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Electronic reading materials

I re­cent­ly re­cov­ered a Palm m100, be­cause my cal­en­dar was get­ting out of hand.

So, be­sides us­ing it as a glo­ri­fied alarm clock, what could I do with it?

Oh, sure, some lame games ex­ist (re­mem­ber this is an old mod­el, black and white, al­most no sound, low res­o­lu­tion, very lit­tle mem­o­ry), but...

Well, I have had for a long time the habit of read­ing project Gutem­berg's book­s. I even wrote a pro­gram to read them on my PC (Uqbar, link at the left­).

But the main prob­lem is, of course, that the places where I do most of my read­ing (bars, clients' of­fices while wait­ing for stuff to in­stal­l, train­s, wait­ing room­s) usu­al­ly lack com­put­ers I can use.

So, I de­cid­ed to try us­ing the Palm for that.

Of course, I am not be­ing orig­i­nal, since a bazil­lion peo­ple had the same idea.

There­fore, I went and got my­self some of the soft­ware peo­ple rec­om­mend­ed for read­ing Palm­doc doc­u­ments, and some stuff to cre­ate them.

I tried: Iambic Read­er, CSpotRun, and a cou­ple of oth­er­s, and had a nasty sur­prise, be­cause all of them, when I jumped to a dis­tant place in the book, did one of the fol­low­ing:

  • Crash

  • Cor­rupt the text

So, I gave up hope on Palm­doc (although it's nice that KWord can ex­port to it!), and looked hard­er.

Then I found Weasel Read­er. Not on­ly does it work great (it on­ly lacks an op­tion to add a margin, some­times light­ing makes the edge of the screen hard to read­), but the for­mat it us­es com­press­es texts more than palm­doc!

So, how's this go­ing:

  • The screen is smal­l, but that's not too bad, it is about the same as read­­ing a news­­pa­per col­um­n.

  • Smooth scrolling does­n't work. Maybe my palm is too old/s­low/bad, but it doesn work well.

  • Page-rolling au­­to­scroll does work. The top of the screen is au­­to­­mat­i­­cal­­ly re­­placed with the next page line-at-a-­­time.

  • Man­u­al page-scrolling works best. Since you on­­ly have to tap the screen or press a but­­ton it's not an­noy­ing at al­l.

  • It does­n't hurt my eye­­s. Since it's not even back­­l­it, it re­quires good am­bi­ent light, but it's not bad at al­l.

  • It has de­­cent ca­­pac­i­­ty. I can stick up to 3MB of tex­t, along with all the pro­­grams I use, in a 2MB de­vice. 3MB of text is a lot of tex­t.

So, I am pret­ty hap­py with the re­sult.

taj / 2006-04-03 06:30:

Other stuff to try:

palm frotz - I know you'll love it.

avantgo and/or plucker

pocket chess

Roberto Alsina / 2006-04-03 06:32:

I got pocket chess. My chess is way too rusty, it seems, since it kicks my ass with great ease.

And to think once upon a time I was a semi-serious player!

Will check the rest!

Jacob / 2006-04-03 06:35:

The Palm m100 has a backlight and is very bright. Just hold the power button for a few seconds and it will come on.

Roberto Alsina / 2006-04-03 06:36:

It also spends the battery in about 20 minutes :-)

In fact, I prefer a passively-lighted display as long as the environment is well lighted.

Unless I am in almost complete darkness, the backlight makes my eyes water (it's some evil blue-green color)

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