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Old 01-31-2007, 05:32 AM   #16
alex_d
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I think the sony guide for creating optimized pdfs can be summed up in one point: use PDFrasterFarian :-P


p.s. the page-size (screen-size) parameter in a pdf is pretty much irrelevant. What matters is aspect ratio. 3:4 is the AR of the screen. Counting the status bar, however, the pdf AR is probably a bit wider (3.2:4 perhaps). To check for sure, create totally black PDF pages and see how they render. The size of the page is meaningless since pdf is a vector format, not an image with pixels. If you double the page size, you can double the font size and it'll look identical.
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Old 01-31-2007, 06:58 AM   #17
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Thanks, Bob. Even as it is, this guide is a big advance on trying to figure things out for yourself.

If people haven't already got a copy, I can recommend OpenOffice.org, and not just for creating PDFs.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:36 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT
I don't follow you, sic. Why will the Reader be "worthless" in 6 months? If one uses it for what it is - IMHO, at least - best at, which is reading RTF-format fiction, it's not going to get "worse" at doing that than it is now, is it?
I'm with you on this one Harry! The reader is built to last, and if DRM does'nt kill it, it will endure as much as a television set. Sure there will be newer models, just like cars, but you'll still get from point A to point B with ease. This tool does what it is supposed to do with grace and 'aplomb'. A regular update will keep it to snuff with functions, and third party support will bring novelty and refreshed interest, keeping it the number one reading experience in my ebook.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:35 AM   #19
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Given that the primary utility of Sony Reader is reading PDF's, I'm surprised it took Sony this long to come out with such a document.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex_d
p.s. the page-size (screen-size) parameter in a pdf is pretty much irrelevant. What matters is aspect ratio. 3:4 is the AR of the screen. Counting the status bar, however, the pdf AR is probably a bit wider (3.2:4 perhaps). To check for sure, create totally black PDF pages and see how they render. The size of the page is meaningless since pdf is a vector format, not an image with pixels. If you double the page size, you can double the font size and it'll look identical.
Yes, everything in a PDF is stored as scalable vectors, and the reader scales the PDF to fill the display. So if I make a PDF w/ a 12pt font I can make it look larger or smaller by decreasing or increasing the page size while retaining the same aspect-ratio. But the "PostScript point" is a measurement of length (= ~0.35mm) -- what if I want 1pt in my document to correspond to 1pt on the Reader screen? For that we need to know the exact dimensions of the usable area.

Your idea about using a black page to find aspect ratio is a good one -- I'd used a page-edge border to figure out one which looked right before, but not very scientifically. Now that we know 1px is 121x123 microns, I'm going to try to throw together some PDFs we can use to figure out the exact visible dimensions.
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:39 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llasram
What I'd really like to see in a document like this is a micron-accurate measurement of the usable display area. :-)
That would be great ... but how do I enter microns into MS Word's page size control?




Quote:
Originally Posted by rjnagle
Given that the primary utility of Sony Reader is reading PDF's ....
I think that point's pretty debatable, rjnagle -- I've only ever loaded PDFs on my Reader for the purpose of seeing if/how they worked, I've never actually read anything in a PDF file. I use mine mostly for RTFs with the occasional BBeB here and there.
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:40 AM   #22
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isn't this the size of it?
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:51 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT
I'd guess it's because the Reader is currently (officially, at least) a US-only product and Americans are famously "non metric". It's a pity that they use these odd "inch" screen sizes when "90x120mm" is an almost exact "metric" size for the screen.

No disrespect intended to our many American friends here, many of whom I know are perfectly happy to use metric measurements.
Hey HarryT, It was our UK ancestors that foisted the "inch" on us. And it's been good enough for us ever since but at least we engineers can convert to metric.
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:31 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT
No disrespect intended to our many American friends here, many of whom I know are perfectly happy to use metric measurements.
LOL! It reminds me of a little ..."episode"... one of our Field Engineers had a few years ago. He and his European counterpart always took great pleasure in giving the other grief about anything and everything they possibly could. The funniest I ever saw was while they were working on a system and his European counterpart asked for a tool. To which the American instantly replied "Standard or Metric"? The European, sensing the impending verbal sparring immedeatley turned and yelled "Metric IS the standard"! The hilarity that soon followed was not to be missed.
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:09 PM   #25
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We sent a young apprentice about the shop to look for a metric wescott!
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:15 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yvanleterrible
We sent a young apprentice about the shop to look for a metric wescott!
OK, what's a wescott?

Alex, I agree, the fonts are too small to read for my eyes (even with my progressive lens glasses.) Also, as you said, the margins are excessive. May I also suggest a san serif font like Ariel for the headings and keeping with a serif font like Times New Roman for the body text.

Unlike rjnagle, I never thought the main focus of the Sony Reader was PDF. A4 and letter size does not scale to anything readable by me. If they introduce reflow and expand the font size selection then it becomes a viable enterprise. (Given the small size of some of the Sony CONNstore books they do need more font sizes available. S-M-L-B-X perhaps.)
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:30 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWood
S-M-L-B-X perhaps.
is the "B" for "Blind?"

I too would like to know what a westcott is. I know about bags of steam and left-handed tree stretchers, but I've never heard of a westcott.
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:15 PM   #28
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HarryT and yvanleterrible

my fears are that eventually there'll be a format that becomes widely accepted for ebooks (and it won't be RTF)
Then most of the content you can find/buy will be made availabe in this format, so if the SONY Reader doesn't get updated to support it its usability value will largely decrease.

To remain with the old car metaphor... you cannot buy gasoline any more 'cause all the new cars are electric
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:38 PM   #29
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I hear you sic! But don't forget that Sony has always had good support for their orphaned products. They still do support the Beta camera stuff that supposably died long ago. Examples abound in that direction.
The reader is complete in itself. I don't buy books because I have a good many, maybe I will if there is a must have in sight. I expect this bugger to last a very long time... until I get tired of it at least

BTW sorry about the wescott name. It's a generic brand here for an ajustable wrench or ajustable 'spanner' for our 'over pond' friends.

Last edited by yvanleterrible; 01-31-2007 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 01-31-2007, 04:00 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sic
my fears are that eventually there'll be a format that becomes widely accepted for ebooks (and it won't be RTF)
Then most of the content you can find/buy will be made availabe in this format, so if the SONY Reader doesn't get updated to support it its usability value will largely decrease.
I see what you're saying, sic, and I agree with you that this is a (very) valid concern. I wish I could tell you that it won't happen, but there's not really any way to know that.

On the other hand, it seems to me that Sony would really like to be in the business of selling e-books (since they just jumped in that pond ), and I can't help thinking that if a 'standard' format were to be adopted, even Sony would see the benefit of supporting it, as long as they want to stay in the e-book selling business, that is.

I know that their past activities have given reason to be skeptical of them, but their recent history with the Reader itself has left me willing to cautiously look for further signs that they're being more supportive of their customers -- at least their Reader customers, any way.

If the expected first update comes in the near future, as I think/hope it will, then we'll have a bit more to go on. But I also agree, that if there aren't any updates, then that would leave us on a short road to obsolescence. The indications I've been able to dig up, however, tend to corroborate the reports of a near future update, and I'm even beginning to see some hints that it will actually be the first update, in the sense of not the only update. We'll see what actually happens, I guess.
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