Saturday, December 20, 2008

A month of e-reading

After months of procrastination, I have decided to give a try to e-ink and go paperless as much as I can. I have been using a Sony PRS-700 for a month now and I must say I am really happy with it.

This picture does not render the actual contrast and precision of the e-ink surface.

I opted for the Sony reader because of its openness: you plug it in an USB port and voila! You are free to drag and drop files into the reader.

I used it in all sorts of lighting and places: in the dim light and shaky environment of public transportation to the comfort of a sun lit office. So far I successfully used it for:
  • Paperless meetings: instead of printing meetings' material, I now upload them to my reader.
  • Long blog entries: I simply can not read long articles on a computer screen so I use the reader for long blog posts.
  • Reference guides: the search feature of the reader is convenient to find passages of reference guides or technical books (like Mule in Action).
  • Book reviews: instead of printing the books I am reviewing, I now upload them to the reader. The annotation feature is a little too slow to take long notes on pages but fast enough to attach a few words that are reminders for building the final review.
  • Full fledged e-book of course! So far, I have only read a few technical e-books from InfoQ. Hundreds of pages later, I can tell it is really a great reading experience. I sometimes have to zoom on a schema, but most of the time using the landscape orientation guarantees a seamless reading.
Despite wishing a bigger screen for a smaller price (it's Christmas time after all), my only concrete suggestion to Sony would be the addition of a smart zoom mode that would automatically trim all the useless white margins that oftentimes waste PDFs' page estate.


zepag said...


I've always wanted to have something like that. It should be mandatory to avoid the meetings' "every body has a draft copy of the document printed in order to see it while it's displayed on the screen" paradigm... ;)

Though IMNSHO I think that it's a bit of an overread to have to install an ESB (like Mule ;) ) in order to plug it to your computer... or maybe did you mean a USB port? (The book is finished now, try to keep out of buses)

David Dossot said...

I see mules everywhere, help me!

jf said...

David, How does it work for A4 documents ?

David Dossot said...

I read A4/Letter documents in landscape mode: half-page by half-page. There is a little overlapping area between the two halves: it is shown grayed out so you know that you will see these few lines twice will navigating the book.