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Old 10-12-2012, 02:31 AM   #1
ManDay
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Onyx M92 - Long list of bugs

I've recently purchased what is known as M92 in the States and I must say I'm dissapointed by certain aspects:
  1. Using the "Hide Margin" Zoom-Mode, the PDF Reader automatically drops into "Scroll Pages" Layout and no longer allows flipping one page at a time. Conversely, if one selects "Single Page" Layout afterwards, the keys for swapping pages stop working alltogether.
    What should happen instead is that not only "Single Page" Layout is retained (or can subsequently be activated), but also that the "<" and ">" keys go to the same relative position on page before, respectively after.
  2. The pen is a complete misdesign. On the one hand, the reader lacks any means to store the pen, despite how tiny the pen its. On the other, the pen is designed as if it were to be stored in the reader, meaning uncomfortably tiny and without any clip, whatsoever. A bigger pen would also have allowed for more features, better grip, etc. Instead, the pen combines the disadvantages of both solutions.
  3. Auto-Standby and Auto-Poweroff can not be set. The "Settings" for "Power Management" are completely unusable and do not respond to user-input, whatsoever.
  4. The browser attempts to animate not only javascript but also animated GIFs and thereby fails to be usable for many webpages. Any reasonable software would allow the user to disable Javscript and disable animated GIFs. Although the M92's primary purpose is not browsing, the M92's browser is therefore mostly unusable.
  5. The screen shows the Brand's label when going off, instead of just sticking with the current content. Not only is that a waste of energy, it is also almost certainly the opposite of what you want.
  6. There is no way to purge a PDF of the Sketches and Annotations that one has made.
  7. "Zoom by Two points" does not work at all. Instead, the stylus keeps making Strokes when one attempts to define the two points.
  8. etc. etc

Conclusion: The M92 is a reasonably good assembly of hardware (good and large screen, reasonably well working Digitizer, although misdesigned, usable buttons) with unusable software.

Is there anything one can do against this software? As a Linux programmer I'd gladly like to write my own bits and pieces but I doubt that's possible given the propriatary assembly with possibly propriatary drivers.

Thank

Last edited by ManDay; 10-12-2012 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:47 AM   #2
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First off: since you are "Linux programmer", I am going to write my response to your "bug report" in a way you could expect it to come from a bug tracker/mailing list/IRC channel if people there would be confronted with a report of a quality such as yours.

That being said, you don't sound very tech-savvy. I guess there is some value in criticizing a version of the software which is not up to date though.
Speaking of which, what version does your firmware have?!

It would make sense to distinguish between actual software bugs (or your perception thereof) and lacking features in the hardware design, don't you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManDay View Post
  1. Using the "Hide Margin" Zoom-Mode, the PDF Reader automatically drops into "Scroll Pages" Layout and no longer allows flipping one page at a time. Conversely, if one selects "Single Page" Layout afterwards, the keys for swapping pages stop working alltogether.
    What should happen instead is that not only "Single Page" Layout is retained (or can subsequently be activated), but also that the "<" and ">" keys go to the same relative position on page before, respectively after.
Update your device. Auto-Crop works for me, and I am able to swap pages normally. Also the second issue has, as far as I can tell, been addressed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManDay View Post
  1. The pen is a complete misdesign. On the one hand, the reader lacks any means to store the pen, despite how tiny the pen its. On the other, the pen is designed as if it were to be stored in the reader, meaning uncomfortably tiny and without any clip, whatsoever. A bigger pen would also have allowed for more features, better grip, etc. Instead, the pen combines the disadvantages of both solutions.
The solution for the pen could have been better. However, I don't see how this design issue fits into a list of bugs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManDay View Post
  1. Auto-Standby and Auto-Poweroff can not be set. The "Settings" for "Power Management" are completely unusable and do not respond to user-input, whatsoever.
Works for me. The options could be more extensive, but after n minutes, my devices goes into standby, after m>n minutes it powers off.

Yet again, maybe you should try updating your device first or have it returned for repairs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManDay View Post
  1. The browser attempts to animate not only javascript but also animated GIFs and thereby fails to be usable for many webpages. Any reasonable software would allow the user to disable Javscript and disable animated GIFs. Although the M92's primary purpose is not browsing, the M92's browser is therefore mostly unusable.
Again, update your device. The browser has been improved substantially.

I know that old versions didn't work too well, but last time I checked the browser worked quite nicely. I can, however, imagine better things than browsing on an e-ink device.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManDay View Post
  1. The screen shows the Brand's label when going off, instead of just sticking with the current content. Not only is that a waste of energy, it is also almost certainly the opposite of what you want.
  2. etc. etc
When my device turns off, it doesn't show anything. You don't happen to be talking about suspend?

Also, if it were to show something, it certainly would not use energy for the purpose of the display. Sure, changing what is displayed costs energy, but that part is negligible.

Lastly, this solutions is the standard solution in the industry (look at how the Kindle does it). Should there be an option to change this? I think so; but displaying an image in standby mode is reasonable so that the user can quickly tell what state the device is in.

So this definitely is not a bug, but a design decision.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ManDay View Post
Conclusion: The M92 is a reasonably good assembly of hardware (good and large screen, reasonably well working Digitizer, although misdesigned, usable buttons) with unusable software.

Is there anything one can do against this software? As a Linux programmer I'd gladly like to write my own bits and pieces but I doubt that's possible given the propriatary assembly with possibly propriatary drivers.
My conclusion:
  1. Update your device before reporting (perceived) bugs.
  2. Learn what a bug is and how to write proper bug reports.

Last edited by mSSM; 10-12-2012 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:21 AM   #3
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I'm delighted by your response, mSSN...

First off, since I am a """Linux programmer""", I know the difference between OSS and proprietary, locked software - the Onyx is of the latter kind. So no need to respond to me as if I had filed this bug report on an OSS bug tracker.

And if you like you can call it a rant. Since there is actually no bugtracker. Since this is actually not open source. Since my patience with proprietary software, for the service of which I pay, is much shorter compared to my infinite patience with software people create out of good-heartedness.

That said, please forgive me if my "bug report" does not comply to the standards of bug reports usually found in the realms of OSS, for the M92 is not an open source device and from the responses I've had from the M92's (i.e. IcarusReader Excel, Dutch brand) customer care, care for cooperation with their customers is the last thing they have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mSSM View Post
First off: since you are "Linux programmer", I am going to write my response to your "bug report" in a way you could expect it to come from a bug tracker/mailing list/IRC channel if people there would be confronted with a report of a quality such as yours.
Your judgement of my technical expertise from my one and only post is astonishing. In deed, you can trust me, I'm a certified expert for technological hocus-pocus.

The "About" screen claims firmware 1.7 20120207, to my knowledge the most recent firmware officially available for the device. Of course, I may perform another attempt at updating it as soon as I get an SD-Card.

Quote:
That being said, you don't sound very tech-savvy. I guess there is some value in criticizing a version of the software which is not up to date though.
Speaking of which, what version does your firmware have?!
It may make sense to distinguish two things within this one device if I hadn't paid one price for one product by one company and expect one functional something. I thus utter one request for help. And being a not so tech-savvy end-user of the product, I don't distinguish between soft- and hardware. I look at the product's deficiencies, irrespective of the presumed semantics.

Quote:
It would make sense to distinguish between actual software bugs (or your perception thereof) and lacking features in the hardware design, don't you think?
I'll attempt yet another update as soon as I can.

Quote:
Update your device. Auto-Crop works for me, and I am able to swap pages normally. Also the second issue has, as far as I can tell, been addressed.


The solution for the pen could have been better. However, I don't see how this design issue fits into a list of bugs?
The Standby/Poweroff options do not work at all for me. When I click "Power Management" I'm faced with a list of "Standby"-Times. When I click on "5 Minutes", the dialog disappears and next time I bring it up "3 Minutes" is checked. When I click sth. like "10 Minutes", the dialog disappears and next time I bring it up, nothing is checked. Equally, I don't have any settings for power-off.

Quote:
Works for me. The options could be more extensive, but after n minutes, my devices goes into standby, after m>n minutes it powers off.
Yet again, I might try to update it. I have my fair doubts that this is a matter for repairs, though.

Quote:
Yet again, maybe you should try updating your device first or have it returned for repairs?

Again, update your device. The browser has been improved substantially.

I know that old versions didn't work too well, but last time I checked the browser worked quite nicely. I can, however, imagine better things than browsing on an e-ink device.
I've got no means of telling, since I'm not sure how to distinguish the two.

When I first received the device, it showed a white-on-black drawing on the screen. This is the drawing it regularly returns to when powering down.

Quote:
When my device turns off, it doesn't show anything. You don't happen to be talking about suspend?

Also, if it were to show something, it certainly would not use energy for the purpose of the display. Sure, changing what is displayed costs energy, but that part is negligible.
I'd find it much more reasonable to display a tiny, yet distinct indicator for being powered-down, instead of replacing the whole screen. This would allow you to show an arbitrary image for extended periods of times, whereas currently, you can only do so if you prevent the device from powering down.

Quote:
Lastly, this solutions is the standard solution in the industry (look at how the Kindle does it). Should there be an option to change this? I think so; but displaying an imagine in standby mode is reasonable so that the user can quickly tell what state the device is in.
So this definitely is not a bug, but a design decision.[/quot€]

I could further support the impression of being ununderstanding of technology by just saying "I'll try to update as you said", but in fact I checked the firmware version before I opened the topic, and to all things considered, it seems to be latest firmware (including the changes described in the "Changelog"). But since I did not actually perform any update, let me close by saying: I'll try to update as you said.

Quote:
My conclusion:
  1. Update your device before reporting (perceived) bugs.
  2. Learn what a bug is and how to write proper bug reports.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:27 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mSSM View Post
Lastly, this solutions is the standard solution in the industry (look at how the Kindle does it). Should there be an option to change this? I think so; but displaying an imagine in standby mode is reasonable so that the user can quickly tell what state the device is in.
I don't have an M92 yet, so I don't know the feeling of it, but I do have a Nook which displays a photo of your choice when going in standby. I would like it to simply keep whatever is displayed when going standby. Maybe add a little very discrete sleep icon at a corner or whatever, to inform you of the state if you like... But I like to see the device as a book which does not close itself after being untouched for a while.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManDay
That said, please forgive me if my "bug report" does not comply to the standards of bug reports usually found in the realms of OSS, for the M92 is not an open source device and from the responses I've had from the M92's (i.e. IcarusReader Excel, Dutch brand) customer care, care for cooperation with their customers is the last thing they have.
Customer care aside (could be better), the firmware is GPLed to large parts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManDay
The "About" screen claims firmware 1.7 20120207, to my knowledge the most recent firmware officially available for the device. Of course, I may perform another attempt at updating it as soon as I get an SD-Card.
1.7.20120726
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...03&postcount=1
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:00 AM   #6
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Customer care aside (could be better), the firmware is GPLed to large parts.
I must admit, you suceeded at stunning me. Funny thing is, to my lengthy (very polite, so you jump at conclusions) inquiry to the Dutch's customer care about whether there would be just the remote chance of improving the software oneself or even going further, I was given as their brusque reply:

Quote:
Unfortunately we can not go along with your request to develop or change software to our excel.
So then, if it's GPL, where is it? To my knowledge (lacking in the licensing department, I admit), GPL licensend software, even in the compiled form, must go with the license and documents which describe where to obtain the source, etc. I can not find any indication of such on the M92.

If the necessary components are actually GPLed, this would change my attitude by a great deal.

Thank you, I'll report back.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManDay View Post
I must admit, you suceeded at stunning me. Funny thing is, to my lengthy (very polite, so you jump at conclusions) inquiry to the Dutch's customer care about whether there would be just the remote chance of improving the software oneself or even going further, I was given as their brusque reply:
Don't talk to Icarus. In fact, you shouldn't have bought the device from them to begin with. ;-)

They are just selling a rebranded device.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ManDay View Post
So then, if it's GPL, where is it? To my knowledge (lacking in the licensing department, I admit), GPL licensend software, even in the compiled form, must go with the license and documents which describe where to obtain the source, etc. I can not find any indication of such on the M92.

If the necessary components are actually GPLed, this would change my attitude by a great deal.
https://github.com/onyx-intl/

I have no understanding of how complete or up-to-date this is. There is a thread about hacking on the M92, but the English community seems very drowsy. The Russian community is a lot more active.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:40 AM   #8
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ManDay please check this wiki page: M92 software development before digging into the sources.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by johey View Post
I don't have an M92 yet, so I don't know the feeling of it, but I do have a Nook which displays a photo of your choice when going in standby. I would like it to simply keep whatever is displayed when going standby. Maybe add a little very discrete sleep icon at a corner or whatever, to inform you of the state if you like... But I like to see the device as a book which does not close itself after being untouched for a while.
For M92, there is a "hack" which allows to make a "printscreen" of the page of choice and it shows up when M92 goes to suspend. It is not exactly what you desire, but it is quite close to it.

I do not use it (I prefer to have a nice picture on screen), but it might be good for cooking.

@Manday
Beside that. It is possible comfortably set any times for suspend and off time using free OTFM file manager.

It is good that another Linux programmer is eager to develop sw for (more than less) open M92.

There is few 3rd party applications, but you could cooperate with guy who wrote completely new firmware for olders Onyxes and port it to M92.
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:07 AM   #10
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About the stylus: You could cut off a normal biro at the writing end and put the stylus in, maybe secure it somehow so it cannot fall out. This way you can choose the way the stylus feels and also have a clip. I tried it and the stylus still works if you do it. In my case, I have a case to store the reader in which also has a little pocket for the stylus, so I do not currently need this.
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:12 AM   #11
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I was hoping to use a Stylus from Wacom (isdv4) with it - should that be possible?

(PS: Haven't yet updated firmware due to various reasons, will report back as soon as I did)
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:47 AM   #12
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I think it will not work,but you may give it a try.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:14 AM   #13
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FYI: I just purchased an Onyx Boox M92 and it came with a firmware which is even newer than the latest offered on onxy-boox.com. And it appears to have a load of added functionality and improvements. Impressive! I'm currently trying to learn about the new things.

(As a first thing, I've tried out the new auto-crop functions which works like a charm and can be adjusted to one's needs!)
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:56 AM   #14
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Good. So, it is your's 2nd M92 in two months, isn't it?
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:58 AM   #15
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Good. So, it is your's 2nd M92 in two months, isn't it?
I'd prefer to not further talk about this
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