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Old 01-06-2011, 08:19 PM   #1
Sil_liS
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My PB 903

I finally got it 88 days after I ordered it, 7 working days after it was shipped.

My PB 903 arrived on Wednesday morning, when I wasn't home. As the address was missing the floor number and apartment number, the delivery team looked for the administrator of the building and the package was signed for by a neighbour. On the DHL track and trace the address was also missing the city and postal code, and in what I can only consider to be an attempt to compensate, on the Romanian form my the address had the name of the city twice in a row. Inside the box there was a sheet of paper from PocketGoods with the full and correct address, but that can only be seen if you open the package, so it doesn't help.

The next day I got an email from DHL as a reply to my question (from Dec. 31st) about the status of the delivery, telling me that it was delivered so there was no problem. At least I know that trying to contact DHL is pointless.


First impressions
It looks nice. Really nice. I like the colour and it doesn't feel too heavy considering that because of the size I will hold it with both hands or propped against something.

As I connected it to the PC for the first charge, it obviously turned on, and I went and flipped the pages of the licence agreement just to see how the text changes on the page. I must have pressed the on/off button by accident because the keyboard got locked and I found myself not being able to accept the terms. It wasn't a big problem since the natural reaction to non-responding electronics is to turn off then back on, and I finally noticed the key symbol on the top right corner. But that just made me look for the key mapping choices.

So now begin the real questions: why is the screenshot an option only for the on/off button? Why isn't the return button on the list, especially since according to the manual it is supposed to force shutdown with a long press and it doesn't?


I tried the wifi connection and the test connection option went great. Then I tried the webbrowser application and it didn't work. That was when I decided to let it charge and I turned it off. After about 9 hours I played with it again and without changing anything the webbrowser worked, though it asked for the network key again.

The webbrowser itself is a little strange. There is, of course, the fact that it doesn't work in landscape, only portrait, but there are also other issues. It seems that the touchscreen calibration doesn't work here. I recalibrated a few times and also looked at how it works in scribble application and it is fine everywhere else. In the browser the little black arrow just doesn't correspond to the location where I place the stylus, and it is annoying since I need a little more precision when it comes to selecting items from the menu.

A nice thing is that web comics look great. It was annoying that I couldn't get a screenshot. Why doesn't that function work inside the browser? Do the buttons have different functions here? Is there somewhere where I can change those functions? I can see that the home button takes me to the home page and not the home of the device.

I also tried sudoku and snake, and it looks like I could use them to get used to the stylus. The scribble application is ok, although it could deffinetly use some improvements like an option to use at least one more level of gray for drawing.

I'll have to take a better look at the notes options for pdf. I tried to use the AdobeViewer and the notes function is a more twisted way to bookmark, while in the pdfviewer it looked like if was trying to do something (it asked for a name), but I just don't know where the note is.


This is it for now. I'll play around with it and write a review.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:34 PM   #2
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Yes, things work quite a bit differently in the web browser than elsewhere. Most of the programs in the PocketBook use a graphical interface library called Inkview, but the web browser (the webkit based browser Midori) uses Gtk+ in DirectFB. There's some sort of integration, for the virtual keyboard, but mostly the GUI is quite unrelated. Also, holding the back button is more of a force quit than shutdown. It has worked for me, though naturally I haven't tested it everywhere.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:56 AM   #3
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You will encounter many more surprises the next days...
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:59 AM   #4
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@LongTech: You were looking for documentation on the processor on a different thread. Is this what you were looking for?
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:36 AM   #5
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That seems to be the manual for a development kit, particularly dealing with the boards. At the level I'd be looking for (to write or fix a driver) I'd need on-chip register descriptions. It's not really my bug to fix, however, but Samsung's, and they're not talking to end users, and PocketBook are repeating "get a faster card". Perhaps I should publish a test program that demonstrates the failure on those as well.
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sil_liS View Post
I'll play around with it and write a review.
thanks, looking forward to that, so we can all compare notes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sil_liS View Post
I tried the wifi connection and the test connection option went great. Then I tried the webbrowser application and it didn't work. That was when I decided to let it charge and I turned it off. After about 9 hours I played with it again and without changing anything the webbrowser worked, though it asked for the network key again.

The webbrowser itself is a little strange. There is, of course, the fact that it doesn't work in landscape, only portrait, but there are also other issues. It seems that the touchscreen calibration doesn't work here. I recalibrated a few times and also looked at how it works in scribble application and it is fine everywhere else. In the browser the little black arrow just doesn't correspond to the location where I place the stylus, and it is annoying since I need a little more precision when it comes to selecting items from the menu.
I have played around much less than you have, but I do not seem to have the same problems with the responsiveness in the browser - I wonder though whether my machine has been "optimised" before shipping, as when I received it it was fully charged, and, unlike what announced in the quick start guide, there was no "startup wizard", jsut the main screen.

As for the wifi connection, I was also asked for the network key the first time I connected (the first time being the setup test), but not the third time.
Now I am only terrified of breaking the screen when carrying the baby around, will need to find something (though the neoprene sleeve has reinforce sides, whcih is good.
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:06 AM   #7
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I haven't had time yet to write a full review, but I did see some strange things.

One time my home screen had dark grey background for everything except the widgets. I clicked on applications and it worked, and when I went back to the home screen it was back to normal.

The clock widget became blank after I changed the time and time zone (I came back from vacation). It went back to normal as I went from analog to digital and back to analog, but it was gone again as I was going to different places and back again. After I turned the device off and back on this wasn't a problem again.

My screenshots are 828x1200, and I thought that they were supposed to be 825x1200, like the resolution.

The calibration of the touch panel doesn't work. In scribble, with the thick line I drew some rectangles and then switching to the thin line I followed them with the stylus. Ignoring my inability to draw straight lines, there is clearly a problem with the left side of the screen. I did this twice, then recalibrated and did it again.

I took screen shots of my experiment and I can see another problem. Somehow the scribble toolbar is there in the first image, but not in the other two. Why?

And about the ghosting effect. I don't really have a problem with it as it just looks like something that was printed on cheap paper where you can get an impression of what is on the other side. But I don't understand why it isn't always there. I mean when the device is off I have the screen with the big number 1, and I don't see the ghost of that afterwards, as I don't see the ghost of the bookland logo. So it is possible not to have this effect.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sil_liS View Post
The calibration of the touch panel doesn't work. In scribble, with the thick line I drew some rectangles and then switching to the thin line I followed them with the stylus. Ignoring my inability to draw straight lines, there is clearly a problem with the left side of the screen. I did this twice, then recalibrated and did it again.
Funny, the same thing occured to me yesterday. Drawing on the left side is impossible. If you take a line somewhere from the middle to the left border, it suddenly disappears and never re-appears again.

And sometimes, the drawing app gets messed up and the line starts some 10-20 pixels off from the actua stylus location.

Frankly, i think the PB developers did not really care about that app, and i can't blame them. If they do something else (better) then its hopefully done with more love
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:34 AM   #9
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If they do something else (better) then its hopefully done with more love
Hopefully PDF annotations and removal of all the 903 firmware bugs.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:15 AM   #10
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Hopefully PDF annotations and removal of all the 903 firmware bugs.
I set my standards lower so that I don't get disappointed. I can't even get the notes to work. I don't mean the ones from the fast access menu that are bookmarks, I mean the other ones that go in the Notes folder that I can't see on the device.

We are nowhere near removal of all bugs.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:21 AM   #11
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We are nowhere near removal of all bugs.
True, true...
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:05 PM   #12
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Can anybody tell me if they see the "notes" folder on the device? I find it really annoying that I can't see it.

And couldn't the device be configured to show the webbrowser in landscape mode? Maybe add something to the config file?
On my device the config file for the browser looks like this:

Quote:
default-encoding=ISO-8859-1
last-window-width=828
last-window-height=1200
load-on-startup=MIDORI_STARTUP_HOMEPAGE
download-folder=/mnt/ext1
user-agent=Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows CE; PPC; 600x800)
preferred-languages=en
Is it possible to add the orientation of the screen and to invert the width and height?
What does user-agent mean?
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:20 AM   #13
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You should be able to find your notes folder in the root (called 'notes').
Stupidly however, that's not the place notes are actually stored.
The notes are stored in system\config\Active Contents\mnt\ext1\
and under a folder named whatever ebook you happened to make notes for.
Note (pun intended) that notes are not actually deleted on the device, if you delete them via the 903 note-taking menu.

What was that about bugs?
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:43 PM   #14
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You should be able to find your notes folder in the root (called 'notes').
Stupidly however, that's not the place notes are actually stored.
The notes are stored in system\config\Active Contents\mnt\ext1\
and under a folder named whatever ebook you happened to make notes for.
Note (pun intended) that notes are not actually deleted on the device, if you delete them via the 903 note-taking menu.

What was that about bugs?
AdobeViewer puts the notes under the "Active Contents" directory, but pdfviewer puts them in the /notes directory.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:48 PM   #15
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@rkomar
Yes, that is what I am talking about. If I connect to a PC I can see the notes folder and I can see the pages and segments of pages that I selected. However I can't see that folder on the device.
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