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Old 12-22-2009, 02:01 PM   #1
RSaunders
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500 Upgrade Failure

I sent my PRS 500 reader on vacation to get its firmware upgraded. I've been expecting that box back for the past few days, but today I got a very different surprise.

A Sony technician called to inform me that "The firmware upgrade has failed on my reader." I asked if he knew why, and he replied "I have tried the process several times, and the firmware will not load." I asked if he was going to have to send my reader back, and he explained "It won't boot up any more, so I could send it back but you couldn't use it." My reader was bricked, and even Sony couldn't fix it. Yikes!

I've wondered why this firmware upgrade wasn't a download and run this utility sort of thing like we seen in the past. Apparently it can go wrong, and leave the patient dead on the table.

All is not lost, the technician explained that Sony was willing to send me a certificate to buy a new reader or a replacement unit. The replacement would not be a 500, apparently it seems they are actually just recycling them if you send one in for a certificate. I was offered a silver 505 as a replacement, and I accepted it.

I'm not over-joyed, I have a nice leather case that uses the reliable 500 connector rather than the easy-to-break 505 solution. However, I do appreciate the way Sony has stood by me as a user. I have an early 500, perhaps part of the problem, and I've had it for a number of years. The firmware upgrade to keep our devices up was an unexpected blessing. A new reader is an even more generous concession.

Has anybody else heard of such a failure? I asked the technician and he said "I haven't done all the upgrades, but I've never seen this happen."

Anybody have a solution for attaching a 500 cover to a 505, or even a good 505 cover??
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Old 12-22-2009, 02:42 PM   #2
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I love my m-edge cover. The covers for the 600 also fit the 505 (and vice versa).

A new 505 for an old 500 is a heck of a deal! Nice to see Sony standing by its customers.
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:17 PM   #3
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You are complaining about getting a 505 in exchange for your old 500? Wow, just, wow.

I also really like the stock 505 cover. (And the 500 cover.) I hate the M-Edge covers, because the corner straps are CHEEEEZY and they are also too bulky. I even tried to give one away as a gift (for a 505 owner) and got it back with the comment: "I wouldn't use this--the stock cover is enough and it is also much nicer."
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMoze View Post
You are complaining about getting a 505 in exchange for your old 500? Wow, just, wow.
I don't think he was complaining. Stuff happens.

But, he does have stuff to deal with.

Actually... many people preferred the button layout on the 500 to the 505.

@OP My suggestion is to sell the cover you have for the 500 and get a new/used one to replace it that will work with your new (used?) 505.

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Old 12-30-2009, 02:32 PM   #5
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OK, my 505 arrived today. It was a "Sony Refurb", but the device itself looks new. They also included the default brown cover, which was nice. It didn't include a power supply, so this was a "replacement" unit like they would send someone who sent theirs in for service.

Overall, I'm not complaining. Sure, I wanted my 500 back, as I could have bought a 505 long ago. However, the 505 is clearly the second best reader Sony made. I am very glad that I didn't have to make the migration to the current devices.

One other thing happened, when I loaded all my books into the 505. A couple, but not all, of my Calibre converted books are "gray". The white part of the paper is not pure white like other books. You can tell when you fold a corner over, the space behind the corner is white and the rest of the page is gray. I'll have to hunt around and find what I missed, I probably converted them with an old Calibre.
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Old 12-30-2009, 05:34 PM   #6
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The 505s don't come with a power supply, just a cover and a USB cable.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khalleron View Post
The 505s don't come with a power supply, just a cover and a USB cable.
But given that the 500 was sent in without the AC adapter, that means that RSaunders has an AC adapter for his 505.
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:18 AM   #8
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The 505s don't come with a power supply, just a cover and a USB cable.
Very interesting. Do they charge better from USB? I never got my 500 to charge more than 3/4 using USB, not to mention that it didn't like USB bricks.

Among my other 500 => 505 migration issues, I notice that the Sony software doesn't work when you have Screen Lock on. You used to be able to change "Locked" to "Reader" by typing the PIN. Do I have to turn off Screen Lock before I hook up my 505?? I always use Screen Lock, it's one of the Kindle differentiators.
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:36 PM   #9
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The 505is definitely a step up from the 500. Better screen contrast, better men button placement. I own both, and don't see a single advantage to the 500.

Last edited by DrMoze; 01-02-2010 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:56 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by RSaunders View Post
Very interesting. Do they charge better from USB? I never got my 500 to charge more than 3/4 using USB, not to mention that it didn't like USB bricks.
Yes, a 505 can be charged "from empty" using USB (from a computer); the 500 can't be. But a wall charger (of the PSP variety) will still charge it much more quickly.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:56 PM   #11
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Similar Upgrade Failure

I thought I would add my version of a PRS-500 upgrade failure to this thread. (Forgive me if too long or not in the right thread...)

I bought the PRS-500 the week it came out in 2006 and have LOVED it ever since. Passed up on the exchange-for-a-505 offer because of button layout, folding cover issues, aesthetic reasons, and because not enough time had elapsed since I spent so much on the 500.

Then I got the announcement about the Sony store and EPUB. I didn't want to wait on the 500 "upgrade path," so I bought a PRS-600 and held on to the 500 for strong sentimental/functional reasons. Turns out, I ended up loving the 600, as well. (Glare issue or not, what doesn't get mentioned as much as it should be is how FAST this device is.) After hearing good things about other people's 500 upgrade experience, I sent mine to Laredo on Nov. 30.

What happened after is a long, yucky story (and Laredo Beatrice was the lowest point of all). The upshot is that my 500 could not be flashed and I, finally (Jan. 6), ended up with a replacement 505. After hearing all the absolute raves, I was expecting a lot. In short, I feel that the 505 is kind of cheap-feeling compared to my beloved 500. And, since I got it back after Dec. 10, it only reads EPUB. Which I - personally - hate. Someone on the forums compared EPUB to 90s-era websites, and that is the best description I've ever heard. I had purchased my entire Sony Store wish list prior to Dec. 10, just so I would have the nice LRX formats.

So, I'm glad I didn't send a 500 in perfect working order and receive nothing back, but I honestly would much rather have the 500 back, as it was, with its ability to read LRX. (And beautiful cover, and lovely finish, and great button layout...)

Please don't flame me for my, perhaps arbitrary, preferences. I just wanted to add another perspective.
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:26 AM   #12
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And, since I got it back after Dec. 10, it only reads EPUB.
Really... what version is the firmware? It is my understanding that the most recent firmware on the 505 supports ePub and LRF/LRX.

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Old 01-12-2010, 12:45 AM   #13
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It has the technical ability to read LRX but only if it was registered before Dec. 10th. If it was registered after that, it cannot read DRMed LRX, only EPUB (and ADE), as well as the usual non-DRMed LRF, TXT, etc. That's my understanding based on Sony's documents and on my own experience.

Last edited by ltamote; 01-12-2010 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:23 PM   #14
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Agreed, mine can't read DRMed LRX either. Those were only sold by Sony, and Sony switched its DRM support to EPUB. I still have books that haven't been re-released, but only two.

The cautionary tale here reinforces "DRM is Bad." Because we bought books with DRM, Sony can decide to force us to another format. Regardless of how it looks on the reader, after the fact, without recourse. I have lots of LRX books, that still look better than EPUB on the 505, all because I made them from non-DRMed sources.

Don't blame the 505 because "DRM is Bad", just buy and read something available without DRM.
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:22 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by RSaunders View Post
The cautionary tale here reinforces "DRM is Bad." Because we bought books with DRM, Sony can decide to force us to another format. Regardless of how it looks on the reader, after the fact, without recourse. I have lots of LRX books, that still look better than EPUB on the 505, all because I made them from non-DRMed sources.
I totally agree. I had sort of brushed off the DRM discussions before, but I now see that I was wrong to do so. Unfortunately, many of the books I'm interested in are still under copyright and only available with DRM. I will say that my experience with the 500/505, and now Kindle 2, has opened my eyes.

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Don't blame the 505 because "DRM is Bad", just buy and read something available without DRM.
That is a good point, but I do still have an issue with the feel and look and ergonomics of the device itself. If it were just the formatting, I would start a crash course on Calibre (fantastic product, by the way). But, for me, it's not just the formatting, it's also device aesthetics. Not a huge deal, only a minor annoyance.

I did have 3 happy years with the PRS-500! But I'm still weirdly attached to it. I read Quicksilver on it, and even though the Kindle 2 or 505 should be the correct device for that book now (being the designated nightstand/bedtime e-book readers), I can only read The Confusion on the 600, its being closest to the 500 in intangibles*...

--

*The 600's dictionary, with extensive 17th century vocab, doesn't hurt. (Also available on the Kindle 2, with some time-consuming cursor movements.)

Last edited by ltamote; 01-16-2010 at 01:35 AM.
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