I finally bought myself an eBook reader. To be precise, I got the Sony PRS-600 Reader Touch Edition. Two reasons:
- I bought a lot of technical literature in digital (PDF) format and want to read it without looking at a CRT while on a train.
- The idea of having a lot of reference material with me appeals me.
- Many of my books are read only once (especially Star Trek etc.) and I don’t want to waste paper and the energy for shipping.
First of all, the display is only really great with a powerful light source. The reflection is a bit of a nuisance but I can live with it. What I don’t like is the PDF support of the device. Viewing a normal page, the font faces are so tiny that it is not readable in any way. The zoom feature works around that, but you can’t switch pages from there. Instead you have to unzoom, go to the next page and zoom again. Crappy! There is also the reflow option, which does not mix with source code figures in my books.
I am glad that most of my electronic books are from The Pragmatic Bookshelf, which means that I can download them in Epub as well, all without DRM. Thanks, guys!
For the PDFs I would like to carry, I googled a while and stumbled across this blog post. The example to work with source documents worked fine for The Little Book of Semaphores at least. But even with BRISS I did not (yet) manage to crop books I bought from APress. Most likely I will try doing it via a bit of python scripting and the poppler bindings for python.
I also bought my first DRM content: Star Trek Vanguard: Harbinger. I really enjoyed the book, but the download was a PITA. After buying, you only get a link to a ASCM file, which is not useful by itself. One needs Adobe Digital Editions to download it. So I installed it into a virtual machine which has XP installed. After that, I was able to read it on the PC, which wasn’t the goal of the exercise. To put it on the reader, one needs to authorize it from the same Windows software and upload the file.
All that stuff took almost an hour and of course the digital edition of the book is more expensive than getting it from amazon germany. But at least I did not have to wait for delivery. Having finished the book I wanted to buy the second part, but of course it is only available for canadian residents on ebooks.com. I researched a number of ebook sites which mostly sell it only in the US. Funny enough, the first hits when searching where pirated versions of the book in full text. Why do they make it so hard to get stuff legally? *sigh*