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PSPBook for Mac OSX

This is what you might call a targeted post – if you (a) own a PSP and (b) own a Mac and (c) want to read text files formatted as images on the PSP… well, have I got the program for you :D

A friend (Kelson) told me about how he had a program for Windows that would take a text file as input and spit out images formatted for the PC. I thought, you beauty, now I can read classics on my PSP instead of having to go to the library or buying them. I googled around, expecting only Windows versions, but stumbled upon a little program called PSPBook.

Or rather, frustratingly, links to a program called PSPBook. Links that didn’t work any more, as the creator had apparently moved on and not left any copies around.

Further searching ended up finding the source for it, and what else is a good coder to do than to pick up an abandoned project :D A little bit of tweaking here and there, and we have the following: PSPBook 1.0.3b1.

What this does is get you to select a text file, lay it out in a space that corresponds to the PSP screen, and dump that to a file. Unfortunately, it goes about things in what I consider a clunky way, but it does appear to be a limitation of Apple’s frameworks, unless you really want to rewrite from the ground up (i.e. use CoreText APIs).

You can then copy the files over to your PSP and browse at your lesuire. The program also allows you to tweak the appearance of the text that you’ll be reading. Exporting is a breeze, and that’s about the sum of it :D

This is my first foray into Mac programming, and most of the work was done for me already, with minimal impact from yours truly. It should be a universal binary, though it’s only been tested on a 10.5 Intel, since that’s all I’ve got at home.

The original code was licensed under the BSD license – I’m not a lawyer, but I hope it allows someone to pick up the code should it be available and abandoned. In any case, the original author has been left as the copyright holder, but I’m operating on more of a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license here (do click through there if you’re not sure of Creative Commons).

The app and code is hosted on Google Code, should anyone else feel intrigued enough to pull up XCode and have a poke around (more than welcome to fix bugs, mine or existing!). The previous version is also available, via the repository, should anyone feel like i’ve botched things.

Kudos to Apple for including such a decent set of tools with their OSes – little wonder there’s so much good Mac appery out there.

4 replies on “PSPBook for Mac OSX”

I get a mention (!)

If I had a Macbook, I’d download your code and have a play with it. But downloading it without even the possibility of using is too geeky, even for me :D

Well done btw, this could become something big! (Or you might get sued… which I guess is also big)

Haha, fair enough :) I’ll put up some screenshots and make a proper manual at some point… got some incremental ideas. But as I mentioned, the hard yards were done for me – I’ve just updated it to the latest OSX and fixed a small bug that was happening for me. The power of open source!

I’ve also got in touch with the original author, and they’ve cleared it so it’s all good there. Don’t think I’m impinging on any other copyrights etc, so getting sued is unlikely, but then so is making it big :P

(on my way home today, I had a flash – “iPhone Book”! surely there’s a market out there for low-tech iPhone ebook hackery? :D

The BSD license is one that is essentially without stipulation. If it’s under the BSD, it’s practically in the public domain. You could fork it, close the source and sell it for millions of dollars.

Good work on the port. Sounds like a fun lo-fi solution to what could be an endlessly complex problem.

In terms of iPhone book, lots of people are putting together eBook apps (entire applications for a group of select books) as well as PDF reader frontends and whatnot. The device is smart enough to read text. :P

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