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Old 10-10-2012, 03:45 PM   #1
pepijndevos
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Is there an "open" ereader?

Like Arduino, app.net, Linux.

A hackable device with an open ecosystem, API, hardware, everything.

One that you can open with a screwdriver, thats runs your own apps, fonts and screensavers without jailbreaking.

One that is focused on users and developers, rather than publishers and advertisers.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:48 AM   #2
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Yes there is !
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:57 AM   #3
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Unfortunately no. But I would definitely support a Kickstarter if someone decided to make one.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by pepijndevos View Post
Like Arduino, app.net, Linux.

A hackable device with an open ecosystem, API, hardware, everything.

One that you can open with a screwdriver, thats runs your own apps, fonts and screensavers without jailbreaking.

One that is focused on users and developers, rather than publishers and advertisers.
OK ... I know you're looking for an e-reader (so am I) but if you are open to a tablet solution, there is this:

http://zareason.com/shop/zatab.html

ZaReason is a Linux-centric company. I for one am considering this device, although I've seen it described as "underpowered." I don't know how much power I need -- I'm not a gamer or anything like that.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:06 PM   #5
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Ok ...I also know you are looking for an e-reader but another possible open tablet solution. I say possible because they seem to have run into production problems and I'm not sure what the status of the project is now but the tablet is called "Vivaldi"

You can visit http://opentablets.org/ for more information
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:43 PM   #6
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Unfortunately no. But I would definitely support a Kickstarter if someone decided to make one.
I would, if I had even the faintest idea about manufacturing and multilayer PCBs.

As for tablets. Meh. Not sure where that would fit in between my netbook, iPod and Kindle.

I wouldn't want an LCD for reading, or go without a keyboard for pretty much anything else.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepijndevos View Post
I would, if I had even the faintest idea about manufacturing and multilayer PCBs.

As for tablets. Meh. Not sure where that would fit in between my netbook, iPod and Kindle.

I wouldn't want an LCD for reading, or go without a keyboard for pretty much anything else.
I think the biggest problem for a Kickstarter of that kind, would be the design process.

For some reason, all open source hardware things end up being *incredibly* ugly and bulky.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:06 AM   #8
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Yes, it would be ugly and bulky. Like most open source software.

An even bigger problem is that it seems companies like Amazon lose money on the hardware, and make up for it in selling books. Which might explain why ebooks are not a lot cheaper than dead tree books, you're paying for the device in pieces.

That means it'd probably cost twice as much as a Kindle. If not more, because they would be produced in "small" quantities.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:19 AM   #9
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The rule of thumb in any business is that the "consumable" portion of the product is where the real profit margin is located. Hardware manufacturers are finding that production costs and pricing are becoming similar numbers.

As for ebook pricing... no comment. According to the publishers it takes more effort to produce an ebook than a dead tree version. Personally I think it comes down to insufficient tools and inexperienced staff. Every book is being hand-crafted instead of using templates, wizards, etc to handle the majority of the work.
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:28 AM   #10
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I doubt the market is large enough to make it a commercially viable proposition, especially when Amazon sell the Kindle at cost price, relying on content sales to make their profit.
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:34 AM   #11
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I guess it's only the display subsystem that's unique - other than the display, an e-reader is just a low-end tablet. If that's so, then start from an open tablet and swap out the display hardware and driver.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:49 AM   #12
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I guess it's only the display subsystem that's unique - other than the display, an e-reader is just a low-end tablet. If that's so, then start from an open tablet and swap out the display hardware and driver.
You make it sound so easy . Have you ever heard of anyone successfully doing this? I haven't.
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:30 PM   #13
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I _have_ heard of a colour eInk screen that could go on a netbook. I don't remember what model it supported though.

I have also seen people mod an Eepc into a tablet, so combining the two seems like it might work.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:21 AM   #14
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I've never heard of such a thing. Are you sure you're not perhaps thinking of the "Pixel Qi" display? That could be retrofitted into a netbook, but it's not eInk.
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:37 AM   #15
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I doubt the market is large enough to make it a commercially viable proposition, especially when Amazon sell the Kindle at cost price, relying on content sales to make their profit.
Not that I really believe Jeff Bezos that they are only breaking even. Maybe on the first shipments. But with component prices dropping quickly they will be making money in as little as 2 months or so.

Still, your basic premise is correct. No way to make a profit on such a reading device now. Most buyers don't care about openness and versatility, they want simplicity.
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