[ubuntu-uk] OT Kindle

Hassan "Haz" Williamson haz at hazrpg.co.uk
Mon Mar 28 04:19:39 UTC 2011

On 24 March 2011 07:10, Sean Miller <sean at seanmiller.net> wrote:

> I've heard significantly more "romantic" descriptions of books in print
> than "dead tree version" ;-)
> I shall never, myself, be a great advocate of things like the Kindle... I
> spend all day looking at a screen programming, or in my part time job at
> Morrisons supporting self-scans and working on tills, so when I want to "get
> away and relax" the last thing I want is an electronic screen.
> Decent Newspaper and (paper) novel will do me.
> Returning to the subject, what is the advantage of a Kindle over something
> like an iPad which - to me at least - appears to be much better able to view
> PDF files and is fairly decent at books too?
> Sean
> --
> ubuntu-uk at lists.ubuntu.com
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-uk
> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UKTeam/
Hi Sean,

The main advantage of an ebook reader (kindle, etc) to a tablet (ipad, etc)
is the fact that an ebook reader uses e-ink display to display the content,
and a tablet uses a regular LCD/LED/Run-of-the-mill backlit screens/.../etc.
If you placed both side-by-side in bright sunlight, you'd still be able to
see/read clearly exactly what was on the ebook reader, but on the tablet
you'll be squinting your eyes and trying to create shade over it to read the
black-lit device. I like to describe them as an electronic form of an
etch-e-sketch - because you essentially get the same effect (except clearer,
and anti-aliased text).

The other thing to remember is the battery life is so much different with
both, an ebook reader prints to the screen and essentially goes off into a
standby mode waiting for you to press a button, its not wasting power with a
back-light LED, giving you up to about 1 month battery life (if you have
wifi/3g disabled, about 1 week if its enabled). With a tablet, its
constantly having to keep power to the screen so you'll usually be lucky if
you get a week worth out of a single charge. To stress this point, I just
bought a kindle the other week from Tesco (so who knows how long it was sat
in the back before I bought it!)... when I bought it, it had steps to do on
the front-screen. I initially thought it was just the sticker placed on the
screen with some regular first use steps (the screen was literally that
clear to read!). So I followed the first step, and plugged it in to charge
and walked away to make a coffee. I came back to notice the screen had
changed without step one printed on it... completely baffled, I proceeded to
remove the plastic sticker on the screen to make sure I hadn't gone insane.
Surely enough, the sticker had nothing on it - what I had seen was actually
the screen itself! Fantastic piece of technology, I must admit!

Pual Sutten:

> On another note, part of my Open uni studies requires me to read and
> highlight text in book, if i could get hold of electronic versions can i do
> this with kindle or other book readersl as in highlight text adnthen some
> how save the file with the highlights so i can use it to take notes, or
> perhaps there is other ways to attach notes to text.

Hi Paul,

Part of my reason to purchase a kindle (3g/wifi edition), was to be able to
highlight text, add notes and be able to keep bookmarks of favourite
sections & where I currently was in a novel/book. I must say, the kindle
does this well for my needs.

I would like to confirm a few points mentioned here, and also some I feel to
be incorrect (but some are just opinions):
- Reading PDF's do take just a little longer to load then a regular native
format (AZW, MOBI, TXT, etc), however depending on how the PDF was created
(i.e. not a scanned copy, don't have any to confirm this) you can still do
highlights, add notes and put bookmarks onto a PDF. If I recall at the very
least, on a scanned PDF you can at least make notes and put bookmarks. I
have just tested this right now because I was confused when I read peoples
thoughts in this thread (because I was sure I was doing it on PDF's myself).
Also, the notes, bookmarks and highlights show up very well on screen and
are easy to manage in my experience.

- Notes and Highlights: On a PDF document, a highlight shows up as you'd
expect with the background of the selected text greyed out. When you do a
note in a section of the screen, it will show a number on a black square
where the cursor was placed (much like a citation). This I find perfect. On
a native format, you instead get a grey underline to show that section was
highlighted, you still get the same black square with a number though. Great
thing is you can move the cursor over the black squared number and be able
to edit, delete or share that note.

- Problems with managing notes, bookmarks, highlights: This is the only
issue I really have; when you want to view or manage them your presented
with all of them for that book essentially. I've only had it a week, so I
don't really have enough notes or highlights yet - so I'm unsure if you open
the manager up ("view notes & marks") whether it will go straight to the
page with the notes and highlights for the page your currently viewing, or
if it just goes to the first page and you have to scroll through. Someone
else could maybe confirm this (or not).

- PDF's don't work with text-to-speech, which I was disappointed with. Since
this means I need to essentially either convert my documents to a native
format (or have both formats - one for when I want to read, or one for when
I'm being lazy or following a tutorial on a guide).

- Size of text on PDF documents: So far I don't have a problem with this.
Since some of the PDF's I do own, look very similar to the original print
size of the document/book. However this might have something to do with the
fact that they are decided to be printed on A5 or similar sizes. I'm not
sure what it would look like for a document that was A4 (or bigger). However
you do have an option to zoom, but this might get frustrating after a while
since it does take a second for it to refresh the e-ink on-screen. This is
where native documents are preferable over PDF's - since the reader can
change the text-size on-the-fly.

Heh, just realised I did it again... wrote way too much. Sorry for the wall
of text, but hopefully this information helps you out. If you'd like I can
take some pictures for you with a ruler next to the kindle for size
references of anything you'd like to see or if you have any more question
I'll be happy to test them out and answer them for you. Also, I'm more than
willing to setup a live feed on ustream or something with the camera pointed
directly at the kindle and show you it live and answer any questions you
have that way too.

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