Reading ebooks on a SonyEricsson K700i

Since my Zaurus seems to have died the Final Death (although I will be getting a replacement), and I can’t do without my reading fix, I need a way of reading books. Fortunately, help is at hand, in the form of an ebook reader for my K700i phone. It’s called BookReader, and it’s nicely free. (Not Free Software, though, as far as I can tell.) It’s a bit awkward, because it doesn’t just get loaded once and then merrily allow you to display ebooks that are uploaded separately. Instead, it comes as a JAR file (not unreasonable, since it’s a Java app) and you unpack the JAR (JAR files are just zip archives with a different extension), stick your ebook(s) inside it (calling them textfile.txt, textfile1.txt, textfile2.txt, etc.), save the jarfile, and then upload that jarfile to your phone. A little bit awkward, but not incredibly so, and it’ll certainly tide me over until I can get a replacement. The tiny font is surprisingly readable on the nice bright screen of the phone, and you can add your own font if you feel so inclined (which means it could be really minute if you were hawk-eyed).
Those of you with Bluetooth will have read “upload that jar file to your phone” and thought “yep, I can do that“. (In fact, Jono and I were experimenting with Bluetooth this very evening, synchronising a Palm Tungsten with Linux using pilot-link most successfully. Except that Evolution won’t do it, because it (well, gnome-pilot-daemon) doesn’t understand network syncs, but Jono can tell you more about that himself.) Those of you without Bluetooth may well think: how do I upload stuff? Easy. Just upload the jar file to your web server and then bang the URL into the browser (I use Orange World; don’t know how to do this on other networks, but it’ll be pretty simple). A word of warning: make sure your webserver serves it as content-type application/java-archive. Apache on Debian stable seems to have application/x-java-archive by default, and it doesn’t work if you serve it with that: the phone won’t recognise it as an application. Anyway, I’m off to read some books. And possibly investigate MIDP and MIDlets and how to make a Java MIDlet application display some arbitrary text files you have on your phone (rather than just its own JAR file contents), assuming that you can do that.

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