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Old 12-24-2007, 05:05 PM   #31
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Are those features really worth $100 though? Maybe not. There's nothing listed there that couldn't be supported with a simple software upgrade (should be coming in 2008 I expect if Sony still wants to compete) for the Sony. And you end up with a reader in a sleeker, nicer form factor made of higher quality materials with a longer battery life.
I would be very very surprised if Sony simply upgrades their software and magically adds those features. They've had plenty of time to do that and they haven't done it yet. I don't know if it's because they can't or they won't, but you are dreaming if you are thinking they are going to do that IMHO.

MAYBE they will come out with a new version of their reader with those options, but i don't think the current readers are there are going to magically have this stuff happen by a software upgrade.

I could be wrong. Heck, I hope I'm wrong since I still have my Sony Readers. But I think KindleHate affected imagination and turned it into wishful thinking on this idea.

I think Sony dropped the ball by not having at least a dictionary function. If the whispernet and access to the Amazon store options were unavailable to me , then I would go for a Cybook before I'd pick up another Sony Reader. I have found that I use the dictionary a lot more than I thought I would.

Of course, being a victim of public education may have something to do with that.

Last edited by tsgreer; 12-24-2007 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 12-24-2007, 05:15 PM   #32
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I would like it if Sony would support things like search with a software upgrade yet they haven't done it so far and their product has been out a long time now. They've been promising periodicals for ages now. This is one of the reasons they would be my third choice of device behind the Kindle and Cybook despite the lower price and more attractive design. Still, I'd like to see them start adding features and keep competing. I think the competition is good for all of us.
I agree. Competition is good for all of us. But Sony is dropping behind pretty quickly. Really the only thing they have going for them is their "sleek design" that some people prefer, but even the Cybook pretty much has that.

Sony was out of the gate pretty early, but they look like they may lose the race. If the Kindle comes out with a second reader that changes the design to something more liked by the general public before Sony upgrades their features, I think the Sony Reader will die.

On the other hand, if they upgrade their features, keep their same low price, then they have a chance, but it sure does seem that they would have played that strategy before now...
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Old 12-25-2007, 02:55 AM   #33
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I think Sony dropped the ball by not having at least a dictionary function. If the whispernet and access to the Amazon store options were unavailable to me , then I would go for a Cybook before I'd pick up another Sony Reader. I have found that I use the dictionary a lot more than I thought I would.

Of course, being a victim of public education may have something to do with that.
When I had a Sony I didn't think that dictionary lookup was that big a deal. Now I have a CyBook, though, I find myself using it all the time, especially when reading Dickens, who uses a lot of words which are no longer in common usage.

Question to Kindle owners: does Igor's "Mobi hack" allow you to use any of the commercially-available Mobi dictionaries on the Kindle? Has anyone tried doing this?
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Old 12-26-2007, 12:45 AM   #34
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I also didn't think I'd use the dictionary look up as often as I am. However, often I have a good idea what a word means but I want to delve into it a bit deeper to make sure I really understand the connotations involved. I can do that now without interrupting the flow of my reading as much as going to grab my dictionary. What I now find myself wishing I could do more easily is grab a phrase and search on it. It would be nice to have multiple dictionaries including one of the references of allusions and quotations but I'd settle for a quick way to google it.

I would love to have more dictionary options, but I haven't tried purchasing a new one yet. I'm waiting to see how Amazon reacts to people loading Mobi DRM books before investing. The included dictionary is pretty good. I've rarely hit words it doesn't have. I do find myself sometimes wanting a bit more detail, though.
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:36 PM   #35
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Kiari,

You made the right choice. I am also in Canada and was very frustrated by US only Sony/Amazon (I know Sony is going to UK soon but that still doesn't help us).
I find that Cybook has all the major features of Sony/Kindle (I said major, lacks some nice-to-haves) but seems to be more open.

There might be some workarounds for purchasing books from Sony/Amazon stores, but it is just too much wasted effort. It is just as easy to purchase Mobipocket books for Cybook AND we have more online bookstores to choose from = better competition.

As for Sony falling behind Kindle, I am not so sure. All those Kindle features come with a price"
Wireless access = shorter battery runtime
Keyboard, big buttons = bigger device
more $
etc.

I find my Cybook right at the threshold of being a small pocketish device that I can carry around easily. I would think that a bigger devices like Iliad and Kindle would not fit in a pocket, even a larger one. Iliad has a bigger screen, so it makes a good tradeoff. But Kindle adds size for a keyboard that is used 10% of the time?!?!?! Dumb. Provide a USB keyboard or a sliding one like Nokia does. In any case keyboard should never increase dimensions when not in use.

Wireless is nice, especially for non-geeks. Still, I'd have a hard time finding an eReader user with no access to a computer that has USB. I don't really find file transfer via USB that difficult. As a bonus it charges Cybook so I don't need a separate charger. At first I though it was odd, but then realized it is a great feature as I have too many gizmos with their chargers.

No Kindle will not become the dominant player, at least not with that price tag. PRS/Cybook will remain the front runners along Kindle catering to a different more geekish audience. It will be akin to PC/Mac race.
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:47 AM   #36
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No Kindle will not become the dominant player, at least not with that price tag. PRS/Cybook will remain the front runners along Kindle catering to a different more geekish audience. It will be akin to PC/Mac race.
I don't follow you, Bob. The Kindle is cheaper than the Gen3, at least here in the UK.

The Kindle costs US$399, which is £200 at the current exchange rate.

The Gen3 costs £205, excluding VAT.

I really don't see how one can therefore make a price argument in favour of the Gen3, much though I like it!
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:44 AM   #37
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Ah that stupid region pricing stuff .... I know, it is confusing.
I paid $350 for Cybook while Kindle costs like you said $399 (I am in Canada).
Companies often have bizarre pricing for different regions. I was arguing on a forum about Prius pricing before finally realizing that it and many other cars sold in the US cost almost $10K more here in Canada?????? And we are much closer than US as opposed to say UK.

In fact, Sony's $300 is a more significant difference (about $100) than Bookeens (especially once you factor in shipping and regional pricing diffs).

What bothered me far more was that it as well as online store products are simply not sold/available to Canada. Even for Kiari who is right on the border it is still difficult as they check credit card address when ordering books. For us it is better to use a device which doesn't rely on Amazon or any other site with US only policy. I can use any file format on my Cybook without any registrations or credit card info. For Kindle you probably need to supply a US credit card even for a simple PDF file conversion, right?

So in the end Cybook is far less hassle than Kindle. Again, for non-US.
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:00 AM   #38
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Ah yes, now I understand, Bob; I'd forgotten about the $350 US price .

I think the important thing to stress to a potential buyer is that whether you choose to buy a Sony Reader, a CyBook Gen3, or a Kindle, you really can't go wrong. We have endless debates here about their pros and cons, but at the end of the day I'm sure that a new user would be happy with any of them. We are indeed fortunate now to have such a range of excellent machines to choose from!
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Old 12-28-2007, 03:46 PM   #39
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Hello all! I got my Kindle on Xmas morning and am really loving it so far -- I've already finished one book, and I'm very happy with my ability to do far more web-browsing with it than I had imagined.

I'm having trouble with one thing, though. Thanks to slayda, I figured out how to use Mobipocket Creator and Reader to convert Word docs into .prc files, which the Reader will read, and which then showed up on the SD card when I pulled them to it. The Kindle recognizes that there's an SD card in the slot, but it appears to be empty -- nothing registers in the "content manager" for the SD card. Is it possible I missed some crucial step in the process? I keep thinking there must be something simple that I've missed... I appreciate any suggestions!
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Old 12-28-2007, 04:03 PM   #40
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Hello all! I got my Kindle on Xmas morning and am really loving it so far -- I've already finished one book, and I'm very happy with my ability to do far more web-browsing with it than I had imagined.

I'm having trouble with one thing, though. Thanks to slayda, I figured out how to use Mobipocket Creator and Reader to convert Word docs into .prc files, which the Reader will read, and which then showed up on the SD card when I pulled them to it. The Kindle recognizes that there's an SD card in the slot, but it appears to be empty -- nothing registers in the "content manager" for the SD card. Is it possible I missed some crucial step in the process? I keep thinking there must be something simple that I've missed... I appreciate any suggestions!
Your Kindle should have made a directory structure on your SD card and created a series of folders for you. One of those should be called "documents."

Make sure that your .prc file is in the folder called "documents" that's on the SD card, otherwise your Kindle won't "see" it because it's not in the right place.

Also, to test it out, you can try putting your .prc file in the "documents" folder that's located in your Kindle as well. That way you can find out if it's a problem with the SD card or the .prc file.

Last edited by tsgreer; 12-28-2007 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 12-28-2007, 04:30 PM   #41
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Make sure that your .prc file is in the folder called "documents" that's on the SD card, otherwise your Kindle won't "see" it because it's not in the right place.
tsgreer, THANK YOU! The files were in a folder called "ebooks" and not in "documents" so I copied them over and BAM now they show up, listed on the home page! I appreciate your help so much! Both converted Word and .pdf files are coming through just fine now. YAY!
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Old 12-28-2007, 04:32 PM   #42
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Yay! I'm always glad to see a fellow Kindler happy. I love mine so far and hopefully you'll get many hours of good reading out of yours.

Be sure to check out the Kindle "tips and tricks" section here too.
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Old 12-29-2007, 02:17 PM   #43
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"You made the right choice. I am also in Canada and was very frustrated by US only Sony/Amazon (I know Sony is going to UK soon but that still doesn't help us).
I find that Cybook has all the major features of Sony/Kindle (I said major, lacks some nice-to-haves) but seems to be more open."
You may actually be fortunate that you can't purchase a Kindle yet. There are a lot of Americans who have purchased and are still waiting for theirs to arrive. They are pretty angry about having to wait (maybe an American thing--many of us want instant gratification). In fact, if you read through the forums and also on Amazon, you will see that some even support "conspiracy theories". That is, Amazon is conspiring against the poor buyer and pretending that there is a shortage of units in order to drive up purchasing desire amongst the masses. LOL

The real reason that I think you may be fortunate is that the Kindle is not a "finished product" in the sense that it could really use a good software update. The directory structure needs a lot of work. For example, put in an SD card with a bunch of books and you have to page through every book. The search feature on my unit goes out to lunch when I try to have it search for a book among 30 pages of content on my SD card. I have to shut down and reset the unit every time.

OK. So I just move the book I want to the Kindle. However... guess what? I can't just copy the file over to my Kindle. I have to move it off my card. What a pain. That means that I have to move the file back to my card after finishing a book or recopy the file from my computer to the card. Oh and there is no way to hide the SD card files while you are in the main menu so if you don't want to see them--tough. These are just a couple example of the product's "rough around the edges" state.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my Kindle. It is the first ebook reader that I've tried out and haven't returned. It is almost there, but it isn't really quite finished yet. I imagine Amazon would like to have its home country be the guinea pigs. We get the good and the bad. If the product doesn't fly,or drives us crazy in some ways, at least the rest of the world isn't too ticked off at Amazon.

The approach seems kind of like what they do with technology in Japan. There are so many devices that are created there that I would sure like a chance to buy too.

Personally, though, I'm looking forward to the second generation Kindle. I think it will be much better. Until then I'd settle for a decent software update for the current device.

Last edited by Just4Fun; 12-29-2007 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 12-29-2007, 02:24 PM   #44
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The real reason that I think you may be fortunate is that the Kindle is not a "finished product" in the sense that it could really use a good software update. The directory structure needs a lot of work. For example, put in an SD card with a bunch of books and you have to page through every book.
This is not unique to the Kindle, though. All the current generation of eBook readers have these issues (with the possible exception of the iLiad, but that has a whole bunch of different ones). These are, though (IMHO) minor flaws in excellent products. Hopefully in all our machines (Kindle, Gen3, etc) they will be addressed by future software updates.

The shortage again is not unique to the Kindle. The Kindle, Sony, Gen3 - all are in short supply. It's more than likely due to limits of manufacturing capacity for the screens, since all three machines use the same screen.
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Old 12-29-2007, 05:31 PM   #45
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.....The real reason that I think you may be fortunate is that the Kindle is not a "finished product" in the sense that it could really use a good software update.....
Well all of the ebook readers our there are "new" products that need some finishing touches and/or software updates.

I personally think the Kindle is very usable and fine the way it is. I would much rather have the product as it is now rather than waiting a year or two longer for it to be "perfect." I guess I'm one of those instant gratification guys.

But like Harry mentioned, all the e-ink readers are pretty good products as they are now.
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