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Old 06-04-2011, 06:46 PM   #31
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Let's start helping Sony to design the best 5" ever. I want solar charging hidden behind the e-ink screen (the first fully green ereader)
In general, photovoltaic cells work best in locations where they are exposed to light (i.e., not behind a opaque screen.)
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:24 PM   #32
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In general, photovoltaic cells work best in locations where they are exposed to light (i.e., not behind a opaque screen.)
I wonder if a solar panel, such as the one seen on many calculators, combined with a battery to be used as back-up, would be a viable option.
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:11 PM   #33
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Any one remember the Sony Bookman launched in 1991? Yep, 1991. See attached photos. I was stupid enough to buy one in the early 1990s. It was actually a really good device for its time and it used the Sony MD (miniDisk) with one book per disk. The concept was a clamshell design with monochrome, non-backlit screen that was basically an MD player adapted to display text. The device was great, but the huge library of available books on MD never materialized. First you had to order book MDs through mail order catalogs (no internet stores back in the dark ages) or go to a Sony store. The Sony store in Austin never carried more than a dozen different books. The mail order catalog only listed a few dozen books. The device was discontinued almost immediately.

It was one of many cases where the Sony engineers showed great imagination and developed a bleeding edge product. But the Sony marketing and business execs did little more than soil their adult diapers in board room meetings and so Sony never exploited this new technology. Sony execs are still the same--not worth as much as the load in their adult diapers. They have some of the best engineers and designers in the world and yet the corporaation is apparently run by morons.

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Old 06-04-2011, 09:25 PM   #34
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Any one remember the Sony Bookman launched in 1991? Yep, 1991.
I do now that you mention it. I wanted one, but being a poor high school/college student (made that transition in 1991) it wasn't in my budget. I did end up with a few of the Franklin-brand electronic books, though-- Encyclopedia, dictionary, spell-checker... Some of them accepted expansion carts.
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:50 AM   #35
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Just reading user impressions of the new Nook. It seems to me that the Sonys remain the most feature rich and open while matching or surpassing (build quality) the latest Nook hardware. Kudos for Sony for such advanced e-readers. Of course, you pay for it...
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:23 AM   #36
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Sony's strength has always been top spec products, with innovative technology and nice design that manifest itself both in interface and physical product.

Sony's weakness has always been the follow up after the product. Both supply, marketing the product all the way and evolving when the competitors bring up competing products at lower price points.

However despite the new readers showing up, I still think the competitors is only now catching up to Sony's readers featurewise and technologically.

The only technological advancement I've seen that Sony doesn't have, is the software reducing refresh blinks that the new Nook has.
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:35 AM   #37
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The only technological advancement I've seen that Sony doesn't have, is the software reducing refresh blinks that the new Nook has.
It seems to cause ghosting. I am not sure if it is an advancement if it does not work properly.
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:22 AM   #38
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The only technological advancement I've seen that Sony doesn't have, is the software reducing refresh blinks that the new Nook has.
The new nook only does a full screen refresh 1 in every 6 page turns, and the result (to nobody's surprise) has been quite significant ghosting. This seems like a rather pointless "improvement" to me, given that virtually everyone no longer consciously "sees" the screen refresh on an eInk screen after using it for an hour or two, and it still happens on the nook, but every 6 pages instead of every page. What on Earth is the point of that?

There are also other reports of the nook which make it sound far from ideal, such as the fact that it has less than 250MB of storage space available for user-loaded content. That's really not very much!
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:08 AM   #39
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No reason to get into the trenches I'm not really making a comparison between the new Nook and Sony readers.

My point was that the Sony readers, like many other Sony products, were so technologically advanced that it's taken until now for the competitors to catch up. It's the main reason I just got one myself, I wanted the best there is. (And I am cursing myself now for not waiting two weeks and snatching one up for 200 grrrrrrrrr).

The ghosting sounds unfortunate though. I actually think improving the software is a sound step forwards. Yes we get used to the blinking, just as I got used to my old Cybook taking 10x longer to switch pages than my sparkling new Sony. It doesn't mean it isn't better though.

My ereader is the best piece of technology that ever came into my life, so I hope they'll come up with new and better improvements, so we don't end up having to read our books on Ipads or other similar devices.
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:03 AM   #40
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It seems to cause ghosting. I am not sure if it is an advancement if it does not work properly.
With both Kobo and New Nook Touch Readers being released at almost the exact same time, it's pretty clear that the respective development teams may have been under pressure to get their products out the door and on the market to match the others release date.

So, I would not be surprised if there are a few kinks in the first release firmware.

I am sure that, if there are issues in the first release, they will be fixed quickly.

Keep in mind that unlike Sony, B&N has already done several updates to their Nook classic to both fix bugs and add features (which is more than you can say about Sony).

I wish I could say that Sony is just as responsive as B&N and Kobo, but sadly this is just not the case.

While it is true that Sony just did an update for the 350 and 650, to fix a few DRM bugs, that was only because the bug was really serious (DRM books would frequently refuse to open) and this was causing users to threaten returns, so they HAD NO CHOICE.

Since every Sony user had to risk a potentially dangerous Flash Memory upgrade, this would have been a golden opportunity for Sony to reward users by adding some nice new features to make these models more competitive, like B&N has done in the past with their Nook; but did Sony add games like the Nook - NO; Did they add additional fonts like BOTH the new Nook AND Kobo provide - NO.

As someone who worked for a Japanese company for 15 years, I can tell you from first hand experience that most of them treat programmers like call girls (wham-bam-thank-you-mam, now please take your money and get out of here.)

They may think about new features for the NEXT glorious 'Shin Hatsubai', but why WASTE money adding features to an existing product just to please users, ARE YOU CRAZY?

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Old 06-06-2011, 03:48 AM   #41
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I hope not. Reading the reviews here of the new nook, it seems there is still not a quality competitor for Sony.

I am still hoping that when the reviews come in for the kobo touch, that we will finally have an alternative to the admittedly premium priced Sonys.

Delphin, as for your comments, I have never had to update my 650. I do not use allow DRMd books to touch my reader, so I have encounters none of the problems you describe.

For me, Sony just got it right the first time.
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:10 AM   #42
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. . . For me, Sony just got it right the first time.
Exactly, "getting it right the first time", so they don't need to do updates, is indeed Sony's goal.

Sony did not quite hit this level of perfection, so, regrettably, they had to do an update.

But is a "no-updates ever" product really 'perfection'? Is it even a good thing? Perhaps not.

In fact, in Sony's case, this approach can be a bad thing, A VERY BAD THING.

Why?

Because it reflects Sony's attitude towards software support, and responding to users.

When Apple sells a product like the iPad, they look at it as JUST THE BEGINNING.

Where, Sony hopes the SALE, WILL BE THE END OF THE ROAD (and the last time they will have to deal with it.)

The difference between these two philosophies is the difference between being the biggest consumer computer/software company in the world (Apples 1st Quarter Revenues exceeded even Microsoft), vs Sony's less than stellar performance (which may well have them close to being forced to bow out of the eReader market.)

No doubt the Sony is well made, and I am also quite happy with my 650, but this is because I specifically wanted a device that was more geared towards stand-alone operation, not one with good on-line book store integration like the Nooks or Kindles.

For me, NOT having a lot of features geared towards the reader popping up 'special deals' and trying to sell me something is a plus, not a minus.

For most folks though, I'm sure the bookstore access is a plus as long as you can still side load books, and as long as the bookstore integration is not intrusive (no pop-up ads while reading etc.)

With the first generation Nook, non-B&N books that were side-loaded by the user were poorly handled, but with the newer Nooks like the Nook Color and Touch, they can be added to the users main book shelf, just like books purchased from B&N, so this also should not be an issue.

Construction quality wise, it looks like the new touch readers from Kobo and B&N are roughly on a par with the Kindle, which most folks find quite acceptable.

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Old 06-06-2011, 06:06 AM   #43
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With the first generation Nook, non-B&N books that were side-loaded by the user were poorly handled, but with the newer Nooks like the Nook Color and Touch, they can be added to the users main book shelf, just like books purchased from B&N, so this also should not be an issue.
This is not quite right. Only 256MB sideloaded books will be treated like the B&N's, as this is the amount of storage given to sideloads. The ones put on a SDcard will be handled as inferior to B&N books as before.
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:38 AM   #44
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This is not quite right. Only 256MB sideloaded books will be treated like the B&N's, as this is the amount of storage given to sideloads. The ones put on a SDcard will be handled as inferior to B&N books as before.
No I don't think this is true.

For the Nook Touch, there is already a post indicating that if you simply put the side-loaded titles into a folder called 'books' on your SD card then they are added to your main bookshelf automatically.

Also, even if you don't do that, I know that, for example, on the Nook Color, there is a pop-up menu option to add side-loaded books from anywhere on your SD card to your main B&N bookshelf listing.

This is even BETTER than the Sony, because you have BOTH the main collections based 'bookshelf' style manager, AND a 'folder view' navigator available right out of the box (on the Sony you have to HACK the software and add PRS+ to get the equivalent)

Last edited by delphin; 06-06-2011 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:32 AM   #45
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For me, Sony just got it right the first time.
Unless you count screwy font sizing and even screwier landscape epub mode which merely enlarges the portrait mode and splits it across two pages rather than doing a truly independent reflow. Sony could easily fix both of these glaring issues, but just continues to thumb their corporate nose at us.

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