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Old 07-27-2009, 12:50 PM   #1
tmoody
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Thinking out loud

I imagine the regulars get very tired of these posts, but here goes anyway.

I'm certain I don't want to spend more than $300 on a device.

For work-related purposes, I'd like to be able to read recent works in philosophy from publishers such as Oxford and MIT Press. Initially, I didn't find much in Amazon's Kindle store, but I kept browsing and came up with a reasonable number of titles. That's encouraging. I'd also like to be able to read PDF journal articles. From what I've read here, this is a crap shoot on most readers, and certainly on the K2 and Sony 505, which are my main contenders. But at least philosophy articles aren't usually too encumbered with weird graphics, so maybe it's not so bad. As I understand it, I have to get these articles through JSTOR or wherever, and then send them to Amazon for conversion, and hope for the best.

For contemporary philosophy, I don't know if other ebook providers have more content than Amazon, so that's a question mark.

For non-work reading, I read a fair amount of non-fiction: science popularizations, cognitive science, and so on. And I read my share of mass-market fiction.

For the philosophy stuff, and the other non-fiction, I like to be able to highlight/underline, and to search for phrases and words. In fact, it surprises me that some of the devices, such as the 505, don't support searching. I thought the ability to search was one of the main advantages of the whole digitalization of the universe in the first place.

Given all that I've said so far, the wind now seems to be blowing in the direction of the K2.

Aesthetically, I like the 505. It's compact and uncluttered. Although I've only seen photos of the K2, the keyboard is a bit off-putting. I know I'm not the first to have that impression. And obviously I can't really have the annotation feature without a keyboard, except with a touch screen, which I don't like at all.

One thing that I like about the 505 is the possibility of signing up with lending libraries. I gather this doesn't work with the K2, although I'm not sure about that.

The K2 whispernet feature for OTA book acquisition doesn't mean that much to me. But then, I'm one of those knuckleheads who says that, and then ends up using it all the time.

I don't have an iPhone, and no plans to get one, so iPhone sync doesn't float my boat. I do have a Blackberry, and I have a Shortcovers account, as well as a B&N account (and reader). Reading on the BB with large font isn't as deadly as I expected it to be, but it's still not something I expect to do a lot of.

So...if I add up the considerations so far, I should probably get the K2. But I'll give it another day or two of rumination.

Todd
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:08 AM   #2
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True or False?

1. With the K2 one can't use ebook lending libraries.

2. Most Amazon Kindle books can be converted to a format that the PRS 505 can read, so one doesn't have to have a Kindle to take advantage of the low prices.

3. B&N ebooks can't be converted to other formats.

4. Shortcovers ebooks can't be converted to other formats.

Thank you for playing.

Todd
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:48 AM   #3
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True or False?
2. Most Amazon Kindle books can be converted to a format that the PRS 505 can read, so one doesn't have to have a Kindle to take advantage of the low prices.
Yes, but:
1) you have to "circumvent" DRM,
2) There is practically no way to buy ebooks on amazon without a kindle...
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kostas View Post
Yes, but:
2) There is practically no way to buy ebooks on amazon without a kindle...
Ah, thanks, I wasn't aware of this.

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Old 07-28-2009, 12:59 PM   #5
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Took me a long time to wind up the spare cash for my Sony 505 but I don't regret it, for me it was the best and only choice - not tied to a book store (Kindle) or one format, (makes a change for Sony not to shoot themselves in the foot!

I read much more now, most of it free (legally!) public domain or whatever, The rest I buy! (& don't have time for MR )

Hi! Bunnykins I'm back
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:11 PM   #6
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What kind of BB do you have?
You can also install Mobipocket on your BB phone. They are the creator of the MOBI/PRC format and can read offline. There are tons of books here on MobielRead in MOBI format and is the most popular format in the states second only to PDFs.


TRUE/FALSE (well kind of)

Q With the K2 one can't use ebook lending libraries.
A. Officially No, but there are DRM removal and/or Modifiers to allow this.

Q) 2. Most Amazon Kindle books can be converted to a format that the PRS 505 can read, so one doesn't have to have a Kindle to take advantage of the low prices.

A) Amz extensions are mobi format and can be shifted only after DRM is removed, the PRS-505 only reads PDF/LRF/ePUB. Tpz format cannot be converted and have no know circumvention.

Q) 3. B&N ebooks can't be converted to other formats.
A) False: B&N are eReader formats, after DRM is removed you can use Calibre 6.0 to convert them

Q) 4. Shortcovers ebooks can't be converted to other formats.
A) True: you can only read their books online. I strongly dislike shortcover as there is no positive with their product. This product has the record for the shortest time installed on my phone. Having to be connected to read is a pain what happens if your reading while traveling and you hit a no coverage zone.



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Old 07-28-2009, 01:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by roger the rabbit View Post
... not tied to a book store (Kindle) or one format, (makes a change for Sony not to shoot themselves in the foot!
This is an argument I've yet to understand. One is tied to Amazon only for DRM content. But that one choice give one the best price and the biggest selection of books available.

One can always buy books from other stores if there is no DRM like Baen Books, Steve Jordon, and Oriley

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I read much more now, most of it free (legally!) public domain or whatever, The rest I buy! (& don't have time for MR )
From this stand point the Kindle and SONY are on par.

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Old 07-28-2009, 03:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by =X=;
This is an argument I've yet to understand. One is tied to Amazon only for DRM content. But that one choice give one the best price and the biggest selection of books available.

One can always buy books from other stores if there is no DRM like Baen Books, Steve Jordon, and Oriley


From this stand point the Kindle and SONY are on par.

=X=
Ok Tell me where & how I could have bought a Kindle - legally - outside the US as I did with the Sony and books at what competitive price? without having to resort to illegal DRM stripping? I have no time or ambition to be a pirate!
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
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What kind of BB do you have?
A Curve 8900.

Quote:
You can also install Mobipocket on your BB phone. They are the creator of the MOBI/PRC format and can read offline. There are tons of books here on MobielRead in MOBI format and is the most popular format in the states second only to PDFs.
I'll look into that. I'm undecided about reading on the BB. I expect eyestrain, but so far I've found that as long as I select a large type face (40 pixels), it's really not bad. I know that LCD glare causes eyestrain, but that may be more a problem with a full-sized screen. The small BB screen doesn't project that much light. For testing purposes, I bought a book for the B&N reader, and I've been reading it. With the large type face, the effect is rather like reading a newspaper column, only with larger print. It's not bad.

Quote:
Q With the K2 one can't use ebook lending libraries.
A. Officially No, but there are DRM removal and/or Modifiers to allow this.

Q) 2. Most Amazon Kindle books can be converted to a format that the PRS 505 can read, so one doesn't have to have a Kindle to take advantage of the low prices.
Okay. I'm a little hazy on all this, and for some reason I had the idea that "borrowed" ebooks couldn't be modified. I'm probably thinking too much in terms of paper books.

Quote:
Q) 3. B&N ebooks can't be converted to other formats.
A) False: B&N are eReader formats, after DRM is removed you can use Calibre 6.0 to convert them
Ok, that's good to know.

Thanks for the information. I'm still confused, but in a more edified way.

Todd
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:08 PM   #10
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Ok Tell me where & how I could have bought a Kindle - legally - outside the US as I did with the Sony and books at what competitive price? without having to resort to illegal DRM stripping? I have no time or ambition to be a pirate!
There is a BIG difference between what you are saying now vs what you said on your oritinal post. To say you did not want to get tied in to one store is not the same to say you cannot buy a product that is not avialibe to you.

Like wise you are reading DRM free ebooks there is no need to strip any books from DRM. So I don't understand why you need to strip DRM books.


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Old 07-28-2009, 06:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by tmoody View Post
A Curve 8900.
Okay I have the storm the larger screen does make it easy to read.

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Okay. I'm a little hazy on all this, and for some reason I had the idea that "borrowed" ebooks couldn't be modified. I'm probably thinking too much in terms of paper books.
They can't be modified because they have DRM. With lending books there is a timer on the DRM and after so many days you cannot open the book again.

Most public libraries support PDF or ePUB and MOBI. Kindle eBooks make use of the format (MOBI) and use MOBI's DRM, what makes Kindle incompatible with MobiPocket is that the Kindle has a special PID unique to the Kindle. The MobiPocket software is not allowed to read those PIDs. So you can modify the MOBI files downloaded by the library to support the kindle PID or you can remove the DRM. That is your call on what is moral and ethical, personally I don't think it's right to remove DRM on a lent book, but you make your own call.

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Old 07-28-2009, 07:11 PM   #12
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Okay I have the storm the larger screen does make it easy to read.
Yes, and one thing I've considered is whether I might not want simply to get a different phone and stick to that for mobile reading. I'm not a fan of touch screens, especially virtual keyboards, but I suppose I could get used to it. I could easily sell my BB 8900 and get a Storm, and I'd end up spending less than I would on a dedicated reader. Or I could go for the Android G1. I had one of those for a short while and didn't care for the keyboard, but I could probably get used to that faster than a virtual one. Of course, at the moment neither Mobipocket nor BN are supported on the G1...


Quote:
Most public libraries support PDF or ePUB and MOBI. Kindle eBooks make use of the format (MOBI) and use MOBI's DRM, what makes Kindle incompatible with MobiPocket is that the Kindle has a special PID unique to the Kindle. The MobiPocket software is not allowed to read those PIDs. So you can modify the MOBI files downloaded by the library to support the kindle PID or you can remove the DRM. That is your call on what is moral and ethical, personally I don't think it's right to remove DRM on a lent book, but you make your own call.

=X=
Thanks again; this is very informative. I don't have any ethical objection to removing the DRM if the sole purpose of doing so is to read the book in exactly the way that the library intends. I doubt that the library intends their books to be read only on certain devices; they are as much the victims of the profusion of formats as the rest of us. In any case, it sounds like using the Kindle with lending libraries is complicated at best.

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Old 07-29-2009, 12:42 AM   #13
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As I understand it, I have to get these articles through JSTOR or wherever, and then send them to Amazon for conversion, and hope for the best.
Many of the academic articles available through services like JSTOR are not really PDF's -- ok, that's a lie, but ...

Quite a few of the journals were scanned as pictures of the pages. These pictures were then assembled into one pdf document. However, they were never really recognized as text. They just appear as a series of pictures. Therefore, if you try to convert them to another format you will only get a blank file, or at best the original pictures.

If you try to view them on an ebook screen (in pdf) the ebook can't change the page length to fit on the screen. It can shrink the entire page picture down to fit on a 6" screen (too small to read), or it can show you a 6" window of a full sized page (slow scrolling to read full page).

So here are a few steps I would investigate if I were you.
1) Download one of your pdf files and download Calibre. See if Calibre can convert it into another format. If it can, then you can consider converting it for reading on your ebook.
2) Check out the soon to be released EZreader pocket pro. At 5" it is even smaller. However, it is supposed to have lightening fast page turns due to its new Epson controller (however, none of us has actually seen it yet, so take it with a grain of salt). If true, these fast page turns might make it more acceptable to move your 'window' around a full sized pdf page. Truthfully, however, I suspect only a full sized reader (Kindle DX or Irex 1000 series) would do for me and pdf's.

Finally, some of the threads above mention buying from the Kindle bookstore and converting it to another format. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think it is that easy. First, you must have a registered Kindle or the iPhone Kindle application to buy from the Kindle store.
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