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Old 01-13-2011, 11:16 AM   #16
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Too harsh on Jennifer

I do not have an Astak - I have a Kindle and a Nook Color. But here are some thoughts:

1. It is really sad to see any forum "die" since they are so useful and entertaining. The lifeblood often for a forum is new people asking others about their experience with a product, in preparation for them buying one themselves. So, I searched around and found the Astak website that sells the Pocket Pro. Everything was out of stock. So if I cannot buy the product, why do I want to ask questions about it? Agreed people who have one may want to.

2. Looking at the specs of the Pocket Pro, they are ordinary. The prices appear to have come down, but still higher than a Kindle or Nook. With the out of stock flag on, why buy an obsolete reader, with mediocre specs from a company than possibly may not want to sell them anymore. This leads to no desire to discuss on the forum.

3. Now to Jennifer. Of course she is right. Amazon and B&N, have restricted the proliferation of eReaders. Astak may be another one who will stop selling them because they cannot make profit out of them. The profit comes from the ebook itself. But what are we to do? Ask government to introduce a law forcing companies to sell their Kindle 3 Wifi and equivalents for $250 so that companies like Astak can make a profit since they do not have their own book store? Nope. It's just the way of business. Look at how Amazon has driven down the price of eReaders. My first Kindle was $399. Now, I have a better one for $139 - though wifi only. B&N have come down also (though they may have started the decrease with the Nook), and even mighty Sony have come down in price.

4. So where are Astak to go? Give people something that everyone else does not. Then they can charge a premium. People pay a premium for a metal bodied Sony PRS and because it has a eink touck screen. So be unique Astak and give people a niche model, because you are right you just cannot compete on price with discounted ereaders.

5. But in the end, I cannot see Astak continuing in this market. Amazon, B&N, Sony, various tablet sellers, Apple probably have it all locked down. And just to say something for Amazon and B&N (and soon Sony), they offer ereader apps that are now across many platforms. I can read my Kindle books on my Kindle (for when I want to read and take clippings) and on my jail broken Nook color (when I am studying a book that has many hyperlinks and for which a touch screen is best). And, for a quick reference or to show someone somethig, I pull up the app on my PC. So I am not being restricted to one device.

I am sorry the forum is dead. I am sorry that Astak did not make it. If you've got no product to sell, well I cannot give you my sympathy. If you product cannot differentiate itself from the rest, then why should I buy.

Hal.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:54 PM   #17
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Prince Hal
The PEz specs are not 'Ordinary'. Ordinary is "Proprietary"

Astak may have a book store, but ther is no "Proprietary" format to drive sales to the only game in town.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:24 AM   #18
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Prince Hal
The PEz specs are not 'Ordinary'. Ordinary is "Proprietary"

Astak may have a book store, but ther is no "Proprietary" format to drive sales to the only game in town.
Of course there is a proprietary format. It's just licensed from Adobe. Probably another reason the prices for Astak's books are so high. If you have a nook, you can buy from anyone except Amazon (without conversion/drm-stripping). How is that locked in?
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:11 PM   #19
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Yeah, I'm sad to see the forum died. I keep on visiting to see, but there's not much post here. And I agree it's also because their website shows out of stock. Eventhough the person might wanna buy, they can't so they go to the next one and since Kindle is cheaper they tend to buy that and the company is well known so...
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:36 PM   #20
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Of course there is a proprietary format. It's just licensed from Adobe. Probably another reason the prices for Astak's books are so high. If you have a nook, you can buy from anyone except Amazon (without conversion/drm-stripping). How is that locked in?

The Astak reads quite a few formats, to include Adobe DRM.

It will read also read quite a few other file formats that do not have DRM - such as MOBI, TXT, DOC, RTF, HTML, PDB, and a few others.


Don
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Old 01-14-2011, 04:56 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince Hal View Post
2. Looking at the specs of the Pocket Pro, they are ordinary. The prices appear to have come down, but still higher than a Kindle or Nook. With the out of stock flag on, why buy an obsolete reader, with mediocre specs from a company than possibly may not want to sell them anymore. This leads to no desire to discuss on the forum.

Hal.
Well for me it was the form factor and the fact that it read .lit books and has a very easy to use method of loading books.

I really like the way the page turn buttons are laid out and haven't found another that is a comfortable to use.

And I have not seen another reader with as long of a list of compatable file formats as the PP does. I started reading ebooks many moons ago on a Palm III followed by a few Pocket PC powerd pdas and laptops. So my collection of ebooks is manily .lit witch worked great with these devices, PDF's witch didn't with the exception of the laptop, and .rtf witch with the uReader software became my file type of choice.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:42 PM   #22
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Have to concur the the PP is still a great device. reads better in Landscape than the PB360 and can have it's buttons reprogrammed with buggins or lbook firmware for FB2 format.... which is much better than epub in my opinion. The amount of options that you can do with the Pocketpro in FB2 format is quite impressive...
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:57 PM   #23
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to those that still want to buy PP - you do realise Astak is just a badge on a Jinke (i think) hardware, right? This very reader can be bought from other manufacturers with whatever firmware you want installed on it.
Although why would anyone want to do this when the new pearl screens are out, i dont know. I could not go back after getting the new Sony. Well, perhaps being able to accept the multiple file format is the answer. Although i have never had any problems converting anything i wanted to read on Sony using Calibre.

And Jenifer... i see the point of what you are saying... but... talking down your competitors WHEN YOU CAN NOT OFFER YOUR OWN PRODUCT is... not very ethical. I think everyone would prefer Astak admitting they are not planning to sell any more e-readers. Because without the definite date this is essentially the case as far as your customers are concerned. What you ARE currently saying, is basically - all you people just have to be patient and wait, our product is the best... so you'd be stupid to buy anything else. Oh, and by the way, we are not going to tell you WHEN we are planning to sell it.

i still pop in occasionally, but more out of some morbid curiosity. Like watching a train wreck really. Sad. Very, very sad to see a company showing such disrespect to its customer base. Not blaming you Jenifer. I realise you are just doing what your bosses tell you.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:06 AM   #24
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Have to concur the the PP is still a great device. reads better in Landscape than the PB360 and can have it's buttons reprogrammed with buggins or lbook firmware for FB2 format.... which is much better than epub in my opinion. The amount of options that you can do with the Pocketpro in FB2 format is quite impressive...

What are the negatives, in your opinion, in using lbook?

I'm specifically interested in NOT compromising the formats that are already available in Astak's firmware.

Thanks,
Don
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:01 AM   #25
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to those that still want to buy PP - you do realise Astak is just a badge on a Jinke (i think) hardware, right? This very reader can be bought from other manufacturers with whatever firmware you want installed on it.
But can it? I thought that the Hanlin V5, which the PP is a clone of, had been withdrawn from sale (for the mysterious "legal reasons" referred to) by all its retailers. Eg, if you go to the BeBook Store:

http://mybebook.com/store/

you'll see that the BeBook Mini (their rebadging of the V5) is "sold out".

Who do you believe to be still selling it, may I ask?
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:14 PM   #26
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What are the negatives, in your opinion, in using lbook?

I'm specifically interested in NOT compromising the formats that are already available in Astak's firmware.

Thanks,
Don
Personally I don't see any negatives. From time to time an lBook release may be slightly less stable but the current version is great. The biggest change to formats compared to Astak is the fact that lBook is more aggressive at assigning formats to be used by default in the cool reader application instead of default one. The only negative I have ever heard of to this is that sometimes the default Jinke apps do better in Chinese than Cool Reader does but that means nothing to me.

It may be slightly long for a book to appear in Cool Reader but after the first time it is better. I think Cool Reader keeps more data on the card so perhaps it effects the total capacity a little.

Dale
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:30 PM   #27
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I just downloaded the June 22, 2010 firmware. (v5setup-20100622)

Is that the one you're talking about?


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Old 01-15-2011, 01:59 PM   #28
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Mine says 6/11 in the version screen but I do not know what the setup says. I believe there is a newer one that has TOC entries for Cool Reader in ePUB but I haven't chased it down yet.

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Old 01-15-2011, 05:06 PM   #29
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Hey Doc, I use the lbook firmware and it it much better in my opinion than the Astak one. I use the latest one posted on the lbook website. I think it is more stable than any other firmware update, it allows you to delete a book, use of dictionaries is much easier, cool reader 3 has many more options than Pb360s fbreader 180, cool reader reads my favorite formats very well: fb2, rtf, html.

I do read epub occasionally on my V5, but life is much better after Fb2 on both my PP and PB30...
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:58 AM   #30
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I just downloaded the June 22, 2010 firmware. (v5setup-20100622)

Is that the one you're talking about?


Don
Only issue I have had with that release of the lbook firmware is I found that after a while my page turn speeds would slow right down. A simple reboot would fix it (I like to leave my ereaders turned on). When I say slow it would be 2-4 seconds on an epub, reboot and all was well (but YMMV). The latest I downloaded (didn't try) was 20100830 (available on the lbook website).

I found it overall really really cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
But can it? I thought that the Hanlin V5, which the PP is a clone of, had been withdrawn from sale (for the mysterious "legal reasons" referred to) by all its retailers. Eg, if you go to the BeBook Store:

http://mybebook.com/store/

you'll see that the BeBook Mini (their rebadging of the V5) is "sold out".

Who do you believe to be still selling it, may I ask?
LBook are still selling it, DADirect still have the Eco Eclipse, you can buy them direct from Jinke. Just appears BeBook and Astak are having issues. But..unlike Astak BeBook have brought other readers out and are still active in the market.

Last edited by Solicitous; 01-16-2011 at 06:01 AM.
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