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Old 10-09-2008, 06:52 AM   #1
lithprinter
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Got my Cybook - initial thoughts

I got my Cybook Gen3 yesterday and have been playing around with it. Thought I'd post my initial thoughts. I was going to get the Sony 505 via Waterstones, but changed my mind when the Cybook came down to ú180 and the fact that it is cheaper to get mobipocket books in the UK than Sony. Plus the terrible Waterstones site of course. I thought this might also help other people decide.

On the plus side:

It came with a case. I didn't know this and was on the verge of buying a separate expensive one. Glad I didn't now as the case provided seems adequate for the time being. I think the case is essential.

I got to grips with the page refresh pretty quickly. At first it seems like a long delay, but you quickly get used to pressing the button before you reach the end of the last sentence on a page. Don't notice it now.

The screen is nice. It is easy to read and changing font size on mobipocket books is great. I've also downloaded some 'text' books via Gutenberg etc. and they all seem fine when imported via mobipocket software.

I upgraded to the latest firmware with no problems at all. It was easy but you need to have that SD card handy.

PDFs. I use pdfs a lot at work. I am an academic so I download a lot of journal articles and reports in A4 size format. I was pleasantly surprised by how well they read in landscape format with the auto page width. Government reports were also easy enough to read without panning across. Not perfect, but adequate. Even the graphics were OK. There were no equations or fancy stuff in these though, just charts and graphs. The worst part is the overlap when scrolling. It seems to move down a page very slowly because it does not scroll the entire visible section off the screen at a time. I can live with this though.

Negatives:

I don't like the buttons. The main page turning button is very clunky and unresponsive. The side buttons could have been better laid out. I keep hitting the mp3 player button when I want the menu (why is the mp3 button at the top?) This is a minor niggle.

The worst aspect has to be the filing system. No tree structure for filing books. I can't imagine how difficult it is going to be scrolling through page after page of books in a long list when the thing starts to get a decent library on it. I am aware that you can sort by file/folder name so I guess that a good file naming and folder structure convention has to be thought out at the outset. I am still thinking about this before I upload more onto it.

The mobipocket software is also pretty poor. It doesn't seem to have a good filing system either and it is far from intuitive. Every pdf file I tried to import got screwed up so it is better to leave them in pdf. But then the software only displays imported books. There should be a dedicated software tool to sync with the reader that is independent of the book format (maybe there already is one...?) It is also hard to tell where the files are going (eg if you want some of them on the SD card rather than in dedicated memory there isn't a lot you can do about it as far as I can tell).

Overall I like it and I am glad I got it. It will help me a lot with work documents as well as reading novels especially when travelling. My wife wants one now too.
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:06 AM   #2
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A couple of suggestions:

1. Make sure that your books have distinctive cover images (all the Mobi books that I upload here do) and use the 20 titles per page, "cover only" library display mode. It makes navigation hugely faster. I have about 300 books on my Gen3 and can navigate to any one in a few seconds that way.

2. Don't use the Mobi Reader software for loading books on the device, simply use Windows Explorer and drag the files directly to the mounted USB drive; it's far quicker.
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:25 AM   #3
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Thanks, Harry. Those sound like very sensible suggestions.
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
A couple of suggestions:

1. Make sure that your books have distinctive cover images (all the Mobi books that I upload here do) and use the 20 titles per page, "cover only" library display mode. It makes navigation hugely faster. I have about 300 books on my Gen3 and can navigate to any one in a few seconds that way.

2. Don't use the Mobi Reader software for loading books on the device, simply use Windows Explorer and drag the files directly to the mounted USB drive; it's far quicker.
At 1. As far as I know it isn't possible to give PDF's a cover image, if there is I really would like to know how.

At 2. I was going to point out exactly the same but (as usual) Harry beat me to it
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:43 AM   #5
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At 1. As far as I know it isn't possible to give PDF's a cover image, if there is I really would like to know how.
True. I don't use PDFs, so that's not an issue for me personally.
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
1. Make sure that your books have distinctive cover images (all the Mobi books that I upload here do) and use the 20 titles per page, "cover only" library display mode. It makes navigation hugely faster. I have about 300 books on my Gen3 and can navigate to any one in a few seconds that way.
How do you do that? With 20-view I get 14 pages and to change page I have to press the button 5 times. It took me 50 seconds now to get from page 1 to age 14 in library view. Am I missing something? A few seconds is for me around 5 seconds at most.
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:02 AM   #7
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My use of the word is a little more liberal, Tommy. I'm not placing an exact definition on it, just saying that for me personally, in that library view, the time taken to locate a particular book is not an issue.

You seem to be a little more impatient than I am; I've noticed that you've commented on how "slow" dictionary lookup is, something which again I find personally to be an insignificant time.

Obviously you're "living life in the fast lane" as we say here. I take things at a slower pace .
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by tompe View Post
How do you do that? With 20-view I get 14 pages and to change page I have to press the button 5 times. It took me 50 seconds now to get from page 1 to age 14 in library view. Am I missing something? A few seconds is for me around 5 seconds at most.
And it took 60 seconds in 5-view were you see the author name. So really no advantage with 20-view.
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:17 AM   #9
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It is possible to get PDFs to display a cover image on the CyBook library screen, but it's tricky. You need to create an suitable .t2b file and copy it onto the Cybook with the ebook file.

If you're on Windows, there is a .t2b creator program, see

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...23&postcount=3

Paul

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Originally Posted by ErwinOtten View Post
At 1. As far as I know it isn't possible to give PDF's a cover image, if there is I really would like to know how.

At 2. I was going to point out exactly the same but (as usual) Harry beat me to it
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:26 AM   #10
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It is possible to get PDFs to display a cover image on the CyBook library screen, but it's tricky. You need to create an suitable .t2b file and copy it onto the Cybook with the ebook file.
Now that truly is a "cunning plan", Paul! I'm impressed .
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:40 AM   #11
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My use of the word is a little more liberal, Tommy. I'm not placing an exact definition on it, just saying that for me personally, in that library view, the time taken to locate a particular book is not an issue.

You seem to be a little more impatient than I am; I've noticed that you've commented on how "slow" dictionary lookup is, something which again I find personally to be an insignificant time.

Obviously you're "living life in the fast lane" as we say here. I take things at a slower pace .
So with a few seconds you meant around 50 seconds? I think your formulation is very misleading and can fool people. I would be very surprised if somebody thought you meant 50 seconds with "I have about 300 books on my Gen3 and can navigate to any one in a few seconds that way".

The reason I measured it is that I do not like it when people are mislead.
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Old 10-09-2008, 10:55 AM   #12
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So with a few seconds you meant around 50 seconds?
Well, I often found "a minute" or "a couple of minutes" in books, where it obviously means a far shorter time. For instance, they say that someone remains silent for a minute... in a context where 60 full seconds would seem an eternity. The bottom line is time is relative
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:42 AM   #13
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So with a few seconds you meant around 50 seconds? I think your formulation is very misleading and can fool people. I would be very surprised if somebody thought you meant 50 seconds with "I have about 300 books on my Gen3 and can navigate to any one in a few seconds that way".

The reason I measured it is that I do not like it when people are mislead.
Please don't take things so literally, Tommy; the English language doesn't work like that. If someone says to you "I'll be there in a minute", it doesn't mean "60 seconds precisely", but "a fairly short, but indefinite, time".

For me, the time taken to find a book in the Gen3's library is "short". You may not perceive it to be; that's fine. Nobody is trying to "mislead" anyone.
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:29 PM   #14
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I too like the cybook. The only problem I have with pdfs is the panning is more of a "jump" than a gradual pan & if it is a large pdf, it just gives up and doesn't open them, just try an 18 or 20Mb pdf. As for anything else, brilliant :-)
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:47 PM   #15
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Hi

Good you like your Cybook, and are enjoying it to the full.

The Mobipoket Reader Desktop software just deals with that, Mobipocket files, so no managing of other content.

As stated before I advise you to use windows explorer (or the file software of your OS) to copy your books to the Cybook Books folder and not use the sync function of the Mobipocket Reader.
Still if you want to use this, you can make Microsoft Reader choose where to put your books by choosing the left option Reading devices, Cybook, Synchronisation , an then choose from: Best location, Card or Main Memory.
When you insert your SD card into the Cybook for the first time it creates several folders (almost the same you have in the Cybook itself), the eBooks are to be put in the Books folder of course (if you want to use that option).

Great your lady wants one too!
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