QST comes in an Adobe format that you can either view online through a browser using Adobe Flash or as a downloadable Adobe file that requires Adobe AIR to display. QST also has that very annoying NxtBook interface that simulates turning pages and other gimmicks. My problem is that I have done my best to remove Adobe software from all my PCs as their software is very bloated and inefficient and also Flash is subject to hacks and vulnerabilities such that is is a real threat to any PC.
What annoyed me more was I had paid for the electronic QST but to ensure that only those who had paid could view the magazine, you needed to be online to read it. My reason for buying online QST was the paper versions took up too much space and also I wanted a library of issues on my tablet. If I needed to go online to read QST, that would limit reading it when I was on a plane etc. I used to print the whole magazine to PDF but that stopped working… either ARRL changed the print function or they designed the pages so that PDF printers would run out of memory. It failed for me on a Win7 machine with 8GB RAM so I tried it on a server at work with 128GB Ram and 32 Xeon CPUs and it still failed. Damn!
Analysing the downloaded files showed that you could extract every page from the magazine without being online. Sure you need to log in and download the magazine so you do need an ARRL subscription to do that. Fine, I have one. Once I found you could access each page on its own I looked up how to convert the Adobe Flash format to something open. In doing so I found some old Flash rendering tools for Linux. Then I found a script for automating QST to pdf online. But the script would not work for me. I ended up rewriting the script so that it worked for me.
The result is you download the magazine for offline use (and you need Flash on the PC to do that ) then extract the files from the file and run the script. It converts each page into a medium res PNG file then takes all the PNG files and makes a PDF from that. You cannot search the magazine PDF because it is 150pages of pictures and the file is about 225Mb per issue. But I have the last 20 months of QST on an SDCard in my tablet and can read the magazines on Windows/Linux/Android. i.e my Windows desktop, Linux laptop, Windows tablet, Android phone.
It takes my old Linux laptop (Dual core i3 HT @ 2.6GHz + 4GB RAM) about 15minutes to crunch the files and make a PDF. Then they get put on the NAS and my tablet. Job done.