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Old 08-13-2014, 07:26 PM   #1
2bits
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Question Kobo ereaders nearly perfect or extremely buggy?

Idle thoughts ...

From the internet so it must be true ...
Kobo E-Reader Sales - May 28, 2013 have 14.5 million users.
at a rough estimate - currently (2014) users = 16,000,000

At a 1% problem rate

there would be 16,000,000 / 100
or 160,000 problem units in use

If 1 in 10 users ask for help or complained
on the mobileread Kobo ereader forum
there would be perhaps 16,000 posters complaining

Mobileread Kobo ereader forum has currently
posts = 110,000
threads = 7,000
(16 posts / thread average)

If 80% of all the threads were dealing with "problems"
one would expect (.8 x 7,000) 5,600 problems
and
if half the posts were complaints and half were responses
the unique "users with problems" might be 1/2 x 16 x 5,600
= 44,800 users with problems


From the above:
A 1% problem rate suggests 16,000 problem units
and
mobileread Kobo forum suggests 44,800 users with problems
or a 3.6% problem rate

Assuming this 3.6% problem rate ...
there would be 7 customers in 200 with a problem
and some/many? of these problems might be due to
operator error, badly formatted ebooks
or other factors beyond the control of Kobo

My question:

Is it correct to describe this situation as
Kobo devices and software are extremely buggy ... ?

Could it be that:

1) More than 193 users in 200 are in fact satisfied

2) Fewer than 7 users in 200 have any perceived problem

and

3) Some/most/almost all perceived problems
have been resolved


Could it be that:

"Internet Magnification" is in effect ?

so

If someone (or a few or even a few 100 folks)
on the internet
gives something/anything a
thumbs up (or down)
they can be safely ignored.

Because:

For each one with a problem there are 100
(or 1,000 or a million)
who don't even notice one way or the other.

Is it a case where misery love company.
-like- birds flock together
and therefore make up close to
100% of the flock
These birds are however (almost) irrelevant
in the world of
ALL birds.

While an individual with a problem feels impacted 100%
Most are not impacted at all.

Rather than "extremely buggy"
Perhaps Kobo ereaders are nearly ideal or
almost perfect.



(ok my laundry is dry now)

Later ...

Last edited by 2bits; 08-13-2014 at 07:32 PM. Reason: spelling corrections
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:32 PM   #2
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I have used Kobo readers since original Kobo Wifi in 2011. I have only seen one firmware release that caused me to stop using Kobo readers for a few months. I used my Sony T1 for that period. Most of the complaints about Kobo bugs have been entertaining background noise that did not affect my using Kobo readers.

I do not have a Kobo that would receive this last update but Kobo should have posted notice here weeks ago that this update was stopped until it was fixed.

Last edited by filmo; 08-13-2014 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:01 AM   #3
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Neither? I mean, mine's nearly perfect for me, but that doesn't mean I think it would be nearly perfect for everyone. And I've never believed the "SO BUGGY OMG KOBO IS THE WOOOORST AVOID AVOID AVOID" attitude that a small minority of people seem to have. I've seen the occasional speedbump, but not really any more or less than I've seen with the Kindles and Sonys that I've supported.
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:22 AM   #4
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also, I if were to visit the nearest big shopping centere is search of an epub reader device, I would not find anyu other make?
they must be doing something right to have got close to 100% market share, and very close to 100% of in-store market share.

yes there maybe some obscure brands still left on ebay in ion specialist web site that your average punter will never find, but really - who,ve they got to worry about.

(Of course you can read into that they then no longer need worry about quality
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:26 AM   #5
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I'm not sure the maths work.

Some people have problems, some people don't. But there's a world of difference between someone having trouble adjusting the margins in a sideloaded epub and asking for help, versus someone who's had the database fail.

There's also a difference between a genuine hardware failure due to poor construction and a broken screen due to dropping the Kobo.

So I don't think you can assume posts that are about problems would be included all as "buggy".
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:05 AM   #6
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So I don't think you can assume posts that are about problems would be included all as "buggy".
I agree. I had a bit of a hard time getting used to the ways a Kobo displays a book vs the Kindle I had used before it, but now I'm used to it and not as bothered about things I posted about when the device was new to me. Either way most of those issues weren't anything I'd consider bugs. There are still things I don't like, but there are things I don't like about other brands too & overall I'd call the device satisfying. Also I think some of my first impressions were colored by major problems I've had with Kobo's customer service and wouldn't be surprised if some others are too. IMO they still don't have great CS.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:03 AM   #7
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I agree. I had a bit of a hard time getting used to the ways a Kobo displays a book vs the Kindle I had used before it, but now I'm used to it and not as bothered about things I posted about when the device was new to me. Either way most of those issues weren't anything I'd consider bugs. There are still things I don't like, but there are things I don't like about other brands too & overall I'd call the device satisfying. Also I think some of my first impressions were colored by major problems I've had with Kobo's customer service and wouldn't be surprised if some others are too. IMO they still don't have great CS.
While I agree it was a little jarring moving from a Kindle (and it's formatting of eBooks) to the Kobo and it's large top/bottom margin settings and abnormal use of spaces between paragraphs in it's eBooks. The fact that the long paragraph bug exists on the epub engine and cut off text on the lowest side margin setting exists on the kepub engine shows how buggy and unrefined the software for this eReader is. Frankly neither of those problems should have ever gotten past testing let alone be tolerated on the finished consumer product. Couple that with the large amount of formatting errors in their retail eBooks that are caused by their proprietary kepub conversions and you can plainly see that the complaints are pretty justified.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:35 AM   #8
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.. The fact that the long paragraph bug exists on the epub engine and cut off text on the lowest side margin setting exists on the kepub engine shows how buggy and unrefined the software for this eReader is. Frankly neither of those problems should have ever gotten past testing let alone be tolerated on the finished consumer product.
it they had been present only in ihe inital rellease, and then fixed shortly after , 'twould not be so bad, but for them STILL to be there after many many firmware upgrades is very poor. As is the lack of a change log, the general opacity and lack of feedback for bug reporting ( unless you have an inside track...)

but -trying to maintain some perspective - I have never seen the kebub margin bug ( maybe because I don't use that margin setting), and the long para bug has only really annoyed me in one specific story of of ~100 that I've read on the device.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:13 AM   #9
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My 2cents: In one year of use i've never encountered bugs or problems (but, I use sideloaded kepubs only and wifi always off so it doesn't upgrade) and never had to reset, log out or even turn it off. I'm extremely happy with my Kobo (and the amazing plugins those here at mr have created), it is perfect for me and I have no complaints (for now ) Setting it up was very easy and reading is pleasant, nothing distracts me because everything works just fine.
So, i guess it's also a bit of luck and the different ways we use them ...
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:37 AM   #10
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I picked up a Kobo device in October 2012 and have been very happy with it. Making the assumption that all "problem" posts mean there are bugs with Kobo devices isn't valid. Many "problem" posts on here have often been that it doesn't behave in a way the user would prefer, not that any of it is actually broken. While Kobo should strive to meet the needs of it's users, it's clearly positioning itself to be a mass-market device, and some of the esoteric or extremely niche views of what it should be able to do or how it should operate that I've seen suggested here are things Kobo simply isn't going to pursue.

That being said, I certainly had some bugs with my device. Since Kobo has moved to the unified firmware, however, things have gotten much better. Particularly with FW 3.3.0, 3.4.0 and 3.5.0, while a few small bugs remain, the devices are very reliable. I do very little "fixing" or "tweaking" with my device nowadays; simply update my Kobo Patcher for the new version to change some of the font sizes, line heights and to enable the advanced font controls for side-loaded fonts (again, both things that certainly aren't bugs or "problems" in the traditional sense; just tweaks to match my preferences).

Suitably, I've noticed that the general number of support requests on the forum has gone down over the past 6 months, which is testament to the improved reliability and UI/UX design the devices have received in more recent firmwares.
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:35 PM   #11
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My first Kobo was the AuraHD, it was not my first ereader though. I do not like the database approach to book management vs. a file manager approach. I do not like the "Rewards" and other marketing efforts. I do not like the data gathering done for both Kobo and Google Analitics.

I DO like that, at least originally, much of the software was implemented in human readable scripting language. I DO like that they came out with the highest resolution ereader available. Another thing I DO like is that I need not depend on the Kobo supplied User Interface or their reading software. Thanks to the folks at Github, a number of whom post here. Plus a few others posting here who are independent of the Koreader Github project.

From my point of view, the near perfection of the Kobo AuraHD (for my use), is not totally, perhaps not even largely, something to credit Kobo with.

Luck;
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:54 PM   #12
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My first Kobo was the AuraHD, it was not my first ereader though. I do not like the database approach to book management vs. a file manager approach. I do not like the "Rewards" and other marketing efforts. I do not like the data gathering done for both Kobo and Google Analitics.


Ken
thh database approach would worry me if I planned ot have 100s of books on the device. but as I limit myself to about 5 at at time, I don't much care how they are stored. the downside of the database is that if it corrupts you potentially lose everything,
as for the other stuff. keep wi-fi off, stay with library view when not actually reading & its pretty easy to forget that it even exists
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
My first Kobo was the AuraHD, it was not my first ereader though. I do not like the database approach to book management vs. a file manager approach. I do not like the "Rewards" and other marketing efforts. I do not like the data gathering done for both Kobo and Google Analitics.

I DO like that, at least originally, much of the software was implemented in human readable scripting language. I DO like that they came out with the highest resolution ereader available. Another thing I DO like is that I need not depend on the Kobo supplied User Interface or their reading software. Thanks to the folks at Github, a number of whom post here. Plus a few others posting here who are independent of the Koreader Github project.

From my point of view, the near perfection of the Kobo AuraHD (for my use), is not totally, perhaps not even largely, something to credit Kobo with.

Luck;
Ken
Again, making the point, is there's nothing inhernetly "wrong" or "buggy" about their approach. They make no attempt to hide that the reader navigation is through a metadata-based approach, which by definition requires a database to manage the metadata, and the system they've designed to do that works pretty well.

You may prefer otherwise, but the device works well in how it was designed.

Personally, I prefer the metadata based approach. It allows me to slice a cross-section of my library in multiple ways instead of being locked into a rigid file-based structure. With the database I can look at books by author, series, genre, or any other criteria I'd like. It allows me to group and find books through multiple parameters quickly and easily.

I'm sure, to some degree, there's also an age-related bias towards one or the other. While I'm young enough to have decent experience with file managers, autoexec.bat and himem.sys, the benefits presented by a "Library" approach based on metadata have won me over and I couldn't care less where files end up (that being said, I have Calibre organizing my books by author through the file structure on the reader).
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:24 PM   #14
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thh database approach would worry me if I planned ot have 100s of books on the device. but as I limit myself to about 5 at at time, I don't much care how they are stored. the downside of the database is that if it corrupts you potentially lose everything,
as for the other stuff. keep wi-fi off, stay with library view when not actually reading & its pretty easy to forget that it even exists
Books are not stored in the database so database corruption should not lose books. If the only place you are storing sideloaded books is on the internal storage, you would have to backup before doing a factory reset/log out to wipe the database back to factory. If your books are stored on an external uSD card, that backup/restore is not necessary. Metadata, reading positions, some annotations, etc. will be lost but you can reset/log out of the ereader and the database will be rebuilt without permanently losing any books. Some information and your Kobo purchased kepubs will be restored from the cloud.

I do not use collections/shelves due to a preference for using search to locate a specific book/author/series so the database works for me. Admittedly, I also use search to locate a specific book on my computer in the directory containing a saved copy of my Calibre library. For instance, say I am looking for volume 24 of the Grantville Gazette. Using the Kobo UI from the home page (search is set to start in Library), I hit the menu button, type gr in the search box and the second item is Grantville Gazette followed by Grantville Gazette Volume 1, 2, 3 etc. Using Koreader's file manager, it takes me a few more keystrokes/taps/swipes plus having to remember that volumes 1 to 10 were edited by Eric Flint and volumes 11 to 54+ are edited by Paula Goodlett.

Perhaps having both would be nice but, at this time, given a choice between search and a file manager, I prefer search. And yes, I am rather familiar with file managers, for more years that I care to remember, going back to DG's RDOS then continuing through CPM and it's variants -- anyone else here remember ZCPR?

Regards,
David

Last edited by DNSB; 08-14-2014 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:43 PM   #15
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with the Kobo for Android app - books do seem to be all stored in a single database, so if that corrupts., or if you need to delete & re-install the app, you lose EVERYTHING

I take your point that on the e-readers, they probably do exist as individual files still, and so are better able to survive a database crash. To be honest, with my epubs, for Aura, I just usb to PC, go to calibre & say send to device, I don't pay any mind to how they are stored once they get there!

Though I read that with kobo store books, the Kobo DRM ties them to a device specific key, meaning that if you cannot copy them to a different Kobo device, even if you set that up with the same credentials - you have to re-download them from Kobo servers.

Amazon do the same, but unlike Amazon, Kobo have been known to de-list books and that then leads to problems like the case that I was reading about recently- you can't download a copy from their store onto your new device if it is no longer in the store!
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