
The screen makes it up, but still the usage is not very slick.
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarikan View Post
I am quite fast (I have to be) in reading, and due to nature of documents I read, I sometimes have to skip pages quite fast only by taking a short look on what the page contains. Unfortunately, under these circumstances, dr1000s is too slow for me.
If that's a requirement, then any eInk device is probably going to be a bad fit. eInk in general still has a relatively slow refresh rate. Maybe with future generations of the technology they'll improve that, but right now eInk is a bad choice if you need to quickly scan through pages.
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarikan View Post
I am quite fast (I have to be) in reading, and due to nature of documents I read, I sometimes have to skip pages quite fast only by taking a short look on what the page contains. Unfortunately, under these circumstances, dr1000s is too slow for me.
The DR1000S is now supposed to be as fast as other EInk devices for page turns (~0.85s), and you get more per screen. The only reader that might be significantly faster is the PRS-700, but this has not be confirmed in side by side tests so far as I know.
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
The DR1000S is now supposed to be as fast as other EInk devices for page turns (~0.85s), and you get more per screen. The only reader that might be significantly faster is the PRS-700, but this has not be confirmed in side by side tests so far as I know.
The largest factor in that 0.85s is the eInk refresh rate. All of the eInk devices are going to be similar until eInk technology gets faster.
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Old 12-01-2008, 06:32 PM   #8
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All of the eInk devices are going to be similar until eInk technology gets faster.
See New Sony Reader - and a renewed commitment, where Paul Biba reports that:
Quote:
The new Reader is fast, fast and faster. Compared to the older Reader and the Kindle it is like a Ferrari vs. a bicycle. It is amazing how quick it is. Also, there is no flicker or “blink” when you change pages. This is a major ergonomic improvement over earlier versions. A representative of E-ink, who makes the screen, was at the event and I cornered him and asked him how Sony accomplished this. He said it was a combination of Sony proprietary technology and some small improvements in the E-ink screen. Primarily, he said, this is a result of Sony’s expertise in writing an optimized driver and in designing the display chip and optimizing timing issues.
Sony has not released any specs for the PRS-700 full screen refresh rate so far as I know, so you may be right about it being the same speed in the end. A side by side comparison is probably the only way to tell for sure, and even then there may be issues like optimal ebook format for each device.
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:53 AM   #9
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I think the -document- display speed issue is much more dependent on the document being rendered and CPU horse power required to do so (PDF being a generally bloated format and the DR1000 having to interpolate graphics/ render fonts for a lot more pixels), and not so much the actual display timing which is pretty darn fast on the DR1000, esp. considering it renders many more pixels at double the number of grayscales.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:28 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
Sony has not released any specs for the PRS-700 full screen refresh rate so far as I know, so you may be right about it being the same speed in the end. A side by side comparison is probably the only way to tell for sure, and even then there may be issues like optimal ebook format for each device.
Yeah, iRex did the same thing with the DR by optimizing a lot of the way the driver works. Still, of the 0.85s refresh rate people are talking about with the DR, 0.80s of that is the eInk.

Older devices usually had a 1.0s or higher refresh rate, and a lot of that was due to slow drivers (.80 for the eInk plus .20 - .50 for the driver). That's what they're comparing the PRS-700 to when they say that it's much faster. The same is true for the DR.

You can do a lot of optimizing (.05 with the newer drivers), but you're not going to make a huge difference, no matter how much hype there is about a new device, until eInk technology improves. Every device is still based off of a 0.80s vizplex eInk screen, including the PRS-700.
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
See New Sony Reader - and a renewed commitment, where Paul Biba reports that: The new Reader is fast, fast and faster. Compared to the older Reader and the Kindle it is like a Ferrari vs. a bicycle. It is amazing how quick it is. Also, there is no flicker or “blink” when you change pages. ...
As for the comparison, that doesn't really apply to the DR1000s. Comparing the Sony Reader to the DR1000s is more like comparing a SmartCar to a Honda Accord...sure the smartCar is efficient, but it's so small that it's annoying to use and doesn't appeal to most people. I use the Accord in the example because yes, the DR1000s is not perfect.
As for the "blink" - GOD this has to be improved on. I feel like I'm going to have a seizure if I keep paging through the book too much. If Sony has fixed this issue then this should be high priority for iRex.
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:44 PM   #12
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I'm not sure what the "blink" is that you're referring to. But typically an eInk screen is refreshed in a couple stages. First you either draw the screen to all white or all black or you draw a "reverse" of the current page on the screen (depending on device), then you draw the new page. It's done that way on purpose because it helps to reduce a lot of the "ghosting" effect of current eInk technology. Maybe that's the blink you're talking about? You can make a device that skips that step, but there are usually drawbacks to it.
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:08 PM   #13
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Hi there,
Have been away for a while. I would be more than happy with 0.85 etc. 70-85% of the time I wait around 2-3 seconds while reading docs
I've realized that some pdfs are rendered much faster than others. Some pages I've printed to pdf in linux are rendered sloooooo-ooow even if it is only 3 pages, and it is almost all text.
Skipping a chapter to see if I can find the paragraph I'm looking for is not practical, but that is not how I do my reading usually. I wanted to know the poster about this that's all. 90% of time I have a laptop around me for quickly skipping content in a pdf.

Best
Seref
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:36 PM   #14
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I've seen a couple discussions on why some PDFs are a lot slower than others. One of the reasons could be that the pages are stored as images, even if they just contain text. If the image is not at a native resolution suitable for the reader, it needs to re-render the image before it can be displayed. Another one that I've seen talked about, but don't understand very well, is that certain types of fonts being used in the PDF can make it really slow. You'll have to find the thread talking about that one if you want more details though. If I remember right, it listed a specific font (or maybe a couple) and said to avoid using them.
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