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Old 12-11-2007, 01:05 PM   #1
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Suggested H/W Upgrade to Sony PRS-505

I love my PRS-505, but would like to see a few small changes to the hardware. It seems that every time one is needed in Sci-Fi, a little computer shows up with every book ever written on it, and the ability to answer any question, or to teach any skill. I think we're 90% of the way there, but there needs to be one connector added to the PRS-505 to make it a reality:

1. Give me an (unpowered) USB OTG host connection on the back, so I can plug devices into it.

2. Add in a power jack (for power from an external source to charge the PRS-505) next to the USDB connection. (There's no way the PRS-505's battery can power anything over USB.)

3. Add in a physical way to attach an expansion module to the back of the PRS-505.

4. Move the reset hole so it's not completely covered by the expansion module.

5. Code drivers to work with USB input devices, mass storage devices, and maybe a wi-fi, irda, or blue tooth device.

What could we have as an expansion module?

I. A massive SSD to hold every book ever published. Add in a battery to power the SSD, and it would work. 1.6TB 3.5" SSDs have been announced, and the density of lithium batteries is amazing, especially since a full charge on the reader will probably only allow us to read a few hundred MB (at most!) I would save power on the SSD by including something like a SD card that would store the table of contents / FAT / inodes / whatever. Then, the SSD (which would pull much more power than a SD card) would only power up to copy files.

II. General purpose expansion: a USB hub, and card reader for cards not supported by the PRS-505, like original Sony Memory Sticks, CF cards, etc. Again, add in a battery to power the module, and it would work.

III. A flip-down keyboard would let me navigate & search. A Wi-Fi card would allow me to surf the web. Again, add in a battery to power the module, and it would work.

The expansion module would have a plug to charge it on the bottom, and would take the same cable as the PRS-505 for charging.

One last thing, I've been hacking cases, and have one that mounts my PRS-505 on the left, with a note pad on the right. It also holds a few spare memory cards, a pen, and a USB cable. It works very well. If it had flexible solar cells on the back, it would be perfect. I just cann't get the amps needed on the flexible solar cells to charge the PRS-505 yet.

Andy
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:43 PM   #2
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The USB controller on 505 is Epson S1R72V17, which I beleive does have OTG functionality. Whether it's possible to enable it with existing hardware I have no idea...
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Old 01-08-2008, 10:38 AM   #3
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I finally looked up the old Sony Libre, and was miffed. It had a keyboard! Why would Sony drop a keyboard from the 500 and 505? That would massively improve the product?

Andy
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:18 AM   #4
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keyboard? no!

Quote:
Originally Posted by recycledelectron View Post
Why would Sony drop a keyboard from the 500 and 505? That would massively improve the product?
A keyboard would ruin the 505 for me. I want a reader that emulates reading a book, not working on my computers. That's one reason why I asked my family for a 505 for xmas when they wanted to buy the Kindle.
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recycledelectron View Post
I finally looked up the old Sony Libre, and was miffed. It had a keyboard! Why would Sony drop a keyboard from the 500 and 505? That would massively improve the product?
Why would it improve the product? For me it is completely unnecessary, just something to add to the cost & complicate things. I want it for reading and nothing else.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:04 PM   #6
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I am pretty sure I don't need or want any of these. It would be useful to be able to do word searches, but if the cost of that is a keyboard, I'm probably not interested. A small external keyboard might be useful but I'm pretty certain I would never carry it with me so it would have little value. An on-screen keyboard might be a good thing but I can live without it if it adds much cost. Sorry, but I'm pretty happy with my Reader.
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Old 01-08-2008, 03:36 PM   #7
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None of the "improvements" suggested would be welcomed by me. In fact, they would turn me away from the Sony.

What you seem to want is a portable PC with self contained power plant.
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:15 PM   #8
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Has anyone looked at the Libre's keyboard? It's TINY! Here's a pic:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:S...e_EBR_1000.jpg

That would add the ability to take notes, to search, and to use a dictionary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhadin View Post
A keyboard would ruin the 505 for me. I want a reader that emulates reading a book, not working on my computers.
I want a digital book that emulates a book - including the ability to take notes.

Andy

Last edited by recycledelectron; 01-12-2008 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 01-15-2008, 04:41 AM   #9
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When Sony Reader gets touchscreen a onscreen keyboard would be nice, but right now it would only make it uglier.
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:34 AM   #10
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My goodness. It's supposed to be a book (ok, lots of books). My laptop already has all that other crap. I don't even want the reader to have back light - that'd make it less of a book experience, it would drain battery faster...

The only hardware improvement to me would be some more page turn buttons around the device to accomodate shifting hand position.
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