Crowdsourcing Requests for Information, 12/11

Dear internet, can anyone help me answer two questions?

1) Let’s say I need to read pdf document after pdf document. Government reports, academic studies, JSTOR, white papers, etc. Is a Kindle 2 good for that? Like if you were to go to a conference, where there are 20 papers that are available online, could you just load them onto your Kindle and read them that way?

I heard the Kindle 1 had trouble with formatting pdfs, but the Kindle 2 cleans that up considerably. Is this accurate? Should I wait for the BN reader, or whatever Apple comes up with?

I doubt I’ll buy many books with it, but if I could use it as a portable clean pdf reader that would be fantastic.

2) Does anyone have any good experiences with nationwide movers that they’d like to share? Horror stories?

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14 Responses to Crowdsourcing Requests for Information, 12/11

  1. richardhserlin says:

    I have thought about reading my papers electronically for a while. I haven’t had time to really explore it yet, but a big issue with me is that I like to write a lot of notes on the papers, and I find underlining, circling words, etc. really useful, so I was going to look into what the current state of the art was in tablet computers. They also have the advantage of a much bigger page than Kindle and color graphs.

    • multitudeofm says:

      I have a Tablet PC (Toshiba M700, to be exact) and if you like to make notes on papers, which I do as well, I normally ‘print’ them into Microsoft OneNote, and then scribble at will.

      I’ve been using that set-up for the past year for university, and I’m quite happy with it. For lectures, I do the same with the Powerpoint or PDF slides.

      Most tablet PCs are meant to be portable, and are light enough to carry around (mine goes with me to university every day). Windows 7 has a new Math Input Panel thing that allows you to transcribe equations directly into Word and other software that is compatible with it, and its handwriting recognition software picks up your handwriting much faster than Vista.

      I don’t have a Kindle, but I haven’t found any software for handhelds that provides a decent way to read PDF files — and I haven’t bothered to try anything with graphs or equations or other funny stuff because I’m pretty sure it’s not going to work very well.

      • David says:

        I also use the OneNote print option, though the print driver doesn’t work so well with 64-bit. I know they’re working on it now.
        Not so much luck with the math software. This could be my fault—maybe my Greek letter handwriting is no good

  2. Turbulence says:

    We moved with Hilldrup moving and Storage which is affiliated with United Van Lines. I would recommend against them. They insisted that it was impossible to get their big truck into the townhouse complex we were moving from. We finally convinced them that it was totally doable since we had seen many large moving trucks in the complex. When they got to the destination, the driver demanded $300, in cash, to cover a parking permit. No one had ever mentioned any such thing. I called the city parking department and they made it quite clear that they don’t provide any such permits. Beyond that, they were totally disorganized at the office level.

    The bottom line: they’re moderately crooked. Maybe other UVL affiliates aren’t as bad, I don’t know, but I’d steer clear of Hilldrup at least.

  3. KindleUser says:

    The Kindle 2 now has native PDF support, which is the same thing B&N’s reader has. I haven’t had the time to test this yet. It has a free PDF -> amazon kindle converter, though, which works really well most of the time.

  4. BD says:

    I also used a tablet PC for reading/annotating pdfs and powerpoints and even simply taking notes (via OneNote – which, when printed out into hard copy, looks exactly like a handwritten page of notes). Used the tablet for 3 years during a master’s program and it was excellent. The ability to “cut and paste” your own handwritten notes by dragging and dropping was a great feature, especially for re-arranging hastily-scribbled notes into something more coherent for later reference.

  5. Yarrow says:

    Kindle 2, no. The Kindle DX is not bad. You can’t search PDFs, and papers that are scanned images are a little slow (but still readable).

  6. Felix Salmon says:

    I love using my Kindle to read PDFs. In fact that’s what I mainly use it for.

  7. Felix Salmon says:

    (That’s a Kindle 2, btw)

  8. mshivers says:

    I bought a Kindle DX in part because I wanted to read pdfs, but after playing with it for a while, I’ve stopped using it for pdfs almost entirely. I kept wanting the interface to behave like an iPhone, but all you get is basically static image presentation.

  9. Chad says:

    The Apple tablet could be announced as soon as January – so you may want to wait at least a few more weeks…

  10. Larisa says:

    I used Door2Door moving to get from NYC to Oakland. It was fine, actually. I didn’t pay for the movers to pack stuff up and packed it myself. You can fit a lot in one box, I would be careful of any antiques, but otherwise no complaints.

  11. john says:

    kindle2 is not good for pdf w/ equations. amazon’s conversion service doesn’t format equations properly.

  12. Serg says:

    PDF format is for printing, not for reading. PDF pages are formatted for A4 paper size.
    You have two options, either get yourself a reader with really BIG screen, or you need to convert PDF files to EPUB format which supports text reflow and font size changing. There are free converters, I use Calibre and http://2epub.com

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