Coolreader for Android

I bought a new 8.9 zoll Android tablet some weeks ago. There were already a book reader application from the supplier installed. But that application was closed source and I was not happy with its features. I read about an Android reader application and tried it out: Coolreader for Android (http://coolreader.org/e-index.htm, you could also find in the Play Store). It’s able to read the file format epub and pdf and has a nice background (wood and old paper style).

I tried that application out and it worked fine. It showed me epub perfect rendered. I was a bit curious and looked around the menu of the application. There was a menu item with a headphone on it and I pushed it. Because I was not online the service didn’t work at that time.

The Android application tried to configure the Text to Speech (TTS) service but could not download a German language file. Yesterday I was online again and tried the Coolreader button again. Coolreader started to read out the text for me. But I noticed that the service only worked if the tablet was connected to the Internet.

I googled a bit around and found out that I could use that service also offline. I had to download a language file for German to my tablet. I had to go to the configuration menu and the entry language and let my tablet download the file. Coolreader reads German ebook text with a female voice without connection to the Internet now. Great free software!

LibreOffice Extensions Site – Language Settings

The current LibreOffice extensions website is running on Plone with the addon Plone Software Center (PSC). The site is multilingual, but the PSC is not designed to connect different languages (translations) for a product (extension in our case).

There is a description at the home page of the extensions website with an explanation that every contributor should set the language setting to language independent for every content she or he added to the site. But some contributors have not found and read this information and thus set the language setting to their first language or to the language of the extension project. Others don’t change anything at all and this leads to the default language: English.

If the language is not set to language independent not all user of the LibreOffice extensions site could find and view that extension (or the extension files of that project) and complain about that with a message to the administrator of the site or the infra-team.

Although this problem will vanish with the new Plone addon that I develop for the LibreOffice extensions site since a while, I thought it might be useful to work on the language settings inside the current extensions site and try to fix all the issues. I worked on this since yesterday and fixed all the language settings with all languages but English. It will take some resources and time to fix all of the latter ones because they are so numerous. I try to finish that work during my Christmas vacation.

Support Desert – Second Part

Accurately three weeks after I delivered my notebook to the Medion customer support I got something back from them. But it was not my notebook and not a message that it is on the way to me. Instead they told me that they investigated my notebook and came to the conclusion that the defect occured from an external impact.  They claimed an abnormal handling. That should habe caused the damage. They send me some pictures that are difficult to interpret. They seemed to show a broken plastic piece in the coverage of the display (top of my notebook), where a screw fits in. The Medion kva-team told me that they refused a free repair and asked for repairing charges of about 82 €. That covers the replacement of the two plastic coverages of the display (both sides).
Once I got this message I drove to the customer center again and tried to clarify the situation. But the employees there have no competence in this process. If you want to speak to the support team you have to use a very expensive hotline (1.59 € / minute) (this is very different from suppliers with a good customer support).
Because of this I decided to contact them by email and illustrated them how I handled my notebook with extra care and that I never touched the area of the broken piece of plastic. I only used my notebook within the intended use, e.g. I used its keyboard and opened and closed the notebook. But the answer was that they detected an external impact and refused a free of charge repair. They gave me a few days to decide if I want my notebook back without a repair or pay the money. Because I need my new notebook also for my work on the LibreOffice extensions and tempates site and the development of an addon for the new extensions and tempate site I accepted the proposal under protest and payed the fee. I got the impression that this helps to get my repaired notebook back soon. But that was an illusion. They took my money and showed me the message that their specialised personnel will immediately repair my notebook. There are more than five weeks gone since I delivered my notebook to their support. They never gave an answer to my question when they will repair my notebook and when will they send it back to me. It’s a customer nightmare, a support desert.
I read about the experience of other customers with the Medion technical support last Werk  and felt not alone. Thus I could not recommend to buy a  Medion gadget anymore.
Stay tuned. I’ll report once I get my notebook back and what happened in between.

Support Desert – Part One

I bought a new notebook at the Medion store twentyone  month ago. I handled it with care and bought a neopren carry case. I prevented the case of my notebook from getting scratches.

Two month ago I recognized some pink spots on the screen. I moved the notebook display a bit forward and backward and the spots disappeared. First I thought there could be an issue with the graphic card. But if it had been a problem with the graphic card it would disappear once I moved the display. Thus I searched a bit through the web and found out that there are cable between the mainboard and the display. I had a suspicion that one of this cable has been damaged.

I took my Notebook and drove to the customer center in Mülheim/Ruhr. The account manager wrote down my description of the problem and he confirmed my diagnostics. He sent the notebook to the dealer’s workshop. He told me and I got a confirmation by email that the repairing could take up to fifteen workdays. I had to search for an intermediate solution for this three weeks and reactivated my old very slow notebook (I was lucky that I had not scrapped it.). I hoped to get my new notebook back after this three weeks, but that didn’t happen. I’ll write how this story moved along in my next post.

Further Work on new LibreOffice Extensions Site

The LibreOffice extensions site is running on Plone and I’m working further on a new addon for the site. I added three new event features to the new Plone addon. The extensions site will sent an email message, if a member created a new extension project. This will help to review and publish new projects in time.

There are similar messages to the projects contact address:

  • once the workflow status of a project has changed (e.g. from submitted for review to published),
  • if someone add a new release to the project.

The edit form of a release is now reordered and get a structure with fieldsets. I placed the fields for the file upload (extension files) on two new tabs.

Work on new LibreOffice Extensions Site

The LibreOffice extensions site is build on the Content Management System Plone. I use currently the addon Plone Software Center to host the LibreOffice extension projects and their files. Because the structure of that software is a bit to complex for our contributors, I decided to develop a new Plone addon for the use case of the extensions site.

The new addon is based on the new content object framework Dexterity and has currently only three content types: center, project, release. I added nearly all necessary fields to the content types and worked a bit more on the views in the last days.

The view of the center content type shows a list of the recent extension projects and the most popular now. There are also links to display extension projects by category. But the center view is not finished yet. I’ll work on a search form for extensions with options.

I added to the project content type two new event manager. They notify the project owner about the change in the status of his project (change in workflow status) and as soon as a new release was added to his project. I could create them on core features of Plone.

I created a demo and test site with the new Plone addon at http://vm141.documentfoundation.org:9095/LibOExtText/en/extensions

The site will be updated regularly with the current source code from the github repository:

https://github.com/tdf/tdf.extensionsuploadcenter