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Old 11-28-2010, 10:09 PM   #1
randyharris
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firmware 1.5, the good and the bad

OK, so when I loaded 1.5 and played with a minute and checked out the speed to go from one page to the next, it was faster but I thought big deal.

Well after many hours of reading now on 1.5 I can say that while the slower page turns with 1.4 didn't bother me, but I find that I love the new faster page turns with 1.5. Bravo.

On the downside, I still think the battery life leaves a lot to be desired. Still love my nook, but battery life ain't the greatest.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:43 PM   #2
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Good: faster page turns in Reading mode. Bad: slower page turns elsewhere.
Good: bolder text in Reading mode. Bad: darker background in Reading mode.
Good: sync of current page to B&N account. Bad: no longer remembers furthest page.
Good: shelves. Bad: shelves will disappear if you unregister to change email address or to clear a sync problem.
Good: Go To Page shows chapter numbers. Bad: Go To Chapter now only shows top level and doesn't show chapter name.
Good: can delete items from My Documents. Bad: still can't delete free samples from B&N Library.

Good: password protection on awaken and/or purchase.
Bad: wireless activity indicator ("chevrons") removed.
Good: automatic turn-off after 72 hours of sleeping.
Bad: Wi-Fi connection problems maybe even worse.
Good: automatic Check for New B&N Content only every 3 days if no subscriptions.
Bad: refuses to open certain sideloaded B&N e-books that it used to open.

The Brits have a term for this: curate's egg.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:04 AM   #3
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re: Doug Pardee

I haven't notices slower page turns anywhere.

I haven't noticed the darker background in reading mode. I think the background is exactly the same while the text is darker.

I haven't had worse wi-fi connection problems. I always use my Nook at home and I've never had any problem using the wi-fi connection before or after the upgrade.

I haven't had any problem opening sideloaded ebooks.

Not mentioned is the battery life. I think it's been improved (in Airplane mode).

I can't comment on the other points.

Overall, I think version 1.5 is a tremendous improvement.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:30 AM   #4
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If you put a 1.4 and a 1.5 NOOK side-by-side, you'll see noticeably slower page turns in My Library and in the various places like book details (the screens with the dots across the bottom). These screens aren't as critical as the Reading window, but it's interesting that page turns there are significantly slower when page turns in the Reading window are significantly faster.

If you put a 1.4 and a 1.5 NOOK side-by-side, the background of the Reading window is a bit darker on the 1.5 than on the 1.4. The background of the other windows is the same, and (therefore) lighter than the background of the Reading window. I suspect that the faster page turns in the Reading window are related to not displaying the background as "full white", and that the bolder fonts might have been done as compensation for the darker background. The bolder fonts are welcome in any event. Here's a photo that someone made of 1.4 and 1.5, showing both the darker background and the bolder type:


The Wi-Fi connection problems are mainly for people who just got their NOOKs. Since 1.3 came out, a number of people have been totally unable to get their NOOKs to work with their home Wi-Fi systems, either due to security system incompatibilities or in some cases due to router incompatibilities. A few people have reported that their NOOKs quit working with their home Wi-Fi after the 1.5 update. It's not clear if this really is further deterioration or not, but clearly the Wi-Fi compatibility problems that B&N introduced in the 1.3 update have not been fixed.

The sideloaded books issue occurs for B&N e-books that are downloaded to a PC using the Download button on the B&N site (not via NOOK for PC, for example), then sideloaded into My Documents on NOOK. NOOK 1.5 refuses to open them, while 1.4 opens them just fine. Some people without wireless connectivity have a number of those sideloaded B&N e-books, and were using them just fine prior to the 1.5 update. It appears to be related to B&N's naming scheme for e-books downloaded this way. The file names are ISBN-epub.v9.epub where ISBN is the EAN-13 number and the 9 apparently is a version number. Removing the "." ahead of the "v" reportedly makes 1.5 happy.
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:39 AM   #5
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Bad: My docs still has no cover flow

I can't say I've ever had wifi problems. My network is WPA2 and I notice with 1.5 it connects in about 2 seconds whereas 1.4.1 took about 45.

Bad: Shelves aren't exposed anywhere so calibre won't be able to support them

Bad: I've had this firmware on my nook less than half an hour and the reading app has crashed twice. While changing pages.

Also it seems to skip pages quite a bit, forcing me to have to go back and then forward for the correct page to show up. This was a problem in 1.4 but not quite as bad. This is using the buttons, not swiping.
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Pardee View Post
If you put a 1.4 and a 1.5 NOOK side-by-side, you'll see noticeably slower page turns in My Library and in the various places like book details (the screens with the dots across the bottom). These screens aren't as critical as the Reading window, but it's interesting that page turns there are significantly slower when page turns in the Reading window are significantly faster.

If you put a 1.4 and a 1.5 NOOK side-by-side, the background of the Reading window is a bit darker on the 1.5 than on the 1.4. The background of the other windows is the same, and (therefore) lighter than the background of the Reading window. I suspect that the faster page turns in the Reading window are related to not displaying the background as "full white", and that the bolder fonts might have been done as compensation for the darker background. The bolder fonts are welcome in any event. Here's a photo that someone made of 1.4 and 1.5, showing both the darker background and the bolder type:


The Wi-Fi connection problems are mainly for people who just got their NOOKs. Since 1.3 came out, a number of people have been totally unable to get their NOOKs to work with their home Wi-Fi systems, either due to security system incompatibilities or in some cases due to router incompatibilities. A few people have reported that their NOOKs quit working with their home Wi-Fi after the 1.5 update. It's not clear if this really is further deterioration or not, but clearly the Wi-Fi compatibility problems that B&N introduced in the 1.3 update have not been fixed.

The sideloaded books issue occurs for B&N e-books that are downloaded to a PC using the Download button on the B&N site (not via NOOK for PC, for example), then sideloaded into My Documents on NOOK. NOOK 1.5 refuses to open them, while 1.4 opens them just fine. Some people without wireless connectivity have a number of those sideloaded B&N e-books, and were using them just fine prior to the 1.5 update. It appears to be related to B&N's naming scheme for e-books downloaded this way. The file names are ISBN-epub.v9.epub where ISBN is the EAN-13 number and the 9 apparently is a version number. Removing the "." ahead of the "v" reportedly makes 1.5 happy.
Huh, I haven't noticed any of what you mentioned. I keep going back and forth between my reading window and my library or a search window and I can't see any difference at all. I also have very fast page turns everywhere, not just while reading. I wonder if it is because I have a rooted (with 2.5.1) 1002 model. People with the 1003 and up that are having these problems should really get B&N's attention. They need to know how many flaws are in these newer models.
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Old 11-29-2010, 01:27 PM   #7
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I've seen the background difference on old 1000-series NOOK 3Gs. My wife and I both have them, hers is on 1.5 and mine is on 1.4. In the Reading window, her background is darker than mine, but in other windows it's the same. Unless you're well-tuned to colors and shades, you'll probably need to have the two units side-by-side to see the difference (I did). It's not a big deal because IMO the bolder fonts more than compensate for the darker background, so the reading experience is improved in 1.5. But the slightly darker background is there.

Personal conjecture: remember 1.3 gave us fast page turns, but some units experienced "ghosting" where there were left-over bits from the previous page in a very light gray. 1.4 slowed the page turns back down to fix the ghosting. My guess is that B&N has gone back to the 1.3 fast page turns and is covering up any ghosting by setting the entire background of the reading window to a very light gray.

I haven't tried it myself, but somebody is complaining on the B&N forums that the page turns for Read In Store is "painfully slow" with 1.5. So apparently that's another place where the slower non-Reader page turns show up. I was stunned at how much slower my wife's 1.5 "My Library" page turns were than on my 1.4. Again, I had the two units side-by-side and clicked the page-forward (and back) buttons simultaneously. The 1.5 took (subjectively) about twice as long to turn the page, even though it had fewer entries in the library; btw, shelves were hidden during this test because no shelves were set up. In the Reading window, the reverse experience—1.5 blew away 1.4, both forward and backward.
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Old 11-30-2010, 04:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Pardee View Post
Here's a photo that someone made of 1.4 and 1.5, showing both the darker background and the bolder type:
These pictures were taken with different aperture and exposure settings. Additionally they were taken with automatic white balance. These pictures don't tell anything about changed contrast/brightness/darkness, but a lot about the photographers skills.

The brightness is unchanged (it's impossible to change the brightness anyhow on eInk screens).
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by :D ominik View Post
These pictures were taken with different aperture and exposure settings. Additionally they were taken with automatic white balance. These pictures don't tell anything about changed contrast/brightness/darkness, but a lot about the photographers skills.

The brightness is unchanged (it's impossible to change the brightness anyhow on eInk screens).
Seconding this. I think any perceived difference in the background's whiteness is down to the change in contrast achieved by rendering characters bolder; neither is the background whiter nor the black any blacker.

The change in contrast is IMHO due to the text being "overpainted" in some way: characters seem bolder and somewhat smudgier -- apparent with, e.g., the battery indicator, which looks much sharper in applications other than Reader. My impression is that more delicate fonts look less smooth now because of this.
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