E-book reader and translator

I’ve discovered something surprising. There are many E-book readers for the Mac and only one for Linux. This is a shocker. Ideally, with a few changes, those Mac readers should function under Linux. I mention this because I like how some of the ones for the Mac work.

The reader for Linux is so-so. Since there is only one (and I talked about E-book readers at length a few months ago) I’ll just say it is available in the Debian/Ubuntu/Mint repositories and as a separate download. Considering the alternatives are simply PDF readers it is a big improvement. So essentially we in the Linux world are stuck with only a few formats we can access. Wouldn’t cha know it most of the odd-ball ones are not accessible on either the Mac or Linux platforms. This isn’t to mention my MP3 player which will only do .txt format documents.

Given the problems with the various formats I was looking around for a converter. I actually found one which works pretty well. It’s called Calibre. I don’t know if it is available for the Mac, but if someone is running a virtual machine with Linux or is able to install it with a package like MacPorts then that’s a non-issue. This program will convert to and from any of what looks like close to two dozen different formats. This means effectively if someone purchased a physical E-book reader which has it’s proprietary format in the list they now have access to a wider range of content. Naturally most of the content I have seen has been scanned and run through an OCR and not proof-read. This means some of the words are garbled in the original form. Since it’s a case of garbage in and garbage out I don’t expect miracles. None the less it should be interesting to see how some of these E-books look on my MP3 player.

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About the Author


Mike Pfaiffer was President of A.P.P.L.E. and also the president of Digital Civilization magazine, a monthly UNIX magaine. Mike wrote a number of articles for A.P.P.L.E. and sadly passed away 19 July 2013 at age 54. https://passages.winnipegfreepress.com/passage-details/id-205359/Michael_Pfaiffer