I have a Sony Ereader since Christmas I would highly recommend it.
There is an excellent cross-platform open source free library management application called Calibre which I use to add and delete books to my Ereader. Calibre supports conversion from (HTML, LIT, RTF, TXT, PDF(simple text+few images)) to the SONY ebook reader format LRF and it is regularly updated. It works with the Sony firmware.
You can download it here:
It doesn't work with 64 bit Windows.
ElNino, I've been very tempted to get one of these since it came out in the US (had people on two occasions try to get me one but they were always out of stock...) but I'd really like to hear a first hand account of how the Reader handles PDF in particular? I have a lot of technical/programming eBooks in PDF, which is what I would want to mainly use on it and I'm not sure they will be easy to read. Can the Reader zoom in on PDF at all?
Beyond that, does it handle CHM (or can CHM easily be converted for it)? Thanks.
Sounds like the iLiad would be better suited for you. It handles any technical book in PDF format I've thrown at it admirably with out the need for zooming due to its larger 8" screen.
It supports the following natively: PDF, HTML/XHTML, TXT, XEB, Mobipocket and through a 3rd party port of FBreader it supports an additional 10 formats including CHM.
Yep, I've looked at the iLiad and it is very impressive (I really like the ability to take notes) but I'm not sure I can justify the at least double (for the Book Edition) asking price over the Sony Reader - that's why I'm interested in some first hand account of how the Reader deals with PDF. There are plenty of reviews out there that mention problems but these are all from the original 2006 launch and I'd really like to know how things are now...
No, you can't zoom on PDFs. PDF support is much better with the new firmware as it reflows text based PDFs but I still find it hard to read PDFs. There are utilities available to convert PDFs to Sony's LRF format but I have tried them. The Mobileread forum has a lot of information on this topic http://www.mobileread.com/forums/
It doesn't handle CHM so you need to decompile to HTML and convert to LRF
or a better solution would be to use ABC Amber CHM Converter to convert to LIT which converts very well to LRF using Calibre. The software costs $20 here http://www.processtext.com/abcchm.html
Thanks for the replies ElNino - much appreciated. I guess I have to take everything on board, the iLiad may indeed be a better fit for my needs but the cost is very high by comparison to the Reader. I'm also wondering if Amazon will go ahead with an international Kindle launch anytime soon (and hopefully a version that's not as fugly) so maybe waiting awhile longer might be the best option.
You know you want to For PDF, especially technical documents, most 6" devices aren't really going to cut it, while zooming is handy you don't really want to have to do that constantly.
Regarding waiting, there will always be something else around the corner. However there does seem to be a good few devices on the horizon, likely updates to the Kindle and new devices from FeedBooks (6"), BeBook (6"), Fujitsu with colour screens (A4 and A5 - if you thought iliad was expensive...) and a few others. Ultimately there has not been much progress in the screens them selves which are pretty standard across the board.
As I've mentioned in another thread, my personal choices of what is available now would be the iLiad (8") or the Cybook (6") both more expensive than the supposed Irish price of the Reader.
That's the problem, I'd love to get one The missus might kill me though, given the amount of gadget spending... maybe if I convince her it's for her - she loves reading after all .
So I ended up getting one of these after all. The screen is amazing and the lag between page changes is a lot shorter than I thought.
For anyone interested, Waterstones has started selling them since Thursday. I picked mine up in the Jervis Street one today (I hadn't pre-ordered, just walked in and asked for one).
how is it with normal pdf's?
I was pretty surprised TBH - it has three levels of zoom and these seem to work on all the PDFs I've thrown at it so far. At the large setting, it's very comfortable to read almost anything and you're not zooming in/out to read more pages - it's pretty seamless and just adds more pages (so if the text you were reading would fit in one page in "small" print, it may take three in large) . I really thought I was going to have problems with PDFs based on some comments here, but I'm very pleasantly surprised.
The Waterstones in the Jervis Center has a couple of demo kiosks set up so you can play with it a bit - seeing the page refresh in person (which I thought was going to be terrible) kinda sold me on it.
What kind of PDFs have you read on it? Technical stuff or just novels?
Technical stuff only so far - some books on Ruby, general programming, Mac OS X - all fine, even the ones that have a lot of diagrams/graphics in them. I tried a few jpgs from cbr (comic book files) and these would need a lot of zooming/scrolling so not ideal. I'd say you'd have the same problem with PDFs of magazines which are entirely made up of images, but "standard" PDFs seem just fine.
I'm interested in getting one of these for all my collection of PDF computer books but I'm wondering if they are at all practical. I've hear some people have success with some sort of conversion program from pdf to native format.
There's Calibre which ElNino posted about (it's one of the first posts on this page) and that can convert PDFs to LRF which is the Reader's native format. Still, I've loaded a few PDFs on now (mostly programming related) and the only one that looks kinda wonky is not much improved by converting it to LRF. If you can get into a Waterstones, you can a take a look at one as you kinda need to see it in action - just try setting the zoom to a higher level (there's a button at the bottom left) because the ones I saw in store were set to the smallest scale.