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Old 06-13-2008, 01:24 AM   #151
Cobalty
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Originally Posted by macphersondh View Post
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.
You're completely right. Sony doesn't owe us a thing. My argument is only that they wish to remain competitive in the market they should release an update. If their competitors were sitting on their hands, Sony could too. But they're not.

I suppose I'm spoiled not by gaming machines but by Apple. Each year we get an OS upgrade that makes our machines run faster (not free but no new hardware involved). And the iPhone is getting all sorts of new capabilities with firmware updates.

The devices we buy today are not cars, they are highly advanced multifunction gadgets that can do remarkable things and can improve without having to be rebuilt. Not to digress, but companies that release firmware updates that give new features are being good citizens; good citizens that don't force you to buy wasteful new hardware just to get new features.

If Sony would like to open source it's firmware and release the code, I'm sure several people here would be happy to do the work of creating an update for all of us. But that's about as likely as Bush getting a third term.

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Old 06-13-2008, 01:31 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by macphersondh View Post
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!

David
Routers, mp3 players, sound cards, mice, DVRs, DVD Players, video cards, I could go on and on. It's pretty much an accepted practice to update firmware. It's a different industry and you're comparing apples to oranges. Electronic consumers, especially early adapters, are used to companies putting out the goods and then promising firmware updates down the line. If Sony doesn't want to follow the industry practice, then expect to lose consumer loyalty. Simple as that. I find their move rather idiotic considering that ebook readers still haven't taken off and now the heavy competition from Amazon. I look forward to my next ebook reader, a Kindle.
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:45 AM   #153
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I look forward to my next ebook reader, a Kindle.
Good luck!

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Then you should change your signature
Devices you own. From 500 to 505
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Old 06-13-2008, 05:41 AM   #154
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If Sony would like to open source it's firmware and release the code, I'm sure several people here would be happy to do the work of creating an update for all of us. But that's about as likely as Bush getting a third term.
Check out www.sony.net/Products/Linux/
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:15 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by bobbarkerissatan View Post
I find their move rather idiotic considering that ebook readers still haven't taken off and now the heavy competition from Amazon. I look forward to my next ebook reader, a Kindle.
And Amazon has been releasing firmware updates to Kindle out the wazoo, hasn't it? How many so far? And what new functionality have the Kindle owners gained from those many updates?

I am not sure what Sony "move" you are talking about. AFAIK, Sony never actually promised the update, unless you wish to take some sales people talk at face value. It's true that their firmware is full of bugs (I found athlonkmf's joke funny as well ). But they way it is, it's acceptable to the current owners (otherwise we would be seeing some custom firmwares coming from the 3rd party developers, not just puny little hacks). So, with or without firmware update Sony Reader is still the best designed (both ergonomically and aesthetically) eInk device on the market today.
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:23 AM   #156
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It's true that their firmware is full of bugs
Such as what, for example?
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:27 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by bobbarkerissatan View Post
I look forward to my next ebook reader, a Kindle.
Since you already have a Sony PRS-500, I would wait and see what happens with the new readers from Astek & mentor and then decide. All you have to do is wait till sometime later this year to find out what's going on. That's not too long a wait to not spend nearly $400 on something you could end up regretting. Not that the Kindle is bad. It's just that these new one could end up better suiting your needs.
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Old 06-13-2008, 01:00 PM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Such as what, for example?
Such as for example terrible handling of PDF format. Try loading a large PDF file, and wait 15 minutes for the Reader to format it. And then wait a minute for each next page to be displayed. This abysmal handling of PDF has persisted since the first releases of PRS-500, and was not improved in PRS-505. This is to the point that the PDF support is essentially only in the name, but most PDF files cannot be read comfortably (although PDFLRF can usually help in this department).

Other bugs? Every once in a while the Reader would hang when connected to USB or disconnected from USB. Recovers after reset. Not a big deal, but nonetheless... I also heard about internal clock resetting to zero, about very uneven battery life (some people get a lot, and the others - not so much)...

And then there is a ton of things, which could be improved or added in firmware updates (people have been making lists of those things forever). But those are extra, of course.
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Old 06-13-2008, 01:08 PM   #159
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But it's not the fault of the Sony that an A4/Letter formatted PDF can't be read comfortably. A PDF file is a description of a PAGE that's a fixed size, and if that page has 6x the area of the Sony's screen (as is the case when trying to display an A4 page) there's just no sensible way to overcome that. The problem lies with the PDF format, not with the Sony. PDF was never intended to be an eBook format, and it's an "abuse" of the format to attempt to use it as one.
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Old 06-13-2008, 01:43 PM   #160
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Well, I do not disagree about formatting (although when the font size/zoom automagically switches from Medium to Small when turning the page, it is a bug and not a feature). But I can certainly understand the deal with the page sizes.

However, when the Reader takes several seconds to turn a page on relatively simple PDFs formatted for the Reader's page size, that's a whole other matter. That's what I call unacceptable. The LRF viewer knows how to paginate the LRF files, why didn't Sony suggest that Adobe implement a similar algorithm for PDF? Take a large image heavy PDF, and the page turning time goes to munutes! The Reader's UI is frozen while this parsing is going on, one cannot do anything to stop or interrupt (other than RESET of course).

If I am not mistaken, the Open Source PDF parsers on iLiad and Hanlin Lbook V3 do a better job displaying PDF than the Adobe's own viewer on the Sony Reader. That's pretty bad.
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Old 06-13-2008, 04:52 PM   #161
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Such as what, for example?
My PRS500 regularly crashes/reboots when formatting books. There are some books for which it regularly crashes/reboots while reading the book. The book I was reading last night had 5 crashes in 800 pages!

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Old 06-13-2008, 05:23 PM   #162
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Such as what, for example?
- If the catch.xml corrupts it will continue to reboot non stop.
- Large files cause the system to reboot.
- Sony CONNECT software got out of sync. The result is I could not put SONY lrx files on my reader. Tech support made me re-flash my reader and re-install the software
- PDF resize s/m. If set to M when one turns the next page it defaults back to S.
- PDF contrast is terrible. Okay one can't complain about the shrinking a letter to SONY, but at least sony could have increased the contrast.
- When the M doesn't flip back to S it just skews the PDF page.
- Reboot re-sets the clock.
- Continue pages location is lost if you hit the bookmark all button.
- MP3 player doesn't stop running will eventually drain the batter
... okay I'll stop here.

The firsy three are serious errors that should not have been released with. The latter ones are just nice to have.

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Last edited by =X=; 06-13-2008 at 05:25 PM. Reason: changed order and count of serious defects
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Old 06-13-2008, 05:58 PM   #163
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I am not aware of any bugs on 500 or 505.

No crashes,
no reboots,
no internal clock resets,
no paginating issues.

The only bug that I have encountered, was battery bug on 500. Before the first firmware update the battery meter was uneven after firmware update it was bugged again, after second firmware update the issue disappeared and since then no bugs only 500 or 505 at all.

Last edited by astra; 06-13-2008 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:04 PM   #164
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I've only crashed my 505 once and that was related to one particular book for some reason
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:06 PM   #165
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Does Sony ever lurk on this forum? Do they care what we think? I was just wondering if "all of us" could unite and make a combined recommendation to Sony. It should have more weight than each of us complaining individually. I recently posted here a couple of things that should be fixed in the firmware and one in terms of desktop tools. We can't swamp Sony with a bazillion requests resulting of the union of every gripe each of us has. But maybe we could all agree to the 5-10 most important ones and send them some sort of formal communication - from all of us - "the most erudite and sophisticated users in the world".
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