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Old 03-19-2008, 10:08 AM   #31
nathan
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Connectivity
It's recognized as a USB drive. No problems there. I can see both the SD card and the internal storage (about 56MB). I can see some interesting files on the device; deviceID.log, PDF.log, signature.log. I can also see two Windows executables called Client and ClientUpdate. They run on my Windows XP laptop. Don't know what they do yet.
"deviceID.log",erery device has a different ID number;
"PDF.log" means PDF license ;
The "client" can download e-newspaper (only Chinese e-newspaper)

in addition,M218A supports format: EBA, EBA2.0,TXT, PDF, BMP, JPG, GIF, Animated GIF, MP3 . the other is not. HTML is not.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:37 AM   #32
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While I have your attention, I would like to point out another bug. The M218A loses bookmarks when I exit the book. I noticed this happeed while reading PDFs. When will this bug be fixed? When will the battery meter bug be fixed?

P.S. Do you know of software to make EBA format ebooks that is in English?
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:59 AM   #33
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I am really astonished at this discussion about margins. Every text I see today has margins: legal briefs and student papers have them, and these do not have to be held open, since the pages lie flat (on a desk, if you wish). The margins are there for readability. If you go back centuries, you will find texts where there was no separation of words: spaces were put in to make the text readable. Spaces are essential for the eye to make out text. Find a text with no margins, and try to read it: you will skip lines, even have trouble with individual words. Margins are an essential part of text. Saying that the ereader case is a margin is like saying that the frame of a monitor is a margin. The Kindle allows for highlighting by drawing lines around the highlighted passage, and for that you need a margin. Margins mean fewer words on the page, true, which means more page turns, but how on earth does this produce concerns about battery use on a Sony which allows for many thousands on a single charge?
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:20 PM   #34
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Susan Jacoby in her new book "The Age of American Unreason" (which I am, of course, reading on my Kindle) refers to the "e-book fizzle": she describes reading as "antithetical to the whole experience of reading on computers....", since the digitization of text on screens has, in her view, given us the habit of looking at things in small doses. This point has been made by others before, but if it is true, then the increasing popularity (if there really is any significant increase) of ebooks will change the very nature of the writing itself. Just note the example of the Japanese writing on cellphones: it produces long text messages and not the writing we are considering here, the writing of longer pieces such as books. And this also means that the parallels with mp3 players is inapt: mp3 selections are, for the most part, short.

Last edited by radleyp; 03-20-2008 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:31 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
...The M218A loses bookmarks when I exit the book. I noticed this happeed while reading PDFs. When will this bug be fixed? When will the battery meter bug be fixed?
The bug (bookmarks of PDFs) is repairing now. I will give you the update packet link as soon as the bug is fixed.
You can see battery meter in HERE: SETTING--System setting ---Battery.
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:33 AM   #36
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M218A+ and M218B, as new edition of M218A, have already been put into the markets. they have a lot of improvement compared to M218A which is a perfect PDF reader. for instance, Wifi,P2P,flash and so on.
If you can read in CHINESE, YOU can see:
A and A+ http://www.baizhan.com.cn/index.php?showforum=824
M218B http://www.baizhan.com.cn/index.php?showtopic=66021
http://www.jcnip.com
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:53 AM   #37
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Here is a table.
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:25 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by nathan View Post
The bug (bookmarks of PDFs) is repairing now. I will give you the update packet link as soon as the bug is fixed.
You can see battery meter in HERE: SETTING--System setting ---Battery.
Thanks, but I already knew where the battery meter was hidden. Why is it not visible on the menu or in a book?
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:01 PM   #39
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I got a pm asking why I haven't posted an update. There are two reasons for the delay.

1. I've been really busy lately, and haven't had the time to sit down and write a comprehensive review.

2. I've also been waiting to hear back from the manufacturer on the bugs I reported. The PDF bug and the battery meter bug are both serious problems, in my opinion. The M218A is about 18 months old, and has had at least 4 firmware updates. Why hasn't the PDF bookmark bug been fixed yet?

I don't have very many good things to say about the M218A. I cannot use either WOLF or EBA ebook formats on the M218A. All the EBA format ebook tools that I have found are in Chinese. I don't read it, so that doesn't help me. And while I can create ebooks in WOLF format, all are shown in a font that I assume is Chinese. I looked to see if I could change the font in the reader's settings, or embed on in a WOLF ebook. I don't seem to be able to do so. So the device I have is, in effect, a $300 PDF reader. I will now review it as such.

The only ebook reader that I've had that displays PDFs was my Sony PRS-500. (I don't yet have a Cybook to compare the M218A to.) I think the M218A is about 50% faster at rendering each PDF page as my 500 was. In terms of image quality, it is much better than the Sony because it automatically zooms in on the text on the page, and will show only about 2/3 of a 8.5" by 11" page at a time. This is not a problem because I can flip between the parts of a PDF page about as fast as I can an my laptop.

When I get my Cybook, I bet the M218A will be only slightly faster, and render PDFs slightly better. The M218A will display it faster on the LCD screen, but it will be only slightly faster because most of the delay is due to the underpowered CPU.

I do have more thoughts, but I'm out of time.

Conclusion
If you're going to buy a $300 PDF reader, get a Cybook. That way you'll have Mobipocket support as well.

P.S. Yes, I know the Cybook costs more than $300. The M218A is not worth the money you'd save.
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Old 04-05-2008, 09:40 PM   #40
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You can download some Wolf books in english from the Turkish Hanlin site. Check the wiki for the URL. http://www.walkbook.net/en/index.html
You should also be able to make eBooks using Wolf Printer option on a PC.

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Old 04-05-2008, 11:51 PM   #41
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Thank you for pointing me at that source. Unfortunately, none of the ebooks I tried would work on my M218A.

I tried the software they provided and the results were odd. For some reason, the M218A drops all punctuation from WOLF format ebooks. It is also displaying some of the text as Chinese characters instead of ascii text. (This is a problem with the reader, not the ebook, because I also see those characters in the source text file.)

Thanks, Dale.

P.S. The problems I have encountered with PDF and text files will probably appear in the Jetbook.
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:55 AM   #42
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I am really astonished at this discussion about margins. Every text I see today has margins:
Well, I have been experimenting with various text formats before I have settled on the sans-serif font, left justification and very, very narrow margins. The text DOES look better that way to me.

The margins in books have different reason.
A classical style hardback book is printed on a very large sheets (called folio), Those sheets are then folded again and again in half and finally bound together. Only after binding the book is cut to the size.
Also paperbacks are cut to size after binding.
Another reason for margins is that you would not be able to read the text that is close to the place where the pages are bound.
And the last but not the least reason is that many people like to make notes on margins. See The Fermat's Last Theorem http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermat%27s_Last_Theorem

With printed papers, the reasons for margins are different. Printers and copiers (especially the really old models) can not print up to the edge of the page. Also it would be impossible for you to hold and read the paper at the same time. Also many printed papers are later bound or stapled together.
Yet another reason is that if you read a bunch of printed papers too many times the margins are the first area that gets damaged.

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Saying that the ereader case is a margin is like saying that the frame of a monitor is a margin.
Yes. That is EXACTLY what I am saying.

When you use monitor for work you use the entire space to display drawings, browser windows, toolbars, icons, system tray, scrollbars ....

Perhaps you remember the times when Commodore C64, Atari 800, Or Sinclair ZX Spectrum were the top of the line computers. Those computers did have a margin on a monitor, or - much more often - a TV screen. And look how silly it looks today.
http://codeazur.com.br/stuff/fc64_final/
By the way - that margin did have a technological reason.

The format for e-books Sony is using remains me of the very first models of cars that very closely resembled the horse buggy without a horse.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:05 AM   #43
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Well, I have been experimenting with various text formats before I have settled on the sans-serif font, left justification and very, very narrow margins. The text DOES look better that way to me.
It is well know that what people think looks better and what is more readable is not the same thing. There are also readability reasons for margins. Most important that no visual margins will make it harder to find the next line.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:29 AM   #44
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It is well know that what people think looks better and what is more readable is not the same thing. There are also readability reasons for margins. Most important that no visual margins will make it harder to find the next line.
absolutely true. there are many elements of traditional printing that have been refined independently of the technology, but as concessions to how the eye and brain function when reading. these are important to know and to preserve whatever the form (paper or digital). margins on ebooks may seem pointless to some however they considerably improve legibility of the text. this is not a subjective question.
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:48 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
Thank you for pointing me at that source. Unfortunately, none of the ebooks I tried would work on my M218A.

I tried the software they provided and the results were odd. For some reason, the M218A drops all punctuation from WOLF format ebooks. It is also displaying some of the text as Chinese characters instead of ascii text. (This is a problem with the reader, not the ebook, because I also see those characters in the source text file.)

Thanks, Dale.

P.S. The problems I have encountered with PDF and text files will probably appear in the Jetbook.
Did the chinese characters appear in the books when you view them with the PC version of Wolf Viewer? I did some limited checking on the pc version and I did not see them on the one book I checked.

Dale
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