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Old 05-28-2008, 06:50 PM   #16
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Hi MidknytOwl,
Be careful where you tread, else you will find yourself helplessly addicted to the world of eInks devices.

If this makes you feel any better your situation is not so unique. I received my Sony PRS-505 as a Christmas gift and at the time I did not have one single eBook. There are several solutions to remedy your situation, without having to spend a single dime (… and yes I am keeping it legal). First there is the ongoing SONY promo provides it’s users with 50 free classics. Also there are a score of web sites that provide free books, mostly classics (See the listing below).

The good news is that you will find a large selection of Romance books out there. Some statistics came out some short time ago that stated romance books had one of the larger market sectors for eBooks. Finding romance books will not be an problem.

I have the Sony PRS-505. It’s a great device, great battery life, steel casing really helps make the device durable. (I’ve dropped it twice on the concrete floor and it’s still ticking). Price is reasonable, (the price just dropped today by another $40) so it around $240~$260. The device is very small and it fits in my coat pocket it’s very transportable, I carry the reader everywhere I go.

One thing the SONY reader has over the other devices is the open software community. There are some great open source software that really make this device usable there is Calibre and PDFLRF that can pretty much convert any format under the sun to a SONY friendly format. (both can be found on the mobileread web site.

The one thing that is sorely lacking is a dictionary. Celemnte has created one that works on the Sony 500/505. see link below, but it’s not as transparent to use as these other devices but still usable.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22320


TONS OF FREE BOOKS
MobileRead.com (here in all eink formats)
FeedBooks.com
ManyBooks.net
Project Gutenberg (Australia site is the best : http://gutenberg.net.au/index.html)

Books
FictionWise.com
BooksonBoard.com

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Old 05-28-2008, 07:57 PM   #17
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Price is reasonable, (the price just dropped today by another $40) so it around $240~$260.
Where? The Sony site still shows $299 and the cheapest I've found is Walmart at $275 after shipping. (Don't get me all excited like that!)

Thanks for your suggestions and the dictionary link. Sounds a bit complicated, but good to know there's an option.
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Old 05-28-2008, 08:01 PM   #18
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One bonus to the Kindle if you're worried about impulse-buying is the free sample. Amazon lets you download a sample of the book, about a chapter or so, to see if you like it. I find I buy a lot fewer books this way.
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:02 AM   #19
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I have the Sony PRS-505. It’s a great device, great battery life, steel casing really helps make the device durable.
Steel? I'm pretty sure it's made of aluminium, not steel.
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Old 05-29-2008, 01:42 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by MidknytOwl View Post
Where? The Sony site still shows $299 and the cheapest I've found is Walmart at $275 after shipping. (Don't get me all excited like that!)

Thanks for your suggestions and the dictionary link. Sounds a bit complicated, but good to know there's an option.
Hi MidknytOwl
Here is the link
http://www.teleread.org/blog/2008/05...e-down-to-255/

The article pretty much says you have to add the device to the cart.

With regards to the Dictionary, installing it is one of those things that seem much harder the first time around. After the install you'll realize it is quit trivial.
I still don't consider this a solution because it is not "transparent". But it is sure nice to have.

@ HarryT
okay okay, I should have chosen my words more wisely. I was using the word "steel" as a generic term for metal. But your right it is most likely aluminum.
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Old 05-29-2008, 04:21 PM   #21
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Hi MidknytOwl
Here is the link
http://www.teleread.org/blog/2008/05...e-down-to-255/

The article pretty much says you have to add the device to the cart.
Yeah...it doesn't like me. I even tried a different computer at school in case it made a difference that I had already had one in my cart previously. Still no discount. Is it still working for other people, or did I miss the window?
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:39 AM   #22
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I'm kind of gravitating towards a Sony. It's the only one I've really come across where people don't seem to have many complaints and is the cheapest eInk. I've looked a little more at the Cybook since it would provide the dictionary option I like with the Kindle and uses mobi which I'm seeing come up a lot as a good format, but then there are posts in that forum on it just crashing and such, which makes me really nervous. Although now the Kindle is about $10 less than it if you count the shipping, so who knows?
Well... when human beings have problems they tend to complain but when everything works like it should they don't rant and rave about how fabulous it is (with some exceptions, of course)

I own Cybook and so far I had 0 (zero) problems. And let me tell you something - dictionary lookup is THE THING. It is something I use often and since event buffering got introduced it's even easier to use. The only drawback is fact that the lookup command is buried rather deep within the menu...

DrS
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Old 05-30-2008, 12:20 PM   #23
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I own Cybook and so far I had 0 (zero) problems. And let me tell you something - dictionary lookup is THE THING. It is something I use often and since event buffering got introduced it's even easier to use.
I also own a Cybook and LOVE it. In fact I like it so much I just bought another one! The new hardware Nav Button is very nice and with the larger onboard memory you probably won't need to use an SD card to hold your books.

Most Librarys that offer ebooks, offer then in Mobipocket format. As this was a selling feature for you, the Cybook and Iliad are the few ebook readers which read Mobipocket at this time. I hate being locked into one book store so being able to read Mobipocket on the Cybook was a HUGE selling feature for me. I can go to almost any ebookstore and buy any book I want in Mobipocket and thus pay the lowest possible price.

The main thing though is that you are happy with your purchase. As was said before, it's the words not the medium that matters. I'm sure you will love reading on an eink device, whichever one you pick.
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:10 PM   #24
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Plus the EB-1150 has a "look-up on the fly" dictionary, and a stylus touch screen for annotation or drawing funny pictures.

I have moved on to a Sony Reader (and should have my Kindle when I get home), but I still think the EB-1150 is a great device.

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I keep banging the drum for my eBookwise EB-1150, but it's great, not kidding.

CON:
Low tech and doesn't do anything much beyond text, no fancy graphics or anything

PRO:
  1. Inexpensive at $139, on sale now for $129
  2. Backlit for reading in bed
  3. Will display pretty much anything, even pdf, if you do a few small tweaks to the book
  4. Has a nice handgrip which makes it very comfortable to hold
  5. Fictionwise (parent company) has fantastic customer service. When mine broke in March, they sent me a whole new one for free, no questions asked.

All of the e-devices have their pros and cons, so just close your eyes, pick one, and start enjoying the literature. It's the words that matter, not the medium.

Happy Reading!
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:50 PM   #25
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So horribly confused...

Alright, I'm trying to fully understand, but I'm confused. I read the wikis and a bunch of other posts, and that kind of helps, but still lost.

Okay, I get that, beyond apparently being evil, DRM stuff is protected - but does that means that you can't put it on another device ever, or only the same brand/type (say there is a new generation, for example), or that you just can't convert it to a different type of file?

I also get that conversion is a pain for some, not so painful for others, and it seems that the Cybook doesn't need it so much but the Sony has the calibre program that pretty much converts anything anyway? Does it convert Mobi?

I've looked at some libraries, Fictionwise, and a romance publisher that prints every book as an ebook as well. I see Mobi at all of them, Adobe Reader on some, eReader on some, and Microsoft Reader on others (or combos of the three). So, if I'm understanding this correctly, Cybook (since Iliad is not a contender for me) is the only one that can read the Mobi, or can the Kindle as well? Can it be converted to be readable on a Sony? Which of the three can be read on a Sony, since Fictionwise has all but the Adobe as secure, yet on the nice wiki matrix it says Sony only does Sony DRM, or can none of them be read? Since the Cybook (on the matrix) says it reads only non-DRM PDF, does that mean it wouldn't be able to read those? Why does Fictionwise recommend eReader versions?

I've also read over and over in several different posts the evils of PDF and it not working right on the screen. If this just trying to bring a normal PDF from say, your computer, onto your reader and it isn't working, or is that a problem with ebooks that are the Adobe as well? (Logically, that wouldn't make much sense to me.)

And as Mobi seems to be the one that is the most popular, if I understand and the Kindle can read it, then why would (should?) I buy the Cybook without the WhisperNet, support, them doing my conversion, and stuff that the Kindle has when they're the same price now? (Outside of the looks of the two).

I probably have more, but I think that's more than enough questions for one post. Hope in my confusion I'm not being confusing.

Maybe there should be an "ebooks for Dummies" wiki added for the newbies.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:44 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by MidknytOwl View Post
Okay, I get that, beyond apparently being evil, DRM stuff is protected - but does that means that you can't put it on another device ever, or only the same brand/type (say there is a new generation, for example), or that you just can't convert it to a different type of file?
That is really unknown. You can put eBooks on multiple devices as long as the device supports the same DRM. For example, you can have up to 6 Kindles on a single Amazon account and they can all share the same books. You can register 6 "Devices" to your Sony account and share the same books. MobiDRM is keyed to a PID (personal ID) on a device. Most mobi stores let you specify up to 4 device PIDs. So, you could have a CyBook and an iLiad and a PocketPC and your PC and share books between them. Now eReader is the least restrictive. The "key" for an eReader book is the credit card you bought it with. You input that into your eReader software on the device and it works... there is no limit to the number of devices in this case.

As I said, the "future device" thing is not known. You would "hope" that Sony and Kindle support ebooks bought for the current device to work on a future version of the device... I expect that they will make every attempt. But, this issue is why many people like to have a nonDRMed archive format of what they buy so this issue doesn't bite them in the butt.

I will answer all the following questions assuming you are NOT cracking or removing DRM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidknytOwl View Post
...but the Sony has the calibre program that pretty much converts anything anyway? Does it convert Mobi?
Yes, as long as it is nonDRMed file.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidknytOwl View Post
Cybook (since Iliad is not a contender for me) is the only one that can read the Mobi, or can the Kindle as well?
Yes, if you are talking about library books they are probable time bombed DRM... so only the CyBook would read that.

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Can it be converted to be readable on a Sony?
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidknytOwl View Post
Which of the three can be read on a Sony, since Fictionwise has all but the Adobe as secure, yet on the nice wiki matrix it says Sony only does Sony DRM, or can none of them be read?
Correct, the only DRMed files the Sony [currently] supports is the protected BBeB (.lrx) files from the Sony/Borders ebook store.

Sony has demoed Adobe Digital Editions support on a 505 which could mean that a future update would include this. Then the Sony would support DRM'ed PDF files.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidknytOwl View Post
Since the Cybook (on the matrix) says it reads only non-DRM PDF, does that mean it wouldn't be able to read those? Why does Fictionwise recommend eReader versions?
Because Fictionwise owns eReader now, so they make the most money if you choose that format.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidknytOwl View Post
I've also read over and over in several different posts the evils of PDF and it not working right on the screen. If this just trying to bring a normal PDF from say, your computer, onto your reader and it isn't working, or is that a problem with ebooks that are the Adobe as well? (Logically, that wouldn't make much sense to me.)
It will "work". But, the display size is shrinked to fit the 6inch screen, so your A4 paper size layed out PDF will generally be to small to read. However, if the PDF is layed out for the 6inch screen it works fine. This is how the scifi-az.com ebooks are delievered to the sony and it works perfectly fine.

Quote:
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And as Mobi seems to be the one that is the most popular, if I understand and the Kindle can read it, then why would (should?) I buy the Cybook without the WhisperNet, support, them doing my conversion, and stuff that the Kindle has when they're the same price now? (Outside of the looks of the two).
The Kindle will not read DRMed Mobi files. (once again, assuming no cracking. That said, read the Kindle Format Basics thread for more info).

Hth,
BOb
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:35 AM   #27
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I've also read over and over in several different posts the evils of PDF and it not working right on the screen. If this just trying to bring a normal PDF from say, your computer, onto your reader and it isn't working, or is that a problem with ebooks that are the Adobe as well?

And as Mobi seems to be the one that is the most popular, if I understand and the Kindle can read it, then why would (should?) I buy the Cybook without the WhisperNet, support, them doing my conversion, and stuff that the Kindle has when they're the same price now?
Standard PDFs are designed to look just right on the original paper size. Adobe Reader ebooks, are often called PDFs (even sometimes by Adobe), but they are designed to reflow onto any screen size. I have never seen a good explanation of the difference, for example are Adobe's ebooks actually PDFs (and therefore displayable, when DRM-free, by standard PDF programs) or not? To make matters even more confusing, Adobe Digital Editions now also reads ePub ebooks with Adobe DRM. As a practical matter, Adobe ebooks almost always have DRM and so can only be read by Adobe programs. It looks like Adobe intends to make DE available for E-Ink devices (1st on the PRS-505), but this has not happened yet and won't happen on any device that supports MOBI DRM because Amazon requires DRM exclusivity.

The Kindle can read all DRM-free MOBIs, and DRM-ridden MOBIs from some sources will run on the Kindle without removing the DRM. See A Beginner's Guide to Kindle Content. Note that much of Guide applies to the Cybook and iLiad too, since they support MOBI.

I bought a Kindle, rather than a Cybook, partially because I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon and was sure of their customer support. I was a little worried that Amazon would decide to get out of the Kindle business at some point and leave its customers stranded (they have done this before, e.g. with Secure Adobe PDFs). I now think this is very unlikely, and AZW DRM can be cracked anyway (not all Kindle ebooks are AZW's though). The Cybook has a few technical advantages (better display of text, more fonts, more dictionaries) and it is therefore clearly the better choice outside the US, and it might even be the best choice for some in the US, but I am very happy with the Kindle and recommend it.
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Old 05-31-2008, 01:10 PM   #28
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Hi MidknytOwl,
pilotbob has done a great job explaining the details so let me give you a high level explanation.
(recommendation at the end of this post)

Truthfully no eInk book requires any conversion, so long as you buy the DRM from the provider. (PRS-500/505 from the sony book store), Kindle from Amazon. The Cybook is not tied to a book store and can read secure Mobi from any mobi provider. Fictionwise/Booksonboard/diesle-ebooks.

The reason a lot of SONY PRS users do convert is for two reasons. One to break the DRM handcuffs. This requires buying LIT/MOBI/eReader then converting them to LRF. Another reason is to get personal data or classics on the reader in an LRF fromat. While SONY does support (PDF/txt/rtf) it is much nicer to convert them to the native LRF format.

SONY does handle PDF very well. I personally read a lot of PDF on the reader with no issue. These PDF's however are printed/saved in a SONY page size format 90mmx120mm. For those PDF where I cannot change the page size. I use the PDFLRF tool to modify them.
The comment "PDFs don't work on XYZ" device is because most people don't understand the limitation of the PDF technology. Let me give you an analogy to best describe it.
Say you have document on a 8.5x11" paper you want to copy but you only have a paper of 3.54x4.72" (90mmx120mm) at your disposal. If you want to get all of the content on the paper you will have to shrink down the original image by about 50% to get it to fit.
After you look at the reduce page size you realize you cannot read the page the fonts are too small.
Users says: Copy machine does not work:
Folks that say PDF do not work are equivalent the the user in the analogy saying the 'copy machine does not work'.


Okay in the end here is what I have to say
The CyBook is going to give you the most freedom. Because the Cybook supports secure Mobi you will be able to purchase books from most eBook sites out there. Some of those sites have very competitive prices for Romance. If all you really want is a reader to read romance books this might be the way to go.

The Kindle seems to have the best price for Non-Fiction (my preference) and seems somewhat competitive on their Romance but not as cheep as FctWise.

PRS-505 I have this device and no grips here, I really like the reader. The community support is the best. Because of I tend to read a lot of non-fiction as well as fiction. I've really benefited from the community tools such as Clibre and PDFLRF. And yes Calibre converts (LIT/Mobi) quite well, they just have to be un secured.

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Old 05-31-2008, 09:59 PM   #29
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You guys rock.

I think I'm starting to get it. Mobi is looking like the easiest for me to get and not have to worry about converting. I've looked at the Cybook more though, and I like the Sony better in most aspects. Besides, with shipping, the Cybook is $110 more than the Sony, more if it ends up going on sale again, and I would still have to buy a cover.

How complicated is the converting programs? I remember reading somewhere (not sure if it was here) that for the Sony you should go with Lit files because those were the easiest to convert, but is that correct? How are the Mobis (mobies?)? If someone (not me, of course), was to remove the DRMs, which would be the easiest?

I think I'll hold off for now and see either what the Astak Lite will be like, although the first generation thing still makes me nervous. Or for the Sony to go on sale again. (We'll see how long that self-control lasts...)

Since there are couple of books available for free over at Fictionwise, would it be possible to try to convert some and see how it goes without having a reader to put them on? If so, would I be able to see if it works without a reader?

Sorry for the continuous questions! I appreciate the replies and how nice you guys are though. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside...like I just swallowed a puppy.
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:24 PM   #30
MidknytOwl
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Posts: 108
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: This year: Back home in Las Vegas
Device: Shiny new Sony PRS 350
Oh, and I meant to mention that romance tends to be my fiction of choice (junk food for the brain and all), but I like non-fictions as well. I usually only have the extra brain power for romances during the school year, especially considering the limited reading time I have, but I go a bit crazy with the non-fictions once my brain has fully recovered.
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