[maemo-users] [maemo-users] Re: N800 as e-book reader

From: Danny Milosavljevic danny_milo at yahoo.com
Date: Wed Jan 31 01:01:17 EET 2007

On Tue, 30 Jan 2007 11:06:17 -0800, Rick Prelinger wrote:
> [ N800 as a scanned book reader]
> [ Internet Archive (IA) public domain books]
> [ Google Books available in downloadable pdf form]
> With regard to our IA books, we offer a number of formats.  Let's use this 1931 book on television as an example:
> http://www.archive.org/details/televisionitsmet00felirich
> If you look on the left side of the page, you'll see that we offer DjVu, PDF, and .txt (all downloadable and readable offline), and what we call the "FlipBook," an interactive reader that requires an online connection.
> The FlipBook works fine with my N800 through the browser, so that is basically no problem. 

> What I'd like to do is figure out how to make the PDFs more usable.  Though mid-size PDFs (under 8 or 10 MB) work ok with the bundled PDF reader, it takes as many as 30 sec., sometimes more, to turn a page.  I gather this is a memory management issue.  In fact, until I enabled VM, it was impossible to open a PDF.  (However, I have no problem playing a 221 MB video file through the media player.)

That probably doesn't help you, but:

http://pdftoxml.sourceforge.net/ and poppler-utils' pdftohtml

can extract the useful text from the PDF.

Using the nokia 770 for all kinds of e-book reading for the last year, I can only say the trying to read scanned books as-is on the screen doesn't work well because the font will be too small or not the entire page will be on screen, both of which are bad (although when I scan a book, I scan it into jpeg, not PDF -  are PDF OCRed, too?).

I use FBReader in portrait mode for reading all books now and prefer HTML (better) and plaintext (ok). That way, it will be a newspaper-column-like display which works surprisingly well. I've read thousands of "pages" that way and quite like it.

The obvious disadvantage is that it needs to be converted to HTML first (if it isn't aleady in HTML) [or text or aportisdoc or whatever else FBReader supports].

> Would anyone have any thoughts about how to improve PDF handling?  

I have a bit of knowledge of the PDF "standard" (we're writing PDFA converters at work, among other things), but I don't know how nokia's pdf reader is implemented...

>I would prefer to avoid DjVu, if at all possible.  If there was a way to optimize PDF Reader, I think we have a wonderful e-book platform here.

That would be nice, but for me it's already quite useable (since I just extract useful text from PDFs, I don't really use the PDF reader at all). I do see that purists would like to read "the original", though ;-)


More information about the maemo-users mailing list