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Old 02-09-2009, 02:23 PM   #1
kenpotf
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Question about PDF books

All,

My primary reason for buying an eReader would be because I read a LOT of technical books. Books on hacking, whitepapers, Cisco equipment, Microsoft, etc. These books generally come in a PDF on a CD that accompanies the book. How many of you have found that these types of books are easily transferred to the ereader? I've seen MANY threads on the problems with PDFs, but I don't read normal novels like Huck Finn, Shakespeare, etc. The stuff that I read have a lot of charts, tables, etc. With the PDF already being created by the publisher, is there a huge problem getting it legible on an eReader? I've been looking at the Sony PRS-505, mainly because it's easy to get. (I can run to the store and pick one up.) I've been seeing others like Bookeen, which I've liked as well.

I'm not sure if it's a problem with the PDF format on an eReader, or if the eReader has a little to do with the way they display. I appreciate anyone's thoughts on this, and your help will guide me in the right direction. I know that most people read normal books, but I really need to view more technical material.

Thanks!
John
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:39 PM   #2
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I like my PRS-505, and I read semi-technical content on it. (I play RPGs, and have put the manuals on the PRS. There's charts & tables involved, but very few crucial images.)

It works fine... if you're comfortable reading four-point type. It displays the PDF perfectly--on a 6" screen, which means it's very small.

Reflow is useless on the books I'm looking at; the whole thing was apparently designed in tables/text blocks, and reflow does nothing at all. But books that were more traditionally designed, with text and a few images/charts, might work better.
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:49 PM   #3
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kenpotf

A standard 6" device may not be ideal for the type of pdfs you are reading. If you really wanted to see how they look on a Sony then put a few pdfs on an SD card and go to your local Target/Sony/Borders store and try them on the display unit.

A device to better suit your needs may be the Irex Reader. It has a 10.2" screen will show technical pdfs (with charts and tables) better.
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:41 PM   #4
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"...then put a few pdfs on an SD card and go to your local Target/Sony/Borders store and try them on the display unit."

That's a VERY good idea. I may try that tonight!
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:24 PM   #5
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I'm so glad you asked this, as my husband has a very similar question. He works for a company that has 3 buildings. The office with the computer containing the PDF manuals is in one building, so if he wants to look something up, he either has to schlep back to that building, or lug the paper version of the manual around with him. Either way it's a pain!

So if anyone comes up with a good PDF reader for manuals containing schematics, I bet a lot of technical types would be very interested in it!
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:25 PM   #6
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Just out of curiosity, anyone know why, every time I edit one of my posts, it creates a duplicate/new post?? And apologies for this happening so many times.
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoogeswoman View Post
Just out of curiosity, anyone know why, every time I edit one of my posts, it creates a duplicate/new post?? And apologies for this happening so many times.
When you edit, click the "Save" button on the bottom right of the text box. I think you are clicking something else. Let me check by editing this.

Hrmm...not sure what you're doing. Try editing again and clicking save.
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenpotf View Post
All,

My primary reason for buying an eReader would be because I read a LOT of technical books. Books on hacking, whitepapers, Cisco equipment, Microsoft, etc. These books generally come in a PDF on a CD that accompanies the book. How many of you have found that these types of books are easily transferred to the ereader? I've seen MANY threads on the problems with PDFs, but I don't read normal novels like Huck Finn, Shakespeare, etc. The stuff that I read have a lot of charts, tables, etc. With the PDF already being created by the publisher, is there a huge problem getting it legible on an eReader? I've been looking at the Sony PRS-505, mainly because it's easy to get. (I can run to the store and pick one up.) I've been seeing others like Bookeen, which I've liked as well.

I'm not sure if it's a problem with the PDF format on an eReader, or if the eReader has a little to do with the way they display. I appreciate anyone's thoughts on this, and your help will guide me in the right direction. I know that most people read normal books, but I really need to view more technical material.

Thanks!
John
For reading pdfs I suggest an IRex Reader ... DIN A4 format and big enough for reading the stuff. My Iliad is almost too small for pdfs (so the Sony isn't really capable for displaying it).

Of course you can convert the pdfs in a smaller format but I think a lot of items (tables, ...) will suffer from that.
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:56 PM   #9
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This might be a possibility.
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:57 PM   #10
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I've been doing that for over the past several days at the local Borders and I've learned a few things. The screen refresh rate of the 505 with a PDF file is very slow, the 700 seemed to handle them better (probably due to the faster processor speed). With the 700 you can read the PDF either of 2 ways; 1) don't change the font size but use the zoom feature and the touchscreen allows the zoomed image to be pan'ed to look at the entire page. This was a little tedious. If the PDF is flowed (I haven't learned yet how to identify if this is true), the you can also change the font size. The problem with this approach is that some equations, figure captions and graphs may not flow with the text. I would like to develop a procedure that I can trust so that I can read scientific papers and technical documents.
I plan to investigate some programs that will reformat a PDF file.

I also tried looking at a RTF file I created with Microsoft Word. Although the text was readable, none of the images were displayed.

This is a work in progress. I warned the clerk at Borders that I'd be visiting there frequently.
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