Sugar unusable as an e-book reader

david at david at
Mon Oct 27 18:27:18 EDT 2008

On Mon, 27 Oct 2008, Gary C Martin wrote:

> On 27 Oct 2008, at 04:19, david at wrote:
>> I just gave up on trying to use my XO to read e-books (build 767)
> I read a number of quite large pdf documents and research papers on the XO, 
> Read has been good for me and though there could be some additional UI 
> refinements, calling it unusable is quite an attempt at trolling.
>> I was completly unable to copy the doument from the USB stick to the local
>> system and have it show up in the journal. when I hit copy things blinked
>> for a few seconds and then nothng.
> -- snip --
>> opening the book in .pdf comes the closest to working. I was still unable
>> to copy the document, so I had to try and read with the USB stick haning
>> out of the machine.
> Could I ask what size the pdf file was?


>> I could zoom so that the text is the width of the
>> screen, but after doing so I was unable to center the text (the arrow
>> buttons move the text in overly large steps.
> Hold the alt key down if you need small steps (granted this key is out the 
> way if you have flipped over the screen). Alt works for both keyboard cursors 
> and screen cursor pad.

good to know. How should I have found this on my own?

>> the fit-to-screen option works well if the text goes all the way to the
>> margins, but most documents don't do that. what's needed here is an
>> ability to say 'fit the content on the page to the screen' and have it
>> zoom and center based on the actual content, not on the page size (I know
>> this issignificantly harder to do, but it really is needed)
> In the 'View' tab you can specify arbitrary zoom levels to zoom into the 
> sweet spot if a document is wasting screen space with wide page margins. The 
> zoom setting is remembered between activity resumes so you only need to set 
> it once for a document, however a very annoying longstanding metadata bug 
> means this data is lost after a reboot (also means the page number you were 
> on is forgotten).

with the ability to move in smaller amounts the zoom becomes usable. 
there's still the annoyance of not being able to move a page at a time.

>> even when I just had the one book in different formats the journal made it
>> very difficult to tell them apart (I had to go to the command line and
>> touch the files so that they had different timestamps and then remember
>> 'the one from today is .rtf, the one from yesterday is .pdf, the one from
>> the day before is .html, etc)
> Why not just change each of their titles in Journal? Just click the title 
> name text and type something new. There's also a details page for each 
> Journal entry where you can add specific tags or a text description, it's 
> currently a little out of the way to get to (click the little > icon on the 
> far right of each Journal entry), but hopefully will be more exposed in a 
> future release. All title, description, tag, and document content (if it's 
> text and not an image of text) is searchable from the Journal, I get to all 
> my pdfs by initially just typing pdf so I only have a couple of pages of 
> titles to look through.

changing their titles in the journal requires that I first figure out 
which is which.

I was not having any sucess using the search. it may be that I only gave 
it 5 min or so and it had not yet finished indexing everything on the USB 
stick, so what I was searching for wasn't known yet.

David Lang

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