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Old 03-12-2010, 02:41 PM   #1
extendedping
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total newbie...I need ereader to read internet downloaded pdf's no hassles

I am getting tired lugging around technical books around and am going to first get a netbook and an ereader (I'm getting with the program so to speak). that way my 12 pound napsack that is destroying my 44 year old back will be like..5 pounds total including my peanutbutter and jelly sandwich (that is all I will be able to afford once I make these purchases).

I am learning linux and have on my craptop a bunch of nice documents all pdfs that I want to have with me everywhere (foss manuals etc) now I do not want to have to upload these somewhere to have somebody convert then into a new format, or do a legality check (they are stuff I took legally anyway).

so would the sony ereaders be able to do this? I have heard of drm and don't really know that it is (I have never owned a ereader) but I know I an not interested in it. I will not be using this to read regular books (well that is not the main purpose). it would be to read technical pdfs to help me keep my limited linux and programming knowledge up to spec (I have let it lag). thank you so much. so here are a few questions

1) does the sony handheld allow you do just take the pdf files off your pc via usb without getting orwellian on you?

2) would that screen just be too small for my ageing eyes?

3) what else that is not just shy of $500 (I don't have that type of money for this) is out there or soon to be out there that would be good for the main purposes of reading internet downloaded pdfs (I really hate the idea of paying for books not make out of actual paper)

finally...
I don't think I would require an wireless connection either...unless of course...there was an ereader that had ssh built in so I could actually ssh into my home ubuntu linux pc from my ereader on the road to further keep my skills up to spec.

thanks you so much for listening...

Last edited by extendedping; 03-12-2010 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:51 PM   #2
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The Sony Reader will let you read PDFs that aren't DRMd. (So do most other ebook readers.) If you can open them on your computer with Acrobat Reader, not Adobe Digital Editions, they're not DRM'd.

However--they'll be shown in a 6" diagonal screen. Which means roughly 3.5" x 4.5" of viewing space. A lot of technical books suffer at that size. There are two ways of dealing with pages too small to be usefully readable: Reflow & enlarge the text, and zoom into sections. Some ebook readers do one; some do the other; some, I believe, do both. Neither is optimal.

Reflow changes the formatting, sometimes drastically; how badly depends a lot on the program that was used to make the PDF. Zoom, of course, is a hassle to deal with, and fairly slow on e-ink screens.

Right now, there just isn't a good way to read letter/A4-sized PDFs on a portable reader. This is not a flaw in the readers, but a problem with PDFs, which are page-based formats. PDFs that are designed for small readers look great; PDFs designed at paperback size look okay. PDFs that are scans of paper books are the worst; they don't resize at all.

A small netbook or ultrathin laptop might be more useful to you. You might check the "See a device near you" thread to see if anyone near you has a reader you can test with real files before you make a decision.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:25 PM   #3
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I can recommend the Entourage eDGe for technical and scientific PDFs. If you don't mind the weight (3 lbs), it is excellent for technical PDFs.
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:22 PM   #4
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thank you for the responses. 3 pounds is way too heavy for me (even for a netbook that would be too heavy), so looks like its pony up to buy books in a form that work well on an ereader. I'll bookmark this sight and just keep reading reviews etc. thanks again.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:15 AM   #5
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Sony 900 has 7" screen, you can read pdf docs in landscape mode, quite readable. Price - $400. Kindle DX (I paid $470 last summer, don't know the current price) is even better, can read A4 format easily. IRex (not sure which model, can find here on wiki) $400 device is bigger than 900, also good for pdfs. All can read non-DRM pdfs, some allow note taking and highlighting.
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:36 AM   #6
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I have the same concern. I will judge any future e-reader devices by it's PDF function and size. From my knowledge there is three e-readers that can handle that format, Irex DR 1000, irex DR 800, though the PDF zoom function will be out soon, and the kindle DX. The most promising devices for PDF seems to be the entourage edge and the Que reader, perhaps the skiff also... The sony can handle PDF's but the letter size becomes very small even with zoom, and you have to re-zoom every page.
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Old 03-13-2010, 04:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PGA View Post
I have the same concern. I will judge any future e-reader devices by it's PDF function and size. From my knowledge there is three e-readers that can handle that format, Irex DR 1000, irex DR 800, though the PDF zoom function will be out soon, and the kindle DX.
I'm a little puzzled by your statement. Pretty much every eBook reader on the market supports PDF. Some do so better than others (eg, the PDF support on the Kindle is truly awful), but they all support it to some extent or another.
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:46 AM   #8
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I based that statement on how well they support PDF.. i know most support it but many of them not very well.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:47 AM   #9
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The Kindle DX has exceptionally poor PDF support. If you look through some of the very, very large number of "what's the best device for PDF" threads in this forum, you'll see a great deal of discussion about what devices are good and bad when it comes to PDF support.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:49 AM   #10
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Basically, all readers out there with a 6" or smaller screen will do very poorly for displaying the PDF you have. And the readers that will do a good job with them are rather expensive. So really, if you can, forget the PDF.
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