Print Story Nook Update
By wiredog (Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 08:12:20 AM EST) (all tags)
A few thoughts after using one for a week.

Gave it a major workout last weekend, and Monday when I was traveling.

Due to the Underwear Bomber I gave myself an extra hour to get through security at McCarran Airport in Lost Wages Nevada. Naturally there were no lines and I was at the gate 2 1/2 hours early.

People who travel a lot, and read a lot, are going to love ebook readers.

Monday morning I took the fully charged device. Turned on the cell radio, downloaded the Washington Post, turned off the radio. Then I read the Post. For the rest of the day I finished off LoTR:FoTR from Moria on. Read all of LoTR:TTT in the airport and on airplanes (Vegas to SLC to Washington Dulles). By Monday night it was down to about 50% charge on the battery.

Lord of the Rings is a great test of an ebook reader. Tolkein uses all sorts of characters. Every vowel is accented somewhere or other, and most have umlauts somewhere or other. Plus his own invented characters. The Nook handled them all without any trouble at all. Very easy to read.

The poetry, OTOH, was another story... The Nook full justifies everything, and the poetry is center justified. So a few lines are right justified, then one or two are left justified, then right, left, etc. Very hard to read.

The Nook puts paragraph breaks

randomly in the text. Every couple of pages you get a paragraph break in the middle of a line. Distracting.

Footnotes* don't work well. Or, really, at all. You see a footnote marker, but there's no way to select it, or navigate to it. The footnotes do show up at the end of the book, but there's no way (other than setting bookmarks) to flip back and forth between them.

The built in dictionary is very comprehensive, but quirky. LoTR is full of archaic words and English (rather than American) spellings and the dictionary handled them all without problem. Except that it doesn't do well with alternate forms. "League" is looked up properly (archaic form of distance measurement, 2.5 to 4.5 miles), but "leagues" is not found.

As clock points out, the lcd keyboard has a fat finger problem.

Also, the backlit LCD display sucks battery life. Since it's on the whole time you're reading a newspaper (you need it to navigate) reading a newspaper eats a lot of battery.

The LCD display is a good idea in theory, as it makes the overall device smaller while leaving the same amount of room for the e-ink display, but it needs work. Some of the buttons, maybe, need to be moved to the physical device. Maybe above the current navigation buttons.

Got one of the $30 faux leather covers. Makes it much easier to hold the device while reading. clock needs one of those. Maybe as a birthday present from the Dude.

clock also needs to get the Calibre ebook management software. It's free, open-sauce, runs on Mac and Windows. The latest version syncs with the Nook, and works properly with it. Really nice if you're getting books from places other than B&N and need to convert them.

Guy from the WaPo borrowed it yesterday, will return it Sunday. He's got a Kindle, so can do a head to head comparison. He may also report on his adventures jump-starting his Prius.

Will be offline for the next couple of days. May be able to check in in the mornings. Now to call the cable company and see if I can cancel TV, without getting internet cut off, thus saving $100/month, which I will spend on other things.

< Not sure where I've been | ddo - it's different than playing with dice and paper. >
Nook Update | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
agreed on all counts by clock (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 08:19:41 AM EST
still haven't done the paper on it and i might just for giggles.  i have calibre and have been using it with gutenberg books because their epub formatting blows (at least with John Muir's books).  the latest version took care of the margin problem you posted earlier.  with the nook preset, everything came out nicely (though I had to wrestle with fonts for a little bit).

i got the leather envelope dealy as a case mostly so that it will survive in my daily bag.  it's tough enough to take a bump and i can wrap it up when i'm not using it so that The Dude won't break it (though he has been very good about not touching kid).

and yeah...navigation might need to go to physical buttons OR they need to rethink the way the device presents information.  or both. 

all in all, a great way to read a book...especially one handed!

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

heh heh heh by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 08:50:04 AM EST
is reading one handed anything like typing one handed ?

[ Parent ]
not at all. by clock (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 09:14:01 AM EST
it's much easier.

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
format of the data by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 08:21:22 AM EST
George may be smarter than I, since I know jack-all about post script format..

But what is the native encoding of the data ? vector graphics a'la post script, or is it actual text encoding ? (or text/font encoding) ? If it's vector/PS or even PDF-like, than should be no surprise that the reader can display pretty much any character as well as non-encoded glyphs like elvish.

Nah, PostScript is simple, but limited by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #3 Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 08:35:54 AM EST
in use, there aren't too many places that would pay you for PostScript knowledge.

From memory and the Redbook (yeah, I keep one at home and at work)

/Courier findfont
12 scalefont setfont
72 720 moveto
(Hello World) show

PS fonts can be bitmaps, or vector, or a combination of both.

[ Parent ]
Got my mum a Sony Ebook reader by jump the ladder (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 08:54:11 AM EST
For winterval. A palpable hit as she doesn't really use a PC or her mobile phone but she's got the reader with her at all times especially when she travels to work on the train. Luckily she loves the classics so there's piles of free stuff on Project Gutenberg. No back light nor touch screen but it does the job well.

Interesting by Herring (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 10:00:25 AM EST
SD's dad got her one of those. As has been the case in the past with tech gifts, SD can't work it*. Not casting nasturtiums at your mum, but I'm assuming she's not an ubergeek and that it isn't really that hard.

*If I was being uncharitable, I'd go with "can't be bothered to find out how to work it". Since I'm keen on encouraging independence and I've fucking had enough of certain people's unwillingness to Google, I wont be offering to help.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
Complete opposite of a geek by jump the ladder (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 10:04:56 AM EST
Believe you me but she has worked out how to read a book on it although I download the books on to the device for her. I just download a few a time to keep her going.

This is the first electronic device that my mum actually uses apart from TV, radio and landline.

[ Parent ]
I figured so by Herring (4.00 / 2) #9 Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 10:14:54 AM EST
Apparently some of the younger set believe that affecting helplessness is endearing. Not to me it aint.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
technially should be possible by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed Dec 30, 2009 at 11:07:24 PM EST
I had cable Internet a full year before I got the TV part.  Turns out, that I had the analog TV the whole time, if I had just hooked a TV up to it I woulda knew.

Technically, yes. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #11 Thu Dec 31, 2009 at 07:16:42 AM EST
And the technician I talked to yesterday said it would be no problem. But we'll see. I've heard stories...

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
how well does annotation work? by infinitera (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Dec 31, 2009 at 09:27:36 PM EST
And can it be done on non-BN books?

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

Haven't tried it. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:10:31 AM EST
Not in the habit of writing in my books.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
have you discovered mobileread? by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #14 Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 07:07:45 AM EST
Highly recommended.

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
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