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Old 02-21-2014, 05:02 PM   #1
Jarulf
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COPS and Aura HD

I've vague plans to replace my iRiver HD as my main reading device and the Aura HD looks like a candidate. I have a few questions though.

1, I have my Calibre library on a raspberry pi with a password protected COPS server.
Would I be able to access this library from the Aura HD and download the books on to it? I know there's supposed to be a web browser, but not if it can manage https links.

2, I hear bad things about the firmware ;-) Ok, that was not a question, but does Kobo seem to be serious in adressing any problems people have reported?

3, Any particular reason I should or should not pick an Aura HD?
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:17 PM   #2
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Overall the firmware is quite well done on the Kobo line. However there are some of us, myself included who think that it could be improved with common sense tweaks. That said I have the Aura HD and the only thing I would want on it different is the screen style from the new Aura. Oh and the soft ice cream feature with Sprinkles options..

regards

Jack
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:37 PM   #3
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3, Any particular reason I should or should not pick an Aura HD?
I have only used one for a short time. I also have a Pocketbook 302, so I have been somewhat spoiled.

The hardware seems pretty good. It is fairly responsive up to around 1,000 books on it. At that point it becomes somewhat sluggish - but still quite usable. The light is ok, but nothing special.

The problem (for me) is that there is very little that you can customize. It is better than the Kindles I have seen (the early ones) where you can barely customise anything. The real problem for me is that you really cannot read left handed. I often read one handed - swapping back and forth between the left and right hand - just like a paper book. You cannot do that with the Aura as you cannot change a page with the left thumb. This alone is a deal breaker...

I also do not like the huge margin at the bottom. It is not a deal breaker, but it is still annoying.

I guess it depends on how you want to read, I guess
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:21 PM   #4
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You do have various page turn options. Check Settings | Reading Settings where you have 3 page turn settings. You can also swipe to turn pages and those settings are independent of the afore mentioned settings.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:26 PM   #5
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The real problem for me is that you really cannot read left handed. I often read one handed - swapping back and forth between the left and right hand - just like a paper book. You cannot do that with the Aura as you cannot change a page with the left thumb. This alone is a deal breaker...
You can change the reading settings to reverse which side of the of the page taps forward. Additionally, short swipes work as well -- I read one handed with the left hand and usually thumb-swipe for page turns on the Aura HD.

cheers,
andrew
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:54 PM   #6
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You do have various page turn options. Check Settings | Reading Settings where you have 3 page turn settings. You can also swipe to turn pages and those settings are independent of the afore mentioned settings.
Yes, I did change those, but very limited use.

There are two problems. When I want to change hands, I have to switch the settings. It is not going to happen.

The other problem, if you select the middle setting, you stuff up the 'press the middle for the menu'. This caused us no end of trouble as we were testing this. This is more of a learning thing, but still poorly thought out.
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:00 PM   #7
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Additionally, short swipes work as well -- I read one handed with the left hand and usually thumb-swipe for page turns on the Aura HD.
yes, and in practice I found that this is the only really viable way to do it. Switching the settings every time you swap hands is silly and in practice is not going to happen.

You are probably a bit more dextrous than I am - I found it pretty hard to swipe with my left thumb. Or right thumb, for that matter. It might be a bit easier once we get a cover for the reader, but at the moment the reader is really a bit slippery. It is not that easy to hold and swipe with the thumb.

I guess this is where nicely placed hardware buttons come to the fore - unfortunately so many readers are dropping them.
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:17 PM   #8
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My Sony T1 only to use touch to turn page with finger swipe not just a touch. You get use to it. What is better about T1 is left/right swipe and up or down swipe also turns page forward or back and up/down swipe is easier to do one handed with ether hand. Push button page turns sound better but often button only placed correctly for one hand not the other (Sony T1 problem), buttons are often hard to press or wear out.
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:42 PM   #9
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Push button page turns sound better but often button only placed correctly for one hand not the other (Sony T1 problem), buttons are often hard to press or wear out.
Yes, it is weird what ereader designers come up with! You would swear that some designers have never used the thing to read a book!

My ancient Pocketbook 302 is a perfect example. It has hardware buttons well placed and perfectly designed. They operate inwards (a weird concept which I won't bother explaining here), which stops accidental operation. Brilliant system. And you could custom set every switch to anything at all. Also had swipes and touches - also completely customizable. If you could not set it up perfectly, you were not trying.

They had a very good designer on the team - and he (she) obviously read books. So what do they do on the newer models! Fire the first designer (I am guessing). Remove/move the buttons around. Why? Staggering. Here they had a perfect ereader - all you needed to do was update the hardware a bit (ie faster CPU, better screen, frontlight) and they would be done. The latest models still have hardware buttons (kudos at least for that), but they are very poorly placed. At least their software is still very good.

You know - if I was a clever designer, and I was making up a new reader, the very first thing I would do is lurk around forums like this one. Ask users like ourselves who read hundreds of books what they want.
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:48 PM   #10
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For my money, the Kindle Keyboard had the perfect buttons. And, of course, they abandoned them.
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarulf View Post
1, I have my Calibre library on a raspberry pi with a password protected COPS server.
Would I be able to access this library from the Aura HD and download the books on to it? I know there's supposed to be a web browser, but not if it can manage https links.
I have had no problem with https links on the browser, I can use it to log into my bank, email, etc. I can also access Calibre's content server on my laptop from the browser. I haven't used a COPS server before though.

Edit: I just tried the COPS demo server at http://cops-demo.slucas.fr/index.php and had no problem downloading a book from my Glo's browser.

Last edited by GeoffR; 02-22-2014 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:20 AM   #12
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I also do not like the huge margin at the bottom. It is not a deal breaker, but it is still annoying.
If you're sideloading books, simply rename your books from *.epub to *.kepub.epub and the bottom margin is greatly reduced. You can go one step further and install Coolreader, which lets you customize practically anything, including setting the margins to zero.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:35 AM   #13
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That said I have the Aura HD and the only thing I would want on it different is the screen style from the new Aura. Oh and the soft ice cream feature with Sprinkles options..
That does sound encouraging, however when you mention 'the new Aura' I'm not sure which you mean. I thought the HD was the newest.

I'm not too fond of soft ice cream or sprinkles, and it sounds as it's a feature that could mess up peoples' reading a bit, so perhaps it's a good thing they elected to leave that it out

Thanks
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:45 AM   #14
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The problem (for me) is that there is very little that you can customize. It is better than the Kindles I have seen (the early ones) where you can barely customise anything.
I thought the Aura HD was very customizable? Several reviews seemed to indicate that.
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Originally Posted by kgn View Post
You cannot do that with the Aura as you cannot change a page with the left thumb. This alone is a deal breaker...
Since the iRiver can be used equally well with both hands I'll have to compare with how I use my Nexus 7. I probably hold it mostly in my right hand and flip pages by tapping with my thumb. I use Google's Book reader and, lately Moon Reader+. Left hand occasionally help support the weight of the device.

Thanks
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:53 AM   #15
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Edit: I just tried the COPS demo server at http://cops-demo.slucas.fr/index.php and had no problem downloading a book from my Glo's browser.
Excellent new, thanks for testing it.
I'll probably be side loading most of my books and am actually not all that interested in a built-in store in the first place, so it's fairly important this is easy.
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