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Old 12-20-2009, 12:47 AM   #1
Lago
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new device concept.

greetings all..

i come to you today with an idea. id like to think it unremarkable, but maybe it is in that it follows the principal of 'less is more'.

as many of you may or may not know, i am rather fond of my EBW1150. its ergonomically comfortable, sturdy, time tested and simple, with none of the superfluous bells and whistles so prevalent in more modern devices.

that said, its dated, very dated. the hardware is nearly 20 years old now, it supports only one format natively, and that being a nearly obsolete one. its memory is sadly lacking at only 64 MB internal (for those of us lucky enough to have bought one recently, 8MB otherwise), and the only memory card usable in it, again, hasn't been produced in several years, what IS available is so small in capacity as to be laughable by modern standards, and more expensive per MB than ANY other memory available. and the screen, while adequate, could stand an update as well.

heres what id like to propose, and if there is enough interest in it, i may well pursue development funding, and marketing.

the device;

basically take the shell of the current EBW1150, its pagination and power buttons, USB support, power adapter (maybe change it to a more easily replaceable unit), touch screen capability, etc. and update the rest.

connectivity;

really, most modern readers have some kind of wireless interface, usually the latest and greatest available, such as G3, cellular, etc. the 1150 has only its USB interface, and a phone modem. the REB 1200 has only the network cable. id keep the USB, maybe update to 2.0, or even firewire (though this would be excessive IMO), and can the modem in exchange for wifi accessibility. im thinking 802.11B should be plenty, and fully compatible with newer networks. im trading 'anywhere, anytime (at a price)' convenience, for afford-ability. but come on really, do you REALLY need to have access to your online bookshelves 24/7?

Memory;

the greatest failure of the 1150 is its memory, those pesky SMC cards are incredibly expensive, not to mention rare and delicate. i have a 128 that cannot be read in my ebook, though i can access it easily from other computers. (yes, ive tried all the tricks on that). the internal memory is acceptable at 64MB on the newer units, though, if external memory can be had, i see no real need for much here.

id propose swapping out the SMC card for something readily available, cheap, and update-able. my personal vote goes to SD cards, they're practically a dime a DZ these days, and adapters are available for the mini and micro cards as well. they are also available in capacities from as little as 128MB (familiar number there) to near terabyte sizes.

the screen;

here i don't really have anything to complain about. i like my screen, but i do recognize that many folks may want to get periodicals, comics, etc and some want to view their book covers. the half VGA gray-scale screen is adequate for reading, but it lacks for the rest of it.

id propose keeping the touchscreen, with only three buttons it become necessary for data entry, etc. and it make navigating the bookshelves easier, even fun. but id replace the screen with a color LCD; similar to my REB1200. id personally prefer to keep the back light as well. E-ink is a possibility, but again, price becomes an issue, and then id have to come up with an alternate way to light it, WITHOUT complicated, delicate, and bothersome add-ons, such as a clip on light..

sound;

i never really had much need for sound, so i never even noticed the headphone jack on my unit till i started looking at it and daydreaming about what to change. normally i would say just do away with it, but then someone, two different someones in fact, made a suggestion. in that the device might be able to real along with you, either by special audio files, or OSreaders. they said its easier for some to concentrate on the page with such a guide. personally, is a "*shrug* whatever" thing, but thats something to leave open for later.

Power;

my first reader had an excellent battery, never an issue, the current one though, has been giving me fits occasionally from day one. and it needs a replacement. this requires me to dismantle the device, and physically remove the component. not an issue, as im mechanically inclined, but it'd be nice to open a cover, and replace a few AAs instead.

that would be the extent of the mods id make there, re-design the back cover to include a battery cover for ease of replacement. and make it accept simple rechargeable AA batteries.

Software;

here we get complicated. the software is fine, for what it does, but in this modern landscape, its far too limited.

the library is non-graphical, you have an icon next to the title, many folks would like to see a picture of the cover if possible. frankly, while i don't think its necessary, i agree. so id like to see the option to have the menu graphical, or hybrid.

really there is only access for two bookshelves, online, and native memory. id propose allowing for multiple bookshelves, so one can sort their books by category, etc.

>Accessibility;

while id like to retain support for the venerable IMP format (perhaps even IMP1200) id like to see the unit support many formats natively. IMP, Mobi, PRC, OBEFF, PDF, XYZ, AAA, Epub, and whatever else comes along. i understand this is asking a lot of a base program, so id like to see this implemented via 'patches'. the reader would not support anything but simple TXT, RTF etc, natively, but a 'patch' would be available for supporting each of the varying formats. this way, not only would the device be versatile, it would allow the user to choose what formats to support.

>DRM

as for DRM. yes i agree, DRM is EVIL... BUT, sadly i think were stuck with it. that said, i want this device to work with DRM as well. so........ i propose that these Patches could also be made, in cooperation with the varying booksellers to act is a middle man of sorts. the ebooks could be tied to the patch, and the patch could be tied to the reader, but no more than one reader, or maybe two. if a new device is acquired, the 'patch' could be re-assigned to another reader, but must be de-assigned from the former reader, therby rendering any DRM books on the old device unreadable. this is great for theft prevention, and should keep the publisher's lawyers happy.

DRM patches would be available and assigned by and through the seller only, all patches would be independent of the core programming, and would be updated as needed the same way the core programming is updated, much like a firmware update, only for individual components only.

also, this may well be the only 'bell and whistle' i support here, but it would have the hardware for it, so why not? id like to see the device also act as a portable photo album. so you could take your memory card from your camera and view the pictures on something bigger than a postage stamp.

all this, i want in a package that costs less than $200, preferably under $150..

im not really looking to make a fortune here, but, if it catches, maybe i can come out on top..


so, that may not be a complete synopses, but i think you'll get the idea. im open for suggestions, criticisms, etc. what do you all think?

Last edited by Lago; 12-20-2009 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 12-20-2009, 05:06 PM   #2
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wow, 80 views, and not a single response. no one has any ideas?

Last edited by Lago; 12-22-2009 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:16 PM   #3
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I'm with you. Less IS more. I don't need wireless, I don't need online access to ANYTHING. To me that's a path for Bad Things to come in, and that's what my PC is for. No need for sound, I want an ebook reader, I HAVE an mp3 player.

I need a good screen, adjustable font size, large memory capacity so that I can switch to whatever my taste may be for that very minute, a good USB connection to that I can access the rest of my library on my PC.

Scott
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:41 PM   #4
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I'm with you. Less IS more. I don't need wireless, I don't need online access to ANYTHING. To me that's a path for Bad Things to come in, and that's what my PC is for. No need for sound, I want an ebook reader, I HAVE an mp3 player.

I need a good screen, adjustable font size, large memory capacity so that I can switch to whatever my taste may be for that very minute, a good USB connection to that I can access the rest of my library on my PC.

Scott
i suppose you're right, USB is perfectly adequate for updates/DLs. no need for the wifi really.. and removing it would lower the cost by a few dollars. also, it COULD include compatibility for some USB wifi receivers. that way, if people want it, they can get it..

i never really liked the audio thing either.

as for memory, i got to thinking about the 5 in 1 readers common in most current PCs and laptops. that would GREATLY improve versatility..
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:49 AM   #5
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What you are proposing isn't really 'less is more' though. Wireless? Pictures in the menu of the book covers? Having it read to you? My 'modern' Sony, which weights a third the weight of the eBookwise, doesn't do those. Not to discourage you, by any means, but unless you really are adding something new and/or different to the table, why go to all that work?
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Old 12-22-2009, 01:32 AM   #6
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What you are proposing isn't really 'less is more' though. Wireless? Pictures in the menu of the book covers? Having it read to you? My 'modern' Sony, which weights a third the weight of the eBookwise, doesn't do those. Not to discourage you, by any means, but unless you really are adding something new and/or different to the table, why go to all that work?
most modern devices have wireless, and honestly, i was looking to replace the onbord modem with it. BUT.. i do not think it needs to be included by default. again, theres no reason a USB dongle couldn't be supported. if the customer wants it, theres no reason for them not to be able to get it, but as an add-on.

as for pictures, why not? some folks have a much easier time finding a book by its visual appearance, rather than the words on its spine. i feel that allowing the option of a graphical/iconic menu in addition to or in place of the text menu isn't a bad idea. again, completely at the users discretion.

and the audio was merely a suggestion brought up by friends, and isn't necessarily a part of the plan.

and really, im not looking to add anything new or different. merely a simple device, thats easy to operate, flexible enough to evolve, and versatile to meet varying needs, without having the added expense of bits and pieces that many will never use.

most of the changes here will be in the modular nature of the software/hardware, and the cooperation with varying ebook sellers. in THAT respect, i suppose this is new. as, to my knowledge, NO device has ever sought to remain independent, while also working cooperatively with so many otherwise competing companies.

i do thank you for your input though, it helps me to more clearly state the plan. and also gives me ideas for further development.
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Old 12-22-2009, 01:46 AM   #7
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allow me to clarify.. i am looking to submit a device that is FUNCTIONALLY and physically identical to the 1150, but with more modern hardware, and software. this because, as yet the closest to it in a modern device i have found is the jetbook, and it lacks so many of the things i enjoy about my 1150.

since i have the opportunity here, i also want to incorporate some of those options that people DO want, but not force it on those who DON'T want them. think of the device as a modular system. if you want a graphical menu, you can get it, if you want wifi, plug it in. if you want support for an obscure ebook format, a 'patch' can be developed to make it work. if you don't want a hundred buttons to figure out, well, thats my main reason for doing this..

please keep the ideas coming. thats how magic is made.
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lago View Post
as for pictures, why not? some folks have a much easier time finding a book by its visual appearance, rather than the words on its spine. i feel that allowing the option of a graphical/iconic menu in addition to or in place of the text menu isn't a bad idea. again, completely at the users discretion.
My Gen3 (older than Sony, I'm afraid), Opus and Inves-600 (at Spain) have covers, and, for me, it's something I want, very very interesting for me (after using it, it's more useful). Furthermore, in the view I have: cover/title/author/publisher(I edit it so I've got series).

I don't want MP3 either or connectivity. I want something that, sadly, is very bit reclaimed: a good viewer for the book, respecting styles, margins, etc, etc...

Last edited by Terisa de morgan; 12-22-2009 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:11 AM   #9
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You might want to take a look at this blog (by a MR member).

http://mobileopportunity.blogspot.co...-info-pad.html
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:47 AM   #10
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IMO, most of the current hardware out right now is fine. It is the actual reading software that is lacking. I just want rock soild basic reading functionality with full customization (page margins, font size, line spacing, paragraph spacing, headers...).
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:22 AM   #11
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If you check my link in the sig line you will find my eBookwise review where I described all of the features I would like to see. The hardware is really only about 10 years old, it may seem like 20 but time flies.

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Old 12-22-2009, 01:23 PM   #12
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If you check my link in the sig line you will find my eBookwise review where I described all of the features I would like to see. The hardware is really only about 10 years old, it may seem like 20 but time flies.

Dale
a very good collection of ideas there. most of your hardware changes would be addressed anyway, as a new MOBO is basically a prerequisite for most of my own changes. especially the memory.

i am hoping to incorporate internal font size settings. the patches would basically act as translators, changing the data into an internally recognizable format, from there, the internal programming would dictate what goes where, and how it is to be displayed.

i don't see how an internal notepad would be difficult to incorporate. i find that hand written notes on this type of screen are less than legible though. an OSK might work, but would obscure the screen. consider though, a USB powered keyboard would make things easier. but consume much power. there is no easy solution for the desire of dictation i fear.

my mental image of a new backplate would have two access panels, one for replacing batteries, another for accessing the USB port(s) and/or memory expansion port(s)

there are USB powered wifi dongles that are small enough to stow inside such an enclosure. if a customer desires wifi most of the time, it could simply be left plugged in. and activated at need. though i don't intend to set this device up to browse the net, it should be able to access the many ebook websites available and browse their products. again, this would be a separate bit of software, NOT a part of the base programming.

it would seem that with all the varying patches and software modules, this device will need to be linux based. i rather like that, its open software. i support open anything.
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Old 12-22-2009, 01:56 PM   #13
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You might want to take a look at this blog (by a MR member).

http://mobileopportunity.blogspot.co...-info-pad.html
a highly informative site. but we appear to be appealing to two totally different demographics. im after the readers, who follow the KISS principal. he appears to desire a full fledged mobile database with notations archive.

im looking to develop a device that while not exactly pocket sized, is small enough to be portable and geared towards the individual who fancies a good book. he wants something closer to a textbook sized device for the purposes of the modern corporate man. a role currently filled by the palmPC and/or laptop.

while our interests and research may follow along the same lines at times, they are two totally different devices.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:08 PM   #14
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IMO, most of the current hardware out right now is fine. It is the actual reading software that is lacking. I just want rock soild basic reading functionality with full customization (page margins, font size, line spacing, paragraph spacing, headers...).
I totally, totally agree.
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:50 PM   #15
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I totally, totally agree.
GREAT.. many folks like the buttons and other bits. i don't. 3 buttons is enough IMO, and i've seen no device out there that compares to the 1150. i want to change that. that said, the software i want to include should allow full customization, just like you want. ;-)
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