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Old 02-08-2011, 02:44 PM   #1
fragile
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302 not for pdfs??

Its very disappointing to see that the 302 has been discontinued:
http://www.pocketbook-usa.com/products/pocketbook-302/

But I must confess unlike this thread: https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=119429 I wasn't mislead by PocketBook, for I didn't purchase based on promises. The main purpose for me was pdf support. (I often read annual reports of companies and financials) I was aware that there is no 6 incher that is good at pdfs, so I just wanted to have the best among what is available. Reading through the forums here and in general through the net, It finally came down to 302 vs Onyx Boox.

What I wanted in the pdf side was:
* Persistent and good zoom
* Highlighting and annotation.

Reading through the forums here and especially this thread:
https://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77534
swung my decision to 302. I didn't go with the boox because its annotation capabilities was only for PDFs and the fact that 302 didn't require a stylus was more appealing.

Apparently I was wrong:
My problems now with this reader are primarily as an e-reader itself (leaving aside all the other apps such as browser etc..). For PDFs based on my reading for the past 3 weeks or so I find it very unsuitable for my purposes (reading financials and annual reports):

* Persistent and good Zoom : Yes the zoom persists, but what I didn't know was the zoom is in fixed steps and one can't specify an arbitary zoom level. For instance, from 200% the next level is only 300%. This makes it difficult to get the correct zoom level. What makes it worse is that when you a get a zoom say which makes the doc greater than 20% of the screen, its not possible to pan over the document (must be some bug). Now I think I understand what the initial poster in that thread meant by box-and-zoom. On hindsight perhaps this alone will make me select the boox if I were again presented with the choice.
<EDIT>
Since writing the above initially I've discovered that it is possible to box and zoom with PB302 as well. See the post below for details.
</EDIT>


* The search: Usability here as well is extremely frustrating. The longer the doc, the more the time it takes. Whats worse is that it looses zoom during the search. The initial search is always forward and the search doesn't warparound. This means that if you wanted search for something that was in the last few pages you read and it doesn't occur thereafter, when you launch the search, it will take a lot of time until it hits the end of the document and then give up without a hit. The only way to accomplish this is you have to goto a page before the word and then launch the search. Once it hits the word though, then you have the capability to search backwards or forwards from the find Icon.

* Highlighting and annotation: I went completely wrong here as well. I thought the onyx doesn't support it for documents other than pdfs and gave it up, but in 302 It doesn't support it the way one would expect it for pdfs itself! There is no way to highlight. You can annotate, but that gets into the notes application (which is seperate from the reading software.) The result is if you made a note and where re-reading the book there is really nothing to notify you that a note has been made there (a highlight would have been great). What you need to do is when you are reading the book, also open the notes application and see if there were any notes you made.

* Paning in the document: If you do succeed in getting an approximate zoom level, I've noticed that the panning isn't fine grained enough. What I mean is, you might have a situation where you've some space infront of the first left words and a portion of the right word clipped. When you try to pan, so that the space is off to make way for the right last words, you'll find that its very hard to make small adjustments to the horizontal pan.

All these coupled together makes it very difficult to read pdfs on it. I'm hoping that someone will correct me on these points, If anyone has soultions to these would appreciate if you could respond. If not too atleast this will help others who are in search for pdf reading understand better where the 302 stands on this regard. I still don't understand what the posters mean in that thread by Column zoom and underlining feature.

What would be nice is for Pocketbook to openup the source for the 302 readers so that they could possible be community maintained (now that they've discontinued it). But that clearly will not happen because with many e-readers on the market having the same harware architecture, its the software that is the differentiator.

Last edited by fragile; 02-17-2011 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:28 PM   #2
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+1 for open source code
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:07 AM   #3
fragile
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box zoom...

Since posting the above messages, yesterday while reading, I accidentally discovered that PB 302 seems to support box zoom! Here is how you do it:
Don't draw a complete box, instead use the stylus to draw a line joining
the top left, top right and bottom right corners of the imagined box and lift the stylus off, The PB will display a box and then zoom into it at that level.

This therefore leads to arbitary % zoom.

But unfortunately it very difficult to use due to the panning issues mentioned.
It hard to scroll the screen to pan over the page and I found myself spending a lot of time trying to pan it to the right position to continue reading. What would have been nice will be to have button based control to pan vertical or horizontal once the initial box zoom has been done.
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:13 AM   #4
fragile
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One more thing...
* Apparently there is another bug even with the notepad based annotation that makes it very difficult to use: It looks like if you are reading the pdf zoomed in and have panned to say the bottom of the page, now if you want to take a note, the moment you choose notes from the context menu, unfortunately it pans back to the top of the page and doesn't allow panning there after. So its not possible to select the text at the bottom. The only way seems to be to zoom out such that the entire page fits in the screen and the choose notes.... so pretty limiting even with the notes app.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:10 PM   #5
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@fragile
hm, at one point I also believed that there was pen based zoom available but I never got it reproduced. Here are the things which I have noticed on the 15.2 firmware (also can you please mention which pdf viewer you use? adobe or pdfviewer?):

in adobe:
1) if you move at the right margin from bottom to top you will zoom in and zoom out if you move from top to bottom.
2) sometimes you can pan with the stylus (does this depend on the zoom level?)

I tried to follow you steps just as you've said but in no case was it boxed zoom in. So maybe you're on a later version?
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:39 AM   #6
fragile
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@review:
I was referring to the Adobe Viewer. One correction to the method mentioned in the earlier mail: Don't lift the stylus off until the box appears. (It is consistently reproducible.) But its off little use since the panning is headache.

Quote:
Originally Posted by review View Post
@fragile

in adobe:
1) if you move at the right margin from bottom to top you will zoom in and zoom out if you move from top to bottom.
Thanks for the tip. I wasn't aware of this. It does seem to increase in steps of 10% when going from right bottom to top and vice versa for zoom out. One this is you need to do it a little away from the right margin (becuase if I do it at the right margin I just end up bringing the bookmarks tab).

Quote:
Originally Posted by review View Post
2) sometimes you can pan with the stylus (does this depend on the zoom level?)
Yes, but unfortunately it still isn't fine grained enough. It would be nice if we could make minute adjustments to pan locking the x or y axis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by review View Post
I tried to follow you steps just as you've said but in no case was it boxed zoom in. So maybe you're on a later version?
One mistake in my earlier method was: Don't lift the stylus of until the box appears. So here is the complete procedure:
1. Place the stylus on the top left corner of box
2. Draw a line connecting the top left to top right corner of box
3. Continue drawing line from top right to bottom right corner of box.
4. let the stylus rest stationary at bottom right corner for a while until box appears.

Do all those without lifting the stylus off until the box appears.
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