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Old 02-08-2011, 10:22 AM   #1
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Hey, where's my update?

I love my PRS-650 and I think it is a much better machine than the Kindle. However, I am jealous when I see continual development of the Kindle firmware. Today they are adding paper page number syncing. Well, where's the development effort for the Sonys? If there wasn't room for improvement then there wouldn't be any of the Hacker firmwares out there.
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:20 PM   #2
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Just what is it that these hacked firmwares add to the device and what is it that you find currently lacking?

I ask simply because I'm curious about why people hack their devices. I know some people simply enjoy tinkering with things but, aside from these people, why buy something that doesn't meet your needs right out of the box? Is it that no existing device would meet their needs?
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:14 PM   #3
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Well, if you jump over to the Kindle forum and read the thread on the new update, you'll see everyone wants to know does this break my hacks... So even though Amazon does more frequent updates than Sony, people still believe there are reasons for hacks such as customized fonts and screensavers in the Kindle example. I think that people purchase the ereader that best meets their needs and some are willing to hack to overcome the shortcomings. For some there is no device that meets all their needs out of the box. And some people just enjoy tinkering!
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:28 PM   #4
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And to answer the original question, don't hold your breath on firmware updates from Sony. Traditionally, the only updates we get from Sony for the readers is when Sony decides to change their business model and realizes they have to update their readers to work with the new model. For example, when Sony switched from LRF format to ePub they released updates. Recently, when Sony decided to add lending capability for the 950 and added Google Books they updated the firmware for the 950. Unfortunately, these rare updates rarely, if ever, seem to address known issues or shortcomings.

Kudos to Amazon and B&N for releasing updates that actually address issues and add functionality the users want. Sony's corporate thought on firmware appears to be if you want improvements buy next year's model.
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by david_e View Post
Is it that no existing device would meet their needs?
Is there ever any one device that meets everyone's existing needs? I doubt it. That's why I'm always interested in upgrades and hacks. Some may have tweaks I'm gonna love, and some I'd give a pass. But someone out there will love them.

For me, love my two Sony's, but am waiting for a "noscan" hack for the Prs-650. I was able to use it on one of my other Sony's that had an SD card for books, and miss it on this one.

For one thing, having a ton of books on a 4gig card in the device would be great, but not as is. I've found it slows down the device too much when it has to take over an hour to index every time it gets turned off. With the "noscan" hack, you could have a full SD card and not slow the machine down because it wouldn't scan the SD card and index the books. Since I could put the books in folders, and find them easier that way, no need to re-index all of them. The sony could see them just fine, and machine speed was fast.

I love the 650 without the hack, but it would be so much nicer if it was done. It's just one of those small things I doubt Sony cares about adding to an upgrade. But I would love it.
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:55 PM   #6
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I've found it slows down the device too much when it has to take over an hour to index every time it gets turned off.
I have 1250 titles, about 512 Megs, on an SD card (some are novellas and short stories) and when I originally plugged in the card, my PRS-650 indexed all the titles in about 3 or 4 minutes.

Following that Powering down and up does NOT cause a repeat of this delay.

Removing the card powering up, power down and then reinserting it, and powering up again gives full access to all the pre-indexed titles on the card and ALSO does NOT cause a repeat of the indexing delay.

Extrapolating that to a full 4 gig card would give about 30 minutes, but that should remain a one-time delay. Or am I missing something?
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:06 PM   #7
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But if you look at what some of the things these updates do, the 650 already does them. Like page numbers and fast page/screen changes.
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:39 PM   #8
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Extrapolating that to a full 4 gig card would give about 30 minutes, but that should remain a one-time delay. Or am I missing something?
I have a lot of smaller files, although some are full books size. The prs-650 now with three thousand files in main memory sorts in about four or five minutes. But with 2gig on a 4gig high speed card the Sony would take almost an hour to sort.

And the sorting happens when I unplug from the computer, not just turn the device off. I can usually add anywhere from about 10-300 new files in a day. So it re-indexes whenever I eject it from Calibre, which happens a lot in a day.

And too many times it locked up trying to browse the books on the SD card.

So I've been keeping it to 1- 1/2 gig on Main memory, and don't use the SD card at all. The increase in speed and stability is pretty clear for me. It's not not worth having the SD card in at this time.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuskyRose View Post
I have a lot of smaller files, although some are full books size. The prs-650 now with three thousand files in main memory sorts in about four or five minutes. But with 2gig on a 4gig high speed card the Sony would take almost an hour to sort.

And the sorting happens when I unplug from the computer, not just turn the device off. I can usually add anywhere from about 10-300 new files in a day. So it re-indexes whenever I eject it from Calibre, which happens a lot in a day.

And too many times it locked up trying to browse the books on the SD card.

So I've been keeping it to 1- 1/2 gig on Main memory, and don't use the SD card at all. The increase in speed and stability is pretty clear for me. It's not not worth having the SD card in at this time.
I currently have 689 ebooks on a 4GB SD card in my 650 (none in main memory), when I plug it in/unplug it from my computer it only takes the reader 2-3 minutes to change from the battery charing screen to the home screen with the current book I'm reading ready to be opened again.

I use Calibre exclusively to manage the 'library' on my reader, and all the books are epub books. No PDF, LRF or other formats.

A bit of simple maths:

689 X 5=3445 books. 3 minutes (approx) to home page x 5 = 15 minutes. (theoretical as I haven't tried that many books on my reader/SD card)
I haven't noticed any slowing down in the 'restart' after unplugging from the computer as I've loaded more books on it.

The restart time is about the same as when I power it on or off as well.

I have never had any issues with the SD card locking up either, and I never take it out of the 650.

My 0.02c (NZ$) worth.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:32 AM   #10
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I recently purchased an iPod 4 with retina display. Allthough the battery doesn't last as long as on my 600 (doesn't even get close), the iPod (for me) is just so much better as it fits in my pant's pockets. For at home, I mostly use the iPad now.
Leaving the 600 more or less on the shelf, just because the apps are written by people who seem to be real readers who implement stuff they find useful in the first place, rather than having engineers just doing a job for Sony (or any other company).
I'll probably switch back to my 600 as soon as it gets warmer for reading outside as the display works much better than the lcds in bright sunlight
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:57 AM   #11
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On topic, constant updates could also be a sign of never ending beta / very poor feature set in the beginning. Say if amazon decides to update their browser, it wouldn't mean that Sony's webkit based, acid3 83% scoring one needs to be updated.

Quote:
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Just what is it that these hacked firmwares add to the device and what is it that you find currently lacking?
Folders? Book History? Comfortable CSS styles? Key customizations? Saving files from your browser? Erm, games?

Do you like the way paging works in landscape mode? (not yet fixed by any CFW, but you get the idea)

Quote:
I ask simply because I'm curious about why people hack their devices. I know some people simply enjoy tinkering with things but, aside from these people, why buy something that doesn't meet your needs right out of the box? Is it that no existing device would meet their needs?
Name a quality (pocketbook doesn't count, sorry) e-ink device with folder support please. Until I've learned what Apple dares doing, denying you the right to freely access content on your own device, this seemed to be very basic and "of course it is there" feature to me. Sony walkmen (modern ones) have it. But times have changed, I guess...

Anyway, "hacking devices" sounds much more brutal than it actually is.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:08 AM   #12
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I have never had any issues with the SD card locking up either, and I never take it out of the 650.

My 0.02c (NZ$) worth.
Then you're lucky, because I have. Plenty of times.

But then I'm used to filling up memory because of the number of books and files I'd like to carry with me, but don't because it takes over an hour to re-index.

So I'll just wait for the "noscan" hack. It worked like a dream on the other Sony I had, which is why I'm looking forward to one now. Until then, it's not worth putting anything in the SD card slot for me. It just slows everything down.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:13 AM   #13
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I recently purchased an iPod 4 with retina display. Allthough the battery doesn't last as long as on my 600 (doesn't even get close), the iPod (for me) is just so much better as it fits in my pant's pockets. For at home, I mostly use the iPad now.
I have an Ipad and Iphone 4. All loaded with books.

Great devices, but I like the e-ink better for long term reading. Reading on a lit screen, for me, is like looking into a flashlight to read the black print. No matter what I set the background colors for, after about 1 1/2 to 2 hours my eyes are done. Love them for small trips, out and about, but not for casual-at-home-at-night reading.

My daughter just bought herself a Sony, because she found she had the same problem reading on her Android phone a strain for long hours. And her eyes are a lot younger! lol.

Same for my Ipad. I just don't reach for it to read on anymore. But it's great for weather reports, news and games, but nothing too long term for me.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:27 PM   #14
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Two things I have hacked my 650 for: a clock in the status bar, and making one of right hand buttons do a page turn, so I can tuen the page with my right hand.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:25 AM   #15
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Two things I have hacked my 650 for: a clock in the status bar, and making one of right hand buttons do a page turn, so I can tuen the page with my right hand.
I did that for my 350. Nice little features, especially the easier page turning from the right side.
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