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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 09-06-2008, 01:36 PM   #1
nappy501
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Ebook reader, laptop, notebook, PDA choice?


Hi Everyone,

I have just discovered ebooks. At present I am printing out small ones. What I would like is an inexpensive mobile electronic reader.

The proper readers seem to be really expensive over 100. I have been looking on Ebay and I am not sure what the other options are. I think I need something that reads pdf files or txt files. If I get an old laptop or notebook which will definitely read these files, I will probably (sorry guys) run windozs, so my eldest child can use it for educational purposes during the day.

If I get something smaller I presume I will carry it around like a book. Do any of the following items run linux? Are they able to read pdf or txt files? (or maybe someway to convert the files).

PDA's?
handheld organisers?
MP4's?

I've seen new mp4's for about 20. Small screen for reading, but I can use my glasses.

Would love to hear what others are using. Or am I just sad reading ebooks?

Regards

Nappy
 
Old 09-07-2008, 09:54 PM   #2
MS3FGX
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Well, pretty much anything can read plain ASCII .txt files. You could even get a used GBA SP and a cheap flash card if that is all you wanted. In fact, there are some pretty good text readers for the DS now that I think of it...

Most MP3 players will also show TXT files, but I couldn't imagine reading anything more than a few hundred words on one. Unless it had a massive screen, like a Zune or a Creative Vision.

You could even get an old PDA to do the job. That might end up being the most capable, as your software selection would be better on a real mobile computing platform. Something like a Psion or Zaurus would be great. For that matter, you could probably even get away with using an ASUS Eee 701; it is pretty close to a standard hardcover book in size (indeed, smaller than some), and has a much bigger screen than you are going to find on any PDA or media player.
 
Old 09-07-2008, 11:23 PM   #3
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I recommend a tiny notebook too. My XO laprop is *awesome* for ebooks, see if you can maybe get one off ebay. I've tried reading on smaller devices like the DS, but the screen is just too small, so you have to scroll far too often.
 
Old 09-08-2008, 04:55 AM   #4
crashmeister
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Ebooks work on pretty much anything between a mainframe and a cellphone.
The problem starts when you can only get protected ebooks in proprietary format (like .lit).
There is no software I know of that can read stuff like that on linux.

You'll have to go MS to do this or if you use a pda or cell use mobipocket and a bunch of other tools to convert fileformats mobipocket can't read (like .lit).Of course that only applies to symbian OS.If you got windows mobile you can read those.

Last edited by crashmeister; 09-08-2008 at 04:59 AM.
 
Old 09-08-2008, 05:22 AM   #5
nappy501
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS3FGX View Post
Well, pretty much anything can read plain ASCII .txt files. You could even get a used GBA SP and a cheap flash card if that is all you wanted. In fact, there are some pretty good text readers for the DS now that I think of it...
Hi,
I was at a complete lost for GBA SP so I put it into Google, Gameboy Advance special, at around 20 second hand. I'd never thought of that. I don't have one those. The ebooks I am reading are in pdf format mainly.

So I suppose I need a way to convert to txt or something that will load acrobat reader, kpdf so I can read the pdf files.

Quote:
Most MP3 players will also show TXT files, but I couldn't imagine reading anything more than a few hundred words on one. Unless it had a massive screen, like a Zune or a Creative Vision.
I didn't realise Microsoft did a mp3 player.

Quote:
You could even get an old PDA to do the job. That might end up being the most capable, as your software selection would be better on a real mobile computing platform. Something like a Psion or Zaurus would be great. For that matter, you could probably even get away with using an ASUS Eee 701; it is pretty close to a standard hardcover book in size (indeed, smaller than some), and has a much bigger screen than you are going to find on any PDA or media player.
So a PDA is a proper small computer, which would deal with pdf files? Yes, I have a friend with the new Eee pc, great value for a notebook. Quite out of my price bracket for just reading pdf files.

I will go and investigate Psion and Zaurus, not sure I have got my head around PDA's yet. I keep thinking the they are calculators and phone books.

Thank for your help.
Nappy
 
Old 09-08-2008, 05:25 AM   #6
nappy501
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Originally Posted by arungoodboy View Post
I recommend a tiny notebook too. My XO laprop is *awesome* for ebooks, see if you can maybe get one off ebay. I've tried reading on smaller devices like the DS, but the screen is just too small, so you have to scroll far too often.
I thought these where no longer available? It is out of my price bracket, unless I was really buying it for the children and used it for ebooks.
 
Old 09-08-2008, 05:29 AM   #7
nappy501
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crashmeister View Post
Ebooks work on pretty much anything between a mainframe and a cellphone.
The problem starts when you can only get protected ebooks in proprietary format (like .lit).
There is no software I know of that can read stuff like that on linux.

You'll have to go MS to do this or if you use a pda or cell use mobipocket and a bunch of other tools to convert fileformats mobipocket can't read (like .lit).Of course that only applies to symbian OS.If you got windows mobile you can read those.
Hi,

The format is mainly pdf and txt files. I tend to shy away from proprietary exclusive formats. I feel like I am being told I have to use Microsoft and it gets up my nose. Maybe I will get desperate enough for it, but I don't think so
 
Old 09-08-2008, 06:31 AM   #8
crashmeister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nappy501 View Post
Hi,

The format is mainly pdf and txt files. I tend to shy away from proprietary exclusive formats. I feel like I am being told I have to use Microsoft and it gets up my nose. Maybe I will get desperate enough for it, but I don't think so
Unfortunately most ebooks (besides gutenberg.org) are in such formats and pdf and txt files are too big for me (cell phone) and tend to crash the reader or run slow as molasses but that shouldn't be a problem if you'll get something with more power than an arm 200mhz cpu :-)
 
Old 09-08-2008, 06:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nappy501 View Post
I thought these where no longer available? It is out of my price bracket, unless I was really buying it for the children and used it for ebooks.
Used OLPC's do seem to be available on ebay, but yes, your money won't go to the children if you buy if from an existing owner. I guess you could skip that option then.
 
Old 09-08-2008, 07:25 AM   #10
nappy501
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Originally Posted by arungoodboy View Post
Used OLPC's do seem to be available on ebay, but yes, your money won't go to the children if you buy if from an existing owner. I guess you could skip that option then.
My confusion sorry. If I was going to spend that sort of money I would be buying it for my children and then also use it as an ebook reader. And yes it would be nice to buy into the original idea for another child.

I have ordered Elonex One, I have no idea if it will ever appear. This I am purchasing for the children to use. Unfortunately, it doesn't have wind up power like the olpc.
http://elonexone.co.uk/

Regards
 
Old 09-08-2008, 10:39 AM   #11
indeliblestamp
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Heheh, my bad. I hadn't heard of the Elonex before, and it does look a lot like the XO (i.e. pretty cool). And never mind the wind up power charger, that was an add-on developed by some other company. It didn't come with the XO, and I don't even know if its even been released to the public yet.
 
Old 10-01-2008, 08:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crashmeister View Post
The problem starts when you can only get protected ebooks in proprietary format (like .lit).
There is no software I know of that can read stuff like that on linux.
a belated response, but checkout 'clit' (convert lit).

http://www.convertlit.com/index.php

I use a Zaurus SL5500 and an Ipaq H3900 - the Ipaq is WinCE so reads .lit files (until I get round to putting Familiar on it, it does).

Last edited by kwacka; 10-01-2008 at 08:47 AM.
 
Old 10-01-2008, 09:30 AM   #13
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I usually use abclit to convert those buggers.
 
  


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