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Old 12-15-2008, 05:11 AM   #1
Operator23
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PDF, HTML, Comics

Here's the sort of books I have in digital formats in addition to assorted fiction:

Technical manuals (like O'Reilly books)
Rulebooks (RPGs)
Manga

Generally, I know that I should be able to convert fiction for any reader, since I can typically get my hands on plaintext. I also understand that black and white handdrawn images - manga and other comics particularly - look nice and clear. However, the first two categories are usually PDFs, sometimes image-heavy - rulebooks will sometimes have illustrations and not have any part actually in text, and also frequently be in two columns.

Now, I'm fine with converting things as much as needs be to make them work, so long as it's something I can put on autopilot *somehow*.

Another thing I'm curious about that is that while most readers support HTML, how they support links (if they do at all) is generally not explained.

For portability, I'm in the market for a small reader. I'm also on Linux and don't care for fighting or supporting things that need me to mess with bizarre proprietary formats, so Sony and the Kindle are out.

What has stood out to me:

Hanlin V3 - some people say this works nicely with PDFs, but the more I read the less I like.
M218B - Apparently it's on sale for $300 - shipped - in the States - for Christmas. I think it sounds pretty good, though I can't find explanations of how the Internet functionality works anywhere.

Price is not so much an issue, but size is - I'm not taking anything over 9" in the largest dimension, period. This doesn't rule much out.

Also, not afraid of tinkering - I bought two GP2X's back in the day and set up a dev environment (Not that I ever did anything with it...).

Anyway, thoughts, opinions? Has anyone actually used the the wifi functionality on the M218B, and can anyone say what's good for PDFs?
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:15 PM   #2
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The only one that seems to really excel at PDF's like manuals is the iRex Digital Reader. Beyond that some sort of tablet PC. Everything else is hit or miss depending on the exact title, if the user minds splitting the pages and how small of text he/she can read legibly.

-MJ
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:29 PM   #3
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Manga looks perfectly fine on my PRS-500. American comic books often have text that is too small to read.
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:45 PM   #4
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As Andurian said, US comic books and all O'Reilly books that I have converted for the Sony 500 have been unreadable. The 6" (diag) screen does not have the resolution or size to allow me to view the page and understand what I am reading. Even splitting the page into pieces still results in something barely usable.

The only success I have had with PDF files have been those that are almost pure text (or where the graphics are not important) that can be converted to the Sony native format (LRF) or custom sized PDFs.

For my own use I plan to investigate Plastic Logic's new reader due out in 2009 that features a letter sized (or maybe an A4 sized) screen. Even with that size of screen I know that I will still want the ability to magnify PDF files and graphics to see more detail.

Good luck in your quest. Please keep us informed on your search.
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:03 PM   #5
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For a 6" devive and what types of files you are talking about, I would say:

1 - Sony (it reflows PDF's!)
2 - Cybook
3 - rest...
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDHarriman View Post
1 - Sony (it reflows PDF's!)
But the PDF's he's referring to are most likely not reflowable... I really think he'll be disappointed in a 6" reader for the manuals and rulebooks.

-MJ
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:02 PM   #7
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I see, still for "Technical manuals (like O'Reilly books)" and 6" devices I would advise first the Sony.

Of course I agree with you, for the types of files posted and without the 6” restriction, it would advise a Iliad (the 8” or the new 10”).

Last edited by DDHarriman; 12-18-2008 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 12-18-2008, 01:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDHarriman View Post
I see, still for "Technical manuals (like O'Reilly books)" and 6" devices I would advise first the Sony.

Of course I agree with you, for the types of files posted and without the 6” restriction, it would a Iliad (the 8” or the new 10”).
I believe the Sony PRS700 has some extra zoom features for images that makes it especially desirable for these kinds of book.
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:57 PM   #9
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Correct.

One can check that in Hussein MullaHadi video (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33917).
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:22 AM   #10
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Also, it should be noted that O'Reilly (http://oreilly.com/ebooks/) is starting to offer a small subset of their books as ebooks in the following formats:

iPhone -- Grab the EPUB and read it in the Stanza App or explore more options here.
Kindle -- Get the Mobipocket file and load it onto your Kindle.
Sony Reader -- EPUBs work well on your Sony Reader.
Computer -- Get either the EPUB or PDF.
Other Mobile Devices -- Explore the EPUB with the mobile version of Bookworm.

I bought a couple of their books, and they look as good as anything in the Sony Store.

I implore those of you with a capable device to pick up a couple of books there. O'Reilly has been slow to adopt ebook devices, because they claim it costs them too much money to back a format that may not be long lived. (and they're right... I'm completely put off by all the different formats and DRM out there)

Tim
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