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Old 06-04-2008, 10:35 AM   #136
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Anybody knows how long it took Sony to release the first 500 firmware update after the reader was launched? Could give us an idea about what to expect...
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Old 06-04-2008, 04:16 PM   #137
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Anybody knows how long it took Sony to release the first 500 firmware update after the reader was launched? Could give us an idea about what to expect...
The first time it took a couple of months. So, I don't think it could give us an idea. Or it could give us a different idea. It seems that Sony, while trying to port the DE reader into the PRS-505 environment, hit some brick walls, which cannot be resolved without some serious hardware upgrade. This is just my guess, not a rumor or anything.

The thing is, for most of us the Reader seems to work decently as is. Its PDF performance totally sucks, so people have learned how to live without PDF. The major update was supposed to come from Adobe, the people who already brought to us the unusable PDF viewer. If the performance of the DE viewer was even worse or the same, it would have been totally unusable, worthless.

So, the rumor mongers told us about some software (or some private version or eBookLib) that knows how to reflow PDFs, and handles DE. And it was all great and fine, except they only saw it run on a PC, not on the Reader. And my personal suspicion is, that this monster of a software cannot run on the Reader. Or it takes 15 seconds to turn a page. Or it hangs the reader for 20 minutes, while loading a book. Or something like that.

The previous (PRS-500) firmware updates never expanded functionality, they were rather small fixes, which still managed to break things (the first update broke the battery meter, so they had to issue the second update, which fixed it). Like many hardware companies, Sony seems uninterested in supporting and giving new features to existing customers. And Amazon is no better - I don't believe there has been a single functionality upgrade from them yet. The PRS-505 has been released, now it's time to throw the resources on to the PRS-510 or whatever is around the corner, so to make your "base" want to upgrade to the new better gadget a year from now. Why would you give them something for free when you can charge them for the new Reader?

So, there is nothing to release. The sales people ("managers" - right, every one of them is a manager) at the CES once again showed us their word was worth nothing, they are not informed, they just BS and make themselves look important...

The other possibility of course is that Sony/Adobe got it all up and running and good on the Reader, but they don't have any DE books to sell in the Connect Store, so they are waiting for Connect Store to ramp up the supply of DEs... I somehow believe this is not the case.

Last edited by porkupan; 06-06-2008 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 06-04-2008, 04:47 PM   #138
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So, the rumor mongers told us about some software (or some private version or eBookLib) that knows how to reflow PDFs, and handles DE. And it was all great and fine, except they only saw it run on a PC, not on the Reader. And my personal suspicion is, that this monster of a software cannot run on the Reader. Or it takes 15 seconds to turn a page. Or it hangs the reader for 20 minutes, while loading a book. Or something like that.
Well, no. People have reported, here at MobileRead and elsewhere, seeing public demonstrations of reflowing PDF and epub display on the Reader, not only on a PC.
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Old 06-04-2008, 04:47 PM   #139
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I certainly hope that Adobe Digital Editions can be made to work on E-Ink Reader hardware. Since it will provide serious competition to MobiPocket, and ePub is a much better format than MOBI. However, I agree that the performance of the Desktop version make it difficult to believe that similar software could run on a resource limited device like the PRS-505.
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Old 06-04-2008, 04:55 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by porkupan View Post
The previous (PRS-500) firmware updates never expanded functionality, they were rather small fixes, which still managed to break things (the first update broke the battery meter, so they had to issue the second update, which fixed it). Like many hardware companies, Sony seems uninterested in supporting and giving new features to existing customers.
Then again, why would you expect it. You buy the device knowing the current features. You don't pay a maintenance fee for it. Why would you expect new features to be added? Sony has no reason to provide new features since there is no one to pay for them. Now, if the work for the new version can be used on the old version then it would be nice if they released it.

Look at the Microsoft Zune. All the new software features for the new devices have also be included in the original devices too. Every complains about MS but I think they do a very good job providing new features for previous software and hardware for free when they don't have to. For example, Service Pack 2 of Windows XP could have been a $99 upgrade... but they didn't charge a cent for it.

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Old 06-04-2008, 04:56 PM   #141
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I certainly hope that Adobe Digital Editions can be made to work on E-Ink Reader hardware. Since it will provide serious competition to MobiPocket, and ePub is a much better format than MOBI. However, I agree that the performance of the Desktop version make it difficult to believe that similar software could run on a resource limited device like the PRS-505.
Keep in mind that the desktop version is built using Flex and Flash rather than... C++ for example.

You can hardly compare DE desktop to DE mobile, it's a completely different piece of software built to have similar features.
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:15 PM   #142
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Features/firmware updates

Well PilotBob, Sony has made updates available for the PS3 without requiring an additional fee, so they have a model in place for offering upgrades to existing customers for previously purchased hardware. Even if they required a fee, I would think many owners of earlier machines would like the opportunity to do the same with their reader as is being done for Sony's PS3 customers.
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:48 PM   #143
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Well, no. People have reported, here at MobileRead and elsewhere, seeing public demonstrations of reflowing PDF and epub display on the Reader, not only on a PC.
Well, I'll believe it when I see it. What I read was the head message in this thread, about some "experimental" firmware that was supposedly demoed by some "Sony Reader product manager" at the CES. It even had the book list sorted alphabetically!

Come on, do you always believe that the sales people know about what they are selling more than you do? I usually find quite the opposite to be true. I am sure there are some experimental firmwares out there. Do they have a working PDF reflow? I doubt it. I know one can come up with PDFs, which will look much better on the Reader than your average PDF. And the sales people are not fools, they will demo a well formatted (fast web view) PDF, not just any PDF.

So, I'll tell you what I think. The next gen hardware will be ready somewhere in mid-summer. But the developers need a platform to develop to, so they develop to the PRS-505, with the assumption that they will port the firmware to PRS-510 once the hardware becomes available. Unless those new features will mean potential increase in sales volume or new ebook sales there is absolutely no business reason to make the FW updates available for the PRS-505, none! And the readers are already selling rather well.

I'll give you an example - the "Canadian" Reader. It has a different FW version, but absolutely no new features, fixes, etc. Sony is loading a "different" firmware on the Readers - why didn't they at least include the super-simple feature "delete a book" in it? I understand, the EPUB is "not ready", but "delete a book" should be totally independent of that, pure script. But they didn't even bother with that - just went and changed the version number in kconfig.xml file (so eBookLib can recognize it's a Canadian version, not the U.S. one). This tells me there is no "new firmware", and none is planned. I'll be happy to be proven wrong.
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:56 PM   #144
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You can hardly compare DE desktop to DE mobile, it's a completely different piece of software built to have similar features.
I'll say even more! There are open-source PDF readers running on eInk devices with much better performance than that of the proprietary Adobe-made PDF viewer, in native code, running on the Sony Readers. Adobe should be ashamed of themselves, they own the PDF format, and they cannot make a PRS viewer for it that doesn't suck. But that's how it is.

Last edited by porkupan; 06-04-2008 at 06:01 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:50 AM   #145
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There is at least one reason for Sony to improve the already sold products: To sell again to the same customers.

If they leave you feeling that they don't give a damn, you might still buy their product if you are happy with it, but if you are in doubt, they are out. The 505 is a great e-reader, but I wouldn't say it is the only good one or even the best.

In my case, the only reason why I would like them to produce some new firmware is that it will permit to hack the 505 without risk. Apart from that, I don't really need anything that is not already there. In that sense, I would be satisfied with the release of the original firmware. Cost to Sony, 0.

One of the reasons Sony sells more than Nintendo in many places is that the playstation can be easily hacked (hell, it has a hollow slot to place the hacking chip). That is one of the reasons people are so faithful to their PRS 500. Let the 505 be hacked and you'll even get some of these.

Considering all this hacks won't change the durability of the reader to the longer, but might make reading nicer and therefor make the product be used more, you'll even increase the product rotation times. All this with minor or no changes in the firmware.

They should have released something right away with the reader. Their mistake.

My humble opinion, of course
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:47 AM   #146
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Anybody knows how long it took Sony to release the first 500 firmware update after the reader was launched?
5 months. Released in Oct 2006, first update in Feb 2007.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:06 PM   #147
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There is at least one reason for Sony to improve the already sold products: To sell again to the same customers.

If they leave you feeling that they don't give a damn, you might still buy their product if you are happy with it, but if you are in doubt, they are out. The 505 is a great e-reader, but I wouldn't say it is the only good one or even the best.
My sentiments exactly. If purchasing a new device is the only way I'll get decent PDF support, this reader will go on eBay and Sony won't be the only company I'll be looking at. In fact, I'd be more likely to go with a company that has a history of feature laden firmware updates.

It's good business sense to garner loyalty than to use technological locks to try and force users to buy your products. Makes me much less likely to actually buy any DRMed books from Sony. Without an update they will likely not get my next purchase.
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:40 AM   #148
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Anybody knows how long it took Sony to release the first 500 firmware update after the reader was launched? Could give us an idea about what to expect...


The 500-firmware was made due to a bug with the battery meter.

But as far as I know, there are no bugs for 505.
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Old 06-12-2008, 02:52 PM   #149
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The 500-firmware was made due to a bug with the battery meter.

But as far as I know, there are no bugs for 505.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:44 PM   #150
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I agree with an earlier comment that we do not pay a maintenance fee so where is Sony incentivised to spend their money to give us more functionality? I have a worldwide client base of some 130 corporate organisations some of whom pay a support fee some don't. Those who do pay get our application upgrades - those who don't...don't!

When we buy a car we don't expect the manufacturer to retrofit changes/improvements during our ownership of that car do we? We accept that once purchased then we have to wait until the manufacturer releases the next model so we can step forward. If we accept that premise for a multi thousand dollar purchase why don't we accept it for a few hundred dollar purchase? Do you expect your DVD player manufacturer to supply you with improved software performance after you bought the device? I don't think so!

Why do we think Sony is obliged to give us anything for free? Sure if there is a fault then we have reason to expect Sony to release a fix to correct it - but we have no real reason to expect them to release software just to give us more functionality.

Gaming machines I suggest are different - they are highly interactive and manufacturers get much more revenue from a) their sales and b) the sales of associated games than they will ever see from ereaders and their cost equations are totally different.

Why are we so obsessed with wanting firmware upgrades? We, presumably, made a rational and logical decision to buy the Sony ereader based on an evaluation of other options - once done then game over! If we made a rash decision and instead now prefer the offerings of a different manufacturer then that is OUR mistake NOT that of Sony.

I like my 505, yes I was seduced into upgrading from a 500 but I did not HAVE to - that is my choice. It is a BOOK READER and I accept it for what it is, I can do what I want to do when I travel - carry multiple books easily, read them when I want and wherever I want - I judge it for what is it IS not for what I think it SHOULD or COULD be.

Just my views!

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