[Techtalk] Fwd: Mobile eBook testing wanted
meredydd at everybuddy.com
Tue Dec 30 23:46:35 EST 2003
This is a copy of an email I sent to the Project Gutenberg volunteers
list (www.gutenberg.net for details) - can anyone here help me?
---------- Forwarded Message ----------
Subject: Mobile eBook testing wanted
Date: Thursday 25 December 2003 23:52
From: Meredydd <meredydd at everybuddy.com>
To: gutvol-d at listserv.unc.edu
My name is Meredydd Luff, and I'm looking into making versions of
Project Gutenberg eBooks which can be viewed on mobile devices,
specifically mobile phones and phone-like devices such as RIM's
Blackberry. I have come up with a prototype, and wanted some feedback,
and it was suggested that I come here. So:
Would anyone here like to help test a mobile eBook reader? You would
[*] A mobile phone or phone-like device which supports Java (this is
usually billed as "downloadable games" in the PR). If you have an
anywhere-near-recent Nokia, you have it (for pre-Series-60 phones,
check: is there an "Applications" item on the main menu?). I don't know
about other makes of mobile - check the manual.
[*] An internet connection from this phone. Can you browse WAP pages?
If not, check your operator's website for instructions on how to set
[*] About 20-30 UK pence per eBook downloaded (assuming standard UK
WAP-call pricing of 10p/min - much less than that if you have GPRS). I
expect rates are roughly similar in other countries. Once you have
downloaded the eBook, no further costs will be incurred.
[*] A willingness to test and give constructive feedback! Please do
reply with any comments/questions/suggestions/death threats you have.
The eBooks are self-contained midlets, and can be downloaded from
Quick guide to installation on a pre-Series-60 Nokia mobile (I'm afraid
I don't know the exact details of any other):
Go to "Services" on the main menu, and select "Bookmarks". Select any
bookmark, then select "Add Bookmark". Enter the URL
(http://www.everybuddy.com/~meredydd/index.wml), and press OK. Then
enter a suitable name for the bookmark.
Go back to the bookmarks menu. Select the bookmark you just created,
and select "Go to". Your phone will connect to the Internet, and you
should see a list of eBooks to download (if this stage doesn't work,
you most likely have a WAP problem, or have mistyped the URL). Select
one of them, select "Open Link", agree to install the application, and
sit back and relax for a minute or two while it downloads. Yes, it
does take quite a while.
-- end nokia instructions --
General usage instructions:
Your progress through the eBook is kept by a named bookmark. You must
either select an existing bookmark or create a new one before you can
start reading. While reading, you have the option of returning to the
main menu (to quit or change bookmark - your position will be saved),
or going to the table of contents. Up and Down buttons scroll as you
might expect. (Scrolling through a lot of text takes a while on a small
screen, so I'd advise using the TOC to skip the standard Project
If at any point the phone freezes for a few seconds, just wait - that
pause is it uncompressing and reading the next chunk of the eBook.
You'll also get this the first time you look at the TOC.
OK, well, happy reading! Please do give me feedback, or I won't know
what to improve. There's also one more crucial question - do you find
that you can actually read anything sizeable on such a screen? I'm
particularly interested in the answer from high-end phone users (with
near-PDA-sized screens, etc), but I also want to know how low-end you
can go before it becomes impractical, so I don't have to work around
restrictions on devices smaller than that minimum.
Thanks a lot,
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