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Old 08-27-2009, 04:25 AM   #1
PKFFW
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Simple question for a simple mind :)

Hi all,

I'm considering trying out the OI firmware on my BeBook. I don't have any experience flashing firmware on anything and I don't have any experience with anything linux based(that I'm aware of anyway!). So I thought I'd ask a couple of simple questions first.

1: I don't have a 1gig SD card and can't find any place that sells them. Will a 2gig SD card work if I format it first? It's supposed to be a workable solution according to the BeBook forums but not sure if it's different with OI.

2: I use windows XP on my home computer and I use a program called Powerdesk as a file manager. Currently it is a simple matter of dragging and dropping files to add books to my BeBook. Once I put OI on my BeBook will I still be able to do things this way or will I need special software on my computer?

3: What is currently the best format for use with OI? By best I suppose I mean most stable and with the most choice for font size and type.

4: Anything else I should be aware of or I should read up on before trying out OI?

Cheers,
PKFFW
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:59 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKFFW View Post
1: I don't have a 1gig SD card and can't find any place that sells them. Will a 2gig SD card work if I format it first? It's supposed to be a workable solution according to the BeBook forums but not sure if it's different with OI.
OpenInkpot is loaded onto the BeBook by the bootloader that is a permanent part of all the Hanlin clones, so what works for one firmware works for all firmware. I use a 2GB Sandisk Ultra II SD (NOT SDHC) card to update BeBook and/or OpenInkpot firmware. The reason that a 1GB card is recommended is that the Hanlin bootloader only has a 1GB address range. With a 2GB SD (NOT SDHC) card you need to be sure that the V3UPDATE.BIN file is located inside that 1GB address range. The surest way of doing that is a freshly formatted SD card with ONLY the V3UPDATE.BIN file on it.

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Originally Posted by PKFFW View Post
2: I use windows XP on my home computer and I use a program called Powerdesk as a file manager. Currently it is a simple matter of dragging and dropping files to add books to my BeBook. Once I put OI on my BeBook will I still be able to do things this way or will I need special software on my computer?
No, it is not quite that simple. You can load books into OpenInkpot using an SD card, or you can install software on your XP computer to access OpenInkpot via SSH. I use a free open source program called WinSCP to access the internal memory on my BeBook and to load books with the simple drag and drop interface WinSCP provides.

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3: What is currently the best format for use with OI? By best I suppose I mean most stable and with the most choice for font size and type.
OpenInkpot uses FBReader and CoolReader to view books, and you can find the list of supported formats on the OpenInkpot site. I use primarily FB2 and EPUB as my book reading formats. I only use FBReader as the book reader in OpenInkpot and font size is very easy to select with it. You can either pick a point size from a menu or use the +/- keys on the right side of the BeBook. You can install your own custom fonts if you like, but I have never bothered.

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4: Anything else I should be aware of or I should read up on before trying out OI?
Why not just try it out for yourself? It is NOT a one way street. If you find it does not suit you then just reinstall your BeBook firmware OR any other Hanlin compatible firmware. Firmware installation is very simple 5 minute job. As far as being aware of OI caveats, you should probably stick to the well documented March or May snapshots because you are currently on your own learning to use the later snapshots.
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:50 AM   #3
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To the above, add:
1- Make sure you have a fully charged battery before starting the update. It makes for a smoother experience.
2- The simplest way to use OI is to keep the books on an SD card; future versions will use most of the onboard storage for apps and workspace. Early looks at their new approach are interesting...
3- The best experience to date comes from the may 2009 snapshot. There's a thread in here with a link to it: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48209
The second post.
4- If you want to try out a lot of true type fonts for FBReader or Coolreader (FBreader is a tad more flexible) put them in a \fonts directory on the SD card before first booting OI; it may take a while to launch if you have a lot of fonts. I've tried as many as 100. Of course I end up using maybe 3.
5- If you hold down the number button for a given ebook file you'll have a choice of FBReader and Coolreader. Coolreader supports mobipocket files, FBReader doesn't. FBReader settings are extensive and global; you set them once and they apply for all the file types it supports. Coolreader settings are global for *each* file type so you can have ne set of settings for rtf and another for html. Coolreader support dual-column landscape, FBReader doesn't.
In general I read single column on FBReader, dual column on Coolreader. Coolreader has slightly better hyphenation if that matters to you.
Best thing to do is just try it.
You can always revert to the official Hanlin/BeBook stuff.

Last edited by fjtorres; 08-27-2009 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:28 AM   #4
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2- The simplest way to use OI is to keep the books on an SD card; future versions will use most of the onboard storage for apps and workspace.
I really do not wish to confuse the issue, but I did not read dottedmag's post to indicate "future versions will use most of the onboard storage for apps and workspace." I think that he indicated that only frequently rewritten data like the state data for the built in applications and also the logo would be in the reorganized storage area. In fact there was a specific statement indicating that 454 MegaBytes would remain for fonts, books, etc.. Link.
Quote:
In a nutshell, I'd like to create a jffs2 filesystem in place taken by LOGO, USERDATA and STORAGE volumes, which will result in 13MB (454MB for V3ext) filesystem available to store applications state, fonts, books and whatever else. This filesystem won't be touched on subsequent updates.
Using the SD card for book storage is fine, but it does cause an extra load on the power system so battery run time will be shorter. Since it is so easy with WinSCP to load all my books onto the STORAGE mount point, I keep everything in internal memory to give me a longer battery run time.
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Old 08-27-2009, 11:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_S View Post
I really do not wish to confuse the issue, but I did not read dottedmag's post to indicate "future versions will use most of the onboard storage for apps and workspace." I think that he indicated that only frequently rewritten data like the state data for the built in applications and also the logo would be in the reorganized storage area. In fact there was a specific statement indicating that 454 MegaBytes would remain for fonts, books, etc.. Link.
The august snapshot I tried *used* 400+ Mb and offered up 64Mb for books.
Maybe I misread the report, but the impression I got from the query thread was that the intent was to use most if not all the onboard flash and leave the SD card as the bookshelf.
Which is fine by me, anyway.

As to battery life, I still get two to three weeks' reading per charge with an 8GB SDHC card plugged in full time.

Different strokes and all that, I guess.
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Old 08-27-2009, 12:49 PM   #6
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The august snapshot I tried *used* 400+ Mb and offered up 64Mb for books.

I am really really curious how you got that reading of the space available in /mnt/storage ? The only way that I know of to get the size of the internal storage is to SSH into Linux and ask.

Here is the output of df -h in the OpenInpot 15 August snapshot:
Code:
/mnt$ df -h
Filesystem                Size      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root               50.0M     25.9M    24.1M  52% /
tmpfs                    10.0M      8.0K     10.0M   0% /dev
tmpfs                    10.0M         0      10.0M   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs                    14.8M      4.0K     14.8M   0% /tmp
tmpfs                    14.8M      8.0K     14.8M   0% /var/run
tmpfs                    14.8M         0      14.8M   0% /var/tmp
tmpfs                    14.8M     12.0K     14.8M  0% /var/log
/dev/mtdblock_STORAGE
                        450.0M     19.2M    430.8M   4% /mnt/storage
As you can see the space available on /mnt/storage is 450.0 MegaBytes, of which I am currently using 19.2 MegaBytes, leaving 430.8 MegaBytes remaining.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Maybe I misread the report, but the impression I got from the query thread was that the intent was to use most if not all the onboard flash and leave the SD card as the bookshelf.
A few people did seem to misread what dottedmag wrote in that post, but as you can see from the text I quoted previously, it did not say that. I can not say with any authority what they actually intend, but my reading of his post indicates that we will still have 454 MegaBytes for fonts, books, etc.. As you can see by the df output, we currently have 450 MegaBytes, so there is not much reason to use an SD at this point in time, unless it is more convenient for you.

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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Which is fine by me, anyway.

As to battery life, I still get two to three weeks' reading per charge with an 8GB SDHC card plugged in full time.

Different strokes and all that, I guess.
I have no argument with that at all. My preference is to use the internal storage and conserve battery power for reading. I suppose that a lot of people may find the current methods of accessing the internal storage a bit too "techie" for them, but apparently there are future plans to eventually export the internal filesystem via USB. The only reason that I responded to your post is that you wrote "future versions will use most of the onboard storage for apps", which at the very least, is not a confirmed fact.
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:00 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies guys. I think I'll give the May snapshot a go and see how I do.

Cheers,
PKFFW
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