Topic: E-books - is this possible?

I really want to be able to use the chumby to read e-document/books on the couch or in bed. Currently I chop up and link a text file and stuff it in the Notes section of my iPod. Chumby's bigger screen and soft squishiness make this a much more appealing option.

Of course, with iPod you are limited to reading .txt files. Would it be possible for chumby to read other document types...e.g PDF? Something with formatting (pleeez!).

You already have some link to Adobe, don't you? Could this element be included...or similar?

Re: E-books - is this possible?

Better have Adobe Flash player...can you add Adobe Reader?

I spend hours reading academic journals mostly in .pdf form...I can also get them in .html but they lose pagination which makes referencing a pain.

Doing that could revolutionise my lifestyle and get me away from my desk...definitely a life would save the trees too....

Re: E-books - is this possible?

Well, there are two ways I could think of doing it quickly:

1) Write a Flash reader for PDF files. This is not an attractive solution, but could be done with a lot of time, and a lot of patience. Better yet would be to write a PDF->SWF exporter of some kind, which would still be a pain, but easier in all likelihood.

2) Using pre-existing PDF tools, drum up an application that could run from the Linux underbelly (in other words, bypass the Flash layer altogether and write a straight C/C++/etc application to be a flash reader and dump its output to /dev/fb or whatever device they're using for video output tongue).

2 would be much faster to implement I would believe, but would leave the "Chumbian" way of thinking. The last option I can think of is if someone gets a web browser up and running on the device, to just read ebooks using a PDF plugin for the browser, but that'd likely put you over the memory available, which is probably the hardest part about the whole thing.

The HTML route would be much easier and less painful to implement, as Flash already has some tools around to deal with it.

So in short, it's definitely possible, it'll just take some thinking on how to implement it best for the Chumby platform.

Re: E-books - is this possible?

The only problem is that a 320x240 screen is too small to view a pdf document if it is shrunk to fit horizontally, and if it is not shrunk horizontally, you need to provide constant user input to scroll around the screen to see the text.

As cool as chumby is, this is one problem that might be better left to laptops and tablet PCs.