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Old 10-03-2006, 11:32 PM   #1
BobVA
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Flat file structure...ugh!

I've been playing with the Reader for a couple of days now and it's a tidy bit of kit. How did I live without this?

I was pleasantly surprised that the Connect software, although spartan, runs pretty well compared to the infinite versions of Sonic Stage I'd been through with MD's.

What I was a bit disappointed about, though, was the lack of a hierarchical (e.g. folder based) file system on the Reader. That practically rules out the possibility of carrying a large number of books, since it would take all day to page to the correct one on the selection menu. I've got about 120 books / stories on mine now, and it's a chore to switch between them.

Probably not an issue if you load up five novels you then front-to-back, top-to-bottom, but it does discourage hopping between fiction books or carrying a large number of "random access" references with you.

The "collections" construct looked like a start (but it doesn't support nesting) however for some weird reason the Reader won't allow collections to be located anywhere but in the Readers internal memory. So that's not much help.

Hope they change their minds on this on the next firmware revision.
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Old 10-03-2006, 11:53 PM   #2
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Nuts, I had plans for that, too.
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:53 PM   #3
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This one was a big let down for me too, luckily I brought an SD card with me to throw in the demo unit so I knew to expect it before I unpacked the box.

I have a few cards full of PDF's of various things I need for work, all nicely arranged in folders and sub-folders -- but named so their exact contents are not known unless you knew which folders you took to get there. Makes it quick and easy when directory browsing.

They all just show up as a huge list of 400+ books when I put the card in the Reader.

I suppose it doesn't matter, I'm going to have to redo the most used ones anyways -- since a 36MB PDF file that's 100% graphic (didn't OCR it) doesn't equal quick and easy navigation on the unit.
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:15 PM   #4
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Well, I'm pretty sure they watch MobileRead -- they seemed particularly interested in the opinions of Bob and myself when we were out there, though that might be my own wishful thinking.

I'm also pretty sure they want the product to be the best it can reasonably be, and this seems like something they might be able to address with a Soft/Firmware update, so maybe they'll do something about changing it. (pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top?)
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:29 PM   #5
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It seems like the kind of thing they'd want to get done. The attraction of the device was to have my library in my pocket. If I can't navigate it quickly and easily I'm a little disappointed.

Go on Sony add folder support.
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:46 PM   #6
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I'm thinking of a temporary work around for a pile of short stories/novellas I've got.

- Copy all the files I'd put in a folder (e.g. by author or subject) into one big file.
- Use the "search" and "bookmark" functions of the Connect software to put named bookmarks at the start of each story/novella. (The individual stories all have some kind of uniform tag near the top..."Title:", for example, in Gutenberg files.)
- Put the files on the reader and jump to the named bookmarks to hit the story I'm looking for.


EDIT: Tried it and it works OK. I had to use an RTF file so I could put in hard page breaks between the articles. Without those, the bookmark labels (which are generated automatically by Connect and can't be edited) had all sorts of irrelevant junk in them. Upside is that you can use the RTF file properties to put a proper name/author on the file.

I'm putting the author in the file name (eg "HG Wells Stories"), so I put a tag (Story Collections) in the author field. That allows me to locate all these kind of files quickly on the reader with an author-sorted view.

I can open "HG Wells Stories", then hit "Bookmarks" and get a nice list of the eight books in the single file.


Cheers,
Bob

Last edited by BobVA; 10-05-2006 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 11-02-2006, 03:28 PM   #7
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How does the CONNECT software decide what text to use for a bookmark? Is this controllable?

I'm formatting RTF, and I find I need to put a page break before the place I want to bookmark, since the software takes the text from the top of the page. That works ok, but it appears to take the first n characters, regardless of line breaks....

So if I have this:
<page break>
My Story
Once Upon a Time

it all ends up in the bookmark name. I just want "My Story". Is that possible? Thanks
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Old 11-03-2006, 01:05 AM   #8
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This may have to do with the differences in how line breaks are represented in Unix and Windows. In Unix, they use the LF character to represent line breaks, and in Windows, they use the LF and CR characters to represent line breaks. Wikipedia sums this up nicely in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newline. Since the Reader runs on Unix (Linux), and Connect runs on Windows, conversion problems may occur. However, this difference is common knowledge among cross-platform developers, so it's doubtful the source oof the problem. Still, I wonder how well RTF retains its formatting when it moves between Unix and Windows. I'd have to look at the raw RTF code to see if this is the case.

-William
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