HP50g user's guide and Sony eBook reader - Hewlett Packard

This is a discussion on HP50g user's guide and Sony eBook reader - Hewlett Packard ; I bought myself a new HP50g and, like many others before me, I am confused and infuriated at the lack of printed user's guide (I do understand that this is the way of the future, though). I tried to use ...

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  1. HP50g user's guide and Sony eBook reader

    I bought myself a new HP50g and, like many others before me, I am
    confused and infuriated at the lack of printed user's guide (I do
    understand that this is the way of the future, though).
    I tried to use Sony eBook reader to view hp49g user's guide. It does
    have a resemblance of printed manual and allows me to get away from
    computer. However, reader's screen is too small. In attempt to fit
    5x7" page of a manual into the screen reader scales it too much and
    page becomes barely legible.

    So, my question is if anybody here tried to adapt manuals to be better
    viewable by ebook readers?
    For example, reformatting it for smaller page would help, or if there
    is a version of a manual in html form, so it can be reflowed?


  2. Re: HP50g user's guide and Sony eBook reader

    Andrew Nikitin wrote:
    > I tried to use Sony eBook reader to view hp49g user's guide
    > ...
    > So, my question is if anybody here tried to adapt manuals
    > to be better viewable by ebook readers? For example,
    > reformatting it for smaller page would help, or if there
    > is a version of a manual in html form, so it can be reflowed?


    I have a Sony Reader PRS-505 and also have attempted to put various HP
    calculator manuals on it, with mixed results. Right now I have the 48G
    User's Guide, the 50g User's Manual, and the 48gII/49g+ AUR on my Reader.

    Out of the box, the PRS-505 doesn't do a particularly great job with PDFs
    (slow and hard to read), but there is a firmware update (version
    1.1.00.18040; it came with 1.0.00.08130) that makes things a lot better. If
    you have the PRS-500, however, you are out of luck.

    Although PDFs are slow compared to other file formats, the PDF manuals from
    HP are still usably fast. For the most optimal performance and readability,
    I have had the best luck with making my own LRF files from raw images (if
    the original source was a scanned document) or RTF files (if the original
    source was computer-readable text), though even plain RTF files still work
    fairly well, but conversion to LRF is a huge effort and isn't necessarily
    worth it.

    There are tools that run on the PC that you can use to take PDFs and
    zoom/rotate them to make them more readable, but then they are static images
    and don't look as good, plus you then lose all internal links. I have found
    that the 50g User's Manual is decently readable as a PDF, but the Reader
    seems to think the crop marks (which you don't normally see when viewing the
    PDF on the PC) are important, so everything is scaled down at zoom size "S".
    I did not have much luck in altering the PDF to crop these out. The
    48gII/49g+ AUR has very tiny text, but that's because it was designed for US
    Letter paper, which is a lot bigger than the Reader's screen.

    Zoom to size "M", however, if you have firmware 1.1, and things become a
    whole lot better with both of these PDFs. Both are extremely readable at
    this size. Unfortunately, some of the diagrams get messed up when you do
    this, and I haven't found a good solution.

    Unfortunately, making your own LRF files, which should solve all the above
    problems, is not very clearly documented, and unless I do it often I forget
    the exact steps to make even a simple LRF. And incorporating inline images
    or diagrams, which would be needed to convert the manuals properly, looks to
    be even more difficult. There's an open-source HTML to LRF command line
    tool that might be your best bet, but I do not know its limitations, and
    you'd have to first get your document into HTML format. I would think that
    Sony would want to make this easier, but maybe they are mainly interested in
    selling you books rather than encouraging you to make your own electronic
    books, even though the latter would undoubtedly increase sales of the
    Reader.

    The 48G User's Guide, being a set of scanned images, can't be reflowed, but
    it's still surprisingly readable as it is.

    Some useful tools and information can be found at the following sites:

    http://calibre.kovidgoyal.net
    http://www.mobileread.com/forums/

    Regards,

    Eric Rechlin



  3. Re: HP50g user's guide and Sony eBook reader

    On Aug 4, 2:22 am, "Eric Rechlin" wrote:
    > Out of the box, the PRS-505 doesn't do a particularly great job with PDFs
    > (slow and hard to read), but there is a firmware update (version
    > 1.1.00.18040; it came with 1.0.00.08130) that makes things a lot better. If
    > you have the PRS-500, however, you are out of luck.


    I've got 505 with 1.0. I guess I will have to look into that firmware
    update.

    > Although PDFs are slow compared to other file formats, the PDF manuals from
    > HP are still usably fast.


    I agree they are fast, but they are scaled in such a way that they are
    barely legible even when viewed in landscape mode.
    I cut the margins off and I am almost satisifed with the lansacape
    view in this mode. Unfortunately, the only way I know how to cut
    margins is to use pstops and it requires postscript as input and when
    I make postscript from PDF (with ghostscript) it seems it rasterizes
    in process, so not only files grow in size, the fonts also become
    disfigured.

    Also, when I try to view resulting 30M pdf files on reader it takes
    about 15 minutes to show first page and more then that to show second
    page (I could not wait and reset it). When I cut pdf in chunks of
    approx 100 pages each it works fine.

    > I have had the best luck with making my own LRF files from raw images (if
    > the original source was a scanned document) or RTF files (if the original
    > source was computer-readable text), though even plain RTF files still work
    > fairly well, but conversion to LRF is a huge effort and isn't necessarily
    > worth it.


    Exactly. If there was an rtf version, it could have been viewed on a
    reader with better success, hopefully.
    I realize, that scanned manuals will remain as they are, but it seems
    that newer manuals are electronic. Is there a source rtf version of
    those somewhere around? From metainformation in pdf files they indeed
    seem to have been originated as word documents.


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