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  1. #21
    Senior Member mcmartinez84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Woot has sony pocket e-readers on sale today for $110 plus $5 shipping.

    Woot : One Day, One Deal (SM)

    Edit: frankly I don't understand why one would buy an e-reader. I've always presumed that half the point of owning books was so that you could display them in your home implying to visitors that you are a smart and well read person.

    If you want an ereader to read trashy romance novels... I can understand that.
    Awww! You beat me to the punch!!! I woot!

    Glad you found something, spamtar!
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  2. #22
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Sorry I'm late to the punch... but I have a Kindle, an iPhone, and a iPad (yes, I like gadgets). Let me preface this by saying I'm a reasonably happy Kindle user, so most of the specifics will relate to the Kindle, but many aspects apply to other eReaders. Here are my general thoughts:


    Electronic Books in General

    Some may question why one would want books electronically in general. Here are a few reasons.

    • Usually cheaper
    • No shelf space needed
    • Searchable
    • Quotable
    • More physically portable (depending on the reader)
    • Fair number of out-of-copyright books available for free


    Downsides include:

    • New books come with DRM (Digital Rights Management)
    • New books can't be loaned/shared (because of DRM)
    • Technology risk (if tied to a particular device, and device goes away, or company goes out of business, what then?)
    • Not everything available (and some new releases are delayed by publishers so as not to cannibalize hardback sales). In addition, books still in copyright older than 5 years tend not to be available unless they are sufficiently popular.


    E-Ink Based eReaders

    eReaders the use the current generation of e-ink technology (kindle, nook, sony reader) work well for reading novels. The 200 DPI e-ink is easy on the eyes, and causes less eye strain than back-lit LCDs. Since e-ink passively maintains the current image, battery life for e-ink based eReaders is generally very good.

    The current generation of e-ink does have a big downside: slow screen updating. The current generation of e-ink displays takes about a second to completely update the full screen. This makes zooming in/out or flipping quickly to find a page an extremely tedious procedure. (The kindle, for example, doesn't really support arbitrary zooming.) This makes texts with big tables and detailed pictures problematic at best. It also makes detailed maps difficult to view.

    So, for the kind of text one reads cover-to-cover in order, or even for magazines with long texty articles, the e-ink based eReaders are great.

    The other upside of eReaders is portability and storage. My shelves at home are completely full, and buying a new book means going through and throwing something else out (which is a tedious process at best). With an e-reader, I buy more freely, because it doesn't take up shelf space. eReaders are great for travel, because you can load them up with books, and then travel freely. eReaders that support downloading books over a cell phone network (like the Kindle does via Sprint's network), are especially great when traveling. For example, if you've run into big flight delay, and you finished your book and have nothing to read? No problem... download a new book!

    iPad/iPhone

    The iPad and iPhone both use backlit LCD screens. This makes zooming in/out and quickly flipping between pages possible. The iPad's large screen works pretty well for reference books and things with color illustrations. The iPhone also works fairly well, but the smaller screen makes the amount of information visible at a time significantly smaller (despite the fairly high resolution).

    The iPad is better suited for reading than a netbook, since it lies flat and offers a wide viewing angle. However, I find the lower resolution (135dpi as opposed to the kindles 200dpi) and the back-lighting induce eye fatigue much more quickly. I find I much prefer to read novels on the Kindle.

    The iPhone's small screen works surprisingly well for reading (higher DPI than the iPad's), but it is still a tiny screen. It works fine as an eReader in a pinch, but the small screen size does become tiresome for extended reading. I have used it on occasion when I left my kindle at home.


    eBook formats

    eBook readers generally support a few different file formats. They all support text and most support PDF. The Kindle uses a DRMed version of the mobi format for its Amazon books. The Nook uses the eReader format.

    Some eReaders (like the Kindle) provide viewer software for multiple platforms (PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android), which lets you read your book on multiple devices. This is a handy feature, but Amazon still tries to steer one towards Amazon store lock-in with the Kindle. The Kindle can display eBooks from other sources, and software exists to (illegal) strip the DRM from DRM-ed Kindle files.



    So, I've been pretty happy with my Kindle, and I use the availability of cross platform readers on occasion. It's possible to get content from other sources, but Amazon definitely steers one toward their store. It's not ideal, but at this point I hesitate to buy non-electronic versions of books.

    Sorry I don't have the same depth of experience with the Nook or Sony's Reader series.

  3. #23
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    ^very good post as usual. Thank you.

    However, from some of what I read Nook doesn't support txt either (as of this time) so that appeared to be a deal killer because I wished to place a business text documents onto the device as well.

    I understand there also are some alternative software for managing books files that differ from the manufacturer's prepackaged software. I have read some gripes about some of these. I checked out the demo for "Calibre" an ebook management free alternative software and it looks pretty user friendly.

    My public library has a pretty decent selection and like many INTPs I am horrible about returning books on time so limiting library late fees should pay for my choice in no time.
    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Spamtar - a strange combination of boorish drunkeness and erudite discussions, or what I call "an Irish academic"

  4. #24
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spamtar View Post
    However, from some of what I read Nook doesn't support txt either (as of this time) so that appeared to be a deal killer because I wished to place a business text documents onto the device as well.
    Well, they say the Nook supports Word files (via conversion), so I assume you could re-save a txt file into .doc format and get it on there.

  5. #25
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    Well, they say the Nook supports Word files (via conversion), so I assume you could re-save a txt file into .doc format and get it on there.
    Maybe they fixed it or I am missing something when you mention via conversion. See CNET review which states in part.

    "The bad: Though performance has been significantly improved with firmware upgrades, the device could still be zippier; no protective carrying case included; color LCD appears to have a significant impact on battery life; in-store reading and loaning capabilities come with notable limits and caveats; no support for Word or text files [(emphasis added)] ; some bugs in software; no ability to download books when outside the U.S., even when on Wi-Fi." see Barnes & Noble Nook E-Book reader reviews - CNET Reviews
    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Spamtar - a strange combination of boorish drunkeness and erudite discussions, or what I call "an Irish academic"

  6. #26
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spamtar View Post
    Maybe they fixed it or I am missing something when you mention via conversion. See CNET review which states in part.

    "The bad: Though performance has been significantly improved with firmware upgrades, the device could still be zippier; no protective carrying case included; color LCD appears to have a significant impact on battery life; in-store reading and loaning capabilities come with notable limits and caveats; no support for Word or text files [(emphasis added)] ; some bugs in software; no ability to download books when outside the U.S., even when on Wi-Fi." see Barnes & Noble Nook E-Book reader reviews - CNET Reviews
    So, searching this thread: Does Nook support Word files? - Barnes & Noble Book Clubs

    It looks like you can print to PDF (via various free alternatives), or use Calibre like you said.

    I was looking at a comparison chart that mentioned Word... didn't specify how. Looks like you are correct and there is indirection involved.

  7. #27
    Senior Member mcmartinez84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    It looks like you can print to PDF (via various free alternatives), or use Calibre like you said.
    I've used CutePDF for years now.

    And for text files, I use Notepad++.

    And that's my display of nerdism for the day!
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  8. #28
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    I got the ereader and I am quiet happy with it (especially for the price I got via woot.com). I followed advice I got hear and elsewhere and avoided downloading the proprietary software (which apparently a lot of people have had issue with) and downloaded Calibre for free and extremely easy to use. All of the titles I have downloaded of yet have been free mostly through project Gutenberg but also even B&N despite having a competitive device (the Nook) had The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Balthasar Gracian which for some reason I could not find of Gutenberg. Also had some old documents and books on the the computer which downloaded nicely. Some of my Word documents wouldn't transfer at first but there is an easy conversion to PDF feature on MS Word 2007 that didn't make it a big deal.

    As far as readability I prefer the font in EPUB over most other versions of text and most of Gutenberg I have crossed so far offers the EPUB option.

    If anything else comes up I will keep you posted...thanks again for all your help...Im gonna do some reading now.
    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Spamtar - a strange combination of boorish drunkeness and erudite discussions, or what I call "an Irish academic"

  9. #29
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    There is also another ereader that I don't think which was mentioned which looks cool and has a very competitive price. The kobo MediaView - Borders - Books, Music and Movies. no Wi-Fi or 3G wireless (which seems a little unnecessary for ebooks because it is my understanding these features limited to ordering books vs Ipad webbrowsing ) but it does have the 6' screen and 1GB of memory and an SD expansion slot. I think I would have gotten this one if I didn't get the Sony 300 on sale.
    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Spamtar - a strange combination of boorish drunkeness and erudite discussions, or what I call "an Irish academic"

  10. #30
    Head Pigeon Mad Hatter's Avatar
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    ^That one looks really nice too

    Apart from Project Gutenberg, I also go to feedbooks.org regularly (although much of their books are actually from PG).
    IN SERIO FATVITAS.

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