What's the most hackable E-Reader?

Discussion in 'Books, Music, TV & Movies' started by Warm Woolly Shee, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. cracker

    cracker Nyah!

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    Aug 24, 2005
    United States
    Devices that are meant to be specifically for e-reading are crap really. All of the good ones have e-ink and no backlighting (afaik). For a cheap 'hackable' e-reader a Windows Mobile/Pocket PC device is ok. PDFs load and flow slowly on them though. In contrast the iPhone/iPod Touch can handle PDFs with ease and zooming in and out is great (Felaur PDF is what I use). For text/lit reading you can use just about any device with homebrew capability or built in text reading would be ok since it doesn't involve decompression and graphics.
     
  2. Pyrofyr

    Pyrofyr GBAtemp Maniac

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    Apr 24, 2008
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    Another thing to consider is that for things like comics the size of the eReader can matter a lot, when digitized they tend to be of less quality when seen even at the same resolution/dpi. For example I needed a 1920x1080 monitor to view them decently, unless I flipped my tv on it's side which is stupid. :|

    The iPhone has a temporary solution in the form of an app that 'zooms' in to text fields on the fly to view them closer.

    I might look into an ereader just for comics though...
     
  3. delta123

    delta123 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Jul 18, 2005
    Hyougo, Japan
    i have my comics in epub format. and like i said i have not have had any problems with being able to read them. i would like to read them in a 7' screen because japanese mangas when printed in volumes are that size, but they are slightly more expensive. having a 6' screen is still very readable. and i love it.

    epub is the new industry standard for ebooks. they have embedded fonts if they need to making it more accessible to books with other languages. with epub i am able to get all my chapters of a manga into volumes and have chapter markers for each chapter.

    LRF is a sony format only, although you can still use the format it is technically now dead. sony has been replacing that format with epub. but the advantage of lrf over epub for the sony reader is that it was fast for flipping the pages of comics. if i have one chapter to read i would usually just convert the comic to lrf. but epub is better for the volumes. but if i could find a way to convert epub to lrf without loosing the image quality then i would make all my comics lrf.
     
  4. Warm Woolly Shee
    OP

    Warm Woolly Shee GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Jul 14, 2006
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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    As Blue Zoidberg said, a laptop/DS/iphone is not an option. I much prefer e-ink technology or something similar.

    By hackable, I pretty much mean free books for me to "try before I buy." If I recall, Kindle was a bit difficult.
     
  5. delta123

    delta123 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Jul 18, 2005
    Hyougo, Japan
    what i find with most ebook stores, they allow you to read a chapter or two before you buy them. you can get pdf's of your books everywhere, which you might find good to convert to epub to read as not all pdf files allow reflow.

    sony has their new prs-900's which is getting pretty good reviews. it has the mobile internet thingy for you to by books off their store, like the kindle. and it supports epub. the kindle does not support epub yet, which they should because epub is what everyone else is using, and limits them to just the amazon store. but any epub reader is good. aztek is great.

    but there are laptops that are coming out that have the reflective surface, so you can use it in the sun without having to increase the back lite.
     
  6. Blue Zoidberg

    Blue Zoidberg GBAtemp Regular

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    Oct 22, 2008
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    Amazon probably won't ever support epub because it would hypothetically cut into their download profit margin. It even took them quite a while to finally integrate the mobi they already own. The Kindle is pretty a fairly closed system (proprietary formats, no memory expansion) and you never know, if you make them angry they're liable to remove content from your reader...
     
  7. Blue Zoidberg

    Blue Zoidberg GBAtemp Regular

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    Oct 22, 2008
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    It appears Amazon is taking some steps towards making their product more versatile. They've given out "Kindle Kits" to some software companies (including EA) and hope to start rolling out programs soon.

    In other news, one of the most hopeful new e-readers the Plastic Logic Que has been put through its paces. The English born device is the product of some 20 years R&D into plastic transistors and the Que is a large, unbelievably lightweight, touchscreen reader.
    It naively supports a variety of "business formats" including word and power point and touts barns and noble's online book list for extra reading. However, the Que has proven to be slow, even by e-reader standards, and very cost prohibitive.

    Finally, and more to the point of the OP, the Nook has had some friendly hacking going on. Yep, the plucky little e-reader with the Android heart has been "rooted" or given up access to its core menu system.
    What does this mean? Well, a couple of inspired folks have started putting Android Apps onto the Nook. Apparently "any app will work" but the programs need a bit of formatting to meet the layout of the Nook. So far Pandora and a small web browser have been converted but the team, an I'm sure more apps will crop up soon.
    And B&N's reaction? They seem to like, or at least not care, the idea of 3rd party programming. Since the Nook was rooted, three firmware patches have come out and none of them have touched the accessibility of the core programming. Maybe this is why Amazon is so keen to put their Kindle Kits into developer's hands...
     
  8. Pyrofyr

    Pyrofyr GBAtemp Maniac

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    Apr 24, 2008
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    If you want something that's JUST an eReader, test the actual eReader before buying it, go somewhere with one on display, check out if it's worth it.

    There are so many problems with an eReader though that unless you want to read books a lot, it's too big to carry.

    Since you're adamant I'll just point out that the first thing to look for is anything that folds, as long as when it folds out it's a decent size (6 or 7 inch screen), any smaller and you're condensing the average comic/manga which is a problem.

    There are a few new software ideas coming out for reading comics better on eReaders but they're not widely taking yet. One example is an iPhone app (I believe they worked it into one eReader too..) wherein clicking on any text bubble would zoom in on it to read it without a problem.

    eReaders are not very good at the moment, wait until color becomes the norm and 'scroll'-style eReaders are more readily available as opposed to these shitty hard plastic cover ones.
     
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