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Old 11-21-2007, 04:57 AM   #1
montsnmags
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Thinking of a dedicated device & PDA

G'day folks,

I know it's suggested that I go to the Introductions forum for my first post, but at this stage I wish to ruthlessly and carelessly abuse your generosity of advice and suggestion by asking for your help in choosing a device, or devices, for reading ebooks. Alas, Amazon has rekindled my interest (and don't blame me for the blatant pun - it's Amazon's fault, and exactly what their damned PR team expected to happen ).

First up, I live in Australia, so the Kindle is not an option, though I suspect that if Amazon did actually come to Australia ~COUGH~not-bloody-likely~COUGH it may actually be the right device for me.

See, what I am mostly seeking to use this device for is reading (first), and referencing (second), old literature (ie. all the free stuff ). Under the reference heading, I'd also like to use dictionary capabilities (including English-foreign language dictionaries), but also encyclopedia capabilities if possible. It would seem to me that the absence of "text search" may limit some possiblities here. The reading aspect would not appear to be so limited.

As a compromise, I am thinking this...

Buy a dedicated reader (Sony? Bookeen?) and use it for reading.

Also buy a PDA (Palm T/X perhaps?) and use it and its apparent(?) wealth of utilities for any reference I want to do (it would be better at "text search" of said books, yes?). It is not a problem to have both with me (reading the ebook device, with EInk easy on the eyes, in bed which is where I do most my reading, and having the PDA on my bedside, or taking them both with me when travelling, or just the PDA if I'm only wanting to reference stuff - I *could* get a "smartphone" PDA, yes, I know, but I would like to avoid that).

Does this sound like a reasonable scenario, and, if so, are there any specific devices that you would recommend (and do the devices I mention sound right- or wrong-headed )?

I hope I've put the above together right. I've reread it, and it sounds okay, but I've also spent the last two days looking at options, and finding the limitations, and I'm rather perplexed myself at the moment. It may show.

Anyway, my exceedingly grateful thanks are offered in advance.

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 11-21-2007, 05:08 AM   #2
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Hi Marc,

Might be worth you taking a look at the CyBook Gen3. It can read MobiPocket books, and has an excellent dictionary lookup capability (which the Sony does not have at present). That would allow you to also run MobiPocket on a PDA, and have the same books, dictionaries, etc, available on both machines. There's a huge range of different dictionaries - both general-purpose and specialist - available for MobiPocket (see http://www.mobipocket.com).

You can run MobiPocket on any Palm or Pocket PC device, which covers pretty much all PDAs. I'm a fan of Pocket PCs myself (especially the HP iPaq range) but many people feel similarly about Palm machines; very much a personal choice.

Hope that's of some help to you.
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Old 11-21-2007, 06:06 AM   #3
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I have a Palm T5 and try to use Mobipockets reader on it for my dictionary. Unfortunately the reader is a bit unstable and regularly forces me to reset the T5. I do not remember if the TX was changed so that programs that are badly written or programs that do not work around Palm OS bugs do not crash so often.

I have a lot of programs on my T5 that works perfectly well so I am a bit disappointed that Mobipocket has not managed to write a reader that works.
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Old 11-21-2007, 06:15 AM   #4
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I just googled a bit about this and the problem I have with my dictionary might be a bug in the latest version of the reader and the previous version should work:

http://www.mobipocket.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8734
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Old 11-21-2007, 06:48 AM   #5
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The Pocket PC version seems to be completely stable. Never had a crash.
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Old 11-21-2007, 05:57 PM   #6
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Harry, I had not fully investigated the advantages of Mobipocket, even though I had noted it in my travels, so your prompting is most helpful. It looks right up my alley, and I was quite impressed.

The Bookeen looks just dandy, though the selfish part of me wishes the Euro wasn't as strong to the Aussie dollar; perhaps as strong as the $US - US$295 would be fine while Euro is a bit more...difficuilt. Still, I might be able to persuade myself.

I do like the look of the Palm TX, while, alas, I have not thus far been made a fan of the iPaq device from my single experience - the iPaq 6515 "GPS smartphone". It's one of the "one bad experience" aversions though (in its case, doing a lot of things just barely adequately), and their pure PDA devices might be so much better. So, I can probably be talked around.

Of course, as per that other delightful notation elsewhere in the forum, one of our biggest booksellers in Australia, Dymocks, is meant to be announcing an ebook device for sale in the next 10 days. Here's hoping it's the Bookeen (though there is that mention of the "Microsoft formats"), and not sold as a direct exchange-price from the Euro price.

I am, naturally, excited.

Cheers, and thanks,
Marc
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:22 PM   #7
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Not to shill, (I just posted my Palm TX for trade in the Flea Market section, but I'd be happy to sell, too), but the TX screen resolution along with eReader really worked well for me. I set the colors to white on black and the only really long-term issue I have is getting a sore neck and hand. For nighttime reading while the wife is asleep it's a great unit. Video plays wonderfully on it, too. My only text search experience is with various Bible programs, and I'm really missing that on my Sony Reader.
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Old 11-22-2007, 01:16 AM   #8
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What Harry said, although you might also want to consider an Acer n311.
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:44 AM   #9
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PDA and a dedicated reader... Dealing with that too.

I have been using a dell X51v running WM5 as my eReading device for a few years. I have both mobi and MSReader formated books on it. Somewhere along the line the Mobi software for the WM5 developed problems doing Page Backs: After a few consecutive PageBacks, the reader completely looses its place and makes it difficult to continue where you were. While not a big issue for some, it has become a "show stopper" for me. Mobi has not seen fit to fix this bug and are now calling a "feature" to be incorporated in some future release. (good grief!!!) It has been an issue for well over a year. Other than this issue, I felt that the Mobi was the best of breed in the market. Because of their failing to fix the problem I have migrated most of my reading to MSReader format.

So along comes the latest generation of eInk devices including the Cybook and Kindle. I have decided I would like to move to this new technology. My Cybook will arrive in the next week or two and I received one of the first shipments of the Kindle. I want to see which will serve me best.

Observation so far...

I read in bed every night. The Dell PDA technology allows me to read easily with out the use of a reading light. The Kindle (and Cybook) will require a reading light. The wife is not at all happy about the reading light --- major outstanding issue! +1 for PDA

I greatly prefer the eInk (Kindle so far) to the PDA for daytime reading. The PDA was not practical for reading outdoors. +1 for eInk

Over the years I have accumulated a number of programs on the PDA that I can no longer live without (slight over statement). They will not run on any eInk devices -- So I must now carry two both devices and the cell phone and the Ipod (what a geek!).

If I go with the Cybook, I will be able to commit to the Mobi format. This will be useful, if they ever fix the WM5 PageBack problem; I will be able to purchase a single copy of a book and read it on the PDA (in bed) and the eInk during daytime. +1 Cybook

If I go with the Kindle, they have the MOST CONVINIENT way of purchasing ebooks I have seen. The ability to get the WSJ and NYT seamlessly each morning is a major Plus : +2. On the other hand, I will either have to purchase two copes of each book if I want to read in bed, get a new wife, or read one book on the PDA and a different one on the Kindle. -1.
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:46 AM   #10
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With the Gen3, would Bookeen allow me to go to their website, purchase the Gen3 in Dollars since it would be me who was purchasing it and have it sent someplace else say as a gift even if that someplace else was outside the USA?
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:47 AM   #11
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One thing to note, if you are interested in DRM free content, then I suggest looking into the Sony 505. Libprs500 is very nice for converting MS Reader content. Or you could use Book Designer and do it as well.
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Old 11-29-2007, 06:58 PM   #12
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montsnmags,

I've used my PalmTX for reading eReader and Mobipocket books for over a year now. Most are classics from Project Gutenberg, Manybooks or Memoware. I've also create reference materials using the MobiPocket Creator.

MobiPocket is one of many freely available apps that can be loaded on the TX. With a dictionary loaded, just highlight a word and the dictionary pops up with the definition. The touch screen makes page turning and item selection easy.

I didn't plan to use the calendar, addressbook or task functions but in a fit of boredom one day I made some entries and was off to the races.

Other things I like, grabbing a quick charge from any computer with a usb port, downloading material directly to the card and customizing it for my needs.

The only real fault is that sound from the mp3 player is not very good. There's a constant background hum. I don't care, I like peace and quiet.

What else would you like to know?
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