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Old 04-05-2011, 05:47 PM   #16
lorenzoens
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by borisb View Post
frankly
totally agree!
 
Old 04-05-2011, 05:58 PM   #17
Gunnerp245
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenjennings View Post
It would appear to me a company in this condition is not doing R&D. So, since there is even no whisper of a plan for entourage eDGe Version 2 hardware I conclude entourage is toast unless a deep-pocketed altruist and glutton for punishment decides to buy them. They didn't plan for the future, so I don't think they're going to get one.

And I'm usually the optimist around here.

If they had released an SDK with the release of the edge last year, how much edge-specific software would there be right now? Probably a lot. Would we be in a preliminary death-watch for the company now? I think probably not.
Seems robot, jcase, chubler would agree.
 
Old 04-05-2011, 06:05 PM   #18
paula-t
Edge User
 
Let,s buy the company

Quote:
Originally Posted by lorenzoens View Post
These are good news, and I am happy to read 'em.

I'm a PhD student, my main research topic is Digitaly Literacy, and I teach in elementary school. If I can be of any help for them, I can try.

Lorenzo
It seems the most knowledgeable people about Edge are here at the forum. Fellow forum members have a clear grasp of the product realities and potentialities, they know what needs to be done to improve it, they are committed, persevering, smart, resourceful and quick to respond. Oh, everything we expect a tech company staff and management to be.

Why not buying the company? Living in Argentina, at today's currency exchange rates, I can contribute 89 dollars to a common fund. What do you think they would consider a decent offer?
 
Old 04-05-2011, 06:24 PM   #19
Adiposius Maximus
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerp245 View Post
Seems robot, jcase, chubler would agree.
They're all long gone, moved on to other projects. An out-of-manufacture device with ancient hardware probably isn't going to draw them back, either.

With regard to Boris' suggestion of releasing the source code...do we even think they have an SDK to release at this point? Those things take time and money to produce.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenP
A far as Entourage staying aloat, without products to sell I don't see how they can make money to do so, unless, of course, they are actively looking for investors for a new product line.
Exactly my thoughts when I read the "keeping afloat" statement. I'd imagine investors are even harder to come by for a failed product line than a brand new one.

Last edited by Adiposius Maximus; 04-05-2011 at 06:26 PM.
 
Old 04-05-2011, 06:25 PM   #20
gecko
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorenzoens View Post
totally agree!
super totally agree ... but how can we get our message through? They don't seem to monitor the forum very closely.
 
Old 04-05-2011, 06:33 PM   #21
borisb
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adiposius Maximus View Post
do we even think they have an SDK to release at this point? Those things take time and money to produce.
Which is why I suggested not a formal SDK but simply a source code dump

Necessarily, Q&A in the developer forum would be required - enTourage probably would have to dedicate a developer liason. This wouldn't be for noobs, it would be for experienced Android developers. Documentation could be built up via a wiki. An emulator (for the eInk screen) isn't necessary since developers prefer to connect the device to their development machine directly and run the code their working on right on the device to see how it will actually work.
 
Old 04-05-2011, 06:39 PM   #22
NiaTrue
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gecko View Post
super totally agree ... but how can we get our message through? They don't seem to monitor the forum very closely.
They once monitored the forum very closely and were very communicative--on everything except the SDK release. I doubt they have the resources to do that now.

It would be great if enTourage released the code in the manner Boris suggests, though I for one do not welcome the kind of hateful, immature posts in which certain long-gone posters engaged. It was not only unhelpful but may have contributed to enTourage's already dug-in reticence to release the code/SDK.

And since that decision seems to have come from The Powers That Be and to have been based on a deeply held personal conviction rather than sound judgement about how such things are done these days, the only thing that might convince them to change their minds is their impending dissolution.
 
Old 04-05-2011, 06:49 PM   #23
ivan
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by borisb View Post
Frankly, perhaps now is the time for enTourage to do a full source code dump to the community (other than items like the Reader software that is licensed to them by Adobe, etc.). Even source code written and owned by enTourage and not thought of as "open source". A formal SDK isn't even required by the developer community, as they know what they're doing and could easily try things out on the eDGe directly without an emulator, provided enTourage also fully enables debug and root access. The community would educate itself.

A source code dump could stir up a large enthusiast community, not to mention help speed up all kinds of bug fixes, enhancements and new apps.

I propose that enTourage would retain ownership of the code, but accept "suggestions" from the community where possible and fold that into official updates, sort of the way the Linux kernel works (I believe). Anyone could build their own eDGe distro, but the skittish among us can get our "official" update from enTourage.

This could spur more sales in academic circles to brilliant people that love customizing their device, and the increased prevalence of eDGes on campus could then fan the flames of sales to classmates. A wide open device may go on to encourage other markets to see the device as something that's unrestricted by the arbitrary whims of companies like Apple and the various phone and tablet manufacturers.

This would require a complete 180 degree turnabout by enTourage, but there's nothing to lose at this point.
Boris, that is the sort of thing that has kept many other device afloat. I know our programmer would stop glaring at me every time I appear with the EE in my hand. It might also allow us to produce some of the specialist software that we currently have on the notebooks and so would make our engineers happy.

As you may have guessed we are not in education but in services to industry which is another area that could be pursued. The EE makes an ideal tool - service manuals in PDF on the eink side and contact with the office and writing reports on the spot on the LCD side. At the moment we mainly use a notebook and a kindle DX - two items to carry around instead of one. Everyone that has taken the EE out on a job has reported that they like it and asked when can we get our special software on it. Our programmes says 'no way' without a lot more information.

I wonder why the industrial use was not thought of at the start - maybe it was but academia called more loudly.

Anyway I see no reason why us, the users, could not do as you say - fix bugs, add enhancements, even work round the hardware drawbacks (we've done it with some machine tools that we couldn't change the computer hardware on) and so keep what we have going for a very long time (something like our running OS/2 from 1996 with updates on AMD 6 core processors SMP only in reverse).
 
Old 04-05-2011, 07:05 PM   #24
borisb
Edge User
 
As Dr Phil often asks his guests about how they've been doing things to date: "And how's that working for ya?"
 
Old 04-05-2011, 07:06 PM   #25
Glow
Edge User
 
Thanks for the visit and your post!

I agree with the idea of making the source code available - would stimulate new interest in some quarters, and might yield helpful results for all.

My other comment, which I did email to enTourage (no response as yet), has to do with this website and marketing. I cannot think it was helpful for them to remove the EE and PE product and spec pages from the Devices tab. No matter what happens, and whether they are selling them directly or not, they should be showcasing and proud of those devices. Those pages were the lifeblood of their marketing and reputation.
 
Old 04-05-2011, 07:14 PM   #26
Filark
Edge User
 
Good idea, Paula! And thank you, Bill, for visiting and reporting back!

One thing that might make sense is to look at the poll we have here on the forum, which shows 72% of respondents use their eDGe for "personal" uses, with an even 39% in each category using for "business" and "academic" uses. Someone in another post mentioned doctors and lawyers as potential users. For myself, it is a great ereader, just for pleasure, offering much more functionality than my Sony PRS-900 (which I also love). I thought I would use it for research for writing, but so far it's just a fun companion!
I know there was a marketing campaign (the refrigerator TV ad) aimed at busy non-academics, so perhaps they tried to market it to personal users (the whole HSN thing, too), but I think some refiguring as to who is most likely to use the devices and how to contact them is required. Pitching it as a tool for academics alienates (perhaps?) some potential buyers. Pitching it to busy homemakers is just wrong. I am a homemaker, so I can say that. Yes, it can take everything off the refrigerator, but it is not intuitive or easy to grasp (physically or mentally). I wonder how many returns they got from HSN because people who bought this nifty tool just didn't have the time or patience to master it.

The people most likely to buy (and keep) an eDGe will fall into some or all of these categories (IMHO):

Technophiles

Avid Readers

Professionals who read/write/study/sketch/communicate for work

Academics (as opposed to students?)

People who have the time, money, and desire to make this technology do whatever they want it to.

The people least likely to buy (or most likely to return) an eDGe are (again, just my opinion!):

Technophobes

People who rarely read for pleasure and avoid reading to learn or for work

People with little time, money or patience

People who want the security of an established company/product that "everyone" is talking about

So advertise on websites and in journals and magazines that reach appropriate demographics (don't forget AARP!). Anyone technically savvy is skipping TV commercials, anyway!


lol! So many posts between when I started this and when I posted it!

Last edited by Filark; 04-05-2011 at 07:25 PM. Reason: added last line. :)
 
Old 04-05-2011, 07:16 PM   #27
alefor
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiaTrue View Post
.....I was thinking that many of us are academics. How many of us sit on influential boards, committees, etc. at the institutions where we work and play? ......
While it has no meaning at all anymore, long ago when I first got my eDGe, I contacted Entourage in an attempt to work with them (and I specifically told them I was not trying to make a financial arrangement) to promote the eDGe in the medical education community where I have a great deal of influence and many connections. I envisioned the eDGe as a great tool for medical education that could be bundled with textbooks as a major portion of a curriculum. My discussion was met with....... complete silence. Not even a "thanks but no thanks" response.
 
Old 04-05-2011, 08:10 PM   #28
physics
Edge User
 
Hi there all-

I've been lurking here since about last July, when I seriously considered buying an Edge. I didn't, but I thought the idea was great and wanted to keep an eye on new developments. As one of those academics who didn't purchase an Edge, perhaps I can add to the discussion. (I have nothing against it or the company, and I hope they succeed, but I determined it wasn't the device for me.)

So, I'm a graduate student (in physics in case you can't guess), which means I'm in that limbo where I need to read a few textbooks for class, have a bunch of reference textbooks, read a lot of papers, and do some research. For all of these, there were distinct disadvantages to the Edge (as well as many advantages).

1) First, the research point. I need to use Maple/Mathematica for my research, which means I'd be lugging my computer around with me anyway (and no, no one should even try get Maple/Mathematica running on the Edge!). I think a lot of us in the sciences/engineering are in that boat- because of what we need for research, we won't be able to just carry around the Edge instead of a laptop. So there's not much of an advantage to the second screen...and it adds weight and decreases the battery life. So a dual book isn't for us- why do I bother listing this? I think this is important, because I at least get the impression that we science/engineering people are more likely to be into gadgets and stumble across the Edge.

2) Second, as a student, one of the things that frustrated me was the selection of the ebooks. I realize that this isn't enTourage's fault, but their selection when it comes to the "standards" is rather poor- none of the undergraduate-level books used at my current school or where I went to undergraduate are on the site. There also aren't any of the reference books I need to use. So, if I'm not going to be able to get most of my books on there, then I still need to carry my bag full of heavy books (and my laptop) anyway...so why am I getting an ereader again?

Also, at least once, when one somewhat popular book appeared, it was an edition out of date. As I said, it'd not enTourage's fault, but when deciding on a device, whether or not you can get the books you need matters, and Amazon and B&N have a wide advantage there.

3) On top of that, at least some entries in the textbook store are mismatched. For example, let's look at the only quantum mechanics book I could find: Quantum Mechanics Demystified (not going to be used as a textbook anywhere...). Its book description is:

A research-based alternative to the USDA's food guide that cuts through the confusion of fad diets and big food lobbies
What should I eat? If you're a health-conscious consumer, this is one of the hardest questions you face. Now this no-nonsense nutrition guide from former USDA nutrition director Luise Light offers a basic, balanced, and user-friendly food plan that cuts through the confusion and controversy of the latest fad diets, federal guidelines, and big food lobbies. Its ten simple rules are also adapted for a wide variety of nutritional needs--including weight loss, fibromyalgia, diabetes, and gastrointestinal disorders."

It doesn't take a physics graduate student to realize that's not quantum mechanics. So, if I buy the book, am I going to get Quantum Mechanics Demystified? Or whatever book this description is for? This might just be a problem with the Demystified sequence (see Relativity Demystified, although String Theory Demystified is fine), but it still causes one to hesitate.

4) Time limits. Let's look at an introductory book, College Physics by Serway; you're only allowed it for 180 days. This book would be used for a two-semester introductory class. But what if you didn't take the second semester right after the first? You'd need to buy the book again. And what happens when you get to sophomore level physics and need to look up those equations on diffraction...no more book. For science/engineering undergraduates, textbooks one year become the next year's reference books; this is serious shortcoming in those fields. (Again, this may be a restriction from the publisher- I'm not blaming Entourage- but as a student it'd make me wary of the Edge.)

5) This one is definitely something Entourage could improve: better description of pdf capabilities. For example, on the Kindle DX you can't highlight, take notes, follow links (including table of contents). The Edge is capable of these things (I believe)- they should advertise it!!! At least here, there are many people who choose an iPad because it supports those things, not because they actually want an iPad. I had to email the staff (last July) to find out if you could tell it go to page 204 instead of skipping pages one-by-one (yes, there was a device out there like that). For reading papers, all of these things are important. A demo-video of someone doing these things on pdfs would go a long way.

I actually like the Edge, and maybe when I'm not on a graduate student's budget I'll get one (if the company is still around- which I hope it is). But 1-4 are major problems for it gaining traction in academia. There's a good change that NONE of them are the fault of enTourage- but they're actual disadvantages to it gaining ground in academia. If these could somehow be fixed, then I think it has better odds.

Anyway, I just wanted to add my 2 cents in hopes that it would be helpful. Sorry this is long.
 
Old 04-05-2011, 08:22 PM   #29
gecko
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alefor View Post
While it has no meaning at all anymore, .... complete silence. Not even a "thanks but no thanks" response.
I think it does have meaning; it gives us another clue to the way they think, and all the clues have been consistent. "Not invented here" = not worth considering. We will do all the work, and we don't need no steenking feedback

If they don't change their way of thinking, then things don't, in fact, look very good. As Boris said, they might change when confronted with the possibility of their demise, but often people would rather plunge headlong into failure than rethink strongly held beliefs.

I really like my eDgE.
 
Old 04-05-2011, 08:33 PM   #30
borisb
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gecko View Post
As Boris said, they might change when confronted with the possibility of their demise, but often people would rather plunge headlong into failure than rethink strongly held beliefs.
Actually, NiaTrue made that poignant statement:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NiaTrue View Post
And since that decision seems to have come from The Powers That Be and to have been based on a deeply held personal conviction rather than sound judgement about how such things are done these days, the only thing that might convince them to change their minds is their impending dissolution.
 
 

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