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Old 11-30-2009, 02:32 AM   #1
Ron46
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Linux?

I'm thinking of buying a Jetbook Lite and am 95% sure I can load txt files with the reader being recognized as an external disk, but Ectaco's website says the unit is fully compatible with Windows and Mac- no mention of Linux (Ubuntu).
Is anyone using their's with Linux?

What would be the implied incompatibility with Linux- firmware updates?

Also, every picture I've seen of this unit shows text with no margins. Can margins be set with plain txt? Any help from an owner who uses his/hers with Linux would be appreciated.
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:57 PM   #2
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I know that at least one user here mentioned mounting his jetBook under Linux, but I don't recall who it was. At the very least, you could snag a cheapo card reader (<$5) from DealExtreme and use a SD card.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron46 View Post
I'm thinking of buying a Jetbook Lite and am 95% sure I can load txt files with the reader being recognized as an external disk, but Ectaco's website says the unit is fully compatible with Windows and Mac- no mention of Linux (Ubuntu).
Is anyone using their's with Linux?
Okay, I use Linux as my primary operating system. The jetBook works fine with Linux. It shows up as an external drive just like in Mac or Windows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron46 View Post
What would be the implied incompatibility with Linux- firmware updates?
I'm not sure what you're asking here. The jetBook itself is a Linux based device. As for frimware updates since the updates are applied by placing them on SD card and performing some slightly convoluted feats of dexterity with the buttons on the device, applying them is completely independent of whatever OS you're running on your computer. All you have to do is be able to write to an SD card which Linux does just as well as Mac or Windows.

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Originally Posted by Ron46 View Post
Also, every picture I've seen of this unit shows text with no margins. Can margins be set with plain txt? Any help from an owner who uses his/hers with Linux would be appreciated.
Not really sure why you'd want to do this. Seems like a waste of screen space. That said, I don't think there's anything you can do with a text file that would give you extra margin space that wouldn't involve exhaustive hand formatting of the file.

Last edited by Teyrnon; 11-30-2009 at 04:17 PM. Reason: Fixed quoting error
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Old 12-08-2009, 06:08 PM   #4
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Thanks. These were the answers I sort of expected. I just wanted to be certain about the firmware update process- that there was not a launching application that required Windows, since Linux is not listed by Ectaco as a compatible OS.

Margins are somewhat of a personal thing. I don't like the looks of text that runs right to the edge of the screen. Imagine what printed books would look like if someone in Gutenberg's time had rightly pointed out that margins wasted paper. I've read thousands of pages on a Palm III XE and set narrow margins (even on this tiny 3" screen) with eReader software. It costs me about one line of text per page, it looks a lot better, and with instant page turns by tapping the LCD display, loss of screen space is not a real issue. So the eReader software provides a margin DISPLAY COMMAND for the Palm that does not require "exhaustive hand formatting" of the text file. I guess your response indicates that the Jetbook has no similar display function? It just prints from edge to edge on the screen. I should have worded the question more clearly.

I like to duplicate the look of a printed page. I use JEdit with a simple macro to clean up Gutenberg texts- remove hard returns so the text auto wraps correctly to any device; remove double linefeeds between paragraphs and substitute a single linefeed with indented paragraphs (using 4 or 5 spaces); remove old mono-font style double spaces between sentences; remove distracting underscores that they use to bracket itallics text etc. It takes about 5 seconds to reformat an entire 400 (printed) page book and does not require exhaustive hand formatting.

I read somewhere that if you use RTF on a Jetbook, the unit displays a 1.5 or double space between lines even if the original file is single spaced. Do you know if this is still the case when you are wrapping text and only using returns between paragraphs?
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron46 View Post
Thanks. These were the answers I sort of expected. I just wanted to be certain about the firmware update process- that there was not a launching application that required Windows, since Linux is not listed by Ectaco as a compatible OS.
It's an understandable concern and well to ask. I would note though that the majority of devices that only mention working with Windows usually work just fine with Linux. For whatever reason the marketeer at Ectaco only thought it important to mention Macintosh and Windows, for whatever reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron46 View Post
Margins are somewhat of a personal thing. I don't like the looks of text that runs right to the edge of the screen. Imagine what printed books would look like if someone in Gutenberg's time had rightly pointed out that margins wasted paper. I've read thousands of pages on a Palm III XE and set narrow margins (even on this tiny
Ah, I see what you mean. To me margins are very useful in paperbooks but on the jetBook. The frame formed by the case serves as margin enough for my purposes.

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between sentences; remove distracting underscores that they use to bracket itallics text etc. It takes about 5 seconds to reformat an entire 400 (printed) page book and does not require exhaustive hand formatting.
You could probably do what I had in mind with macros. Pretty much I was thinking you'd have to preformat the text by hand adding in space at the beginning and end of a line. It'd only work for a specific text size and is not an optimal solution. Someone else might have a better idea or know how to coax margins out of the jetBook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron46 View Post
I read somewhere that if you use RTF on a Jetbook, the unit displays a 1.5 or double space between lines even if the original file is single spaced. Do you know if this is still the case when you are wrapping text and only using returns between paragraphs?
I've read that too but I just compared spacing between a text file and an rtf file. The line spacing looks the same. I think the problem existed in earlier firmware versions but has since been fixed.
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:48 PM   #6
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Something just occurred to me. If margins are your thing you could probably achieve what you're looking for by creating PDFs tailored to the screen size. There was a thread a while back where just that was discussed.

Last edited by Teyrnon; 12-11-2009 at 12:49 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:36 AM   #7
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Follow Up

Yep, I did the pdf thing and it seems to work- just extra work.

Regarding Linux, I've had the Lite for a few weeks or so, and have moved books onto the SD card. But sometimes I encounter a problem where the unit requires a reset because the jetbook file manager will not delete files. One time I got a corrupted book file as well, and another time it could not find the book I selected on the menu, even though it was there on the SD card. I am not sure if this is related to Linux or not.

But I keep a folder on Windows with the books I have on the SD drive. The quick fix for the above problem was to reformat the SD card (FAT) in Windoze and copy back the books. If one has an abiding hatred of Windows and will only use Linux, he might have problems with this book reader. Even though the firmware code is Linux, I think the user side is more optimized for Windoze due to Microsoft's overwhelming market share.
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Old 12-24-2009, 02:45 AM   #8
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Have you tried running "sync" and then "umount /dev/sdxx" on the command line before disconnecting the Jetbook Lite? I'm not familiar with how the default Ubuntu desktop deals with mounting/unmounting an external device, but it might be worth it to see if mounting/unmounting from the command line fixes the issue.
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:07 AM   #9
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I've only used the Jetbook a couple times, but no problem transferring the files to or from the internal memory on the device.

I hook up the usb cable, the system tells me I've loaded a device with pictures (similar to what comes up in Windows) and I cancel that dialog. The device shows up as a drive on the desktop. From there I can transfer files, both from the command line or the file manager.

It _is_ good advice to unmount any usb device before physically disconnecting. On Windows you open a dialog box along the bottom row. In Mandriva and Ubuntu Linux, right click on the drive icon on the desktop and choose "unmount device." When the icon disappears, it's safe to disconnect.

You could do it from the command line, but would need to figure out either the device name or where it was mounted. My system mounted it as /media/disk, so you would type umount /media/disk. For most users, it's convenient to do it from the gui.

This morning I noticed that the Jetbook powered itself down while I was transferring files. That left the icon orphaned on the desktop. If the current Jetbook firmware allows it to power down while connected to usb, that could really cause some problems.
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