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  1.    #1  
    Hi there.

    I've had my Touchpad for a little over a month now. Since I got it I've been trying to find a fast and convenient way to read my textbooks on the tablet, in PDF format. I started off using Adobe's reader, which is so slow it's basically unusable. It can take 15-20 seconds for a single page to load, which is simply obnoxious. I need something that I can pull up in class and quickly flip between pages to skim a chapter, for instance. However, after trying out several different PDF viewers, including the Picsel Smart Office PDF viewer, the patched version of Adobe reader off these forums, and even straight up Okular off a Debian(linux) chroot, the defining theme is that rendering just takes ridiculously long. Between the three, Picsel has been the only one that has been smooth enough to be usable(not implying that it loads pages significantly faster, it just doesn't lock up whenever it goes to load a new page), however due to certain bugs that one is out of the question as well. None of them appear to do any caching of the pages for later viewing, unfortunately.

    Somewhere down the line I heard about Calibre, and preader(e-reader which happens to support most ebook formats besides PDF), and tried converting the PDFs to EPUB format to see if that was any better, and Calibre completely clobbered the formatting and deleted half of the images(In the options I selected iPad for the page formatting, didn't change anything else). To tell the truth I'm starting to lose faith, thinking maybe I need to consider abandoning webos in favor of Android....

    Anyway, sorry about the length, but I'm wondering if there's any other readers or magic "make things faster" patch I've conveniently missed. Thanks!
  2. #2  
    Have you tried the mupdf patched version of the default reader? (at this link [PATCH/IPK]Adobe PDF Reader Enhancements) For me it works well enough to open a book in class and go to a page I need. Maybe I am not worried about time I guess. I hope that helps.
  3.    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by knownboyofno View Post
    Have you tried the mupdf patched version of the default reader? (at this link [PATCH/IPK]Adobe PDF Reader Enhancements) For me it works well enough to open a book in class and go to a page I need. Maybe I am not worried about time I guess. I hope that helps.
    That is the one I spoke of in the OP. While it is a nice improvement feature-wise over the stock reader, it wasn't much faster.

    Edit: I guess my frustration comes from the fact I can open the same PDF in Okular on my computer(1.8 ghz core 2 duo, 2 GB ram) and scroll from top of the book to bottom in no time at all. I mean I know it doesn't render right away but it's several times faster than the TP and doesn't lock up at all. I thought these little ARM processors in mobile devices were supposed to pack quite a punch despite their low clock speeds, or am I wrong?
    Last edited by katemonster33; 01/30/2012 at 12:34 AM.
  4. #4  
    I was asking did you try the mupdf version because it loads faster. It does save the pages for a PDF and with the new improvements one could render more pages which means faster load times later on. Well, I have a computer like yours and I understand that the touchpad is going to be slower. They have ones that are coming out which work faster but require a lot more work. So we don't have anything better that isn't in the alpha stages of development.
  5. jonavalon's Avatar
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    #5  
    I really wish the kindle app was updated with the PDF support. I've been trying out text books on the touchpad only this semester, adobe reader does the job but could be a lot better. I've done all the converting and stuff that has been suggested to sideload but it doesn't really help.

    Quote Originally Posted by knownboyofno View Post
    Have you tried the mupdf patched version of the default reader? (at this link [PATCH/IPK]Adobe PDF Reader Enhancements) For me it works well enough to open a book in class and go to a page I need. Maybe I am not worried about time I guess. I hope that helps.
    OoOoOoOo that helped big time! thanks. Much faster, bookmarks!!! and two page view in landscape!!! Thats all i wanted

    :edit: Oh yes!! cant jump chapters now woot!!!!! this is awesome.

    Just the two page view feature just needs some fixing, it tends to jump back a couple pages when flipping through. And when i just selected a chapter, both pages started wigging out like i was trying to turn both pages at once. But otherwise i'm good for now.
    Last edited by jonavalon; 01/30/2012 at 09:52 AM.
  6. R42
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    #6  
    Indeed, the patch does make everything faster on Adobe Reader and i can also vouch for that.
  7. bable's Avatar
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    #7  
    My solution was to convert them into .cbr and use comix in my chroot(didn't dig comicshelf, crashes a lot), works like a charm and it's fairly easy to find a tool to convert a whole unprotected pdf into a cbr since it's just a rar with all the images. Some books do have tiny type that I couldn't enlarge but that just makes me excited for the high res tablets coming soon
    "The Gods do not protect fools, fools are merely protected by more capable fools"
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by jonavalon View Post
    I really wish the kindle app was updated with the PDF support. I've been trying out text books on the touchpad only this semester, adobe reader does the job but could be a lot better. I've done all the converting and stuff that has been suggested to sideload but it doesn't really help.



    OoOoOoOo that helped big time! thanks. Much faster, bookmarks!!! and two page view in landscape!!! Thats all i wanted

    :edit: Oh yes!! cant jump chapters now woot!!!!! this is awesome.

    Just the two page view feature just needs some fixing, it tends to jump back a couple pages when flipping through. And when i just selected a chapter, both pages started wigging out like i was trying to turn both pages at once. But otherwise i'm good for now.
    Can you post this in that thread so I can look at into it?
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by katemonster33 View Post
    That is the one I spoke of in the OP. While it is a nice improvement feature-wise over the stock reader, it wasn't much faster.
    Did you try the latest 2.0.6 version? I found it to be fast even w/ large PDFs.

    I guess my frustration comes from the fact I can open the same PDF in Okular on my computer(1.8 ghz core 2 duo, 2 GB ram) and scroll from top of the book to bottom in no time at all. I mean I know it doesn't render right away but it's several times faster than the TP and doesn't lock up at all. I thought these little ARM processors in mobile devices were supposed to pack quite a punch despite their low clock speeds, or am I wrong?
    The x86-based chips (Core2, Sandy Bridge, etc.) are much more powerful due to the difference in architecture. At the same speed (e.g., 1.8GHz) x86 would do far more work and use more power, so there cant be a direct comparison. Performance per watt is as relevant as it gets.

    However, architecture should not be the problem here; not in this case - heavy photo/movie plugins maybe, but ARM is more than capable of PDF rendering. How large are the books? Are they loaded w/ pics & diagrams? Try editing the PDR Reader settings to increase caching of pages and maybe take the rendering quality down a notch.
    knownboyofno likes this.
  10.    #10  
    the PDF in question is about 80 MBs. Its long and very heavy on images, so I think that's why adobe chokes on them. After trying on the computer some more I do have to admit the CPU gets bogged down by the PDF, rendering is rather sluggish. I might try the comix idea. Does that support gestures? I was also thinking of dropping the quality of the images to get a reduction in size. Hopefully that will help.
  11. #11  
    I would suspect my new method of reading pdf files would work very well. I have used it on a 24.5MB file and speed is no issue. Document size will be no problem because each page can be made into a single file this makes rendering very efficient also.

    A better way to read pdf files
  12. #12  
    It still isnt clear which reader you're using... the latest Adobe version, 2.0.0, or the latest mupdf based one 2.0.6. It makes a difference and they're constantly being improved.

    Quote Originally Posted by katemonster33 View Post
    the PDF in question is about 80 MBs. Its long and very heavy on images, so I think that's why adobe chokes on them. After trying on the computer some more I do have to admit the CPU gets bogged down by the PDF, rendering is rather sluggish.
    The same applies on the PC; the hardware is usually capable but the render engine makes the difference. For e.g., I do not use Adobe Reader on the PC. There are better options such as Sumatra PDF that not only render quicker, but open instantly (and dont get me started on bloat and privacy).

    I might try the comix idea. Does that support gestures? I was also thinking of dropping the quality of the images to get a reduction in size. Hopefully that will help.
    Dont know about comix, but after you've updated to the latest reader, tap on the gear icon to adjust quality and page render settings. Take a quick look here. IMO, its easier to manage those on the device, as opposed to converting and reducing image quality on the PC then transferring. How often are you willing to do that?
    knownboyofno likes this.
  13. bable's Avatar
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    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by katemonster33 View Post
    I might try the comix idea. Does that support gestures?
    Unfortunate not yet, but it does have a handy little curser magnifier and a pretty good note/annotation system. It's made for reading comic books so it's zoom is very well done. Just float your finger along the page to read or touch what you want to see bigger and it makes the same magnification bubble PCs do. For textbooks make sure you start linux in landscape so you scroll up/down instead of side to side
    "The Gods do not protect fools, fools are merely protected by more capable fools"
  14.    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by p41m3r View Post
    It still isnt clear which reader you're using... the latest Adobe version, 2.0.0, or the latest mupdf based one 2.0.6. It makes a difference and they're constantly being improved.
    I am using 2.0.6. The smaller PDFs work nicely, however the one gigantic one is ridiculously slow.
    How often are you willing to do that?
    You have to understand, I've got another 2 months of classes, I use this book every day in class, the teacher asks us questions out of specific chapters and I have to be able to flip between those pages really quickly, and so far it's been mostly unusable.
    I'm not gonna convert every book I use on the TP, just the ones above, say, 30 MB.
    Last edited by katemonster33; 02/02/2012 at 05:37 PM.
  15.    #15  
    Well, I finally got around to installing CM7 on my TP, and I gotta say, I was blown away by the Android version of Adobe. It scrolls smoothly and loads pages ridiculously fast, even on the 80 MB PDF I mentioned. I think I'm gonna give up on WebOS for this one....it just can't compete at the moment.
  16. filmor_'s Avatar
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    #16  
    Could you PM me the file that is not working properly? Usually that's because of a bug on my side …
  17.    #17  
    I would, but the webOS browser does not allow uploads, and speaking of that, is there any patch which enables file uploads? kind of off topic but it drives me nuts.
  18. #18  
    you should have gotten a free box.com account with 50GM storage when you bought your touchpad. Try using the box app for touchpad in the app catalog to upload and download.
    There may be a size limit on the file upload. Some of the earlier registrants were able to get accounts with large file restrictions, then box.com tightened the requirements.
  19. #19  
    I have been using my TP for the last two semesters to keep all of my textbooks from wearing a hole in my knapsack and for all my note taking etc.. though I have NOT been using the pdf versions of the textbooks. My anatomy and pathophysiology texts were in the 4GB size range when i looked into them for the Barnes & nob e-textbook thingy and the rest have been mostly avail through the amazon kindle app or through one of two websites/applications. I highly recommend checking them out, though i don't know of the wifi status of your classroom - they both require an active connection to view the books. (its how they control the books to avoid piracy)

    www.cengagebrain.com / Aplia :: Engage. Prepare. Educate. is what I used last semester for psychology
    and
    Rent online textbooks, eTextbooks, eResources. Save up to 60%. | CourseSmart (check out their WebOS APP!)
    - I've used this site the most, for anatomy & physiology, nutrition, pathophysiology and sociology.

    aplia's site is the best for speed, though they divide the book up in unique ways - per section, rather than page, so "turn to page 312" instructions are useless.

    the CS application / website is pretty good for speed, and flipping pages as you mentioned you need to do, though its not as fast as say picsel's smartoffice which i use to write my course notes/ powerpoint slides. Sorry to hear that it doesn't work for your pdf uses though!

    AND, worst case scenario, if you can get a decent internet connection, try splash top remote 's WebOS app... itll let you use the Oomph of your PC to render the images @ home, then stream the screen to your TP.. I've used that a couple times when SmartOffice decides to render the class powerpoint slides in an odd manner. Its rather nifty.
    Last edited by aegora; 02/07/2012 at 01:26 PM. Reason: added more information
  20. #20  
    You can pre-render all pages in advance - and put these pre-rendered pages into cache so Adobe Reader will display them immediately ... regardless of page/file size ... if page is found in cache (/media/internal/appdata/com.quickoffice.ar/.cache/<hash>

    It is possible to run script that will search your device for all PDF files and then render all pages...next time you open file in Adobe Reader - there will be no slow rendering, just immediate output (from cache).

    There are few people that can easily write such script...
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