Sunday, May 11, 2008

The iPhone Gutenberg Science Fiction eBook Repository!

Yes, I managed to finish it. I've managed to convince Project Gutenberg books to install onto the iPhone.

To make use of the repository:

  1. Obtain an iPhone.
  2. Jailbreak the iPhone, I recommend ziphone for this task.
  3. Install Books, the iPhone ebook reader using the Installer application (1.4+ only!)
  4. Add the repository to Installer:
    1. Start Installer
    2. Click "Sources"
    3. Click "Edit"
    4. Click "Add"
    5. Enter "http://library.pollock.ca/gutenberg_scifi"
    6. Click "OK"
    7. Click "Done"
    8. Click "Refresh"
  5. Select "Install" at the bottom of the screen. You will see "Gutenberg SciFi" is now available as an application category!
  6. Before you can install a book, you will need to install GutenMark, it is under Utilities. I am using it to format the files on your phone to save me bandwidth.

There are currently 163 books in the library, in English and French. The list of books I used is from Gutenberg's SciFi CD collection. Since I can convert any Gutenberg book at this point, if there is a favourite you are looking for, please let me know.

The installation software has a preference for the HTML version of the book if it exists, however it will use the TXT version and pass it through GutenMark if it doesn't. Both versions will be split into chapters using the very handy GutenSplit.

10 comments:

Chris said...

the baen free library does not seem to work now download cannot complete

Jason Pollock said...

hrm. that is odd.

It seems that this is an installer bug. It has developed a bad habit of refreshing sources in the background. Then when a package is installed, if the source still hasn't completed downloading, it is considered part of the install download, which never completes.

It also has a bad habit of running the background now too.

When I just tested it, it said it was still downloading, however, when I exited Installer, the book had properly installed.

This behaviour appeared in the latest version of Installer. If you know how to get a hold of those guys (I've tried, but never received an answer), let me know! :)

Wout Mertens said...

When I try to install one of the books, I get "Main script execution failed" just after it said something about adding execute permissions or so.

Any ideas? I checked and /Applications/Installer.app/Installer has setuid root permissions.

Jason Pollock said...

Hi Wout,

Which book? What's your firmware version?

Anonymous said...

Could you please add Little Brother by Cory Doctorow?

Jason Pollock said...

It looks like Little Brother hasn't made it into Project Gutenberg yet. When it does, I'll add it to the collection.

Peter said...

Thanks for this!

pov said...

Jason, what you did here is great.
But unfortunatly, the quality of the French books is atrocious, with accented characters all over the place. So much in fact that it's painful to read. I know it's probably not your fault, but if you compare the beginning of “De la Terre à la Lune” on your iPhone and the original file you'll easily see the difference.
If you could update the version you offer and bump the revision, that'd be awesome!

Jason Pollock said...

O.k. I'll take a look. I don't know why they changed locations. The tools aren't supposed to be changing the content.

Thanks for the help!

Jason Pollock said...

Hrm GutenMark looks like it is doing odd stuff, probably because of the word files.

I'll probably just turn them off.