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Author Topic: IDEA: The Holy Grail of text reading on a PC  (Read 5645 times)
MerleOne
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« on: December 05, 2006, 05:08:46 AM »

Hi all,

Some of you may remember the excellent but short-lived Amiga computer.  It had a unique feature, the ability to synchronize display with the screen refresh on CRT.  This made it possible to have scrolling text reader such as View80, which was very convenient to read long text (books, ...), on screen, thanks to the ultra smooth scrolling with variable speed.

I have not been able to find such a smooth scrolling text reader on PC/Windows, even if todays machines are much more powerful.  Do you know a software doing the same thing (I guess LCD don't work as CRT, but I hope it's still possible) ? 

Thanks.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2006, 05:18:56 AM by brotherS » Logged

.merle1.
jgpaiva
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2006, 10:34:39 AM »

I don't exactly know what you mean, but i think opera's and adobe acrobat's scrolling is pretty smooth... (probably it isn't synced with refresh rate though, i have no idea).
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MerleOne
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2006, 12:25:52 PM »

Thanks for the answer.  Actually it's not smooth enough compared to what View80 could do, also, setting a precise speed is not that easy with Acrobat and Opera (I use both).

.jf.

I don't exactly know what you mean, but i think opera's and adobe acrobat's scrolling is pretty smooth... (probably it isn't synced with refresh rate though, i have no idea).
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.merle1.
Ruffnekk
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2006, 01:21:21 AM »

So let me get this straight, you are looking for a text reader that scrolls down smoothly at a given pace so you can sit back and read an entire document without doing anything?
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MerleOne
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2006, 02:08:18 AM »

Exactly.  The problem with every method I know is that I still find the scrolling not smooth enough to allow for a comfortable reading.  I have come to the conclusion it might be caused by Windows display management itself, and maybe also to the "remanence" of current LCD, which gives the current scrolling a slightly hazy/fuzzy look .  But I am no programmer and no Windows expert, so it's just a (wild) guess.


So let me get this straight, you are looking for a text reader that scrolls down smoothly at a given pace so you can sit back and read an entire document without doing anything?
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.merle1.
Ruffnekk
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2006, 03:06:34 AM »

What kind of documents should this reader be able to display? Plain text only or other formats as well?
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urlwolf
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2006, 06:10:58 AM »

I would *LOVE* an app like that displaying pdfs and html at least. Other than adobe, there is no pdf scrolling apps that I know off. and I do use opera for HTML. This would be a killer app. I'd be willing to pay top donationCoder credits to whoever gets this done (if it's possible at all!).
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rjbull
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2006, 08:30:24 AM »

smooth scrolling text reader on PC/Windows

There is/was one...  but it's DOS, from 1989!  PC Magazine's SMOOTH.COM, from before the days they started charging.  Obviously won't read (in the sense I think you mean) PDFs or HTML, though you could try reducing PDF to plain text with XPDF and HTML to plain text with {insert your choice of tag stripper here}  But then, being an old-time DOS person, that's the way I think...

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f0dder
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2006, 08:54:43 AM »

It's perfectly possible to do even under windows, but it would require double-buffering (ie: don't draw directly to the visible surface, but draw to an off-screen surface and flip to visible when all drawing is done) - and it might require using DirectDraw (dunno if GDI bitblit is synced to refresh).
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Ruffnekk
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2006, 09:19:35 AM »

I have been fiddling with GDI+ and DirectDraw, but getting a PDF file to show and scroll it smoothly is not a simple quest *G*
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MerleOne
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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2006, 01:03:49 PM »

Good question about the format.  I have to think about it a little bit, find some typical use cases.  I'll post here ASAP.   Of course I would say right now HTML (including plain text) and if possible pdf, but I don't want to miss something...
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MerleOne
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2006, 04:20:14 PM »

Hi again,

I would say HTML and plain text would be fine.  Pdf would be nice also, can do without.

Thanks.
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srdiamond
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« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2006, 05:28:44 PM »

Have you tried the various automatic scrolling settings on some Logitech mice using Logitech SetPoint software? In this regard perhaps the MX 1000 mouse does it best.
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MerleOne
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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2006, 05:56:38 PM »

Actually not.

I do have tried the one from Intellimouse from Microsoft, it's just the "regular" windows scroll, probably not double-buffered, hence not that smooth.
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skrommel
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« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2006, 12:48:31 PM »

 smiley Have you tried SpeedReader at http://www.spreeder.com?

Skrommel
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MerleOne
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« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2006, 02:13:12 PM »

I just did.  Thanks for the link.  Except if I have missed something, it's a word by word reader.  I usually try to read by group of words, so it's actually more disturbing than a regular reader. 

Also, one as to input the text to the web site, which is not very good for privacy.

Anyway, thanks for the info.
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skrommel
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« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2006, 05:48:11 PM »

 smiley Agreed on the privacy, but have another look at the settings: It shows multiple words, delays after period, and more.

Skrommel
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skrommel
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« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2006, 06:18:29 PM »

 smiley Talking of holy grail, I myself use a text to speech engine, and a pair of wireless headphones. Have you tried NeoSpeech? It's amazing!

Skrommel
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urlwolf
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« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2006, 10:20:03 AM »

Hey Skrommel,

Where do you get neoSpeech? In their page:
http://www.neospeech.com/support/download/list.php
They ask you many questions about what sounds like an API for their system. Do they have a standalone application?
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skrommel
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« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2006, 12:41:42 PM »

 smiley The voices are bundled with a lot of TTS tools, for example NaturalReader.

Skrommel
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