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Old 06-18-2010, 09:25 AM   #9
mTamblyn
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Posts: 12
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Join Date: May 2010
Device: Kobo eReader, iPhone, iPad
Hi -- it's Michael Tamblyn from Kobo. To save people the link, here's the full text of my post on TeleRead. Thanks to all of the people on MobileRead who have been so supportive of us and each other through the first 45 days with the eReader. We'll keep pushing to make the eReader better. You keep pushing to make *us* better.
Here's the scoop on the Kobo firmware and Desktop Reader update:

1. Font scaling
Will be dealt with in a firmware upgrade the week of June 28th. Font scaling issues have been tricky -- they are most often caused by hardcoded absolute font sizes in the epub CSS. Doing wholesale overrides of publisher CSS can earn us bad karma with publishers. And while we can easily override some CSS elements (font face, for example, since we have a limited number of fonts on the eReader), the Adobe SDK prohibits override of absolute font sizes. (Grrr...) So we have had to do some crafty things behind the scenes to get around that limitation. We have tested the new release of firmware with every file that users have sent us with font resizing issues and it has worked in all cases we've tested so far.

2. Title Management
The biggest irritant we heard from lots of users was "I don't care about *&@^#$# Huckleberry Finn! Get that stuff out of my Library." Totally understandable: some people feel it clutters up the Library or makes it harder to find purchased books. (Others love having a reader that is full of books as soon as you plug it in. That's the way it goes...) There is a short-term fix in the new release while we work on a longer and more complicated one. In the short term, you'll be able to hide pre-loaded books on the device -- get them out of the way so you can look at the other books you've added. That definitely won't address all issues, but it will address the biggest pain point while we work on a wider range of library management features for a subsequent release.

3. Battery Life
This was a software problem rather than a hardware one. Even when the device is in sleep mode, there is a negligible amount of activity on the device. The bug: in some states, power consumption wasn't tapering off as much as it should have when the device went into sleep mode. We found the bug and fixed it, so people should be able to get the 8,000 page turns they were expecting.

4. Charging Light
Used to: show nothing until it was charged and then turn red when it was done. (Okayyyy.....)
New release: turns red when it's charging, turns blue when it's done. (Makes more sense.)

There are a bunch of other things rolled up in the update (universal mac builds for PPC+Intel, better indications when the device is off, etc.), but I wanted to flag those four since they've been a topic of some discussion here.

Why Has This Taken So Long?
Doing the first firmware upgrade on your first hardware device is not for the faint of heart. We've been trying to balance three things: how many fixes/improvements can we get into the release vs. not wanting people to wait too long vs. testing all of the wild and wonderful use cases that customers have given us via phone, email, this forum and others. This week we decided we were fixing enough issues to justify people spending time upgrading the device, especially since it's a bit of a tricky process, with a few multi-button presses and resets to get the new firmware in there.

Generally, we've learned a lot in the 45 days since the eReader released. We've learned that running an open platform is both great and daunting -- you never know what people are going to try to load onto the device and need to be ready for everything. We have learned that the user community is awesome. People have been great at helping each other overcome issues while this software/firmware update was coming together. Thanks especially to the Calibre folks for doing such a nice job on the Kobo eReader driver!

I'll have more detail on the release as we lock down the final build. In the meantime, thanks so much for your patience, your candor, well-intentioned beatings, and willingness to stick with us as we get through this latest round of growing pains.
Questions, feedback, whattheheckareyoutalkingabout comments? I'll keep an eye on this thread. Thanks!
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