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Old 08-14-2010, 03:00 AM   #1
Captain Skurvy
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Post KINDLE - PEOPLE WITH EYE ISSUES

Hi

To save people who are thinking of buying a Kindle DX who have eye sight issues I have placed a few comments below for you to bear in mind if you are thinking of purchasing this device in it's current incarnation.

(1) Font sizes are limited at present there are 6 but for people with sight issues I would suggest that all but the last maybe 3 are of any use to them. For example the 3rd and second last sizes go from approx 44 to 22 characters per line which is a big jump and also means more presses on the next page key . . . ( the above assumes you have chosen the full width option for text because the Kindle does have a useless option to narrow the page which adds wider margins and centers the text and thus gives you less characters per line and on a page . . . go figure.

(2) Fonts, styles or sizes are not available so you are stuck with what ever the publisher choose for the book so its best to get a sample the book first before you buy it because if you don't you maybe stuck with a book with a very fine print and a font that is hard to read . . .

(3) The text sizing is NOT available on the main home page or the shop page and even when reading a book, the search and other functions are in very fine small print which you can't change. So basically you are stuck with the size print then has selected. Thus I buy on my computer, and always keep a magnifying glass handy for other issues . . .which is something i should not need to do.

(4) The Kindle key board from hell . I have the DX graphite version and the keys have a silverish print on them which makes it hard to read the small keys but i assume Kindle was probably more worried about looks than ability to read clearly. Also the key are VERY small with even small print . . .

(5) The screen is not back-lit so in good light its is fine to read in but in low light and in bed ( night ) you will need to have a lamp on or a book light. You will also need to ensure that that the light is angled so it does not reflect back in the screen you are trying to read . . . I think back or edge lighting would be better here . .

I purchased a kindle because the iPad being first gen had issues and at the Australia price, which is much dearer than the US one, I decided to wait and see what version 2 brings. The Nook by B&N and Sony were my next choice but neither sell or are supported outside the US unless you buy from eBay or the like and have no support and no access in Sony's case to their book store. Thus the Kindle, Amazon at least sells and supports Australian buyers and sells at the same US price you only need to factor in the currency conversion rate.

I have for sometime now been unable to read normal books which is something I have done, and enjoyed, All my life . . . i rather read a good book than watch a movie . . . So I went to audio and ebooks . . . to date i have been reading ebooks on my computer but wanted more freedom so purchased the Kindle . . . I wont go into the issues of not being able to buy books both audio and ebook because I don't live in the US . . . that's another frustrating topic for example i can always (subject to certification) paperback or hard cover book which i cant read and sometimes the audio but not the ebook, sometimes the reverse some times neither ebook or audio . . .go figure . . .publisher greed . .

I will update this post as i learn more about the device I now own . . . At present it appears to be a very basic device . . .

I am still getting use to the pages blacking out as they turn . . .

What can Kindle developers do to fix some of the above . . .

(a) Add font style, size and types and drop the text size basic format they have chosen or add for sizes and ensure all kindle books are sold with a decent stand font before they are added to the store.

(b) Add a touch screen and loose most of the buttons and keyboard . . . as per Apples iPad/iPhone/iPods

(c) If they still want to use ink screens then add edge lighting to the screen . . .

(d) Add memory card support especially since they can play audio and music files as the current just under 4G will soon run out once these files get installed in the current versions

Just a few ideas that leap to mind . . .

Please note the above is just my slant on the Kindle I suggest if possible you try and get some hands on with one before you buy e.g. from a friend and try and read other reviews and comments preferably not on the Amazon site.

One last Comment

The Kindle DX is not a light device I find that in bed I now use a pillow behind it to help support it and another under my arm to support it as holding it up high enough to hit the next button causes issues with my arms hands and wrist ( bear in mind I have health issues so this may not be a problem with any one else)

Hope the above is of some help to some one . . .

Thank you for taking the time to read this post
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:08 AM   #2
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Extraordinary post from someone with a different "viewpoint" than most of us.

The Braille Institute has assisted me with issues regarding those with sight issues.

Your post is appreciated.
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:15 AM   #3
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I also have bad eyes, being a 50-year-old diabetic with serious astigmatism, and I really don't have any problem reading on my Kindle 1. I would like to see font size changes carry across to home page, but other than that I get along fine with it.

Also adding a touchscreen would reduce the clarity and readability of the screen, I'm very much against that. And no lighting around the screen edges either. If I wanted a buttonless-glow-in-your-face-iPad for reading I would have bought an iPad.
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:18 AM   #4
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Re: 1 & 2 & 3 >

Take a look at this post.
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Skurvy View Post
Hi

To save people who are thinking of buying a Kindle DX who have eye sight issues I have placed a few comments below for you to bear in mind if you are thinking of purchasing this device in it's current incarnation.

(1) Font sizes are limited at present there are 6
Just some clarification. You should have 8 font sizes on the DX since the 2.5 update.

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Old 08-14-2010, 01:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Skurvy View Post
Fonts, styles or sizes are not available so you are stuck with what ever the publisher choose for the book so its best to get a sample the book first before you buy it because if you don't you maybe stuck with a book with a very fine print and a font that is hard to read . . .
The publishers don’t choose what typefaces or fonts are used for a book on the Kindle; they are limited by what Amazon offers. At the moment, it’s one font of a single typeface— at least on the K2 (and I assume the KDX) at the time of this writing. The K3 reputedly has more choices. And of course there are the font hacks.

The Topaz format offers a bit more variety, but the appearance is generally so awful that most of the people I know refuse to purchase a book in that format.
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:32 PM   #7
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Well 6 or 8 font sizes is more than I currently have on my Sony, and the 3 that I have on that device are more than sufficient. My eyesight isnt the best either.
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:58 PM   #8
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Captain, I'm with you all the way. I still love pbooks, but can only read Large Type ones. I still have the K1, and always use either the largest, or second largest font. Both work for me, depending on how bright the light is.

It is ironic that my first ebook was the old Rocket eBook, out years ago. It had several features that none of the current ones provide. The best of all was the ability to download any font and type size you had on your computer, via the USB cable.

It would display any two you wanted, so you could easily jump from one to another. I kept a 14 pt and an 18 pt Times Roman on the device, and could switch back and forth with just the press of a button.

Pity neither Sony nor Amazon has provided this helpful feature. I can't believe that some bright programmer could not figure out how to do it. And at the same time, make all the menus the same size as the type you picked for the book.

Don't hold your breath.
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:16 PM   #9
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doukan's software does allow for other fonts to be selected as well as a darkness/lightness option...

If you can get past the chinese characters it is worth tinkering with
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carld View Post
Also adding a touchscreen would reduce the clarity and readability of the screen, I'm very much against that. And no lighting around the screen edges either. If I wanted a buttonless-glow-in-your-face-iPad for reading I would have bought an iPad.
A touchscreen doesn't necessarily have to reduce clarity. The touchscreen Sony chose does. My understanding is there are some touch films that can go in front that are fine, though expensive. Plus the Wacom touchscreen requires a stylus but the touch component is behind the screen so it doesn't change readability at all.

I have to agree on the lighting. I'd rather get a case with a built in light. Maybe integrated sidelight could be done better than it has been in the past but so far it hasn't worked out well. When built into the screen it appears to also add a layer the obscures the print. Plus it's hard to get a good, even light that way.
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:54 PM   #11
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I've looked at a couple of Sony's in Best Buy, and I can see the difference. I don't remember which models they were, and maybe they were older version, but the touchscreens definitely detracted from the core reading experience. I'll take another look next time I'm there and see what I think now.
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Old 08-14-2010, 04:41 PM   #12
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For me, it was all a problem of text vs background contrast and limited expansion of font size. In my case, eye strain is just a daily fact, so I want the biggest, brightest screen that I can hold up close to my face. I couldn't get that with eink. If the mythical color eink really happens this time, it might make it easier to see. A dark navy blue text against the regular gray background, maybe?
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Old 08-14-2010, 06:30 PM   #13
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I've looked at a couple of Sony's in Best Buy, and I can see the difference. I don't remember which models they were, and maybe they were older version, but the touchscreens definitely detracted from the core reading experience. I'll take another look next time I'm there and see what I think now.
Well, like I said, the touchscreen Sony chose does impact screen clarity. There are more touchscreen technologies out there, though. The iRex products used the Wacom style which made no difference at all since the touchscreen material is behind the e-ink layer.
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Old 08-14-2010, 06:48 PM   #14
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Well, like I said, the touchscreen Sony chose does impact screen clarity. There are more touchscreen technologies out there, though. The iRex products used the Wacom style which made no difference at all since the touchscreen material is behind the e-ink layer.
You're right, when I read your post I thought you said "doesn't."
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:50 PM   #15
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NiLuJe got in before me which is appropriate since he is the one who did this, but I have modified the k2 for my mother who is legally blind, using NiLuJes font hacks for the menu buttons. I used different colored blu tack so she knows which buttons to press for doing different things, and a set of instructions in very large font. She is on to her third book in three weeks, having not read for years.
Yesterday she told me of her friend who has worse md than she does, and her grandchildren have set up a dx using the same hacks etc and she has gone from being totally depressed at not being able to read, to regaining her joy in life.

So where there is a will, and clever people like NiLuJe, then there is a way.
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