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Digital readers - 11/29/2010 12:19:23 PM   
JudgeDredd


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I know this has been discussed before but I wanted some fresh eyes on this topic as what I'm looking for isn't going to be cheap and I want to make the right call...

With my strategy games, I find alot of playtime on them is lost because I do not read the manual beforehand. And the reason for that is I have bad memory retention...so it's wasted time. So what i like to do is read the manual (relevant bits) whilst playing. I find the game sticks in my head more this way.

However, with PDFs being the norm now, I'm afraid reading the manual whilst playing isn't always a solution -
1. sometimes my system doesn't take too kindly to the ALT-TAB and crashes or messes the desktop (because the game is running in a lower res)
2. printing some of these manuals just isn't feasible
3. using my laptop is a viable option - unfortunately it's often being used by my wife, my kids and even if it's not, my computer desk is a bit of a squeeze for space

So - I need something that will read pdfs. The Kindle is just £109 and that's affordable to me. So I'm toying with the idea of getting one...but are there any other options for the same price or less out there? (no Apple products please - which kind of goes without saying when I asked "£109 or less" )

I love books too and I tend to buy books (where my wife would rather get them from the library) - but am unsure as yet if I would read books on an electronic device...my main reason for requiring one is for pdfs (specifically manuals for my games) at this moment, though I may well use it for books in the future.

Also, for Matrix, because I am wanting to use this to view manuals (yours) are there any formatting/version issues? Do you know if your manuals are readable and formatted correctly for being displayed on these devices?

Also meant to ask - buying "another" brand of eReader - does that limit you to where you can buy ebooks? eg buying a Kindle - are you stuck to buying eBooks from Amazon? And if you buy a Sony for example, can you not get access to the Amazon eBook store?

All this technology is really new to me and I've never even looked into it because I didn't see a need - but I do now.

Thanks

< Message edited by JudgeDredd -- 11/29/2010 12:29:52 PM >


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RE: Digital readers - 11/29/2010 1:52:52 PM   
sabre1


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I have seen the Nook and Kindle, and messed with them. I think Nook is coming out with a color version. I don't like the smaller screens so I have been holding off because of the price, but I don't think that is coming down anytime soon. That being said, the difference between the two depends on who you talk to. I get people adamant about their choice, so I sit on the fence waiting. Choice paralysis I guess.

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RE: Digital readers - 11/29/2010 1:53:23 PM   
E

 

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I haven't really paid attention to them because near as I can figure, you can't just throw any PDF on them.  I get the impression you have to buy from Company-X if you have an X-Reader. So you couldn't buy from Company-Y or even download a game manual from Computer-Z.  Or so I think.  Mostly. Sort of. Maybe. Kind of. A bit.


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RE: Digital readers - 11/29/2010 2:09:23 PM   
Rockhopper

 

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I've owned a first generation Sony PRS-500 reader since it came out. I do like it, and have read dozens of books from it. However, I am like you... I would love to have a good reader option for PDF's.

PDF support among all the readers varies widely. My PRS-500 will display them, but the support is far from ideal. For best results, the PDF has to be scaled to match the reader's screen dimensions. PDF's are never made in that dimension, so consequently the PDF's look terrible and are hard to work with on mine.

www.mobileread.com is an outstanding resource for researching readers.

EDIT: posted the post before I was finished...

There are tools available via mobileread that you can use to properly format various files for your reader. I use a program called Calibre to manage my library. I use it to produce and convert various files to the Sony reader format. I can then load the Reader via USB cable.

You are not stuck buying books just from the vendor of the reader. There are quite a few third party book stores online, you can find many of them via mobileread.




< Message edited by Rockhopper -- 11/29/2010 2:14:20 PM >

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RE: Digital readers - 11/29/2010 2:31:08 PM   
z1812


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Hi,

I like to have access to manuals as well when I am playing or working on my computer. My solution is 2 monitors. My game or work will be open on one and the manual on the other.

I bought a small samsung that pivots so I have the pdf in portrait mode that shows a complete page. A 17 inch should work well.

Regards John

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RE: Digital readers - 11/29/2010 2:49:09 PM   
Lützow


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I myself don't own such a reader yet, but would assume that a 6" Kindle is hardly an adequately device for displaying documents which are layouted in a larger size. If you're not willing or miss the according programs for reformating those Matrix manuals, rather take the 100 Pounds to purchase a second monitor.

< Message edited by Lützow -- 11/29/2010 3:41:51 PM >


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RE: Digital readers - 11/29/2010 3:16:31 PM   
junk2drive


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With prices dropping I have a problem figuring out readers, netbooks, tablets, laptops, notebooks and desktops. And then there are phones. geesh

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RE: Digital readers - 11/29/2010 3:30:54 PM   
JudgeDredd


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Thx for your input.

Well I've read a bit about them today.

Seems the Kindle (which I was keen on) is locked to Amazon and their DRM scheme...meaning shopping around for books is a no go. On top of that, it seems it's not entirely clear whether they will "adequately" display pdfs or not...and it's for that last reason that I'm not going to bother.

I'll have to struggle through

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RE: Digital readers - 11/29/2010 3:41:18 PM   
Lützow


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The whole trick is utilizing devices according to their intended purpose, rather than thinking about abuse for something they were not built for. The Kindle might be a good bargain for many people, but since I refuse to pay for e-books, it's obvious that I don't need a discrete reader and can as well refrain from a purchase.

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RE: Digital readers - 11/29/2010 5:34:08 PM   
SlickWilhelm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: z1812

Hi,

I like to have access to manuals as well when I am playing or working on my computer. My solution is 2 monitors. My game or work will be open on one and the manual on the other.

I bought a small samsung that pivots so I have the pdf in portrait mode that shows a complete page. A 17 inch should work well.

Regards John



I think this solution is the best, and probably the cheapest.

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RE: Digital readers - 11/29/2010 5:44:38 PM   
kentcol

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd

Thx for your input.

Well I've read a bit about them today.

Seems the Kindle (which I was keen on) is locked to Amazon and their DRM scheme...meaning shopping around for books is a no go. On top of that, it seems it's not entirely clear whether they will "adequately" display pdfs or not...and it's for that last reason that I'm not going to bother.

I'll have to struggle through


I have the new Kindle and love it. If you send them a game manual in whatever form it comes in, they send it back to you converted for Kindle. It's a nice alternative.

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RE: Digital readers - 11/29/2010 6:35:15 PM   
Andrew Williams


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I have a 7" Android touch screen device.

i have installed Adobe reader, Kindle App, Kobo App.

You can read PDF's with zooming in and out as required.

Just read "Pegasus Bridge" using the kindle app... my son is reading "The Bournr Identity" on his Ipod Touch using Kobo.


Looking forward to ebooks coming out with included video and animation so manuals can really explain what they mean.

Got to say @ 7" it's great to lay on the lounge/bed and read in comfort... it's no heavier than a paperback and easier to hold.


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RE: Digital readers - 11/29/2010 7:30:28 PM   
Hertston


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I wouldn't trade my Sony PRS-505 for a Kindle or anything else. It's perfect for novels and other non-technical reading, is not DRM crippled and doesn't have a touch screen (how anyone can view that facility as a plus in a book reader is totally beyond me). As Rockhopper said, .pdf support could be better but Calibre (which is absolutely superb - and free) will happily convert them, and just about anything else, into EPUB anyway.

BUT, book readers are NOT good for .pdf game manuals or technical/academic books and documents. I'm another who favours the two monitors approach, it's cheap and obviously useful for far more than reading manuals.

< Message edited by Hertston -- 11/29/2010 7:31:35 PM >

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RE: Digital readers - 11/29/2010 8:15:15 PM   
Jeffrey H.


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It seems all these devices are trying to go the controlled content distribution path to success. It's so dumb to see them fall into that trap. I was in an Apple store the other day looking at one of their new web browsing pad thingies, the bigger one, not the little tiny ones, and they couldn't demonstrate web pages that use flash media because, you guessed it, Apple is fighting the trend and not supporting it. Trouble for them is, that's the only reason I was interested.


< Message edited by Jeffrey H. -- 11/29/2010 8:17:12 PM >


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RE: Digital readers - 11/29/2010 9:48:22 PM   
Fred98


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I have the same problem as Judge Dredd but I have a different solution.

I print a copy of the PDF manual.

No matter what size the manual comes in I make sure I print it on A4 size.

I read the manual whilst commuting to and from work.

I mark passages and, after work, test those aspects of the game.

With some games I have to read the manual 3 or 4 times.

Afterwards I make a mini manual / cheat sheet

When it is finished, I print a fresh copy of the manual and place the mini manual / cheat sheet, at the front.

And place the whole package in a small file.

If at any time the mini manual / cheat sheet is not good enough, I update it.

-


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RE: Digital readers - 11/29/2010 10:02:38 PM   
cmurphy625


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I have the smaller kindle, and I love it!.. got me back into reading.. but on the bad side.. screen does make PDF's too small.. and you don't have the text 'resizing' that you get with the regular Kindle books.. It's readable on landscape mode, but it's not really made for fast searches to specific areas (something we all do with PDF files).. So if your main reason is for manuals/PDF's.. I would not recommend it.. For reading books, my wife and I love it!

Joe.. printing would be cool.. but my lazer printer get's upset if you the jobs are too big.. and getting printed at a copy shop can be expensive!

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RE: Digital readers - 11/29/2010 11:09:16 PM   
Adam Parker


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My "Latest Generation" Kindle DX and Kindle 3 have been running smoothly for the best part of three months now - not one freeze and exceptionally easy downloading, uploading and reading. Battery lives have been superb.


If you're wanting to read PDF's though Judge, the 9.7" Kindle DX is the only feasible option for you in that range. You'll need that screen real estate to get everything on one page in a readable form. But it's $379 USD.


My 6" Kindle 3 is beautiful too and I've been using it more than my DX for reading books lately - but I could never read a PDF on it - the zoom and scrolling can be done but it's cluunky and would drive me crazy after a while.

In fact, I've been reading my PDF GMT Games manuals on my iPhone via landscape mode whilst out and about - the scroll and touch zoom are so much easier being that those manuals are in a column format rather than full page and PDF's seem to be a natural medium for it.

Hope that helps.

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RE: Digital readers - 11/29/2010 11:28:20 PM   
cmurphy625


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Yes, I also prefer my ITouch for reading PDF's over the Kindle. Kindle shines as a book reader, but is pitiful for PDF's..

IPad would be awesome for PDF's.. but way to expensive for a PDF reader..

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RE: Digital readers - 11/30/2010 1:32:23 AM   
RedArgo


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I have no idea what is involved in this, but it would be great if Matrix would make all their manuals available in e-pub. I use my Sony e-reader for PDFs but it is less than ideal.

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RE: Digital readers - 11/30/2010 2:08:39 AM   
hgilmer3


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I have a Kindle because I got so excited about it when I read up on it, I just went out and bought it.  I slightly looked at the Sony model that was available at the time, but I just HAD to have the Kindle right then!

And honestly, I've loved every minute of owning it.  I don't have to run to the book store at any given time.  I can go out and get a book by searching.  It used to be much cheaper especially for new books not out of hardback yet, but about 3-4 months after buying it, some kind of agreement was made between publisher and amazon and now they sell them for about 3 dollars higher than they used to do.  I still love it, though.

I read Ben Hur which is a pretty good book and a book I would have never read without having the Kindle.  I got Ben Hur for about $1.

Anyway, back to the original question and my thoughts.  I bought D-Day and the battle for Normandy and there are maps.  And it is completely useless for maps.  I couldn't see anything or make out anything.  I have the early version of kindle and imagine looking at a map at about 40-45% the size it was originally made to appear.  Not very good.

So, for PDFs for games, probably a very bad decision, if you could even get it on the Kindle which I am unsure is possible.

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RE: Digital readers - 11/30/2010 2:31:45 AM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hgilmer3

I read Ben Hur which is a pretty good book and a book I would have never read without having the Kindle.  I got Ben Hur for about $1.


Look around; you shouldn't have to pay anything for classics where the copyright has expired. Try Project Gutenberg.

BTW a note for my fellow Brits yet to take the plunge on a book reader, whereas there is no VAT chargeable on printed books it is on e-books. There is therefore a significant price premium and the electronic versions actually end up costing much the same. In the case of big-sellers you can pick up discounted in stores, the e-book is usually more expensive.


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RE: Digital readers - 11/30/2010 2:43:18 AM   
hgilmer3


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Yes, I have heard of Gutenberg, not sure if I can get those on Kindle, but most older stuff like that is at a very good price. Some are free. I got Dracula, Frankenstein and a few others for free already.

That's interesting that it costs more in England for the electronic version. Doesn't make sense to me. Electronic saves a tree.

Edit: Just looked and it says they do have Kindle format, just not sure how they can be downloaded to my Kindle.

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RE: Digital readers - 11/30/2010 4:38:45 AM   
Adam Parker


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Judge here's a picture of the 9.7" Kindle DX with a PDF manual of a game I'm currently playing in all its glory.

Pretend you're looking at something roughly 26cm long and 18cm wide for the total Kindle unit. Its superb:




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Adam Parker -- 11/30/2010 4:39:32 AM >

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RE: Digital readers - 11/30/2010 4:47:45 AM   
Adam Parker


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Gotta clean that scanner screen!

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RE: Digital readers - 11/30/2010 7:25:52 AM   
JudgeDredd


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Thanks all - but I specifically wanted it for reading pdfs. I think the only real option is another monitor in the future.

Adam - I was hoping for a "little" reader - not the likes of the DX and if that is my only real option for a pdf, then it just reinforces that they are what I'm looking for.

Thanks to everyone for saving me £150

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RE: Digital readers - 11/30/2010 11:01:10 AM   
Adam Parker


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Actually Judge, I think a DX sized system is exactly what you need, whatever the brand.

Remember that these things are only a couple of cm's thick. I've got the whole Battles From the Bulge manual on mine and the font Matrix has chosen is uber easy to read.

The 213 pages are all there, any can be bookmarked and jumped to with ease. Unless you want to be tied to a computer screen, it is the way to go. You just miss out on the color.

For me it will be the way I'll be following along with the War in the East tutorial

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RE: Digital readers - 11/30/2010 11:13:19 AM   
JudgeDredd


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What's the greyscale like with pictures on the DX Adam?

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RE: Digital readers - 11/30/2010 11:39:37 AM   
Adam Parker


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I can try to scan you something a bit later from BFtB - I'm actually laid up with a cold, my iPhone for the Internet and my DX right now

All the mod cons hey with a box of aloe Kleenex

But for description sake, the screen pics in all 45 game manuals on my DX are clear. For extra help everything can be zoomed or looked at in landscape mode that auto-adjusts the size just by tilting the unit too.

PDF pics seem to offer a greater resolution than the average pic found in a Kindle book - those are usually just optical scans.

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RE: Digital readers - 11/30/2010 11:59:01 AM   
nelmsm1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hgilmer3

Yes, I have heard of Gutenberg, not sure if I can get those on Kindle, but most older stuff like that is at a very good price. Some are free. I got Dracula, Frankenstein and a few others for free already.

That's interesting that it costs more in England for the electronic version. Doesn't make sense to me. Electronic saves a tree.

Edit: Just looked and it says they do have Kindle format, just not sure how they can be downloaded to my Kindle.


Yes, you can download from Gutenberg onto your computer and from there to your Kindle. I use Calibre, makes it pretty easy. You can also use Calibre to move PDF's from your computer to your Kindle.

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RE: Digital readers - 11/30/2010 2:49:10 PM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: nelmsm

I use Calibre, makes it pretty easy. You can also use Calibre to move PDF's from your computer to your Kindle.


Just to emphasize the above and earlier posts (inc mine), Calibre really is a kick-ass bit of software. Does everything you actually want an e-book organizer to do with none of the cr*p you don't want it to do.

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