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Old 11-22-2007, 03:18 AM   #1
nairbv
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decision time. hanlin vs cybook? anyone who's tried em? can you search in a book?

I'm basically down to deciding between the cybook gen3 and the hanlin v3.

My biggest question: Is there any way to search a book, with either, to look up a quote? I ask because I don't see how the text of the quote would be entered, how do you enter text? It seems a little strange that an ebook might not be searchable. Also, can either of them highlight sections of a book? And can you select a word and look it up in a dictionary? How's it work?

I've ruled out the kindle and sony because I don't think their proprietary DRM format will last (or ever work on any other device), and because I'm not always in the US, and because I feel like the way they're running their DRM system is a scam to pray on unsuspecting and not-so-understanding customers. Really I think this kind of service scam should be illegal. (ok, I'll try to stop ranting)

I care less now about the mobipocket support (which before made me lean towards the cybook), but now that amazon owns mobipocket and probably doesn't want them competing with kindle sales, I see no reason for it to do well long term. cybook has a contract to also support mobipocket books in the future anyways.

I'm not too concerned with price, but the iliad seems too fancy and I want the long-lasting battery power.

One major benefit of the hanlin is that I happen to be in China currently, so I can go pick it up from the company directly.

It seems jinke/hanlin has sold way more units and been doing business longer.

I'm a little drawn to the cybook just because of the pretty website and pictures. I'm getting the impression that the hanlin people are more responsive though (I emailed them and they responded, others seem to be having positive interactions with them, I emailed bookeen and they ignored me). I'm a little concerned that I'd get poor support (if needed) from the cybook people.

I also really like that the hanlin uses the standard nokia phone battery.

I think I've convinced myself that I want the hanlin... but if anyone has seen both, can comment on pluses/minuses, lacking features, etc between these two, or can answer my search question regarding either model, etc, please let me know what you think.

Thanks,

-brian
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Old 11-23-2007, 04:26 AM   #2
HarryT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nairbv View Post
My biggest question: Is there any way to search a book, with either, to look up a quote? I ask because I don't see how the text of the quote would be entered, how do you enter text? It seems a little strange that an ebook might not be searchable. Also, can either of them highlight sections of a book? And can you select a word and look it up in a dictionary? How's it work?
I can only comment on the CyBook. It has an excellent dictionary lookup mode, which works extremely well. Basically you select "Lookup Mode" from the menu, and the nav keys then act as a four-way cursor selecting a word at a time moving up, down, left or right. You press the "Select" button to look up the highlighted word. MobiPocket sell a very wide range of dictionaries which will work on the Gen3, both general-purpose and specialist (such as the various Oxford dictionaries of art, architecture, classical literature, religion, etc etc).

You can't search on the Gen3, but you CAN search on the MobiPocket desktop reader (and on the PDA version too, for that matter), so if you're happy to do your searching on a desktop PC there's no problem (you can read your books on both).
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:32 AM   #3
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And you actually think the V3's Wolf format will be something that will be popular and actually last?
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Old 12-07-2007, 05:15 AM   #4
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jswolf:

no, of course not. I think it's a good idea though having SIM based DRM rather than being dependent on some remote DRM server.

I think of the wolf format more as something for, for example, say you had some specific content distribution application that you were buying devices for in bulk, and needed to distribute some kind of DRM content that you were developing yourself. It seems they sold most of their devices in the ukraine, and a stand alone unit can be more appealing than something dependent on some DRM server somewhere else. ...and then you can backup the files yourself, keep the sim card when/if the device breaks, and put that sim card in another device. It just seems like it could feel a little safer to hold something in my hand, rather than wondering if sony or kindle will close down their connect-store or whatever and stop letting me download books.

Someone in one of these forums commented that amazon themselves did it before, closing down a download section with books someone had spent money on. Likewise, lots of people are certainly angry about getting screwed in the past by sony drm issues.

I wouldn't buy into wolf formatted books though, because like the kindle and sony books, ... you can't read them on other devices. Mobipocket is the only format I've ever considered buying, because it can be read in cybooks, palms, computers, iliad's, phones, etc. That's how DRM should be.

In an email, jinke/hanlin told me that they have a contract to include MobiPocket support. He said the developers are working on it now, so presumably at some point I'd get a software update and thus be capable of buying mobipocket books.

If the amazon kindle was using mobipocket books, I'd would care a lot more about mobipocket support though. As it is, it doesn't concern me nearly as much. Since amazon is abandoning it's own technology, I don't have faith in ANY current drm format sticking around. I"m not going to pay for rental of books from anyone. Since I'm not willing to pay for terrible DRM, and no decent DRM exists, there's no sense basing my purchasing decision on what DRM format is supported. I still think the Mobipocket is the best available though, because like I said it's multi-platform. It's not worth buying books that aren't multi-platform.

In principle though, the hanlin is capable of supporting a decent DRM system, whereas it doesn't seem that the kindle or sony are. If a decent DRM format came out, the kindle and sony would probably want to protect their own proprietary formats. If a decent DRM format came out, it would make business sense for the cybook and hanlin v3 to attempt incorporate support for the new format, as cybook has with mobipocket, and as hanlin is in the process of doing now.

I would LIKE to be able to buy new books, but since currently (as far as I'm concerned) they're only widely available in strict proprietary rental basis, (rental because when a kindle or sony breaks, or stops being sold, you can't still read your book on another device) I'll just have to read old books. If I need a new book, maybe I'll be stuck with paper. I've been stuck with paper so far and I've survived.

Hardly anyone seems to have a good selection of new books anyways besides maybe possibly (though I still doubt I'd be happy with it, I'm more interested in text books than new york times best sellers) the kindle, and I'm surely not buying into that service scam. There are tens of thousands of freely available documents, wikipedia articles, and guttenberg books that I could spend a lifetime reading,... things that I will be very excited to fit in my pocket to carry around with my everywhere I go. I don't mind buying another device in a couple of years when it's realistic to use such a device for popular current books... though it might just be that I update my software and keep reading when the new format comes out.
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:10 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I can only comment on the CyBook. It has an excellent dictionary lookup mode, which works extremely well. Basically you select "Lookup Mode" from the menu, and the nav keys then act as a four-way cursor selecting a word at a time moving up, down, left or right. You press the "Select" button to look up the highlighted word. MobiPocket sell a very wide range of dictionaries which will work on the Gen3, both general-purpose and specialist (such as the various Oxford dictionaries of art, architecture, classical literature, religion, etc etc).
I just placed the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary on the SD card, but when I try the lookup mode from within a mobipocket book, it tells me no dictionary is available for this language (which is English).
Do you know where I have to place the dictionary to make it available?
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:14 AM   #6
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Dictionaries are just normal eBooks. I have mine on my SD card. I certainly didn't need to do anything special to tell the Gen3 it was there!
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:33 AM   #7
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I just moved it to the Cybook and now it's working. Strange, that yours does work from the SD card and mine doesn't. But at least it is accessible now and indeed the lookup is a great feature of the Cybook.
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:18 AM   #8
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May not be related but I have a Mobipocket dictionary on my Palm TX's SD card and whenever I use it the Palm transfers the data to internal memory.
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:24 AM   #9
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I just placed the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary on the SD card, but when I try the lookup mode from within a mobipocket book, it tells me no dictionary is available for this language (which is English).
Do you know where I have to place the dictionary to make it available?
Did you specify the dictionary in the reader preferences?

Here using Reader 5.3 under Palm OS, Preferences/General/Dictionary defaults to Auto, but can be used to specify the dictionary file to use. If that's left unspecified, I get a "can't help you" message doing a lookup. If I specify the dictionary, things work as expected.

Ebooks here are on a card in /Ebooks, but Mobi is capable of looking for them and finding them where ever they are placed.
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:09 PM   #10
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Did you specify the dictionary in the reader preferences?
You can't do that on the Cybook.
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Old 01-13-2008, 02:38 PM   #11
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I put my dictionary on the internal disk and have not tested it on the external SD card. I thought that i always wanted the dictionary regardless of what SD card I used.
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Old 01-22-2008, 06:48 PM   #12
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nairbv have you decided on a reader yet? And don't forget there is also the 505. If it was me, I'd look at the 505 and the Gen3 and then decide. The V3 just doesn't do it based on their proprietary format that nobody is supporting.
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:02 PM   #13
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jswolf:


I wouldn't buy into wolf formatted books though, because like the kindle and sony books, ... you can't read them on other devices. Mobipocket is the only format I've ever considered buying, because it can be read in cybooks, palms, computers, iliad's, phones, etc. That's how DRM should be.

In an email, jinke/hanlin told me that they have a contract to include MobiPocket support. He said the developers are working on it now, so presumably at some point I'd get a software update and thus be capable of buying mobipocket books.

If the amazon kindle was using mobipocket books, I'd would care a lot more about mobipocket support though. As it is, it doesn't concern me nearly as much. ,
Based on downloads from the Baen site, it appears that Kindle and Mobipockedt are identical - the downloaded Kindle file has the .prc file extension. Not having a Kindle, the .prc may not work but... Something to check out?
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:30 PM   #14
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Since I'm not willing to pay for terrible DRM, and no decent DRM exists, there's no sense basing my purchasing decision on what DRM format is supported.
Then I am not sure why you are leaving the Sony off of your list. You don't have to buy books from the Sony store. I haven't yet. The Sony supports HTML, Txt, RTF, PDF (correctly formated) and the LRF format without DRM.

However, it seems at this point that DRM is going to be something you might have to deal with if you want to buy mainstream books. As you said, in this case Mobi "seems" to be the most portable. Although it is my understanding you still need to get the file for the correct PIDs. I'm not sure if the stores allow you to go back and change your PID and redownload. That seems like an invitation to piracy.

BOb
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Old 03-20-2008, 12:43 PM   #15
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Based on downloads from the Baen site, it appears that Kindle and Mobipockedt are identical - the downloaded Kindle file has the .prc file extension. Not having a Kindle, the .prc may not work but... Something to check out?
Why would you say that it may not work? It will work. Don't spread FUD.

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