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Old 03-31-2014, 06:18 PM   #1
evdberg
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Still using the PRS-500

Just wondering if I am the only one still using the 1st gen e-ink PRS-500. I can remember that when the 505 was released later in 2007, a lot of people upgraded to it.

Using the 500 nowadays is not really user friendly:
1) The battery has worn out, and can only handle page forwards without draining immediately. But hey, I usually read a book from begin to end, so that is not a major issue. And it almost last for 2 weeks if I stick to page forwards, isn't that amazing?
2) And since I do not live in the US, I do not have the last firmware, so I need to convert all books to the native LRF format. Luckily Calibre can handle this for me!
3) And none of the apps (Sony reader and Calibre, even not older versions that used to work) can access the internal memory anymore, so the books on it are stuck forever and I have to use a memory stick for new books. Always have to remember to plug power adapter in before inserting the memory stick, otherwise the 500 is immediate dead ...

Now this all sounds like I am complaining, and I guess that is true. I sometimes wonder why I just don't buy a new reader, they only cost a fraction of the 500 and have much better screen, more memory, and ... well, other stuff I do not need. And every time I use the 500 to read a book, I admire the built quality, and I have no desire to retire it ... at least not yet.

Are there more people still using their PRS-500?
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:38 PM   #2
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Sounds like you need to upgrade to something new like the PRS 650!
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:51 PM   #3
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I never had a 500 but I still use my original 505. The battery has also been a problem lately. But I purchased a practically new 505 from eBay so I am good to go. I recommend, if you really like your 500, try and get a replacement battery. Or if it is the buttons you like, try to get a 505 so you can read ePubs.

I still like the LRF format.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:08 PM   #4
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I still have my 500. I haven't used it in years though. I did send it in when you could so it could have a firmware upgrade to read epubs. It has a nick on the screen from when something I know not what fell on it.

You should upgrade though. Granted any books in the old Sony format of lrf won't work on a newer reader. And you are limited to epub, txt, and pdf; but Calibre does a fairly good job of converting most things into readable text. You are making me nostalgic... I might have to go find my old reader.
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck_in_Japan View Post
Sounds like you need to upgrade to something new like the PRS 650!
I always believed from the start that my next e-reader would have a fast color e-ink screen, which can also display video. So a combination of e-reader and tablet in one. The liqua vista screen should have made that possible, but somehow that never happened ... and even now, although a color e-ink screen does exists (with huge limitations), current e-readers are still black and white. 7 years time was not enough for this kind of development ...

Quote:
I recommend, if you really like your 500, try and get a replacement battery.
I already decided quite some time ago that I would never do that. Then I will just buy a cheap new e-reader instead, f.i. something like a Kindle.

Just remembered my 500 has another problem:
4) When the sun shines on the display for some time (15 minutes or so), part of the display gets lighter, and the text becomes unreadable. On holiday I usually prefer to sit in the shade while reading a book, so again not a huge problem ...
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Old 04-06-2014, 01:49 PM   #6
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Engadget has an item on the PRS-500, see Gadget Rewind 2006: Sony Reader PRS-500.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:14 AM   #7
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3) And none of the apps (Sony reader and Calibre, even not older versions that used to work) can access the internal memory anymore, so the books on it are stuck forever and I have to use a memory stick for new books. Always have to remember to plug power adapter in before inserting the memory stick, otherwise the 500 is immediate dead ...
I installed a 32 bit Windows XP Professional (about 30 Euros) with the old Sony Reader software installed on a Virtualbox on my 64 bit Windows 7 PC. This worked out fine for accessing the books on the internal memory of my PRS-500.

I think that the PRS-500 is still a lovely and elegant device but I finally gave up when my replacement battery went dead and I was fed up with fiddling and converting and bought a T3S. Changing the battery was not too much trouble but my replacement lasted only for half a year. Maybe, I didn't read enough and so the battery couldn't develop its full capacity and went into deep discharge.

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Last edited by hansl; 06-05-2014 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:35 AM   #8
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Engadget has an item on the PRS-500, see Gadget Rewind 2006: Sony Reader PRS-500.
Thanks for sharing! Good memories! I had a 500. I traded it in for a discount on a 505 at the Sony store. I think they offered $100 off if I remember correctly.
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Old 04-19-2014, 03:18 PM   #9
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I installed Windows XP Professional (about 30 Euros) on a Virtualbox for old games and the old Sony Reader software on my Windows 7 PC. This worked out fine for accessing the books on the internal memory of my PRS-500.
Thanks for the suggestion! I installed Calibre 0.6.29 on my Windows 7 setup on Virtual Box, and now I can also again access the internal memory of my PRS-500. The 96MB is more than enough for my needs, I usually only read 1 book at a time anyway.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:21 PM   #10
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I'm still using PRS500 on every day basis and with the same battery that I got when I bought the device in 2007 and it works very good although battery is weaker but still manageable.

But now I have a problem. I switched recently on Win7 and it won't recognize the device, it's constantly asking me for drivers. I see that some of you mention that you use Calibre 0.6.29 to access the library. I have 1.33 version and can't find the way to do that so should I switch to the older version?
I also don't want to use memory stick because I heard on this forum that it drains battery more rapidly.
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:48 PM   #11
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I'm still using PRS500 on every day basis and with the same battery that I got when I bought the device in 2007 and it works very good although battery is weaker but still manageable.
Great to hear that I am not the only one!

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But now I have a problem. I switched recently on Win7 and it won't recognize the device, it's constantly asking me for drivers. I see that some of you mention that you use Calibre 0.6.29 to access the library. I have 1.33 version and can't find the way to do that so should I switch to the older version?
It depends on what version of the firmware you have. Did you send it to Sony to be upgraded to the latest version? If so, your PRS-500 should present itself as a memory device (like a USB stick). If not, you need to use old versions of either the Sony Reader software or Calibre to access the internal memory.
In this case you can either install the software from the CD that came with the PRS-500, or install the mentioned version of Calibre (although some say 0.6.55 also works). After installing Calibre you can find the needed drivers in the 'driver' folder inside the folder where you installed Calibre (most likely c:\Program Files\calibre).

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I also don't want to use memory stick because I heard on this forum that it drains battery more rapidly.
It thought that is only true for SD-cards. I believe that it is no problem with a 'real' memory stick (Sony's own memory card system).
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:24 AM   #12
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No I didn't send my PRS500 to Sony since I'm not form US and I tried with Calibre 0.6.29 bit I have this problem.
Software from the CD that came with the PRS-500 (v1.1) won't install. Maybe I'll buy that Sony's own memory card system but for now I'll use another older computer that still has XP on it and I'll try with Calibre 0.6.55.

EDIT: OK I installed Calibre 0.6.55 but how do I get to PRS500? You said I can find the needed drivers in the 'driver' folder inside the folder where you installed Calibre (most likely c:\Program Files\calibre) and I found them but what now?

Last edited by prom king; 04-21-2014 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:17 PM   #13
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To install the driver for the PRS-500:
1) Go to Control Panel.
2) Go to System and Security.
3) Click on Device Manager, which is located in the System section.
4) You should see the PRS-500 here with an exclamation mark.
5) Double click on it.
6) Select Driver tab.
7) Click Update Driver.
8) Now click 'Browse my computer for driver software'.
9) Select the driver folder in the Calibre folder.
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:13 AM   #14
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I did all that and it stopped me at the end by Windows saying it can't install drivers because they don't have "digital signature" so I went into settings and put "digital signature" to ignore then did all that steps again but this time I got the message that "Windows determined the driver software for this device is up to date".

But of course when I go to Calibre I don't see the device. For instance I click send ebook to device and get the message: ERROR: No device: Cannot send: No device is connected
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:26 PM   #15
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I remember reading that the driver only works with a 32 bits version of Windows. I just checked and I have indeed the 32 bits version of Windows 7. Maybe you have the 64 bits version?

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I also don't want to use memory stick because I heard on this forum that it drains battery more rapidly.
I thought that is only true for SD-cards. I believe that it is no problem with a 'real' memory stick (Sony's own memory card system).
It seems I was wrong. Maybe SD cards use even more power than memory sticks, but the internal memory uses much less power. Even after twice reformatting a book, the power was only down 1 notch. With a memory card the PRS-500 would shutdown when reformatting!
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