Posts Tagged ‘E-reader’

I wrote about the Nook before, and apparently my blog has been getting many hits from people wanting to know about e-reader’s support for Arabic.
Currently, I have a Kindle with me. So, I hope this will be helpful:

In general, the main problem I found with the Kindle is that apparently the international version does not include Oman!! (That’s a big thanx to Omantel of course). You can’t even download updates for the Kindle in Oman because “There is no version available for Oman”.. yea, no clue! So, if you are in an Arabic country, please check this website before buying a Kindle. Even if you don’t plan to “purchase” e-books through Amazon, it is important to have a supported 3G network (for updates) cause lovely Amazon doesn’t think we need good-old wireless.

No stupid support for Oman "Unfortunately, we are currently unable to ship Kindles or offer Kindle content to Oman" .. Of course!!

Yep, no 3G network support for Oman

So, 3G network is supported for UAE, KSA, Israel (sorry no Palestine 😦 .. ), and Egypt.. and maybe some other countries.

Arabic Support:
Alright, Kindle supports .txt and .pdf files. I tried to enter Arabic text for both formats. The Kindle does not read Arabic text saved in .txt. The whole thing comes out as “???? ??? ????? ??? ?? ??????? ??? ?? ?? ? ???? ?? ?? ???? ??? ??” I’m sure that is not what you are hoping for.Now for .pdf files, here is a picture of how Kindle handles PDF files in general with images (I know, the Times article looks cool there..). It took a couple of seconds (maybe 30sec) for it to load, which is considered slow, but that is only because of the images.

"The Date Debate" article on the Kindle

Now, I added an Arabic .pdf file into kindle. Here, unless each page has 5 lines, the text would be hard to read. It is like reading font size 6 or 5. Like this:

إذا تقدرو تقرأو هذا الخط من غير ما تقلعو عيونكم فهذا فشيء جميل جدا

Anyway, point taken right?… Here is an image of how it would look like:

Arabic e-book in Kindle, a very small font size

Now, with all pdf files, you cannot make the font larger (English and Arabic). What you can do is press the “Aa” button and it will give you the option to view the pdf horizontally. A bit of a hassle, but if you don’t mind it then this will not be such a huge problem. With this however, you will have to view a single page in three sections (so you have to press the next button three times to read a full page). This of course will effect the battery life, and if you are a fast reader.. it will not be pleasant. Here is a picture of how it will look like:

Horizontal view of the Arabic e-book

Last thing, when you think about getting an e-reader for your Arabic e-books, consider the size of the screen. I can assume that all e-readers that support .pdf can view Arabic text, but with the screen size.. hmm.. it results in tiny font for all languages! unless you get a 9 inch e-reader!

Hope this helped some!


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Yesterday I was looking up the new “Nook” e-reader from Barnes and Noble. Despite the weird name (in both languages, Arabic and English), I am excited to look at this new edition in the e-readers market. I hope by November my patience to buy an e-reader would pan out.

Image credit to Barnes and Noble

Image credit to Barnes and Noble

I don’t usually post about gadgets in my blog, but I am excited about this product and I am a big fan of e-readers for so many reasons. One of the reasons is that I have so many books right now that it is hard for me to manage, and I hate clutter (I’m living in one and it is driving me nutts!). Also, I want to say that I would like to contribute (even a little) to saving trees (No, I don’t call myself green, but if there is an alternative to cutting trees then why not!). I like gadgets (the true reason!), and I enjoy reading. So, why not get myself an e-reader!

The one problem is that the “Nook” is only based in the US.. *sigh*. I know that the Kindle has an international version too, but I refuse to pay $260 for a device that uses proprietary software (yes, I’m a big fan of open source!). Also, the “nook e-reader” supports so many formats that I can read my own pdf articles. You can also view books in Arabic (pdf), which is great but you can’t use all the fancy applications with it, which is fine.

According to Barnes and Noble FAQ. “When you travel abroad, you can read any files that are already on your nook. You can connect to Wi-Fi hotspots that do not use proxy security settings, such those commonly used in hotels, and download eBooks and subscriptions already in your online digital Library. You cannot, however, purchase additional eBooks and subscriptions.”

Also note that you can buy e-books online. So, for a way around this, maybe I can buy my e-books online using my US bank account, and since it will already be in my online digital library, it will sync to my e-reader.

So, I am excited and need someone to be excited with me. I am living among people who do not know what a netbook is let alone an e-reader! (they don’t really need to, they don’t read *sigh*)

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