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Old 03-20-2017, 09:37 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by darryl View Post
I use ereaders only for reading. I'm not interested in and have no experience with annotations etc. However, I have yet to find an e-ink reader which offers a good experience with pdf's. I avoid the pdf fromat on e-ink readers like the plague. As a general rule they do not even convert very well to a more ereader friendly format. Sadly, my prediction is that if you buy a Paperwhite or Glo HD to read scientific pdf's you are going to be very disappointed.
Agreeing 100% with this. Note: I own both kindles and kobos.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:08 PM   #17
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Thanks for the suggestion to look into Android readers Pajamaman. I briefly explored some devices from Onyx and Boyue, but most of them are more expensive than the Glo HD and the Paperwhite3. From the ones around the same price point, I read that the battery life suffers since the android apps are not optimized for e-ink. In the videos I watched, I also noticed quite a lot of flashing when the screen was updating in the different menus.

I like the idea of more versatile Android devices in e-ink format, but I would like the apps to have a version optimized for e-ink, so that they look better and don't drain the battery as fast.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:14 PM   #18
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the pdf experience Darryl and Cinisajoy. My primary usage for the device will still be reading ebooks, but it would be highly useful if the device also allowed me to read scientific PDFs.

Based on your feedback, I think I am leaning towards the Paperwhite again, since that seems to be able to offer the best possible PDF experience of my two alternatives. If I don't even like that, I won't bother with small ereaders for PDFs again, but if I think it is manageable, I will see if I can get KOreader on the Paperwhite to try out what the experience would be with the Glo HD.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:32 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by cheflo View Post
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the pdf experience Darryl and Cinisajoy. My primary usage for the device will still be reading ebooks, but it would be highly useful if the device also allowed me to read scientific PDFs.

Based on your feedback, I think I am leaning towards the Paperwhite again, since that seems to be able to offer the best possible PDF experience of my two alternatives. If I don't even like that, I won't bother with small ereaders for PDFs again, but if I think it is manageable, I will see if I can get KOreader on the Paperwhite to try out what the experience would be with the Glo HD.
Order quickly or you may not be able to jailbreak it.
When you get it, come over to kindle developers forum for the jailbreak.
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:42 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by cheflo View Post
Thank you for the detailed reply latepaul, I greatly appreciate it!
I didn't know about the potential problem with brightness adjustments. I did read that the Glo HD has warmer LED color, which I consider a plus.
I should be clear that I don't consider the brightness issue a problem with the readers themselves as it affects every model that I've tried. It's me and what I'm comfortable with. With night mode it's not an issue, without it I can usually still find a tolerable level. Since I sleep alone I always have the option of turning off the device light and using a lamp.

However it's always worth handling a device yourself if you can because things like this are hard to evaluate otherwise, even from a video.

Quote:
(a similar example on the amazon side, is that they provide user annotations as a text file rather than some inaccessible binary format).
Whilst I use annotations I use them in an idiosyncratic way, so I rarely want to copy them. However I think there's a calibre plugin that allows you to copy them from a Kobo.

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Having that said, it doesn't make sense for me to buy a device that lacks a feature I think I will be using quite often (note taking), although I would be ready to jump through some hoops if there was a way to get it working on the Kobo... I did read somewhere that it is possible to annotate a bookmark rather than a highlight, is this something you are familiar with and could it be used as a workaround for the missing annotations feature?
Well remember it's only KOreader that doesn't support annotation. The Kobo-supplied reader software does. I don't think the annotation of a bookmark works in KOreader either if that's what you mean.

It's perhaps worth mentioning that there's actually two built-in readers - one for epub and one for kepub. The later has different features which you may prefer. The former is based on an SDK provided by Adobe (which means it inherits some of its bugs). Someone else will remember all the features better than me the ones that stand out are the ability to show "page x of y" where y is the length of the chapter and "popup footnotes". If that sounds attractive then there's a Calibre plugin to create a kepub from a regular epub.

Not sure which reader gets used for PDFs and other formats.

Cinisajoy makes a good point about the jailbreak. I was referencing this obliquely when I said that there's evidence Amazon is cracking down. Basically AIUI the latest firmware (5.8.8) cannot be jailbroken with the current technique. Which means if you wanted a jailbroken kindle you'd need one with an earlier firmware. Once it's jailbroken you can upgrade it but you can't downgrade it if it's not jailbroken (you can with 5.8.7 and earlier) That's my understanding - check the Kindle dev forum for more details. Anyway since 5.8.8 is the current firmware at a certain point - if it hasn't happened already - new Kindles will start shipping with it pre-installed. 5.8.8 is fairly new so you may be able to get one with an earlier firmware if you act quickly.

I believe there is another known technique that could be turned into a jailbreak but last I heard the folks in the dev forum didn't have the time/person-power to do that any time soon. Also, for completeness, Kindles can be jailbroken by removing the cover and connecting to the serial interface - but I personally am squeamish about that.
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:53 AM   #21
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Quote:
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I found this issue on the KOreader GitHub. I thought they were only lacking PDF annotations, but it seems like note taking capabilities are also absent from ebooks, which is a big drawback for me.
That is an old issue and from what I just read, it sounds like you can take notes in English. Ask in the Koreader forum about this to be sure.
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:54 AM   #22
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As I've said before, for complex scientific PDF, use a tablet. an iPad would do very well for that. The Goodreader app is very good at handling PDF.
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:21 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latepaul View Post
I should be clear that I don't consider the brightness issue a problem with the readers themselves as it affects every model that I've tried. It's me and what I'm comfortable with. With night mode it's not an issue, without it I can usually still find a tolerable level. Since I sleep alone I always have the option of turning off the device light and using a lamp.

However it's always worth handling a device yourself if you can because things like this are hard to evaluate otherwise, even from a video.



Whilst I use annotations I use them in an idiosyncratic way, so I rarely want to copy them. However I think there's a calibre plugin that allows you to copy them from a Kobo.



Well remember it's only KOreader that doesn't support annotation. The Kobo-supplied reader software does. I don't think the annotation of a bookmark works in KOreader either if that's what you mean.

It's perhaps worth mentioning that there's actually two built-in readers - one for epub and one for kepub. The later has different features which you may prefer. The former is based on an SDK provided by Adobe (which means it inherits some of its bugs). Someone else will remember all the features better than me the ones that stand out are the ability to show "page x of y" where y is the length of the chapter and "popup footnotes". If that sounds attractive then there's a Calibre plugin to create a kepub from a regular epub.

Not sure which reader gets used for PDFs and other formats.

Cinisajoy makes a good point about the jailbreak. I was referencing this obliquely when I said that there's evidence Amazon is cracking down. Basically AIUI the latest firmware (5.8.8) cannot be jailbroken with the current technique. Which means if you wanted a jailbroken kindle you'd need one with an earlier firmware. Once it's jailbroken you can upgrade it but you can't downgrade it if it's not jailbroken (you can with 5.8.7 and earlier) That's my understanding - check the Kindle dev forum for more details. Anyway since 5.8.8 is the current firmware at a certain point - if it hasn't happened already - new Kindles will start shipping with it pre-installed. 5.8.8 is fairly new so you may be able to get one with an earlier firmware if you act quickly.

I believe there is another known technique that could be turned into a jailbreak but last I heard the folks in the dev forum didn't have the time/person-power to do that any time soon. Also, for completeness, Kindles can be jailbroken by removing the cover and connecting to the serial interface - but I personally am squeamish about that.
I don't remember if it is the Voyage or the Oasis but one of them does not have the serial port.
(Sorry, I hang out in the KDF.)
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:29 PM   #24
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Bottom-line: Reading pdfs on a small e-ink screen, with the limited software Kobo and Amazon offer will be less than ideal. Get the biggest screen you can (H2O? One?) and hope that the limited software available will be acceptable.

Also you should be think about changing the size of the pdfs using the 3rd-party software to change the size of pdfs to fit the screen. Sorry, I forget the name of it. It's well-known. You will probably have to pre-process the pdfs to fit the small screen.

Re: android ereaders, yes, the battery drains quicker, but I just plug it in.
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Old 03-21-2017, 02:36 PM   #25
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I don't remember if it is the Voyage or the Oasis but one of them does not have the serial port.
(Sorry, I hang out in the KDF.)
I think it's the Oasis, but since cheflo said they were deciding between a Glo HD and a PW3 I didn't mention it (because I wasn't 100% sure and didn't have time to look it up this morning).
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:07 PM   #26
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That is an old issue and from what I just read, it sounds like you can take notes in English. Ask in the Koreader forum about this to be sure.
I just tested this on the latest version - haven't tried for a while - sadly the "Add Note" menu item seems permanently disabled. I tried changing the language to English but it didn't help.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:04 AM   #27
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Also you should be think about changing the size of the pdfs using the 3rd-party software to change the size of pdfs to fit the screen. Sorry, I forget the name of it. It's well-known. You will probably have to pre-process the pdfs to fit the small screen.
I believe you are referring to K2pdfopt, which I will definitely try out if I don't like the stock PDF experience. The only downside is that it converts the PDF to images, so notes and highlights will not be available.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:11 AM   #28
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I just tested this on the latest version - haven't tried for a while - sadly the "Add Note" menu item seems permanently disabled. I tried changing the language to English but it didn't help.
Thanks for testing latepaul! I read in the most recent KOreader forum thread regarding note taking, that they preferred question like this to be posted in the GitHub issue I linked earlier. I left a comment there, but haven't heard back yet.

And thanks to you and Cinisajoy for sharing the information around the jailbreak, it's certainly good to know that I might not be able to jailbreak my kindle if the firmware is too recent. Having that in mind, I went ahead and ordered a Paperwhite3 that will arrive at some point last week. Hopefully, the stock PDF experience will be good enough for my needs (I don't expect it to be anywhere near the experience on a big tablet, but a tablet is not an option for my eyes), and if not I hope the firmware is not too recent...
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:23 AM   #29
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Thanks for testing latepaul! I read in the most recent KOreader forum thread regarding note taking, that they preferred question like this to be posted in the GitHub issue I linked earlier. I left a comment there, but haven't heard back yet.

And thanks to you and Cinisajoy for sharing the information around the jailbreak, it's certainly good to know that I might not be able to jailbreak my kindle if the firmware is too recent. Having that in mind, I went ahead and ordered a Paperwhite3 that will arrive at some point last week. Hopefully, the stock PDF experience will be good enough for my needs (I don't expect it to be anywhere near the experience on a big tablet, but a tablet is not an option for my eyes), and if not I hope the firmware is not too recent...
Please let us know how it works out for you.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:50 AM   #30
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I found out that my friend has a Paperwhite (I believe this is the version 3, she is not sure) and I got to try it out with some dual columns PDFs:

- The double tap to zoom to column works well and it is comfortable to read the PDF at this zoom level.
- Traversing a column through scrolling or single click also works well.
- Switching from the end of column 1 to the beginning of column 2 is slightly problematic, mostly because there is often some text on top of the PDF above where column 2 starts. The kindle tries to reset the zoom level to match this text. The workaround I found is to simply pinch to zoom out and then double tap the second column, which works well.

Overall, I think this is quite doable. I have yet to try landscape mode, but I think that might work to read the pdf as is. Small annoyance is that I sometime click a linked reference, which brings me to the bibliography on the last page of the pdf. Graphs, and diagrams are totally readable while, photos are naturally not that great, which I expected and it's not very important to me.

One last thought: does anyone have any experience with the PocketBook 626 Touch Lux 3 eBook reader? It is 30 CAD more expensive than the Kindle, for slightly worse screen resolution and slower processor. But pocketbook seems to have great PDF features. And also hardware buttons, and supports all ebook formats.
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