Feeds

The Netbook Newbie's Guide to Linux

'F/X'

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Episode 4

Book Reader

True to its name, a netbook makes a very decent ebook reader. Here's the freely-downloadable Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, complete with original Tenniel illustrations, as it appears on the MSI Wind:

wind as ebook reader

This is the PDF version of the original 1866 edition, downloaded from GASL.org. There's a tiny trick to getting this working optimally, but you should be able to do this with just about any netbook that comes with Adobe Reader. I also tried it with Evince, the general purpose document reader that's part of the Gnome Desktop Environment used by Suse Linux on the MSI wind. Unfortunately, Evince seems to crash with large PDFs (see box below).

If the version of Firefox you're using to browse the link is equipped to read PDFs with an add-on don't just click on the link. That'll open the PDF inside Firefox, with the Firefox gubbins attached. To get a clean, full-screen view you need to download the PDF first with a right mouse-click, and then load the file in Adobe Reader. The View sub-menu allows you to rotate the image to fit the shape of the netbook's screen, and then expand it to full-screen as the illustration shows. Then use the Page Up and Page Down keys to navigate through the book.

You're going to look a bit weird on the bus holding your NetBook sideways, but you get a nice, readable full-size page, and at 15MB for the full illustrated versions of both Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking-Glass, you can carry a good stock of books before your netbook fills up.

Evince Crashes

Like the rest of the Gnome Desktop Environment, and indeed like Linux itself, Evince is free software. This doesn't just mean that you don't pay for it - see Gnu free software - it means that it comes with important, guaranteed freedoms attached. One of these is the freedom to sing out to the developers, a freedom that some users (like me) interpret as tantamount to an obligation.

The corollary of help-seeking as discussed on the next page is the custom for user of free software to help developers by reporting bugs - even (or perhaps particularly) in a situation like this where I'm not in trouble because I have alternatives.

The first thing to do is to check whether the bug is already known. Googling "evince pdf" lead me to the web-based bug-reporting system Bugzilla. The case of PDFs crashing Evince turns out to be well-documented, so I didn't bother to file a report. With a little more time on my hands, I might have read the existing reports carefully to see if I could add useful detail, but this is beyond the call of duty.

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Next page: Help with Help

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.