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Old 08-14-2007, 08:42 AM   #1
Draccy
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Question Zire 72 user, needs new device :p

Hello all,

I've been reading e-books in some form or another for about five years, originally just reading text files in notepad or on my archaic palm iiixe. I've had a Zire 72 for about three years, and its on its last legs. In fact, its actually been quite troublesome for a time. It constantly loses my place in books (in both mobireader, and pluckr), crashes, and has that really nice screen whine that this device developed.

One of the features that I use the most is the backlight (Granted I have never seen a clear enough photo of the e-ink devices that tells me if its worth the several hundred dollars to try to switch), because I like to read in bed while my wife is sleeping, and dare I say it... in the bathroom at work, which isn't always the best lit.

I was really interested in the Cybook, but the lack of a backlight is a bit of a turn-off to me. I understand that one can get a booklight to attach to certain devices, but then I think it becomes cumbersome. I'd rather not buy another palm device, because their service and support was shoddy at best.

I've read the suggestions posts, and the stickies, but I'm still at a loss of where to go to next. My wife suggested a phone-type device, but I think the screen is a bit -too- small for me.

So I was hoping to hear from the faction of mobilereaders that prefer backlit screens, and what they have for devices, and what they'd recommend. Would I truly be converted to e-ink after seeing a Cybook? Is it worth the money? Is there really a Santa Claus?

Thanks a ton for your help, advice and friendship. I'm really looking forward to getting to know some other e-book addicts, and sharing experiences.

Best wishes!

-Keith
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:55 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draccy View Post
Hello all,

I've been reading e-books in some form or another for about five years, originally just reading text files in notepad or on my archaic palm iiixe. I've had a Zire 72 for about three years, and its on its last legs. In fact, its actually been quite troublesome for a time. It constantly loses my place in books (in both mobireader, and pluckr), crashes, and has that really nice screen whine that this device developed.

One of the features that I use the most is the backlight (Granted I have never seen a clear enough photo of the e-ink devices that tells me if its worth the several hundred dollars to try to switch), because I like to read in bed while my wife is sleeping, and dare I say it... in the bathroom at work, which isn't always the best lit.

I was really interested in the Cybook, but the lack of a backlight is a bit of a turn-off to me. I understand that one can get a booklight to attach to certain devices, but then I think it becomes cumbersome. I'd rather not buy another palm device, because their service and support was shoddy at best.

I've read the suggestions posts, and the stickies, but I'm still at a loss of where to go to next. My wife suggested a phone-type device, but I think the screen is a bit -too- small for me.

So I was hoping to hear from the faction of mobilereaders that prefer backlit screens, and what they have for devices, and what they'd recommend. Would I truly be converted to e-ink after seeing a Cybook? Is it worth the money? Is there really a Santa Claus?

Thanks a ton for your help, advice and friendship. I'm really looking forward to getting to know some other e-book addicts, and sharing experiences.

Best wishes!

-Keith
Wow! Another Massachusetts resident. I'm over in Roslindale.

I have a Sony reader which I do enjoy using to read ebooks. If you'd like, you can have a look at my reader in action then you can see for yourself how good it is. And converting content is quite easy. I can show you that as well.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:18 AM   #3
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You really do need to see an eInk screen for yourself to appreciate just how good they are. Photographs don't do them justice at all. They are just like paper (light grey paper, anyway); utterly unlike the appearance of LCD screens.

Think of it as a replacement for a paper book rather than for an electronic device such as a Palm.
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Old 08-17-2007, 10:52 AM   #4
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I've changed ereaders several times over the last few years. If you can deal with needing a light the Sony eReader is beautiful to see in action. Like you though I really like having a backlight. I've had good luck in going used off ebay and using a monochrome PPC. There are only two models out there that I know of and they're both getting really long in the tooth. The Compaq Ipaq 3100 series and the far more rare Intermec PPC Model 70. I've owned both. The Compaq is far easier to get parts for but the Intermec is a better design. But realistically you'd be buying a 5-7 year old unit to replace a 3 year old unit and that's just asking for more trouble than you probably want.

Time to wax nostalgic. The Ipaq and Intermec both support PPC2k2 if you had the right model which let you run current lit DRM books, Mobi books, ereader books, and the current Acrobat DRM. The next generation of DRM will finally leave it behind I think but for versatility I don't think anything could touch them. Sadly 2k2 was the last version of PPC to support a monochrome screen and with it went fantastic battery life and a reverse backlight that was a joy to read with.

I'm really enjoying the Sony eReader so far (grabbed it on the 50 dollar deal) and I can see it replacing my Intermec but more because the Intermec is so darn old (battery failing and the plastic of the case is literally disintegrating) then because it is a much better reader. The Sony screen is gorgeous but for me the unit is a little big. I liked being able to drop my reader in my back pocket and go and the lack of back lighting definitely takes getting used to.

So my far too long and rambling answer to your question is if you can snag a cheap eReader I'd try that. If you get it on the deal through the Sony card you can always eBay it off for a profit if you hate it. That's my plan at least.

Cheers!
Rolard
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:09 AM   #5
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Just for the sake of pedantry, please note that it's called the "Sony Reader", not the "eReader".

There are lots of different Pocket PCs, etc - I used to do my reading on a full VGA-res iPaq 4700 - but to my mind, eInk screen such as the Sony Reader or iRex iLiad are a completely different experience; much more like reading a book than reading on an electronic device. I find reading on the iPaq now feels very "cramped" indeed.
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:26 AM   #6
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Just for the sake of pedantry, please note that it's called the "Sony Reader", not the "eReader".

There are lots of different Pocket PCs, etc - I used to do my reading on a full VGA-res iPaq 4700 - but to my mind, eInk screen such as the Sony Reader or iRex iLiad are a completely different experience; much more like reading a book than reading on an electronic device. I find reading on the iPaq now feels very "cramped" indeed.
Duly noted. Too much iPod and iPaq and eInk in my cola this morning.

I agree the eInk screen is gorgeous in daylight or any kind of decent lighting. But for reading in bed to me it's a little on the heavy side and a little bulky with a booklight. Also depends on your eyes I guess. With the battery failing in my old Intermec I switched to reading on an even more venerable Handspring Prism that I had. 160x160 screen blegh! But after a day or so I didn't notice the low resolution anymore. That was when the Sony Reader (woot got it right that time) deal came along. Perfect timing. Now if I can just find a better light for night time reading I'll probably stop grousing about it altogether.

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Old 08-17-2007, 12:55 PM   #7
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If your booklight is one that you can clip to the bottom, right corner that may reduce some of the effective bulk and weight for you. Mine does, and I find it actually makes it easier to hold the Reader, since it kinda gives it a "base."

I've been very pleased with the CCFL light I've gotten, but there are a lot to choose from. There are about a dozen threads on the topic in the Reader Accessories subforum, if you're looking to investigate them.
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:47 PM   #8
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Decisions, decisions :)

First of all, thank you all for your kind responses. So much to think about, and JSWolf, thank you kindly for your offer of showing me your Sony Reader. I had the opportunity to see one in action earlier today at the Best Buy at the Greendale Mall in Worcester. At first, I was a little disappointed with it, but the more I thought of it, the better I liked the device. Most frustrating to me was the lack of html support for the device, but I could easily use a print converter to switch my documents to something that ereader likes.

The page turning was a bit slow, but its still a very neat device.

I have to say that cybook is very appealing too, but its just not very established yet, and I get very nervous about that. It seems like Sony is really marketing the Reader, and sticking behind the device. (I met a Sony rep who was working at Best Buy for the day, and spoke to him on it a bit).

I'm bummed that I missed the $50 deal, that I've heard about, but excited to have some options to migrate from my Zire. I'll look at the link for Reader accessories, and I plan to stick around for a time, so you won't be rid of me!

Its so very hard to make decisions like this. My wife is sure that I should go for a multifunction device, but I think that I only use my current multi-function for reading, so it seems like that decision is easily made. I just hope this industry continues to be invested in, and doesn't peter out.

Thanks again everyone, I'll let you know what I decide!

-Keith in Worcester, Ma
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Old 08-19-2007, 11:56 PM   #9
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Actually, you've not missed the $50 deal just yet (it's more like $60 for the Reader after you add shipping). I called about it and as long as you've applied for the card before September 30th, you'll be eligible even if you get your card after. if you mean the $50 in Connect books, then yes, that you have missed. But, imagine getting the Reader at $60. Even if you spend $50 on books out of pocket, you still have paid less then the going price.


As for HTML, html2lrf works quite well to convert HTML to LRF for your reader.
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:04 AM   #10
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Actually, you've not missed the $50 deal just yet (it's more like $60 for the Reader after you add shipping). I called about it and as long as you've applied for the card before September 30th, you'll be eligible even if you get your card after. if you mean the $50 in Connect books, then yes, that you have missed. But, imagine getting the Reader at $60. Even if you spend $50 on books out of pocket, you still have paid less then the going price.


As for HTML, html2lrf works quite well to convert HTML to LRF for your reader.
I'm completely in awe. How does that deal work? Who would I call? I was hesitant over the reader for $300, but for $60, I can't really resist. Could you steer me in the right direction, JSWolf? Feel free to email me at draccy@gmail.com, if you'd rather.

I'm so eager now
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:10 AM   #11
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I'm completely in awe. How does that deal work? Who would I call? I was hesitant over the reader for $300, but for $60, I can't really resist. Could you steer me in the right direction, JSWolf? Feel free to email me at draccy@gmail.com, if you'd rather.

I'm so eager now
Read the following thread. The first post has the link to apply for the credit card.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11941

It says after you fill out the form that it can take up to 30 days to get notified. So I called right away to make sure that if it did go past the deadline, that I would be OK. And yes, I'd be OK if I get approved. Also the person on the phone said I can call back in a week and check the status and I shall.
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Old 08-20-2007, 04:40 PM   #12
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Yay

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Read the following thread. The first post has the link to apply for the credit card.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11941

It says after you fill out the form that it can take up to 30 days to get notified. So I called right away to make sure that if it did go past the deadline, that I would be OK. And yes, I'd be OK if I get approved. Also the person on the phone said I can call back in a week and check the status and I shall.

Hey! Very cool. How do I love thee, JSWolf? Let me count the ways? 250 bucks saved! I've applied for the card, and will see if I can check the status on Friday. I'm so very eager to have my Sony Reader now. I'm convinced that its the solution that I've been looking for.

It really was holding it in Best Buy, and seeing the eInk on screen... it was so tangible, so real.

More news as it comes. Also, if anyone is interested in modern sci-fi, I have quite a large selection, and can usually find things. Let me know!
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Old 08-20-2007, 07:56 PM   #13
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Hooray!

Big props to you, JSWolf! I filled out the web form this morning, and am hoping that I'll be able to call Friday to speed along my approval. I can't wait to get this device. I think it might have been a bad thing that I've seen it in person. Now I know what the potential can be.

Hopefully though, it may be only a month or so before I have one in my sweaty palms. For now, I'll deal with reading Dune on my yucky Zire.

Thanks again for all of everyone's ideas! I'll keep you up to date on the latest and greatest of my Reader changes

Warm Regards,
Keith
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Old 09-28-2007, 12:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Draccy View Post
First of all, thank you all for your kind responses. So much to think about, and JSWolf, thank you kindly for your offer of showing me your Sony Reader. I had the opportunity to see one in action earlier today at the Best Buy at the Greendale Mall in Worcester. At first, I was a little disappointed with it, but the more I thought of it, the better I liked the device. Most frustrating to me was the lack of html support for the device, but I could easily use a print converter to switch my documents to something that ereader likes.

-Keith in Worcester, Ma
Bestbuy carries ebook readers? Are they in the computer dept?

SK
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:15 PM   #15
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Depends -- some stores have them in the "none of us have the slightest idea what this is" department (which would be the back store-room).
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