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Old 04-05-2010, 04:05 PM   #1
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Question Some newbie 5" EZReader questions and concerns

Fairly new to the product, but I've already noticed some oddities, bugs and inconsistencies (the last, I suppose, because the parsers for each format seem to be written separately from each other).

Have updated to firmware v2.02ASTAK.100304

Here's what I notice, and I just wanted to ask if these are issues everyone gets...

1.) .RAR -- HTML files stored inside of .RAR files don't seem to open. The .RAR file is navigable. Any JPGs in the .RAR file "open" just fine. But not the HTML files. There's some vague opening error (which flashes by too quickly to see in the status area on the bottom--I THINK though it just says "Open File Error") when it tries to actually open the HTML file within. The little hourglass which appears superimposed over the little Internet Explorer style icon representing the HTML file never goes away until you cancel the open.

HTML files inside .ZIPs USUALLY seem to work fine, although I've seen a similar opening problem in a few cases. Since its a much smaller amount of times where an HTML inside a ZIP won't open, I'm guessing it might be a totally different problem (and obviously not as serious).

2.) .ePub -- there doesn't appear to be any bookmark capability. Am I missing where it is, or is it non-existent? In HTML files it seems like holding down the 7 key sets bookmarks, and pressing 7 quickly calls up a list of saved bookmarks. Inside an ePub, all I see when I hit 7 is a "Catalog" screen. Which is nice... but I want bookmarks. Are they simply elsewhere with .ePubs, or do we not get them at all?

3.) .LIT - Same as with .ePub. I'm wondering why the 7 key is just a entry into a Catalog and not a bookmarker tool. Same questions as with ePub. Is bookmarking elsewhere, or non-existent?

4.) .ePub -- this is more of a nitpick than a real issue, but I wonder why the .ePub reader isn't also able to show a battery meter. Hardly a deal killer though.

5.) Search? -- Obviously if it ain't there it ain't there. But I'm wondering if there's anything in the interface I'm missing to do a file search. If you use the device robustly, it seems like you could have thousands of files on it. A search would be nice. Admittedly there's no alpha keyboard on this thing, but I'm wondering why a cell-phone like solution using the number key presses to toggle letters isn't used for something like this.

6.) "Go To Page" function in a file list. -- If you have lots of files or directories in a flat structure, you could easily have to hit the page down button 40 or 50 times to get to the last half of the alphabet. BEFORE I go and have to create a whole mess of alphabetical subdirectories to get around this, I was just wondering if I'm not seeing/realizing some key command to jump down ten pages at a time on a file list, or a way to put in a page number and jump to it. You know... like the way you can jump ten pages down or put in a page number inside an actual opened HTML file. Well, being able to do that in a file/directory list might be useful too. Does that capability exist already and I'm missing it?


Overall I'm very pleased with the unit, but the above list is pretty annoying to work around.

Last edited by Spiffy; 04-05-2010 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 04-05-2010, 05:17 PM   #2
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Answers please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiffy View Post
Fairly new to the product, but I've already noticed some oddities, bugs and inconsistencies (the last, I suppose, because the parsers for each format seem to be written separately from each other).

Have updated to firmware v2.02ASTAK.100304

Here's what I notice, and I just wanted to ask if these are issues everyone gets...

1.) .RAR -- HTML files stored inside of .RAR files don't seem to open. The .RAR file is navigable. Any JPGs in the .RAR file "open" just fine. But not the HTML files. There's some vague opening error (which flashes by too quickly to see in the status area on the bottom--I THINK though it just says "Open File Error") when it tries to actually open the HTML file within. The little hourglass which appears superimposed over the little Internet Explorer style icon representing the HTML file never goes away until you cancel the open.

HTML files inside .ZIPs USUALLY seem to work fine, although I've seen a similar opening problem in a few cases. Since its a much smaller amount of times where an HTML inside a ZIP won't open, I'm guessing it might be a totally different problem (and obviously not as serious).

2.) .ePub -- there doesn't appear to be any bookmark capability. Am I missing where it is, or is it non-existent? In HTML files it seems like holding down the 7 key sets bookmarks, and pressing 7 quickly calls up a list of saved bookmarks. Inside an ePub, all I see when I hit 7 is a "Catalog" screen. Which is nice... but I want bookmarks. Are they simply elsewhere with .ePubs, or do we not get them at all?

3.) .LIT - Same as with .ePub. I'm wondering why the 7 key is just a entry into a Catalog and not a bookmarker tool. Same questions as with ePub. Is bookmarking elsewhere, or non-existent?

4.) .ePub -- this is more of a nitpick than a real issue, but I wonder why the .ePub reader isn't also able to show a battery meter. Hardly a deal killer though.

5.) Search? -- Obviously if it ain't there it ain't there. But I'm wondering if there's anything in the interface I'm missing to do a file search. If you use the device robustly, it seems like you could have thousands of files on it. A search would be nice. Admittedly there's no alpha keyboard on this thing, but I'm wondering why a cell-phone like solution using the number key presses to toggle letters isn't used for something like this.

6.) "Go To Page" function in a file list. -- If you have lots of files or directories in a flat structure, you could easily have to hit the page down button 40 or 50 times to get to the last half of the alphabet. BEFORE I go and have to create a whole mess of alphabetical subdirectories to get around this, I was just wondering if I'm not seeing/realizing some key command to jump down ten pages at a time on a file list, or a way to put in a page number and jump to it. You know... like the way you can jump ten pages down or put in a page number inside an actual opened HTML file. Well, being able to do that in a file/directory list might be useful too. Does that capability exist already and I'm missing it?


Overall I'm very pleased with the unit, but the above list is pretty annoying to work around.
Dear Spiffy:

Congratulations on purchasing the Astak.

I am with Astak; but I am not a tech. Rather than say anything wrong, let us have the experts on this forum here answer your questions.

You are welcome to ask our Tech Support by calling: 1-866-368-8788 or sending an email to: support@astak.com.

I will keep monitoring your post to be sure you get the answers that you need. All Astak products have a battery charge life indicator and a search function was added via firmware upgrade 3-4 months ago. Of course you do have bookmarks with EPUB. I believe in EPUB the bookmarking is automatic.

I am sure our band of experts on here will soon chime in with all the details!

Welcome!!
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Old 04-05-2010, 05:59 PM   #3
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Of course you do have bookmarks with EPUB. I believe in EPUB the bookmarking is automatic.
Do you mean that it saves the last read position? Yes, that seems true. But there doesn't seem to be a way to create and then later reference multiple bookmarks in one ePub book.

If the capability just doesn't exist, that's fine. But since it does seem to exist with the HTML parser, I found it curious that it doesn't seem to with ePub files.
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:18 PM   #4
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Multiple Bookmarks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiffy View Post
Do you mean that it saves the last read position? Yes, that seems true. But there doesn't seem to be a way to create and then later reference multiple bookmarks in one ePub book.

If the capability just doesn't exist, that's fine. But since it does seem to exist with the HTML parser, I found it curious that it doesn't seem to with ePub files.
Dear Spiffy:

You should be able to bring up all ePub Bookmarks at once by pressing down the number 6 button and holding it down for three seconds.

I hope that this helps.

Bob
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiffy View Post
2.) .ePub -- there doesn't appear to be any bookmark capability. Am I missing where it is, or is it non-existent? In HTML files it seems like holding down the 7 key sets bookmarks, and pressing 7 quickly calls up a list of saved bookmarks. Inside an ePub, all I see when I hit 7 is a "Catalog" screen. Which is nice... but I want bookmarks. Are they simply elsewhere with .ePubs, or do we not get them at all?

4.) .ePub -- this is more of a nitpick than a real issue, but I wonder why the .ePub reader isn't also able to show a battery meter. Hardly a deal killer though.

5.) Search? -- Obviously if it ain't there it ain't there. But I'm wondering if there's anything in the interface I'm missing to do a file search. If you use the device robustly, it seems like you could have thousands of files on it. A search would be nice. Admittedly there's no alpha keyboard on this thing, but I'm wondering why a cell-phone like solution using the number key presses to toggle letters isn't used for something like this.

6.) "Go To Page" function in a file list. -- If you have lots of files or directories in a flat structure, you could easily have to hit the page down button 40 or 50 times to get to the last half of the alphabet. BEFORE I go and have to create a whole mess of alphabetical subdirectories to get around this, I was just wondering if I'm not seeing/realizing some key command to jump down ten pages at a time on a file list, or a way to put in a page number and jump to it. You know... like the way you can jump ten pages down or put in a page number inside an actual opened HTML file. Well, being able to do that in a file/directory list might be useful too. Does that capability exist already and I'm missing it?


Overall I'm very pleased with the unit, but the above list is pretty annoying to work around.
Hello Spiffy, and welcome! Yes, as Robert said, you can access bookmarks in epub with the number 6. If you do a quick press of the number 6, it will bookmark your page. Then if you want to see what bookmarks you have in a particular book, hold down the 6 for a few seconds and a menu will pop up with all your currant bookmarks. Also, if there are any spaces in a file name, or a folder name, I don't think the bookmarks will work in epub. If you replace all the spaces with underscores (_), then bookmarks will work. For example, The_Book_name.epub, listed in The_Folder_Name. If you just have The Book Name.epub in The Folder Name, the bookmarks won't work. Does that make sense?

Whenever you want to see a battery while you are reading an epub, simple press down the menu key, or press in on the scroll wheel on the right. This will bring up the menu, as well as give you the time and show the battery indicator.

I don't believe you can search in the menu, although you can search for text in the book. If you're in a book and you want to search for a specific word, press the menu button, then click number 7, to search. The search feature does take a bit of getting used to, but it's usable. How do you have your books organized? I've found Calibre is great for organizing books into folders. I have a tag on all my books, and I use that tag for genres. So all of my science fiction books go in my science_fiction folder, all my mystery books go in the Mystery folder, and so forth. If you need help with Calibre there are many people here on the forums who can help you with that. It took me a while to get it figured out (I don't have a very technical brain ), but once I got it, it was real easy to sort my books. So right now I have folders for genres, then within those folders I have folders for series' of books. And books that don't fall in a series are just listed in the genre folder.

Also, when you are in the folders menu, you can press and hold down the left and right buttons (9 and 0), and it will go forward 10 pages. That should help you quickly navigate through your pages. You can also do this in a book, to jump forward or back 10 pages.

I hope that helps, and hopefully someone here can answer your other questions for you. Enjoy your Pocket Pro!
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:16 PM   #6
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Dear Spiffy:

You should be able to bring up all ePub Bookmarks at once by pressing down the number 6 button and holding it down for three seconds.

I hope that this helps.

Bob
It does, thank you. #6 works fine with my .ePubs. I'd been assuming it was the same as the keys for the HTML parser.

And I also just tried the #6 key in .LIT as well, and it works there too. Haven't tried .PDF yet though.

Are there any plans to remap the HTML parser to match this? Having that one be #7 instead is pretty confusing.

Last edited by Spiffy; 04-05-2010 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiffy View Post
It does, thank you. #6 works fine with my .ePubs. I'd been assuming it was the same as the keys for the HTML parser.

And I also just tried the #6 key in .LIT as well, and it works there too. Haven't tried .PDF yet though.

Are there any plans to remap the HTML parser to match this? Having that one be #7 instead is pretty confusing.
The HTML parser you are using is the Cool Reader. On the latest release this was reverted back to the internal default but you can force the Cool Reader by appending .fb2 to the name. The internal default will use 6 to set a bookmark.

The Cool Reader can be customized to also use the 6 key if you wish. It seems to need to be customized separately for each format it supports such as HTML, RTF, FB2, TXT etc. All the keys in Cool Reader can be changed to meet your requirements.

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Old 04-05-2010, 08:32 PM   #8
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Just to explain a bit more. There are several software readers inside your new eBook Reader. By default a certain file type is assigned a certain reader to use. The main reader is written by Jinke and used to be the only one available for most formats. It is still the default for many of them.

If you start on the bookshelf and press the menu key, select 6 (Settings) and then 4 (about). The unit will show you the version releases for the some of the parsers (readers) available. You will see the PDF parser that is also used for ePUB. It is from Adobe (ADE), The DOC parser is only for word files although in the past it may have also been used for RTF. The HTML parser is the internal one. The WOL parser is unique to Jinke, they invented this format I believe. The TXT parser is listed as is the FB2 parser which has always been Cool Reader. The rest of the formats are just listed as Viewer version.

There are several parsers that are missing in the list. The MOBI parser is not listed nor is XPDF which is a second choice for reading PDF files.

Dale.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
The HTML parser you are using is the Cool Reader. On the latest release this was reverted back to the internal default but you can force the Cool Reader by appending .fb2 to the name. The internal default will use 6 to set a bookmark.

The Cool Reader can be customized to also use the 6 key if you wish. It seems to need to be customized separately for each format it supports such as HTML, RTF, FB2, TXT etc. All the keys in Cool Reader can be changed to meet your requirements.

Dale
So if I'm getting this straight, if I want to use Coolreader for another kind of eBook (lets say .epub), then I have to rename the .epubs to filename.fb2?

Its a shame there isn't a global setting in the base firmware to set what filetype is associated with what.

Given that a Linux flavor is under all of this, does anyone know if there's a settings file sitting somewhere on the Internal memory which can be hand-edited to change these associations?
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Spiffy View Post
So if I'm getting this straight, if I want to use Coolreader for another kind of eBook (lets say .epub), then I have to rename the .epubs to filename.fb2?

Its a shame there isn't a global setting in the base firmware to set what filetype is associated with what.

Given that a Linux flavor is under all of this, does anyone know if there's a settings file sitting somewhere on the Internal memory which can be hand-edited to change these associations?
Probably best to rename filename.epub to filename.epub.fb2. This will force Coolreader to read your epub and it will allow you to know exactly what file type it is.

I don't believe you can change a global setting to force particular file types to open with particular applications.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:51 AM   #11
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Probably best to rename filename.epub to filename.epub.fb2. This will force Coolreader to read your epub and it will allow you to know exactly what file type it is.

I don't believe you can change a global setting to force particular file types to open with particular applications.
Oh sure. I get the filename change will work. It just seems like a kludgy and labor intensive way to do it.

I suspect that as with everything in Linux, even if there's not been a way inside an interface (the settings menu at the base level of the EZReader's file browsing system), there likely IS possibly something like a .conf, or something similar, sitting physically as a file somewhere. Or maybe not. It just wouldn't be all that unusual.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:57 AM   #12
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Or I could be wrong. I just did a websearch for "Hanlin file associations" (I know the Astak is a spinoff on the Hanlin, right?) and I found something from a year or two back talking about the file associations being hard coded.

Geez. Who does that?
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:29 AM   #13
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Or I could be wrong. I just did a websearch for "Hanlin file associations" (I know the Astak is a spinoff on the Hanlin, right?) and I found something from a year or two back talking about the file associations being hard coded.
I do not think that they are actually hard coded, but they are effectively hard coded because the Jinke USB interface only allows you access to one directory in the Linux file system. Of course, you can, and should make your own sub-directories in that one directory, but you will have no access to all the other directories that are actually on the device. The OpenInkpot ebook system firmware allows full access to the entire Linux file system, so that you can edit config files to your hearts content.
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Spiffy View Post
Or I could be wrong. I just did a websearch for "Hanlin file associations" (I know the Astak is a spinoff on the Hanlin, right?) and I found something from a year or two back talking about the file associations being hard coded.

Geez. Who does that?
It is in flash rom for the OS which you have no access to. I hope to get them to change this in the future. Of course it is nice to be able to change this on an eBook basis as well. For example DRM ePUB will not work with Cool Reader and it is not always the best choice depending on how complex the book formatting is. It allows more user control but provides less support for the publication document to provide formatting. TOC support is not as advanced in the Cool Reader version.

Today the PDF reader provides a choice of readers on a global basis although the interface to do it is awkward.

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Old 04-06-2010, 06:13 PM   #15
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Tried the new update.

Okay, I am NOT a fan of this HTML reader. And going back and changing everything I have to .fb2 is a pain in the butt--doubly so since I conserve space by zipping files. So editing files inside hundreds of zip files? Uh uh.

I really hope its made a priority for the next firmware to allow user selection of which reader is used for which extensions.
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