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Old 04-29-2023, 05:12 PM   #1
taxpayer
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I need a simple, large-format, reasonably secure e-reader


I want to be able to read pdf's on letter-size pages. I don't need cameras. I don't need audio. I don't need wifi nor bluetooth, as long as I can copy files from a flash drive. I don't want to register with google or any other company in order to read these things. I also don't want to have to write my own code in order to make this work.
I can do this using Okular, sitting at my desktop computer, but I'd like something I can more easily carry around. Is there hardware which could meet my need? I did find the Boox 13.3" Tab X E-Ink Tablet which might work, tho it is said to run Android so I suppose is googled (and is kind of expensive, approaching $1000).
Any suggestions?
 
Old 04-29-2023, 05:54 PM   #2
wpeckham
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Step 1 might be looking into the PINETAB and PineNote, although the screens may not suit you.
Step 2 might be looking into a kit for the RPi family of SBCs. This is more of a do-it-yourself path and finding a case and screen that you will be happy with can be problematic.

Those both have the advantage that they run any of several families of Linux and give you control over networking and other hardware and OS features missing in commercial software.

Step 3 might be to ask in the groups where the open hardware guys have coffee and heal their solder burns. If there is a free hardware solution, they would know.

Only after that would I look for commercial solutions. Something intended as a reader might server (Kindle Fire if they came big enough) if you disable BlueTooth and never configure the WiFi.
 
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Old 04-29-2023, 08:41 PM   #3
frankbell
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My favorite ebook reader is FBReader. It's multi-platform and highly configurable.

I've used it for years.
 
Old 04-29-2023, 08:47 PM   #4
syg00
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Seriously - do they use that appalling background on the reader ?.
 
Old 04-29-2023, 08:57 PM   #5
syg00
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To answer the thread, I've carried around a kobo for years and have the pdf for my cameras, laptops etc on it. As well as linx kernel ebooks. Simple to load from laptop, dunno about flash drives tho', never tried.
Yes, I've registered it to get books that way too if I want, but you can simply use it offline, as I often go bush.
 
Old 04-29-2023, 09:27 PM   #6
taxpayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpeckham View Post
Step 1 might be looking into the PINETAB and PineNote, although the screens may not suit you.
Step 2 might be looking into a kit for the RPi family of SBCs. This is more of a do-it-yourself path and finding a case and screen that you will be happy with can be problematic.
Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Pinetab might be a cool laptop, and I might even buy one for that purpose, but, as you note, screen is smaller than I would need. Pinenote apparently isn't ready for civilian use yet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wpeckham View Post

Step 3 might be to ask in the groups where the open hardware guys have coffee and heal their solder burns. If there is a free hardware solution, they would know.

Only after that would I look for commercial solutions. Something intended as a reader might server (Kindle Fire if they came big enough) if you disable BlueTooth and never configure the WiFi.
I do recall some years ago there was Ubuntu Touch, and a tablet from a Spanish company known as "BQ," but apparently the hardware is no longer made, and perhaps was too small anyhow.

It just seems to me that, given how cheap screens are, there oughta be a simple way to do this, but perhaps the market (=~ just me) is too small to justify it.
 
Old 04-29-2023, 10:50 PM   #7
jefro
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10" Fire tablet running kindle?
 
Old 04-30-2023, 10:44 AM   #8
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I asked myself the same question a couple of weeks ago. The cheapest large-screen ebook reader was the 10 inch Kobo and that still cost more than my desktop did, even second-hand. The answer seems to be a second-hand tablet computer. You will get all the things you don't need, but it will still be about a third of the price.
 
Old 04-30-2023, 11:48 AM   #9
pan64
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I would try the kindle or something similar, much better than a tablet (if you want to read a lot).
 
Old 04-30-2023, 12:32 PM   #10
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FBreader

On Linux installed single core atom n270 clamshell netbook sounds like the cheap ticket on here.

Evince could be installed along side also.

I own what I am recommending and browsing is the only chokepoint on that gear. Seamonkey will run on it though.
These were built for classrooms for kids. So they are water proof and tough.

Just a idea. Mine will open everything from .cbr to .pdf.

Also picked up a Dell II chromebook with Kali linux installed for under 60 bucks on ebay.

Last edited by rokytnji; 04-30-2023 at 12:36 PM.
 
Old 04-30-2023, 01:04 PM   #11
taxpayer
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I guess what I have learned here is that there doesn't seem t be a simple, open, cheap large-format reader. While disappointing, I'll feel a bit better if I end up spending more than I should to get what I need. Thanks for all who replied.
 
Old 05-01-2023, 07:53 AM   #12
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If you are experienced in tinkering with linux, you can get a lot of 10" intel based windows tablets to work as linux tablets , which would address your need for a secure ereader. But it it is heck of steep and high learning hill to climb for a newbie or someone who treats linux like windows and doesn't tinker.
You could get a 14" ultrathin ultralight windows laptop. Put linux on that, and you could hold it sideways in your hands and learn how to rotate the output of your reader software to create portrait view on the sideways screen and you get an even bigger more legible view than a tablet. I assume you either want to read textbooks or comics, because those are the two user cases where a big screen is needed. 10" can be too small for comics and textbooks if you have aging eyes like mine, even in portrait view. Anyone who is prepared to install linux in the first place should be able to do this.
 
Old 10-30-2023, 07:56 PM   #13
linux-man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokytnji View Post
Also picked up a Dell II chromebook with Kali linux installed for under 60 bucks on ebay.
How reliable is the chromebook for installing other linux distro's on it. Can we wipe Chrome from it and just have linux? is this a tablet?
 
Old 11-04-2023, 02:06 PM   #14
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There are hoops to jump through for linux on chromebook:
https://mrchromebox.tech/


Some chromebooks work well. Some work poorly. Some not at all.

If you need to ask help, ARM based chromebooks are a nonstarter for linux.
 
Old 11-04-2023, 04:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biker_rat View Post
There are hoops to jump through for linux on chromebook:
https://mrchromebox.tech/


Some chromebooks work well. Some work poorly. Some not at all.

If you need to ask help, ARM based chromebooks are a nonstarter for linux.
Exception: the Pinetab and Pinetab Pro from PINE64 are built to be a chromebook replacement made to support running Linux on ARM (Specifically AARCH64 I believe) You might want to check those out.
 
  


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