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Old 09-07-2008, 09:25 PM   #1
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The new 12 firmware upgrade - My take

The positive

This new version is quite good.
The upgrade went smooth and as long as I know it happen the same with all the people who upgrade until now… something that was quite different with the last version, who has “bricked” quite some people machines.

The overall impression is very positive: zero crashes and reboots, the reader is faster and more responsive and the loosing of keys pressed zero (I had almost none with the last upgrade too).

PDF

It works.
Now it reads every PDF I have thrown in… I have even tested with a full PDF colour 130 pages magazine 42 Megs in size and the little devil did open it.
But… it was completely useless, taking a regular 1.5 minutes to open and to turn pages.

My experience is: the more complex the file, the slower is the machine… meaning here complex: colour and complicated formatted PDFs.

Text/image PDF files run fast (not so fast as Mobipocket/txt/html ones, but very close), and even when they are a little slow to open, after that they turn the pages quite fast.
Single image files /scanned PDFs are slower to turn pages… but still acceptable.


The negative

This was not the road I wanted.
Zooming PDF files is not the solution… Ok one can read some files… hell read quite some files… but for me is not the answer.

I have stated before in “ePub and Pdf that can reflow - I want it all and I want it now!” (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26916) that I think a much better answer is the road taken by Sony for it’s 505 reader = reflowing text PDF’s.
I think the perfect solution would be both, good zooming “a la Cybook” and reflowing “a la Sony”, and the user would choose what was more comfortable for him(her) in each situation.


Finally

I’m pretty pleased that this solution contemplates both version of the Cybook (64 and 512 Megs), and who knows this is one reason why the flowing of PDF’s was not chosen. Maybe someone with inside information can comment on this.

Also PDF’s are now quite acceptable… and I bet evolution in this field for the 6” Cybook will stop here… pity I say… but it’s much better then it was in the last version when 8 out of 10 PDF’s would not open or crashed the machine.

Hell… if this will be so… I can always go out and buy a Sony…
I would love to not come to that! I like my Cybook and it answers my needs - it has paid itself several times this 7 months I have it.

Now the “the left out question”: nothing is said about ePUB for the next firmware… so, Bookeen are you considering it? Or our reader is not going to offer that option?

Best regards,
PS: very curious to what will be the Mobipocket improvements in the next firmware…
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:37 PM   #2
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thanks ddharriman for this very thoughtful review. it's really useful to hear some details of the upgrade for people who are unsure whether to do it or not.

as for epub, the last news i had from bookeen was that they definitely plan to implement it, because they want to support as many formats as possible. so hopefully soon (i too am very very eager for epub support on as many devices as possible !!). and who knows ; once they have epub, perhaps they will also implement reflowable pdfs. we can hope ! but epub first, please, bookeen !
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:57 PM   #3
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Hi Zelda

Thanks! And yes... if someone is doubtful about upgrading the firmware do not think twice, just do it! You will have a better machine!

So up at this hour?
Hey, you are in France, so that makes that you are up at near 3 in the morning! Insomnia? or just reading late?

Best regards,
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDHarriman View Post
So up at this hour?
Hey, you are in France, so that makes that you are up at near 3 in the morning! Insomnia? or just reading late?

Best regards,
just on my own personal timetable... i'm going to bed soon though. really.

but if you're in portugal, you are up late too !! so what is your excuse ?
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:38 PM   #5
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Thanks for the review, DDHarriman. This sounds like a very good upgrade - and I'll load it on our Cybook.

Last edited by cbell; 09-07-2008 at 11:29 PM. Reason: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?p=247602#post247602
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
as for epub, the last news i had from bookeen was that they definitely plan to implement it, because they want to support as many formats as possible. so hopefully soon (i too am very very eager for epub support on as many devices as possible !!). and who knows ; once they have epub, perhaps they will also implement reflowable pdfs. we can hope ! but epub first, please, bookeen !
But how useful is DRM-free ePub going to be? We know for a fact that we're not going to get support for Adobe Digital Editions (ie ePub with Adobe DRM) because of Mobi's insistance that they be the only DRM-format on a device.
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:26 AM   #7
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One other aspect that might be handy to mention--what about battery life compared to the old firmware? I know it's early still--but if anyone has any info that'd be great (I haven't used my cybook enough since I upgraded it to tell...)
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
But how useful is DRM-free ePub going to be? We know for a fact that we're not going to get support for Adobe Digital Editions (ie ePub with Adobe DRM) because of Mobi's insistance that they be the only DRM-format on a device.
Very useful, since it will allow the Cybook to support a modern, open ebook format. This in turn will allow people to easily generate high quality ebooks for the cybook.
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Old 09-08-2008, 05:10 AM   #9
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Very useful, since it will allow the Cybook to support a modern, open ebook format. This in turn will allow people to easily generate high quality ebooks for the cybook.
Sorry, Kovid, you slightly misunderstand me. I agree that it will be useful for user-created content. I was questioning how much commercial content was likely to become available in DRM-free ePub format.
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Old 09-08-2008, 05:15 AM   #10
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Sorry, Kovid, you slightly misunderstand me. I agree that it will be useful for user-created content. I was questioning how much commercial content was likely to become available in DRM-free ePub format.
In the long term, possibly all of it
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:06 AM   #11
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Zelda

It was one hour early (we have the same timetable as England), so two in the morning… but for me that is normal, and yes I went to bed immediately after that post.

Duodora

I have not tested how long the battery lasts now - but I have never worried about it before as it had given me always much more time that I really needed.
People have tested it before, maybe they are in the mood do it again?

Bets regards,

Last edited by DDHarriman; 09-08-2008 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:04 AM   #12
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But how useful is DRM-free ePub going to be? We know for a fact that we're not going to get support for Adobe Digital Editions (ie ePub with Adobe DRM) because of Mobi's insistance that they be the only DRM-format on a device.
How do we know this as a fact? Have you seen something from Bookeen that this is in their licensing deal with Mobipocket? I might have missed it but I'd like to see the fact.

I can get DRM Mobipocket on my Palm with other DRM content.
I can get DRM Mobipocket on my computer with other DRM content.
I can get DRM content on my iPod Touch and they're reported to be developing a Mobipocket reader for the Touch/iPhone.
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:11 AM   #13
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It is well-known that a condition of implementing the Mobi reader on a device is that no other DRM format is permitted to be built-in; this has been confirmed many times by device manufacturers, etc. We're not talking about machines like Pocket PCs, Palms, desktop PCs, etc, on which applications can be installed, but to devices with pre-installed software.
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:00 AM   #14
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It is well-known that a condition of implementing the Mobi reader on a device is that no other DRM format is permitted to be built-in; this has been confirmed many times by device manufacturers, etc. We're not talking about machines like Pocket PCs, Palms, desktop PCs, etc, on which applications can be installed, but to devices with pre-installed software.
I wouldn't classify it as a fact unless Bookeen or Mobipocket have confirmed it or you've seen the license agreement between the two.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:26 AM   #15
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I wouldn't classify it as a fact unless Bookeen or Mobipocket have confirmed it or you've seen the license agreement between the two.
It is "well known" from multiple sources, and has not been contradicted by anyone. The best source from an actual vendor is in Astak Mentor eBook readers with WiFi and Touchscreen options (I'm not sure where in this 54 page thread you might find the best info, but its in there, from Robertb, multiple times). For this reason, and no other, Astak plans to produce two versions: a) the Mentor which will support at least two reader packages (eReader and Adobe Digital Editions, the latter perhaps after the initial release) and others if they can get them, and b) the LiteBook which will only support MOBI.

The distinction between classic handhelds and dedicated ebook readers is that the reader software is downloaded from 3rd parties after buying the device in the former case and bundled with the device in the latter case. This is why EInk devices with WinCE are potentially interesting - they might be able to follow the download model rather than the bundled model. It might be easier to produce a general purpose EInk handheld running Linux (the iLiad very nearly is such a device), but there is currently no downloadable DRMed ebook reader software for Linux.

Last edited by wallcraft; 09-08-2008 at 11:29 AM.
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