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General Discussion => Books 'n Readin' => Topic started by: MartyS (Gromit) on October 04, 2010, 07:15:45 PM

Title: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on October 04, 2010, 07:15:45 PM
Been using a Kindle for about a week now and really like it, so thought I'd start a thread for all readers.

Been looking at these things for about a year, with the lower prices now and the latest generation screens it was time to bite...

Passed on the touch screen ones because the contrast was not as good and I hate fingerprints on a screen I'm trying to focus on.

Kindle seems to be the best choice out there right now unless you want to check out books at the library, that's the only drawback I can see.  Looks like Borders has one coming out that might be a good rival for the Kindle but I'm not sure how ergonomic the design is (one big toggle/button to control everything?)

Reasons for getting one:

Once in a while there's a book I'd like to read but I know I'll never look at it again, so it would be a waste of paper after it's been read.

Can finally read all those Project Gutenberg books I've tried to read on the computer but gave up on, I thought an LCD monitor would be better for reading but it just isn't, the non-back-lit e-ink screen is so much easier to read for hours at a time.  There's also being able to read it anywhere you want, in just about any light.

Adjustable font, great for the old eyes that are starting to need a little more distance.

The dictionary is great, a lot of old books use out of date words and being able to just cursor to them and get the definition is great.

The new screens really are amazing, actually clearer than most paperbacks (spoilered for size):
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Update:

Got the Amazon leather cover, a bit pricey at $35 but it's custom designed for the Kindle (Kindle clips into it) and seems well made.  The lighted one is way over priced, they are basically charging $25 more for a $10 light that makes the case heavier and sucks power from your Kindle.   Other thing is the slide out design of the light scares me, I don't see that holding up to a lot of use.   You can fold the regular leather cover back all the way, hold it back with the elastic, and clip a regular book light to the front cover that's now folded back.

Pictures ( again spoilered for size):

Cover closed:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Cover open:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Cover back with book light clipped on:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

So, anyone else out there using one of these cool toys?
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on October 04, 2010, 09:27:55 PM
I'm really of two minds about them.  On the one hand, I think they'd really be nice for articles and .pdfs that otherwise I print out (I -hate- reading on computer screens).  On the other, they're library-killers.
It's funny, I can browse the web for hours, type for hours, even read journal articles on the computer, but sitting down to read a novel on the computer is horrible.

I don't see how they are library killers, I think they serve different demographics without a lot of overlap, lower income people using the library are not going to buy an e-reader.  I would guess not a lot of people that use the library a lot would be willing to spend the money on a reader.  If they get really cheap maybe, but then there's the cost of the books.  Of course if people are using torrents to steal books maybe that would hurt libraries, but again, would those people use the library?   

Quote
Right now, I'd agree that Kindle is probably the best, but there's no way I'll buy one of those until Amazon opens up the source or allows epub stuff.  Fuck that .azw proprietary shit, too.  I know there are hacks, but Amazon can just brick your device remotely if they feel like it.  Fuck that, also.
Actually, it reads mobi and several other formats (just not epub).  I've downloaded a bunch of books from Project Gutenberg and drag and dropped them onto the Kindle.  There's a great freeware program called Calibre that will convert loads of formats and put them on most e-readers when in flash drive mode attached to the PC, it just will not hack anything with DRM.  So you don't have to get everything through Amazon.

As for bricking it remotely, it will never happen.  I know someone that bought one on ebay and couldn't register it or get it to wirelessly connect, after calling Amazon he found out it was from a missing shipment and they had blocked all of them from the 3G network, he got his money back from ebay and the seller disappeared, Amazon didn't want it back so he uses it for non-DRM books and PDFs.  If they were unwilling to brick a bunch of stolen ones I don't see them ever doing it.

Quote
I think right now, if I had to buy one, I'd go with the Nook.  More open format, you can borrow books, and you can easily convert text files into readable docs without having to circumvent security measures.

They had to put that stupid LCD touch screen on that, it kills battery life and is kind of pointless.   I'd rather have extra battery life than a fancy GUI, and besides it's a reader, I don't want other stuff on the screen besides the page of the book while reading and a simple button to change the page (that's where the ergonomics of the Kindle are hard to beat).   The new version of the Kobo from Borders looks better than the Nook but still a step behind the Kindle.

As for text files, .txt, .mobi and .pdf are read directly on the Kindle. For other formats, several ways to convert them, third party software like Calibre is the easiest, or email it to a special address you get when you register your Kindle and it gets converted and sent to your Kindle directly or emailed back to you.  That service is free for wi-fi or email, but they charge if you want it sent over 3G.

No point railing against proprietary formats, the publishers will always insist on some form of DRM or else all we will have is public domain books, who cares if the system is open but the files are still impossible to copy due to DRM?  You are at the mercy of whatever store you buy your books from, if they fold up when the reader eventually dies you lose your books.  So I don't see these things really replacing a good hardcover.  But like I said in my reasons for getting one, it's perfect for a book you'd like to read once and throw away.  Have to think of it like video, stuff you like you get on what ever the latest format is, others you rent.

I haven't stepped in a library in probably 20 years, so borrowing isn't a big deal for me.  But it does seem like a mistake by Amazon not to have it.  My guess is they will eventually support it, if it looks like enough people are using that as a reason to go with another reader. 

OK, that was way more than I planed on typing. :o
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on October 04, 2010, 10:15:46 PM
As far as library killers, it's more to do with them saying "you have to pay us $500,000 every year or we yank all of your ereaders' rights".  So instead of buying a book once and lending it, you have to buy them all every year.  It's more of an issue for academic libraries than public ones, I admit, and they're already being held over a barrel by publishers, who charge outrageous rates for journals (mostly scientific journals--just insane rates).  Something like 80% of a library's annual book budget goes to science journals.

Yea, that has nothing to do with e-books, that's all about publisher greed.  For a small university like the one I work for that used to get all the science journals it's now pretty much impossible.  The yearly charges for accessing them online are also outrageous.

And textbooks, unbelievable, almost $200 for textbooks now, that's just criminal.    They shouldn't cost any more than the huge coffee table books you see on the front tables of all the book stores...

Quote
The e-reader also keeps used books off the market and thus keeps the cost up--never get used prices. 

I dunno. I guess it has its place, but I'm not ready to jump on yet, and as I said, I refuse to support the amazon format until they do something different.

Isn't it true that the Kindle doesn't let you store more than a few books on your own device and the rest have to be stored in the "cloud"?  I'm not interested in giving up control of my content either.  Because if I have an ereader, it will definitely have pirated books on it.

No, the books are stored on the Kindle, you can actually turn off the wireless, use the wall jack to recharge instead of the PC, and the device will never have contact with Amazon again.  Even plugging it into the PC it only shows up as a flash drive, so no external communication there either.  There are people that have taken them apart and done other stuff, if it was secretly contacting Amazon I think people would have found out by now.   Latest version has 3GB of memory available, most books are around 1MB, so that's a lot of books you could dump onto it.  But, like all computer stuff it isn't going to live as long as a real book, so for a book you might want to read 30 years from now it would still be best to get a hard cover.  ;D  But digital books should never go "out of print", unless the publisher pulls them.  So the worst case scenario is Amazon goes out of business and you lose your ability to download the books you have purchased to a new reader.   

With the wireless on it does talk to Amazon a lot, it sends the last location you have read in a book so you can switch to another device (PC, iPad, smartphone) and pick up where you left off.  One stupid feature I had to turn off right away was shared highlighting, they keep a big (supposedly anonymous) database of what people highlight and will put those highlights on the book for you and tell you how many people did each one, like I care, and it's turned on by default (but easy to turn off and never have to see it again).  It also will send out notes and annotations you make to your social networking sites, I remember seeing someone mention riffing a book, that would be the only use I could see for that "feature".
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: mrbasehart on October 05, 2010, 09:02:30 AM
If an e-Reader could come with an air freshener that made it smell like an old book, I'd consider it.  Otherwise...
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: doctorhu on October 05, 2010, 09:34:10 AM
Didn't Amazon yank everyone's paid-for copies of 1984 off their kindles last year over a publisher snit?

It was a version that had been published by somebody who thought it was public domain (it wasn't). Since the uproar over it, Amazon has promised they won't pull books remotely any more. Of course, such promises are not always kept.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Bob on October 05, 2010, 09:58:55 AM
I use the ipad for my e-reader and it is working out pretty well.   Some people say the thing is heavy to hold when reading, but I have never really found that to be true.   There is Kindle ad where some loser is trying to read a book on the ipad in full sun, with the thing pointing right at the sun and no sun glasses on and some rude woman is saying how great her kindle is because her dull looking display had no glare.   Okay, so I wont read the ipad at the pool with it facing the sun at high noon without sunglasses......

The thing that I like about is that if you leave off on page 123 on the ipad, if you open the book up on your iphone, it opens to page 123.   This way, you pretty much have the book with you at all times (assuming you have your phone with you).   This is nice if you ride over an hour each way to work on a bus, waiting in a waiting room, etc.   

I dont think anything will ever replace the feel/smell of an actual book, but I can deal with it.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on October 05, 2010, 11:06:51 AM
I use the ipad for my e-reader and it is working out pretty well.   Some people say the thing is heavy to hold when reading, but I have never really found that to be true.   There is Kindle ad where some loser is trying to read a book on the ipad in full sun, with the thing pointing right at the sun and no sun glasses on and some rude woman is saying how great her kindle is because her dull looking display had no glare.   Okay, so I wont read the ipad at the pool with it facing the sun at high noon without sunglasses......

The thing that I like about is that if you leave off on page 123 on the ipad, if you open the book up on your iphone, it opens to page 123.   This way, you pretty much have the book with you at all times (assuming you have your phone with you).   This is nice if you ride over an hour each way to work on a bus, waiting in a waiting room, etc.   

I dont think anything will ever replace the feel/smell of an actual book, but I can deal with it.

Do sunglasses help read the ipad outside on a bright day?  I've heard that screen is different but is it that different?  On a laptop sunglasses make the screen darker, the only way to see the screen outside is to find shade. 

I doubt I could ever use a touch screen, I can't stand even a little dust on a screen, smudges really bug me, I'd be constantly cleaning fingerprints off the touch screen...  Someday I should probably get an iPod touch just to try and get used to stuff on the screen, since touch screens seem to be invading everywhere.

Amazon now does the same "last location read" syncing on all your reading apps/devices.  They do have a reading app now for  iPhone and iPad, so it's kind of funny that that ad poking fun at the iPad is still around.  It was a bad comparison anyway, they are devices for different purposes, one is multipurpose, more for audio/video/web, and one is designed to replace a book (look like a book, read the whole thing without plugging it in to recharge even if it takes weeks).

The look/feel/smell thing will be a shame to lose for future generations, I thought it was good that Rowling said she didn't want ebooks of Harry Potter so kids had to read it from a real book, but it looks like now she is starting to give in and is thinking about allowing digital copies (probably because there are already pirated versions out there).
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: goflyblind on October 05, 2010, 11:13:03 AM
i don't suppose anyone with an e-reader would care to download something from http://arxiv.org/list/hep-th/recent and take a picture of the screen? like imrahil, i'm interested in reading my papers on the thing.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on October 05, 2010, 11:56:01 AM
i don't suppose anyone with an e-reader would care to download something from http://arxiv.org/list/hep-th/recent and take a picture of the screen? like imrahil, i'm interested in reading my papers on the thing.

PDFs are hit or miss, but a paper like that works well in landscape mode, text needs a magnifier to read in portrait mode (it's easy to switch modes):

spoilered for size
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I depends on the formatting of the pdf how well the Kindle displays it, it's also hit or miss doing a conversion from pdf to mobi or native kindle.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on October 05, 2010, 12:01:15 PM
So it supports non-Latin characters?

That's a pdf, so basically the pages are displayed as pictures, so you can't look up words like and stuff like that, have to convert them to a different format (mobi+images would be the most generic) to get them to read like a text document.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on October 05, 2010, 12:43:13 PM
Ah, well that's what I'd be reading (lots of Greek in what I do).  I wondered how that would be handled.  Does it support accents and stuff in book format?

I don't think they support many non-Latin characters by default.  I have read about hacks to load your own fonts into the Kindle, but have also read that the process of doing that can be tricky and a failure will brick your Kindle.

The topaz format that the kindle reads can have embedded fonts, that's how they support other languages.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: jasimon1 on October 07, 2010, 01:05:10 PM

I doubt I could ever use a touch screen, I can't stand even a little dust on a screen, smudges really bug me, I'd be constantly cleaning fingerprints off the touch screen...  Someday I should probably get an iPod touch just to try and get used to stuff on the screen, since touch screens seem to be invading everywhere.


Just to clarify, the touch screen on the Nook is just at the bottom, not the actual area where you read. I just got mine yesterday and so far love it.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on October 07, 2010, 05:40:26 PM

I doubt I could ever use a touch screen, I can't stand even a little dust on a screen, smudges really bug me, I'd be constantly cleaning fingerprints off the touch screen...  Someday I should probably get an iPod touch just to try and get used to stuff on the screen, since touch screens seem to be invading everywhere.


Just to clarify, the touch screen on the Nook is just at the bottom, not the actual area where you read. I just got mine yesterday and so far love it.

That's good to know, I know some of the Sony readers have full touch screens but I wasn't sure about the Nook.

Is there any way to turn off the LCD screen on the Nook while reading?  You would think they would put something like that into the software since the LCD eats battery life and is one of the reasons I went with the Kindle.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on October 07, 2010, 09:44:08 PM
I've tried a bunch of converters on that physics paper PDF from several posts back, Calibre, MobiPocket Creator, sending it to free.kindle.com, none of them could deal with the equations.  All the words were converted into plain text just fine but the equations were mangled.

So, for stuff like that you are stuck letting the Kindle display the native PDF, kind of a pain on the small screen since there's no easy way of zooming in and scrolling around.  I'm sure they would look fine on the larger DX screen. 

I've updated my opening post with pictures of the leather cover and using a book light.  Book light pic took a bunch of tries, 1 second at f/11 did the trick.  Though it came out cool looking so here it is again (spoilered for size):

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: goflyblind on October 08, 2010, 01:46:48 AM
I've tried a bunch of converters on that physics paper PDF from several posts back, Calibre, MobiPocket Creator, sending it to free.kindle.com, none of them could deal with the equations.  All the words were converted into plain text just fine but the equations were mangled.

So, for stuff like that you are stuck letting the Kindle display the native PDF, kind of a pain on the small screen since there's no easy way of zooming in and scrolling around.  I'm sure they would look fine on the larger DX screen.

thank-you kindly. looks like i'm still a couple years off getting one, then.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Thrashalla on October 08, 2010, 11:53:49 AM
Late to the discussion, as always.

I've been using a Kindle for about a month now, since the new models were released. I absolutely love it. At first I was wary of the DRM and all of the crap that comes along with that type of thing...but when it comes to actually using the device and converting/importing my own files, it really isn't an issue at all. With a little creativity you can make any file work (...DRM'd ePubs are the exception) and I've had very little frustration with conversions. For once, I really have no complaints other than the difference in selection between the US and UK stores.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Thrashalla on October 08, 2010, 12:03:09 PM
Just out of curiosity--have you de-DRMed anything?

I haven't had a need to yet, but I have acquired backup copies of books I already own physical copies of through...less than honest...means. Those, I find, work best when I can get a mobi, html, or non-drm epub format.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: anais.jude on October 09, 2010, 07:45:45 PM
Is there a way to highlight and write notes about the highlighted section with a Kindle or Nook?
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Thrashalla on October 09, 2010, 08:14:52 PM
Is there a way to highlight and write notes about the highlighted section with a Kindle or Nook?

Yeap.  (http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_k3read_format?nodeId=200505500&#highlight)
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on October 09, 2010, 09:58:17 PM
Is there a way to highlight and write notes about the highlighted section with a Kindle or Nook?

Yeap.  (http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_k3read_format?nodeId=200505500&#highlight)

The Sony touchscreen readers are supposed to be the best for highlighting, using the 5 way cursor thingy on the latest Kindle isn't bad, on the Nook I've heard that it's only available on books you get from the B&N book store and it has to be enabled for the book, quickly searching around I couldn't find info on how you actually do it or how easy it is to do.

If you want to highlight PDFs you'll have to convert them to a text format first.  That can be anywhere from easy to impossible depending on the content of the PDF.

On another note:

I tried sending a Word doc to be converted by Amazon, worked very well.   The other method is to save it from Word as html, then use a converter like Calibre to convert the html to mobi, that ended up looking pretty close to the conversion Amazon did (the Amazon conversion preserved the layout better).  If you don't have any fancy formatting in the word doc you could save it as txt and the Kindle would read it directly.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: anais.jude on October 10, 2010, 08:07:42 AM
Is there a way to highlight and write notes about the highlighted section with a Kindle or Nook?

Yeap.  (http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_k3read_format?nodeId=200505500&#highlight)

Ok, then now my only issue with the Kindle is that not all the books I want to read are available. I was trying to get Mosquitoes by William Faulkner for my Business Trip and sinc ehte ibrary didn't have it, I was going to download the Kindle app t my iphone and by the book, but no Faulkner is available on Kindle.

How long before all titles are available, do you think? Faulkner is one I would def need so I could have all his books as well as my notes on them easily availble to more perusal
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: pezdrake on October 14, 2010, 06:06:38 AM
Right now, I'd agree that Kindle is probably the best, but there's no way I'll buy one of those until Amazon opens up the source or allows epub stuff.  Fuck that .azw proprietary shit, too.  I know there are hacks, but Amazon can just brick your device remotely if they feel like it.  Fuck that, also.

I think right now, if I had to buy one, I'd go with the Nook.  More open format, you can borrow books, and you can easily convert text files into readable docs without having to circumvent security measures.

I'm starting to look at these. Is there any open platform reader that I can go anywhere to get downloadable content?  Which is to say, if I get a Nook (as an example) am I forced to buy fron Barnes and Noble or can I go other places and get content to store and read?  Also, does the DRM issue mean that they have access to what I have stored on my reader? Does info get sent back to a server somewhere to monitor what people are reading and downloading? These are my concerns.  I'm hopeful some smart person will come along and make a reader that will use a range of platforms and people can self-publish in an easy to use online bookstore and not be confined to a certain distributor. If that makes sense.  Is there any e-reader close to that?
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on October 14, 2010, 08:58:10 AM
Right now, I'd agree that Kindle is probably the best, but there's no way I'll buy one of those until Amazon opens up the source or allows epub stuff.  Fuck that .azw proprietary shit, too.  I know there are hacks, but Amazon can just brick your device remotely if they feel like it.  Fuck that, also.

I think right now, if I had to buy one, I'd go with the Nook.  More open format, you can borrow books, and you can easily convert text files into readable docs without having to circumvent security measures.

I'm starting to look at these. Is there any open platform reader that I can go anywhere to get downloadable content?  Which is to say, if I get a Nook (as an example) am I forced to buy fron Barnes and Noble or can I go other places and get content to store and read?  Also, does the DRM issue mean that they have access to what I have stored on my reader? Does info get sent back to a server somewhere to monitor what people are reading and downloading? These are my concerns.  I'm hopeful some smart person will come along and make a reader that will use a range of platforms and people can self-publish in an easy to use online bookstore and not be confined to a certain distributor. If that makes sense.  Is there any e-reader close to that?

For DRM books I've only read about 2 formats: epub and amazon.  So if you really want to shop around for DRM books go with the Nook or the new version of the Kobo coming out soon.  But when I was looking into these I never saw a book exclusive to one store, if one had it they all had it, and I don't remember ever seeing prices change between stores.

For non-DRM books it really doesn't matter what reader you get, if the book you want is only available in a format your reader can't read there are a lot of free programs out there to convert one format to another.  For that reason you usually see non-DRM books available in all the popular formats so you usually don't have to do any conversion yourself.

 As for publishing non-DRM books mobi seems to be the format I've seen used the most, but like I said, it's easy to convert one format to another. 
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on October 14, 2010, 09:07:37 AM
Is there a way to highlight and write notes about the highlighted section with a Kindle or Nook?

Yeap.  (http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_k3read_format?nodeId=200505500&#highlight)

Ok, then now my only issue with the Kindle is that not all the books I want to read are available. I was trying to get Mosquitoes by William Faulkner for my Business Trip and sinc ehte ibrary didn't have it, I was going to download the Kindle app t my iphone and by the book, but no Faulkner is available on Kindle.

How long before all titles are available, do you think? Faulkner is one I would def need so I could have all his books as well as my notes on them easily availble to more perusal

For books still under copyright it's up to a publisher to do the conversion, for older books it means scanning the pages and running them through character recognition software, then profreading, so how long or if a book gets converted probably depends on how much money the publisher thinks they can make off the digital version. 
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Thrashalla on October 14, 2010, 09:29:23 AM
Is there a way to highlight and write notes about the highlighted section with a Kindle or Nook?

Yeap.  (http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_k3read_format?nodeId=200505500&#highlight)

Ok, then now my only issue with the Kindle is that not all the books I want to read are available. I was trying to get Mosquitoes by William Faulkner for my Business Trip and sinc ehte ibrary didn't have it, I was going to download the Kindle app t my iphone and by the book, but no Faulkner is available on Kindle.

How long before all titles are available, do you think? Faulkner is one I would def need so I could have all his books as well as my notes on them easily availble to more perusal

For books still under copyright it's up to a publisher to do the conversion, for older books it means scanning the pages and running them through character recognition software, then profreading, so how long or if a book gets converted probably depends on how much money the publisher thinks they can make off the digital version. 


Not probably - definitely, that's exactly what it depends on for older titles. Writing letters and bugging publishers also helps - I've seen it work with a few books.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on October 14, 2010, 02:00:45 PM
Is there a way to highlight and write notes about the highlighted section with a Kindle or Nook?

Yeap.  (http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_k3read_format?nodeId=200505500&#highlight)

Ok, then now my only issue with the Kindle is that not all the books I want to read are available. I was trying to get Mosquitoes by William Faulkner for my Business Trip and sinc ehte ibrary didn't have it, I was going to download the Kindle app t my iphone and by the book, but no Faulkner is available on Kindle.

How long before all titles are available, do you think? Faulkner is one I would def need so I could have all his books as well as my notes on them easily availble to more perusal

For books still under copyright it's up to a publisher to do the conversion, for older books it means scanning the pages and running them through character recognition software, then profreading, so how long or if a book gets converted probably depends on how much money the publisher thinks they can make off the digital version. 


Not probably - definitely, that's exactly what it depends on for older titles. Writing letters and bugging publishers also helps - I've seen it work with a few books.

Yea, but I figured there might be cases where an entire collection was converted and they might take a loss on some books just to please people that would want a complete set.

How stupid is this:  I'm looking at the next Alan Dean Foster book coming out next month, the digital version is $15, the hardcover is $18.  Stupid greedy publishers, does it really only cost a few dollars to print and bind a hard cover?  Guess I'll be getting the hard cover just on spite...  >:D
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Thrashalla on October 14, 2010, 02:09:49 PM
I also thought that on a bunch of books that were only a few dollars cheaper....but then I experienced Amazon's sync system. I have the Kindle app for my droid, so even if I don;t have the Kindle with me I can still read all of my books, and it even saves where I left off. That kind of feature, IMO, makes it a worthy trade-off. 
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: anais.jude on October 16, 2010, 08:07:24 AM
Faulkner's not that old.....
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on October 16, 2010, 10:09:09 AM
Faulkner's not that old.....

If the books you are looking for get reprinted once in a while there's a better chance of getting a digital copy the next time the publisher does it.  I doubt there are any printers left that haven't gone digital, so to reprint an old book some kind of source material will need to be scanned.

Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on November 01, 2010, 09:10:11 AM
Nook just came out with a color version.

There go the arguments for e-ink and e-paper being better for your eyes than a backlit screen I guess, huh B&N?

They are trying to make it more like the iPad, and at less than half the price it might be a nice alternative if you want something that does video.  I guess we will see when people actually start using it how good the screen is, or if it has the same eye strain issues as other backlit screens.  I can see it being better for magazines, and other stuff that has color and that you don't usually sit down and read for more than an hour or 2, I don't see how any backlit screen can be stared at for over 2 hours without eye strain.

It looks like a smaller iPad with software more geared towards reading, so the complaints about glare, eye strain, short battery life, etc. will probably still hold up, but we'll see when people get their hands on it the last week in November.

Edit:  I'll be interested in seeing what the hackers do with this.  If the operating system can be replaced to make it more like a regular tablet, that might make it appealing to me.

Not sure why they don't use a screen like the one in my GPS, that has an LCD that can be read in sunlight with the backlight off or have the backlight on at night.

Amazon just announced they will be adding the option to lend a book for 2 weeks.  Borrowing from the library should be next...
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Thrashalla on November 01, 2010, 07:17:10 PM
Nook just came out with a color version.

There go the arguments for e-ink and e-paper being better for your eyes than a backlit screen I guess, huh B&N?

They must have been getting their butt's handed to them by Amazon in the eInk market. I imagine they'll have an easier fight against Borders and their new device. I loves the Android OS, but the Cruz that I tested was sluggish to respond and the reading app was a bit awkward (though, I suppose you could just dload the kindle droid app...which I have on my phone, and love it)
 
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Nergol on November 16, 2010, 12:54:19 AM
I own the Sony Pocket Reader (PRS-300). I like it a lot, and find I don't miss any kind of wireless connectivity at all. Reading books is a different paradigm from consuming music or podcasts. Books take longer, so the amount of time before you'll need to load up new content is longer. Unless I was going on a hike across the Australian outback or crossing the ocean in a sailboat, I can't imagine being away from a computer for so long that I couldn't just wait to load up some new books from that.

To give you an idea, I bought my Reader so I could use it to read all the books on the reading list for M.A. (English Lit. - specifically 20th century Modernism) exit exam while I was away for the summer. I loaded up 30 novels, about ten plays, and a couple volumes of poetry. Since ebooks are so small, his took up not even a tenth of the Reader's 512MB of internal storage. I'm a pretty fast reader (you kinda have to be to get a Master's Degree in English), and reading almost nonstop, basically as a full-time job, it still took me four months to get through the whole thing. Thus, the likelihood that someone reading at an average pace will run themselves out of content between occasions when they can sit down at a computer and load up some more stuff to read is pretty small. So, I don't really see any really pressing need for wireless of any kind on an e-reader.

That is, assuming you don't want to subscribe to a newspaper on your e-reader, which you might. Then, of course, wireless makes perfect sense. If that's the case, get a Kindle. My dad has one, is subscribed to the NY Times on it, and likes it a lot.

One thing I would strongly recommend no matter what e-reader you buy is to install Calibre. It's a freeware ebook management software, and I have no idea how I'd manage my ebook collection (currently about 7000 books) without it. Trust me on this one - it's what all the cool kids are using, and for good reason. It works with basically every e-reader out there, and it's good stuff.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Nergol on April 10, 2011, 12:56:00 PM
Quote
Just to clarify, the touch screen on the Nook is just at the bottom, not the actual area where you read.

The whole screen is capable of touch input. The Nook-e-book has become very popular with modders who've taken to installing full-on Android on it and using it as an inexpensive, high-quality Android tablet. I know someone (a Google employee, actually) who's done that and swears that it makes the best Android tablet on the market, and for half the cost of most tablets in its class.

Quote
I've tried a bunch of converters on that physics paper PDF from several posts back, Calibre, MobiPocket Creator, sending it to free.kindle.com, none of them could deal with the equations.  All the words were converted into plain text just fine but the equations were mangled.

Converting other formats for e-readers is something that anyone can do, but that it takes a professional to do really well. Without bothering you with too many details, I was on staff at a magazine that considered doing a Kindle edition. We finally concluded that the best thing to do if we wanted to keep our formatting intact was to bite the bullet and outsource to a professional instead of trying to handle it in-house. The point is that these things can probably be handled right by a pro.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: jasimon1 on April 10, 2011, 01:10:26 PM
What you quoted above of mine was in reference to the regular nook not the nook color. The statement was made before the nook color was available.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on April 11, 2011, 06:20:42 PM
Well Amazon has just announced what amounts to an ad-supported Kindle for $115. (http://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Reading-Graphite-Display-Technology/dp/B004HFS6Z0/ref=amb_link_355870602_3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=gateway-center-column&pf_rd_r=1MJ2DFZ2TWJ2XSQGEYFT&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1293369642&pf_rd_i=507846)

Wow, I really hope no one buys it.  Only $25 off the regular price and you'll have an ad on the screen whenever the kindle is in sleep mode, and on the home screen, doesn't seem worth it to me, if they gave you a big discount like 50% then I could see it being worth it.

I wonder if they have done something to the firmware to lock it down?  I could see people buying this and then running the screensaver hack to wipe out the ads...   I've done the hack on mine and have converted my own dragonfly pictures so the screensavers match the Oberon cover I got.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on April 11, 2011, 06:32:42 PM
I'm sure some of these will end up in the hands of the people that do the hacks, so it won't take long to find out if it's possible to kill the screensaver ads.

$25 off would be OK if it were just a small banner on the home screen and no screensaver ads.   There are loads of people that hate the "dead authors" on the screensavers now, I have to go over to the kindle boards and see the reaction to this ad driven Kindle, maybe those people would be happier with ads instead of the dead authors.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: FLOCK of RABID SHEEP?!?! on April 25, 2011, 06:50:02 PM
Yay the nook color finally has that update to allow it to watch flash movies and d/l apps. I know what I'm doing tonight lol.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Doctor Who? on September 19, 2011, 08:06:36 AM
Now I have been against E readers since day one but my dad got my mom a Kindle for her birthday and now I want one. A lot of my favorite books are free ans it will read them to you!  I can't believe I am saying this but as soon as I have the money I will be getting kindle.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Bob on September 19, 2011, 08:23:41 AM
My sister got my mom a kindle for XMAS and I thought there is NO WAY she would like or know how to use it.   However, glad to say that I wrong as she loves it.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Doctor Who? on September 19, 2011, 08:29:22 AM
My sister got my mom a kindle for XMAS and I thought there is NO WAY she would like or know how to use it.   However, glad to say that I wrong as she loves it.

yeah my mom can't figure out email or google but she has no problem using the Kindle so far.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on September 28, 2011, 04:04:18 PM
Amazon just went nuts with new kindles...  Some with touch screens, some with standard e-ink, some keep the keyboard, some with just a few buttons, and one tablet like device.

The Kindle Fire looks pretty impressive (that might be a color nook killer), I'll be really interested in reading the reviews of it when it starts shipping in November.  The price sure is good if it really can run apps, surf the web, and do a better job at PDFs than the current standard kindle, I paid more for my ipod....
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on September 28, 2011, 07:46:49 PM
Amazon just went nuts with new kindles...  Some with touch screens, some with standard e-ink, some keep the keyboard, some with just a few buttons, and one tablet like device.

The Kindle Fire looks pretty impressive (that might be a color nook killer), I'll be really interested in reading the reviews of it when it starts shipping in November.  The price sure is good if it really can run apps, surf the web, and do a better job at PDFs than the current standard kindle, I paid more for my ipod....

The drawback for me on the Kindle Fire is that it's locked to the Amazon system.  I'd rather, I think, buy something that can read all formats. Also: No way to put your own shit on it directly, it's all wifi.

It has a USB port, so it's too early to say if you can put stuff on it directly.  And it looks like it has the same format support as all the other kindles, which means it should be able to read all the non-DRM formats out there.  So yeah, if you want to buy a book that has DRM you'll have to go to Amazon.

Not clear if it gives you access to the same cloud drive everyone with an amazon account gets.  If it does then there's no need for a direct connection, unless you don't have a wi-fi access point at home (but those cheap and easy to set up now).
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: sarcasm_made_Easy on September 28, 2011, 08:23:03 PM
im sure like the kindle regular, its both.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on October 17, 2011, 12:32:34 PM
Hadn't heard of the Airpad before, looks very interesting.  If you are reading at home next to an outlet then battery life doesn't matter.  And if you don't read outside or in bright light then screen glare isn't an issue.

Hope it works out better for you than the kindle did, there's no way to use a forehead lamp with it, or any other reader for that matter, they all have glass screens and will reflect a lamp that's positioned anywhere near your head or behind it.  So a back-lit screen and no headlamp would be better for you.

To use a reading lamp with the kindle you've got to position it like this:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: shodan on October 17, 2011, 03:35:02 PM
That solid lead frame should make it pretty durable then.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on November 18, 2011, 01:23:39 PM
My Kindle Fire has just shipped, I'll try reading on it but doubt it will be any better for eye-strain than any other back-lit screen I've tried.  But maybe it will surprise me.

Pretty much want it for streaming video and web browsing, so I'm not stuck at my computer if I want to watch The Daily Show or The Colbert Report.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on November 21, 2011, 11:38:08 PM
 Been testing out the Kindle Fire tonight.

 Needs some tweaking to the silk browser to get it running faster, but it still has trouble displaying some sites correctly, I got opera mobile installed on it and that is way better.

 Pretty good player for Netflix and Amazon streaming video. 

 Still not sure about reading on it, some night I'll have to sit and just read for an hour to see how it goes.  I'm pretty sure my Kindle 3 will still be the one I'll use for hours of reading.

 The carousel launcher is kind of goofy, once you get a bunch of stuff pinned into the favorites under the carousel that's the best way to launch stuff you use a lot.
 
  Not putting any way to organize books is a big step backward, probably will get corrected with a software update eventually.  But it's easy to put the books you are currently reading into favorites and then remove them when you are done reading them.
 
  The touch screen is either too sensitive or not sensitive enough depending on what you want to do, for launching you have to hold your finger on the icon, when trying to type it's so sensitive it triggers before your finger touches the screen.  Hope that can be fixed in a software update as well, I can type on the tiny iPod keyboard with fewer mistakes than on the Fire.
 
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on November 23, 2011, 03:22:56 PM
Last night I read for an hour on the K Fire, used black text on sepia background, with the screen brightness turned almost all the way down.  Didn't notice any eye-strain but wasn't real comfortable either, switched back to my e-ink kindle and read for 2 more hours and was much more comfortable.

Also the reflective screen is a problem, needed the area behind me to be dark, and not too much light on my face or it gets reflected back, not that noticeable when watching streaming video but bothersome while reading.

So, slightly better than I was expecting (no headache after an hour).  Still worth it if you want a tablet device for mostly video and web access, with reading being the secondary function.

Update:  Finally got around to trying out PDFs, way better than the e-ink Kindle due to the Fire having standard Adobe reader and the touch screen, so they look just like on a standard computer and the screen size isn't a problem since you can zoom and pan so quick and easy.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Tripe on February 13, 2012, 05:40:01 PM
So, a recent blog from a friend of a friend (http://absinthenew.blogspot.com/2012/02/on-impermanence-or-jonathan-franzen-and.html), thought people might be interested, or not, ut it's on the topic of the thread.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on February 13, 2012, 06:38:40 PM
What we're really losing, I think, is editors.  Any fucking jerkoff can now publish his incoherent, error-riddled piece of garbage as an e-book, instead of being vetted by people who know talent and can nurture writers.  Imagine some of the posters on here writing ebooks and I think you'll take my point.

I've thought about this as well, on one hand there is already a lot of crap published so no big deal, just more crap to ignore.  But on the other hand what about people starting out and could be helped to get better by working with the staff at a publishing company?  Or even established writers that might lose their focus if all they did was self publish?   
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Lembach on July 04, 2012, 04:17:02 PM
Been using this excellent utility to convert formats over to .mobi.
It has a neat feature to collect metadata on e-books from "generic" sources.
Also manages my collection. The demo video explains it far better than I can.

http://calibre-ebook.com/ (http://calibre-ebook.com/)
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on July 24, 2012, 06:07:57 PM
It seems Amazon finally got sick of the hackers that were turning their 3G kindles into free hotspots.  They have limited general web browsing to 50MB a month, still unlimited to Amazon/Kindle stores and Wikipedia.

About the only thing I ever use the web browser for on my 3G Kindle is weather radar maps, so I doubt I'd ever hit even the low 50MB limit.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Nergol on August 21, 2012, 12:31:01 PM
Quote
What we're really losing, I think, is editors.  Any fucking jerkoff can now publish his incoherent, error-riddled piece of garbage as an e-book, instead of being vetted by people who know talent and can nurture writers.  Imagine some of the posters on here writing ebooks and I think you'll take my point.

The thing is, the more you know about how the publishing industry really works, the less you'll idealize it and wish for the return of the "good old days". I think Fred Reed covered it pretty well in a column from last year:

http://fredoneverything.net/AGA.shtml

Elderberry Press vs. Random House
Lo! The Wind Bloweth, Publishing-wise Anyway
August 28, 2011

"It took a while to get from Gutenberg to Bezosberg, but we is done did it, and the rats in New York are scurrying. Hoo!" Fred Reed

Suppose that you have written a book, maybe How to Blow This Pop Stand, Get Married in Thailand, and Live Happily Ever After, and you want to publish it as a service to mankind. How? You have three choices:

First Choice: A publishing house in New York. Bad idea, unless you are Hillary Clinton, which you probably aren't because she already is. The New York houses are withdrawing themselves from the book racket by a combination of incompetence, arrogance, avarice, and sloth. They have lasted this long only because there was no choice. But now there is a Grett Monstrous New Dog out there.

Kindle.
 
For publishing books, New York simply doesn't work very well. It is ossified, doesn't like writers or writing, and can barely read. You can't just send your manuscript to New York because they won't read un-agented manuscripts. You likely don't know an agent, so you buy Writer's Market and guess. Your guess doesn't matter because there are only two kinds of agents, those too important to bother with you, and those who are straightforwardly useless. You can spend years shopping agents who demand exclusive contracts while they don't sell your book.

Suppose your opus somehow gets to Random House. It will fall into the hands of a first reader, usually a Barnard co-ed with the brains of a trout fly, who likely has never been more that fifty yards from a flush toilet. She will know nothing about America, truck stops, life, or Oklahoma. She will bounce your book.

Think I'm kidding? Every so often some wag takes a classic, maybe Crime and Punishment, changes the names, and sends it to New York. Invariably it gets rejected, meaning that the first reader knows neither literature nor writing. This is what you are up against.

If by some mistake the book is accepted, you get a tiny advance or none and, a year later 5,000 copies get printed, of which 2,000 sell, maybe, because Random House won't promote it, whereupon it goes into remainders, and they have the copyright. Your book is dead.

Choice Two is Print on Demand, or POD. This is a better deal, if you know what you are doing. For about a half-grand, you email your outpouring, Sex and the Single Dromedary, to an outfit like iUniverse, which formats it for publication and sticks it on a hard drive somewhere. It shows up on Amazon and Barnes and Rubble just like Dostoevsky or the Bible and people can order it, but most likely won't. This is much better than the old vanity presses, to which you paid thousands and ended up with a garage full of moldering books.

Iuniverse will then pester you for the rest of your life trying to peddle various means of promoting your book, none of which will work, as iUniverse knows perfectly well. Every ten minutes you get a promotional call from some twit in sales. Reading from a script, he implies without saying that for a great deal of m,oney he will make your book sell better than the Koran. Sure. Any day now.

Choice Three is ebook, which means not only Kindle but Sony and the gang. I was preparing another collection of my lies and distortions, hoping to mulct unwary readers, when I got an email from David St. John at Elderberry Press, which I'd never heard of, wondering would I like him to publish my books in electronic form. Wow. An editor who actually looks for books to publish? Who talks to writers?

That's rare as virgins in the seventh grade. You don't call Random House and and talk to The Editor, or any editor, not even the Barnard trout fly.

It gets worse for the publishing scam. Elderberry can get your opus, Anorexia in the Three-Toed Sloth, by email, format it for Kindle, Sony, Apple, and probably parchment copyists and stone cutters, and put it up for sale on Amazon and the others—in about two weeks. At that point your novel, I Was a Teen-age Breast Pump, covers the entire earth like God and corruption, except maybe for North Korea, where God probably doesn't have coverage. Royalties beat hell out of New York. If like me, you want to include photos, just stick them in. Kindles don't handle color, but iPads do. To a server, photos are just more ones and zeros. It doesn't care.

Oh, and you keep the copyright.

New York? A dinosaur looking with vague unease at the thin film of ice forming on its swamp. Physical books aren't dead, but the green lines on the oscilloscope flatten and flatten. Kindles are selling deadly good. Amazon says it has 950,000 books in Kindle format. Anywhere that has cell phone coverage, meaning anywhere but the Greenland ice cap and the bottom of the Mariana Trench, you can download all 950,000 if the urge hits you.

Here's the killer: A little outfit like Elderberry can do ebooks, or for that matter POD, at least as well as Random House, and probably better. “Better” means the quality of the editor. The rest is software. Further, an electro-shop doesn't need delivery trucks, printing firms, big investors, pricey offices, a thousand employees, or chains of stores.

The flaw in this ointment, the fatal fly, is promotion. You pretty much have to do it yourself, perhaps with a web site, or the social media like Facebook and, eventually, word of mouth. In theory Borders can give you shelf space, except that Borders is dead. In a brick-and-morter book store, what do you see prominently displayed? The Wisdom of Oprah. And I Was Godzilla's Mother, by Janet Napolitano. And Jane Fonda's Salad Book. And The Persephony Diet: Lose Weight by Eating Pure Chicken Fat. Everything else is shelved where nobody will ever see it.

Yes, I know, some people—chiefly old ones—say they just love the feel of a book, that these new-fangled computer thingamabobs will never be as satisfying. Bet me. The rising generations don't read, but they are happy not doing it on a portable screen. It's new world. Countless horrible books will see publication, but also good ones that New York wouldn't touch. Some means will evolve of sorting this mess out, maybe websites run by tasteful reviewers who will slog through the sludge, finding emeralds. It's going to be decentralized, free-lance, beyond the control of big companies.

New York? Nah. It's Kindle, Amazon, Elderberry, Gutenberg.org. That's all it is. Well, Audible.com too. Meanwhile the New York publishers still walk around, barely, while forethoughtedly decomposing, and then croak. Which they deserve. I will buy a case of Padre Kino red, and dance on their graves.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Nergol on August 21, 2012, 09:01:00 PM
Jesus Christ. Angry much, buddy?

Seriously, again, the more you know about how the publishing business really operates, the less sympathy you'll have for them.

And besides, that's not Fred when he's bitter and angry. This is Fred when he's bitter and angry. (http://www.fredoneverything.net/Cambodia.shtml)
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on August 30, 2012, 09:19:24 PM
Amazon is sold out of the Kindle Fire.  Supposed to announce 2 new versions next week, rumor is 7 and 10 inch versions. 

  I'll be interested in the price on the 10 inch one, and how it rates compared to a standard android tablet.  Although I really shouldn't waste money on a tablet.  My iPod touch is now only used as an internet radio (built a docking station with a wall adapter and computer speakers), I hardly use any apps on the Fire anymore, only use it once in a while to watch video, and I will switch from the Fire to my Kindle 3 if I'm reading for several hours straight since the E-ink doesn't bother my eyes.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on September 06, 2012, 09:26:54 PM
Amazon announced the new Kindles today.

Pretty sure they over reached with the Fire HDs, prices are too high, unless they really are as good as other android tablets out there I don't see the advantage.

I'll be looking for a display of that Kindle White in a store, that's the only one I might be interested in if it really is clearer and the "side LEDs into a diffuser" front lighting system really works.  If it had a 7" screen I'd get one for sure, since it's the same size as what I have now I'll wait to see it and read reviews, then decide if it's worth it.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on September 07, 2012, 08:26:31 AM
The biggest problem is holding the tablet. It's so thin and you can't touch the screen so you end up having to pinch the little bit on the side that isn't the screen, and it wobbles and falls over when you start to get sleepy.

That's where putting it in a cover helps a lot.  You can hold it like a regular book, or prop it up on your gut like a book.  And for the e-ink one I clip the book light to the cover.  I can't used either of mine out of the case, especially the e-ink one, my hands cramp.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on September 07, 2012, 11:44:59 AM
The cover I have on my Fire does the sideways folding thing, so you can rest it on stuff in landscape mode, but also works well as a regular cover.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41PALUUvNvL._AA300_.jpg)
  I have a really nice thick leather Oberon cover on my e-ink one, since that's only used for reading it nice to have a cover that feels like an old book.

Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on September 07, 2012, 11:48:11 AM
Looks like they do, but only one left in stock:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41cKAnBCajL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
http://www.amazon.com/Marware-C-E-O-10-1-Inch-Galaxy-SGCF11/dp/B006JW2UTM
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: bigheadtodd82 on September 10, 2012, 09:47:45 AM
I have a nook. My question is, after hearing about "sideloading", how difficult is it to do and is it worth it? Thanks for any help :)
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on September 10, 2012, 12:00:20 PM
I have a nook. My question is, after hearing about "sideloading", how difficult is it to do and is it worth it? Thanks for any help :)

Sideloading is a fairly generic term, what is it you want to do?  Generally it refers to loading files or apps onto the device directly, bypassing the built in ways of doing it.  I don't have a Nook so don't know how easy it is on them but it's fairly easy to do on the Kindles.

If you are thinking of turning the Nook into a more generic tablet, that would be called "rooting".  It can be easy to do if the tools and instructions are already available, but risky, can end up turning your Nook into a brick...
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: bigheadtodd82 on September 10, 2012, 12:07:18 PM
And that's what I don't want to do. I would like to be able to get apps from the android store, it won't let you.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on September 10, 2012, 12:36:46 PM
I run into the same thing on the Kindle Fire, only official place to get apps is the Amazon app store.  To access the android store would require wiping out the Amazon software and turning it into a generic tablet.

But some apps are available outside the Android store, I got the Opera browser working on the Fire that way.  Downloaded the install file onto my PC, used dropbox to get the file onto the Fire, then ran the install file (that would be considered sideloading).  But for stuff only available on the Android store it's not simple, if you have another Android device it's sometimes possible.   I've read about people using their phone to download the install file from the store, then find a way to transfer it to the e-reader to sideload it.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Variety of Cells on November 22, 2012, 11:48:22 PM
Amazon announced the new Kindles today.

Pretty sure they over reached with the Fire HDs, prices are too high, unless they really are as good as other android tablets out there I don't see the advantage.

I'll be looking for a display of that Kindle White in a store, that's the only one I might be interested in if it really is clearer and the "side LEDs into a diffuser" front lighting system really works.  If it had a 7" screen I'd get one for sure, since it's the same size as what I have now I'll wait to see it and read reviews, then decide if it's worth it.

Posted in a different thread a while ago, but I got a Kindle Paperwhite for my birthday and I love it.  The LEDs are great and not too hard on the eyes.  I don't mind the touch screen.  It's nice and light.  It does exactly what I want it to, and the battery lasts quite a long time.  I highly recommend it.  People are complaining that the light doesn't turn all the way off, and it's true, it doesn't.  But if there's any sort of light on in the room, you can't tell it's on.  It's just a physiological desire to want it all the way off.  It's not hurting your eyes or draining the battery more, but that little voice in the back of your heard insists that it is.  But once you tell the voice to shut up it's a great little device.

People who don't like e-readers because they prefer the feeling of a book bug me in the same way that preachy vegetarians do.  Sure, an animal had to die for my meal, but meat requires less work for our body to digest, is more efficient, and allowed our brains to grow as large as they are.  Same as how some nostalgia had to die for my kindle, but it's a much more efficient way to read.  I don't have to worry about a reading light, I don't lose my place when I drop it, and I can carry thousands of books with me wherever I go.  Or shop for a new one from wherever.  And I can make the text really big so I don't throw up while reading in a bumpy car.  It's fine if you don't feel like ever using an e-reader, but don't give me that look when I say I use one.  That preachy vegetarian look....
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Variety of Cells on November 23, 2012, 09:42:01 PM
Prefer is fine, it's when people judge others for using an e-reader that I don't like.  It's quite a trivial pet peeve I have, but this is the internet where I can say whatever for little to no reason, so I thought I'd share.  But now that I've got it off my chest all I have left are nice warm feelings.  So I think this calls for a hug.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Lembach on March 17, 2013, 02:17:27 PM
Honestly, who gives a shit what medium you read a book on so long as you are taking in the information? If I have to read a physical book, better give it the ability to instantly summon a sequel or similar book based on my particular tastes.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: goflyblind on March 17, 2013, 02:27:03 PM
I can't stop seeing the ereader when I'm using it, it distracts me from the content.

then obviously you've got severe psychological issues. this is a safe space; SHOW US ON THE DOLL WHERE THE COMPUTER TOUCHED YOU.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Lembach on March 17, 2013, 03:02:23 PM
I think it's more important to read the book and absorb the information than fret over the medium. Your complaints seem kind of superficial, to be honest.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Lembach on March 17, 2013, 03:17:56 PM
As if ebooks come that way. Please.

If you are talking about a amatuer scanned or pirated book: I don't have to read a wall of text in all caps with no spaces between words because I can convert it to whatever I want with this:

http://calibre-ebook.com/ (http://calibre-ebook.com/)

And I prefer the white letters on black backround. I find it easier on the eyes.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on March 17, 2013, 03:19:21 PM
Calm down people, and I am pretty sure goflyblind was being sarcastic...

When I read most of the complaints in various forums about feel and smell, I also usually see a font or color complaint as well.  I think that's the real issue and the other complaints are just "add-ons".  When I get into a book everything else fades away and I don't even remember switching pages, the same thing happens to me while reading on the kindle.  I am sad that they have taken away the page turning buttons on the new kindles, having to swipe the screen does take you out of the book more than leaving your finger on a button and pressing it when you hit the bottom of the page.

I don't know how it is with the tablet apps but I know there are lots of hacks for adding different fonts to the regular kindles.

I still prefer the e-ink screen to the tablet screen for reading longer than an hour, except in a brightly lit room, then they are equal.  I've never tried reading out in sunlight with the tablet, but I have with the e-ink and it was fine.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on March 17, 2013, 03:36:10 PM
And I prefer the white letters on black backround. I find it easier on the eyes.

That gives me instant headache, for a back-lit screen I've tried lots of options and the best for me is black text on sepia background.

Well, maybe not "instant" but it doesn't take long.  ;D
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Lembach on March 17, 2013, 03:55:58 PM
And I prefer the white letters on black backround. I find it easier on the eyes.

That gives me instant headache, for a back-lit screen I've tried lots of options and the best for me is black text on sepia background.

Well, maybe not "instant" but it doesn't take long.  ;D

My main reading time is the hour and a half I allot prior to falling asleep. I find the stark white or even sepia backgrounds project too much light in a dark room (or under the covers if it's a scary book!). With the black backround, I find once the eyes adjust to the dark of the room, the white letters come out just right.

I swap it around when I'm in the tub.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Variety of Cells on March 18, 2013, 06:16:43 AM
If you are used to reading physical books you're most likely going to prefer them to an e reader. So in general, the older you are the harder it is to feel comfortable with an e reader. That's my hypothesis. My fiancé is only 23 but she read a lot as a kid and can't stand e readers.  While my dad never read a whole lot and thinks they are alright. Tons of exceptions to that I'm sure, but I think there's a correlation with nostalgia.

I never used to read much and I love my kindle paperwhite.  Its made me read exponentially more than I used to.  I like Imhrahils point that because he can't stop seeing the e reader it takes him out of the book, which is really the crux of the problem I'd say. Most of the little points I find myself feeling the exact opposite. I always know where I am in my kindle because the percentage is at the bottom. I even know how many minutes I have left in a chapter because that's at the bottom of the screen too. And I don't lose my place when I clumsily drop the book.  And while I agree that swiping is annoying, the kindle allows me to tap to turn a page, which feels fine. 

The kindle is a more efficient and convenient reading medium, but if I were to read my kindle and be unable to stop seeing the kindle, it'd be worthless. I wouldn't be absorbing the text. And that's the first argument against e readers that has made complete sense to me. What I hate are people who then take that information and say that e readers are the devil and you don't actually appreciate books like I do if you read them on an e reader and don't spend an hour finding it in a cold musty bookstore where even the rare employee that wants to help you can't because no one knows where anything is.

I always thought nostalgia alone was a stupid reason to hate e readers. But if they are distracting because of it, then I understand. I'm sure if someone spent a couple years only reading an e reader they'd change their mind. But is it worth it to do that?  I'd say probably not.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on March 18, 2013, 08:02:27 AM
I'm sure if someone spent a couple years only reading an e reader they'd change their mind. But is it worth it to do that?  I'd say probably not.

The problem is hardcovers are going away.  I wanted to buy Alan Dean Foster's latest trilogy in hardcover, I got the first one but the next 2 only came out in paperback.

So I'd say it's something that people are going to need to learn and adjust to because it's the direction the industry is going. 

Screens will continue to improve, somehow they continue to improve e-ink, and organic LED screens are the next big thing for tablets.  Unfortunately there seems to be a trend in the wrong direction as far as ergonomics is concerned.   Thinner and lighter with more screen area might be great for phones but not for an e-reader.  A good leather cover solves the too thin issue but I still want some area around the screen for my fingers, the page turn buttons are not that big a deal but I do prefer them to the touch screen.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on March 18, 2013, 08:51:33 AM
I still like being able to actually touch the pages of a book instead of having to hold the edges or balance it on my chest so I don't turn the pages.

That's the main reason I like the buttons better, I get way more accidental page turns with the touch screen vs. the physical buttons.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Variety of Cells on April 14, 2013, 12:54:45 PM
Plus, my fingers have more nerve ending information than just "solid surface" in them. They need to develop something more tactile than 'smooth glass'.

That exists (sorry, haven't visited this thread in a long time.)

http://theweek.com/article/index/222204/the-touchscreen-that-lets-you-feel-textures
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Compound on October 29, 2013, 10:16:36 AM
Okay, ignoring the fact that this is a generic thread...

Amazon announced today a Kindle Matchbook program. Basic rundown: If you've bought a book from Amazon in the past, they'll be giving you a break on the cost of that book for Kindle. Prices range from $2.99, $1.99, $.99 or free. (Europeans please check your local branch of Amazon to see if the program exists and for pricing.) Only certain titles apply and yes, you need a Kindle or the Kindle program/App to read them.

In my particular case, Amazon offered me a bunch of Discworld books for about $1.99 a pop.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on October 29, 2013, 10:33:25 AM
Plus, my fingers have more nerve ending information than just "solid surface" in them. They need to develop something more tactile than 'smooth glass'.

That exists (sorry, haven't visited this thread in a long time.)

http://theweek.com/article/index/222204/the-touchscreen-that-lets-you-feel-textures
This might eventually make those remote apps for stuff like a Roku box useful, so you can find the buttons without looking away from the TV screen.  But for an e-reader not sure it's necessary, swiping is just fine for page turning, I guess if you are taking notes a more tactile keyboard would be nice.

That Amazon program is interesting, but they say I don't have any...  I know I've bought a few books in the last 5 years that also had kindle editions, don't know why they are not showing up.  Guess the offer doesn't cover every book.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Compound on October 29, 2013, 02:02:14 PM
No, it only covers about 70,000 books at the moment, which is a lot but there are millions of books out there.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on February 19, 2015, 01:26:50 PM
Had to come here to remember how old my Kindle was, thought it was more than 4 and a half years but I guess not.
Battery in mine is not taking a full charge any more, ordered a replacement kit from newpower99, supposed to have the tools needed to open the case, I've been burned by these types of kits before where the tool pretty much breaks as soon as you try to pry the case open, we'll see.  If I have to use something metal to open the back it's no big deal since I have my Kindle in a leather case and wouldn't feel any divots in the plastic that you always seem to get prying these things apart with screwdrivers...

Thought about ordering a new Kindle, the Voyage is almost enough of a step up to be worth upgrading, but I like my current one so will try the battery replacement kit first....
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on February 20, 2015, 10:49:33 PM
The kit from newpower99 had pretty good tools, the plastic pry-bar worked very well getting the back of my Kindle off.  New battery in and it charged up to full in a few hours (old one was taking many hours to get to 90% and would drop to 50% overnight with no use).
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: MartyS (Gromit) on December 14, 2017, 05:11:47 PM
Got a big Amazon gift card at work so went and upgraded to a Kindle Voyage.

It's been almost 2 years since replacing the battery on my 2010 Kindle Keyboard and it's just starting to show signs of having less battery life.

Only read for about 20 minutes on the Voyage so far but like the higher resolution display.

The LEDs are automatic, don't come on in a bright room, and get dimer as the room gets darker. 
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: Iron Curtain on February 05, 2019, 06:11:41 PM
I suddenly got interested in ebooks again, but I'm one of those people who strongly prefer books without DRM, otherwise I'd be less inclined to read them. I have a first-generation Barnes & Noble Nook, and I encountered a problem with it in that it wouldn't show up in Finder on my Mac. I thought that it needed a software update (the Nook in question is no longer being supported by B&N vis-à-vis Software Updates), and I was so frustrated I even bought a another refurbished Nook from B&N for $90, but it turns out the problem was solved by a reboot.

Anyway, I'm interested in ebooks again because copyright is once again expiring and that means new works from Project Gutenberg (https://gutenberg.org)! Also, there are books I have yet to read from Unbound (https://unbound.com) which is like Kickstarter for books and there are some great DRM-free titles already published therein! Check it out! (https://unbound.com)
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: wihogfan on March 06, 2019, 08:03:46 PM
Damn beagle decided to use my Kobo Aura HD ereader as a chew toy. Had some Amazon bucks and Amazon gift cards from Xmas, so bought a Likebook Mars. Similar specs to the Kindle Voyage as far as screen goes, but it runs Android. Have to many books in epub format to buy a Kindle.  As a Android tablet it's rather mediocre (yeah you can use it to browse the internet and can download Android apps, but e ink isnt't really the best screen to do that). As an ereader, it's a big improvement over my old Kobo.
Title: Re: Generic e-Reader thread.
Post by: wihogfan on March 06, 2019, 08:21:08 PM
I'll add that I do in fact buy a lot of ebooks off Amazon (and the Kindle app works on my Likebook), but I always rip the DRM off of them and convert them to epub. Amazon's DRM pisses me off.