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Old 08-28-2009, 02:17 PM   #1
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Is eBookwise a wise choice?

I am considering an eBookwise and have two questions for current owners:

1. Can ebooks bought at Fictionwise/Ereader for a Palm be used or converted to the Ebookwise?

2. Is the eBookwise still a viable machine today with a future?

Thanks.

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Old 08-28-2009, 02:43 PM   #2
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I wound up selling my eBookwise because it's huge and weighs a ton I have a Sony now and much prefer it. To answer your questions...

1) Sort of. If you are willing to strip the DRM, you'll get an HTML file which you can easily use with the eBookwise, or with any other device you have. But you'll need to be prepared to do a little fiddling. I did not know of this when I had my eBookwise so I only read multiformat Fictionwise books on it.

2) I am going to say no, for two reasons. First, the trend seems to be eink and the eBookwise is LCD. So it won't get much lighter, and it won't get much fancier. Also, the eBookwise bookstore is crapola. Sorry, but it is. Nearly all the books are 'protected' IMP files, and by 'protected' this means you can only read it on the actual device to buy it on. So, if you have an eBookwise, buy a book in this format, and then your reader breaks or gets stolen or whatever, and you buy another device FROM THEM, you can't re-download it. This is the most restrictive DRM in the biz and imho is a losing proposition. Other bookstores which have devices associated with them sell in more open formats. Amazon has a proprietary format but you can read it on more than one device, and Sony is selling protected ePub which can be read on numerous devices.

Just my opinion I sold mine to a good home where the person already had an eBookwise, knew what he was in for, and was techie enough to much around with other formats. I would not personaly buy an eBookwise again.
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Old 08-28-2009, 04:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akira28 View Post
I am considering an eBookwise and have two questions for current owners:

1. Can ebooks bought at Fictionwise/Ereader for a Palm be used or converted to the Ebookwise?
Fictionwise Muliformat ebooks can be used, but not ereader .pdb files without deDRM'ing them with some dark reverser's ereader2html.py. If you want mainstream ebooks, your selection may be wanting with just Fictionwise.

Quote:
2. Is the eBookwise still a viable machine today with a future?
If price is a concern or if you want to do a lot of reading at night, then the ebookwise ebook reader (aka EBW1150) IS a viable choice. It is ancient (circa 2001) hardware (LCD touchscreen with relatively heavier battery), but it is well built and rock solid as an ebook reader i.e. allows annotations, highlights, dictionary look-ups, bookmarking, left-hand use, etc...!

It isn't flashy, trendy or ultra-light, but as an entry level ebook reader it is alright, IMHO.

And a couple of points about ficbot's post above, namely:
Quote:
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Also, the eBookwise bookstore is crapola. Sorry, but it is. Nearly all the books are 'protected' IMP files, and by 'protected' this means you can only read it on the actual device to buy it on.
Yes, this ebook reader was designed with DRM that ties it to just your reader's hardware serial number and your Ebook ID. That's the way things were almost a decade ago...

Quote:
So, if you have an eBookwise, buy a book in this format, and then your reader breaks or gets stolen or whatever, and you buy another device FROM THEM, you can't re-download it.
Not so, as the ETI ebook server can be authorized to re-transfer a broken, lost or stolen unit's ebook personal library to a new device. However, it's best to have ebookwise/ETI customer service handle this for you. The Ebook ID is retained, but just reassigned to your new unit's machine serial number. Quite clever these ETI folks...

Quote:
This is the most restrictive DRM in the biz and imho is a losing proposition. Other bookstores which have devices associated with them sell in more open formats. Amazon has a proprietary format but you can read it on more than one device, and Sony is selling protected ePub which can be read on numerous devices.
Yes, that's true, but it would be even nicer to have a little or no DRM. Perhaps in a few years...

Quote:
Just my opinion I sold mine to a good home where the person already had an eBookwise, knew what he was in for, and was techie enough to much around with other formats. I would not personaly buy an eBookwise again.
I think if you like it for what it can do, then it will be a good choice. Oh, btw, these units do hold their value well when listed on ebay or such, so if you change your mind afterwards, you wouldn't have lost a whole lot... Just my 2 cents.

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Old 08-29-2009, 02:52 AM   #4
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I've had an eBookwise for coming up on 3 years and still love it.

It fits in my lunch box, is very sturdy and has nearly perfect ergonomics. It's cheap. The librarian software works just fine and converts HTML fairly well. I have a pile of .lit files that I convert with Amberlit and then convert to .imp with the librarian without trouble.

If the screen gets gunky, I scrape the larger bits off with a fingernail and wipe it clean on my tee shirt. My son has not managed to damage it and I do let him "draw" on it with the stylus.

I'm on my second 1150, I sold the first thinking I would just love the larger 1200/2150/ETI1 but it was a bust as it won't fit in my lunch box. The replacement came from ebay. There is a seller that has brand new units in the original box. I re-registered with my user name and all of my purchased ebooks (all four or five) and all of the free ones were avaiable without any special effort on my part.

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Old 08-29-2009, 03:53 AM   #5
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yes and no

I love my little eb1150, however that being said.

Its great for what it does, it is a sturdy little reader that is back lit and very reasonably priced.

Whats bad? You have to convert file types, this is not going to go away. If you don't want to have to bother, this is not the device for you. Its more or less easy to convert files for it, lit files convert well and rtf or html work just fine as well.

If you buy alot of multiformat books from fictionwise this is not an issue as they have .imp as one of the available formats.

I like mine, and I have bought a newer e-ink device because it is a bother with the newer drm'd books to have to convert all the time.

However, so far my little eb1150 has been very reliable, and with over a year of heavy use it is still working very well, which is more than I can say about my e-ink one which I have managed to break 2 times.

I think that for people who have researched the eb1150 and don't mind the limitations it has its a great device and you will find most of us that have one have very nice things to say about it. Its reliable, its not fancy or the newest, but its sturdy and it works, and it has a good support network, if you have problems people here and at ebookwise can usually give you ideas and suggestions for fixes.

Amy
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Old 08-29-2009, 07:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassanik View Post
I love my little eb1150, however that being said.

Its great for what it does, it is a sturdy little reader that is back lit and very reasonably priced.

Whats bad? You have to convert file types, this is not going to go away. If you don't want to have to bother, this is not the device for you. Its more or less easy to convert files for it, lit files convert well and rtf or html work just fine as well.

If you buy alot of multiformat books from fictionwise this is not an issue as they have .imp as one of the available formats.

I like mine, and I have bought a newer e-ink device because it is a bother with the newer drm'd books to have to convert all the tim

However, so far my little eb1150 has been very reliable, and with over a year of heavy use it is still working very well, which is more than I can say about my e-ink one which I have managed to break 2 times.

I think that for people who have researched the eb1150 and don't mind the limitations it has its a great device and you will find most of us that have one have very nice things to say about it. Its reliable, its not fancy or the newest, but its sturdy and it works, and it has a good support network, if you have problems people here and at ebookwise can usually give you ideas and suggestions for fixes.

Amy
Thanks for your feedback Amy. I would like to follow up with what you have written and ask you this: between the 1150 and the e-ink which device would you rather read from?
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:24 PM   #7
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good question

I like the e-ink for the clarity of the page, which is better. I also like the lighter weight. I don't like that my Cool-er (my e-ink device) doesn't default to the last book I was reading, which my EB1150 does. I also like that it holds alot more books.

I think the ergonomics of the EB1150 is superior, and the weight while heavier is not super heavy either, more like a hardback weight. It is reliable, and I have yet to break it (broke my Cool-er 2 times). It only holds 5-10 books, which means I have to download books more often. I like the touchscreen and stylus for navigating. For reading in bed its better because of the back light.

If you are not sure if you will use a e-reader very much a EB1150 is a great way to start, its the least expensive and it holds the price well, you can fairly easily resell on ebay for roughly the same price.

Ideally? I was a EB1150 with a eink screen and more book storage.

Amy
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:07 AM   #8
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I like the e-ink for the clarity of the page, which is better. I also like the lighter weight. I don't like that my Cool-er (my e-ink device) doesn't default to the last book I was reading, which my EB1150 does. I also like that it holds alot more books.

I think the ergonomics of the EB1150 is superior, and the weight while heavier is not super heavy either, more like a hardback weight. It is reliable, and I have yet to break it (broke my Cool-er 2 times). It only holds 5-10 books, which means I have to download books more often. I like the touchscreen and stylus for navigating. For reading in bed its better because of the back light.

If you are not sure if you will use a e-reader very much a EB1150 is a great way to start, its the least expensive and it holds the price well, you can fairly easily resell on ebay for roughly the same price.

Ideally? I was a EB1150 with a eink screen and more book storage.

Amy
It doesn't sound like you added the memory card. A 128MB card holds 200 books according to the company's website. Adding that could get you closer to your ideal.

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Old 08-30-2009, 09:56 AM   #9
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I've tried the new eink readers and didn't like them. Now keep in mind both my wife and I read in bed at night and neither one of us sleep normal hours. With the 1150's we are able to read without disturbing the other person, plus the things are rock solid and the battery lasts a heck of a long time.

I purchase books from anywhere in ereader, mobi, or lit and strip the DRM and format shift them to IMP. If you get stuck with something ask in here as we have some experts!

If my 1150 broke I would buy another one without thinking about it.
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Old 08-30-2009, 04:14 PM   #10
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If my 1150 broke I would buy another one without thinking about it.
My 1150 did stop working in March. I took a month to look at the options, during which I got by on paper books and audiobooks. I considered various e-ink readers, and decided that for what and how I read, converting files was a small price to pay for a self-lighting unit, so I bought another. Plus, it's cheap (only $120 shipped, since the SmartMedia card still worked). I figure if it lasts a year, that's only $12/month, and a year may be long enough to get readers/tablets with Pixel Qi screens, which I think the next tech likely to be worth moving to.
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:26 PM   #11
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I've tried the new eink readers and didn't like them. Now keep in mind both my wife and I read in bed at night and neither one of us sleep normal hours. With the 1150's we are able to read without disturbing the other person, plus the things are rock solid and the battery lasts a heck of a long time.

I purchase books from anywhere in ereader, mobi, or lit and strip the DRM and format shift them to IMP. If you get stuck with something ask in here as we have some experts!

If my 1150 broke I would buy another one without thinking about it.
OK, I am going to ask another question. The 128MB SmartMedia cards, whpch ebookwise says is the maximum, seem to be rare and expensive. There are ones with several GB that are less expensive and more readily available. Has anyone tried these larger versions in the eBookwise?
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:56 PM   #12
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OK, I am going to ask another question. The 128MB SmartMedia cards, whpch ebookwise says is the maximum, seem to be rare and expensive. There are ones with several GB that are less expensive and more readily available. Has anyone tried these larger versions in the eBookwise?
They aren't SmartMedia cards if they exceed 128MB in capacity. That was the limit for ALL SM cards manufactured. Since they are no loner being manufactured, they are dwindling in supply, but are a worthwhile investment to get the maximum (pardon the pun) storage.

Try getting smaller sized SM cards like 64MB or 32MB and store similar themed ebooks on different cards. Always be cautious when switching SM cards as your golden rules should be: "turn off, take out current SM card, turn on, turn off, put back new SM card, turn on"

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Old 08-31-2009, 12:27 AM   #13
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So far the only source for new cards that I've found is www.jr.com

They list 128mb cards at nearly $50 each but you might get lucky and get a box of ten for your $50 like I did.

My wife's camera and my 1150 both use SM cards so I try to keep a few around. Over the course of 8 years, I've had 4 or 5 fail and never lost any other type of flash memory. All of those have been older cards or from ebay/craigslist.

Smartmedia cards are much more fragile than other types of flash memory. Follow Nicks "golden rule" at all times. Don't change cards more than you have to and always keep a backup of any books on a card as it may fail at any time. I keep a book or two in the 1150's internal memory just in case the SM card gives up.

I have 13 books totaling 6531 (at small text size) pages on my 1150 right now. They consume 17mb or 13% of a 128mb card.

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Old 09-10-2009, 12:31 PM   #14
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I'm a bit late chiming in here, but I bought my eBookwise about 6 months ago and loved it. I choose that ereader due to price. I found some easy ways (thanks Mobileread!) of converting files if I found a book that wasn't multi-format or IMP.

I now read almost exclusively on my used Dell Axim X30. I can easily take it anywhere so I can read my current book when I'm out and about (instead of reading 2 books.. one at home and one for errands) and I like the display better than the eBookwise reader.

Here's a list of what I like about the Dell Axim X30
* It's about 5" x 3" and fits into my small purse easily.
* I got the model with wifi so I can download books to it just like a Kindle.
* It's also an LCD touchscreen but the screen is MUCH better than the ebookwise. It's NOT dot matrix (the ebookwise is).
* I use Mobipocket (mine was not preloaded with MS Reader and I didn't have the CD - so I can't sync to my PC which is needed to load MS Reader onto my Axim.)
* You can change the font color, back ground color and of course font size. I have my size at larger than typical paperback font size.
* It has user replaceable batteries - so I can always have a spare charged up ready to go.
* It uses easy to find SD cards
* It's NOT a phone - so I don't have to pay monthly fees for 3G access (I am very frugal) I like the wifi, but am not willing to pay for that type of access all the time as you would with a phone with 3G. (we have wifi at home)


You can find them on eBay for $50-$100. I had some Amazon points so I got it for "free" (cash would have been $95 with shipping)

I prefer to purchase LIT books and convert to mobi just so I can read on either device. It takes just about one minute to do.

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Old 09-16-2009, 02:07 PM   #15
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I still have my ebw1150 and enjoy reading it at night - I can adjust the screen brightness and read in bed without disturbing the hubby.

I would say if you can get it for less than $100 and you like reading mostly public domain books, go for it. It's sturdy & solid, works great and they have above-average customer service if it doesn't.

Unlike the Kindle it doesn't hold an unlimited amount of content. However, that could be an advantage. You could put a bunch of kids' books on it (I confess I did buy all the Beverly Cleary books from Fictionwise!) and give it to your favorite child - no need to worry that they'd punch the wrong button and end up buying all sorts of other books by accident.

Also, since it's so cheap and will probably be obsolete very soon, I don't worry at all about taking it into the bathtub with me.

Lots of great reasons to buy, eh? ;-)

FWIW though, I haven't actually bought any new books for it for several months - most of the new content is public domain, Manybooks, etc.
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