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Old 01-11-2010, 07:57 PM   #1
r1chardj0n3s
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Avoid ECO Reader!

I was given an ECO Reader as a present about a month ago. Initially I thought it was pretty neat - I'd never actually used an e-ink device before.

How wrong I was.

The first book I've loaded onto it is Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton. I bought it in .mobi format from the US (I live in Australia so had to go through some hoops to convince the US store I wasn't Australian, but that's another gripe for another day ). I loaded it onto the device to discover that the DRM wasn't supported. This lead me to find a program that strips off the DRM and after doing so I loaded the DRM-less file and started reading. What a pain.

So after reading it for about 1,500 pages (of 2,900) I have noticed three things:
  1. the reader crashes about every 50 page transitions,
  2. when I leave the book and come back it forgets what page I was on, and
  3. I can no longer set bookmarks. The interface for doing so just does nothing when I attempt to set a new one and all my old bookmarks are gone!

Seriously, this is all pretty fundamental functionality for an e-book reader and it fails on every count!

I'm now writing down the page number when I stop reading (or when it freezes up pre-crash) so I can manually enter the page number when I load the book up again.

But that's not all! When I do enter the page number that it indicated I was on I find it's not the actual page I was reading! I have to usually skip forwards between 10 and 500(!) pages to find the page I was actually reading!

Last time I did this (to check the firmware version was up to date) I noted down "2043" and when I re-loaded the book it had me at page "1611". I manually entered "2043" and discovered that I needed to skip forwards to "2081" to get to the actual page I was reading!

Piece. Of. Crap.
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:11 PM   #2
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Actually mobi is a piece of crap. The page number thing you remarked about is on every mobi implementation in the universe. I suggest you download Calibre and convert your mobi eBook to ePUB. You will find that it works much, much better. And in the future I suggest you buy ePUB books.

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Old 01-11-2010, 08:36 PM   #3
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Actually mobi is a piece of crap. The page number thing you remarked about is on every mobi implementation in the universe. I suggest you download Calibre and convert your mobi eBook to ePUB. You will find that it works much, much better. And in the future I suggest you buy ePUB books.
Thanks for your suggestion, I'll give it a shot. I'm also looking at installing Tirwals Firmware 1.9 to see if that helps.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:01 PM   #4
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Thanks for your suggestion, I'll give it a shot. I'm also looking at installing Tirwals Firmware 1.9 to see if that helps.
You will love Tirwal's firmware. You can even use it with Mobi, for it supports ADE & Mobi DRM and both formats work really well. SInce I have switched to Tirwal I get better battery life, no crashes, my reader remembers my pages locations bookmark feature workd, fonts are much better...
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:40 PM   #5
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Thanks for your suggestion, I'll give it a shot. I'm also looking at installing Tirwals Firmware 1.9 to see if that helps.
His firmware will let you read Mobi with DRM but otherwise the mobi stuff is about the same. Mobi guesses page numbers based on the distance through the file, This is why they are never right unless you just start reading at page one and then they can count. Jumps are always approximate. Tirwals only works on the 6" device. Is this the one you have?

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Old 01-11-2010, 10:31 PM   #6
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His firmware will let you read Mobi with DRM but otherwise the mobi stuff is about the same. Mobi guesses page numbers based on the distance through the file, This is why they are never right unless you just start reading at page one and then they can count. Jumps are always approximate. Tirwals only works on the 6" device. Is this the one you have?
Wow, OK, mobi really sucks. Yeah, I have the 6".

I've converted the file to epub and it's:

1. smaller file size,
2. uses a smaller font (which is good - I can read the smaller font fine and this means more on the page),
3. faster to change pages? Not sure but seeems to.

Am currently going through the new firmware install process.

Edit: Got the firmware installed. Looking good.

Last edited by r1chardj0n3s; 01-11-2010 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:40 PM   #7
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With the book translated to epub and the latest Tirwal firmware the device still crashes on page transitions, so my OP still stands. Fortunately with epub I can reliably (so far) get back to the correct page.
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:14 AM   #8
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With the book translated to epub and the latest Tirwal firmware the device still crashes on page transitions, so my OP still stands. Fortunately with epub I can reliably (so far) get back to the correct page.
Interesting. What causes the crash do you think? And what does the crash look like? There are plenty of people with this hardware, the Hanlin V3 has been around for some time and pretty stable.

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Old 01-16-2010, 05:37 AM   #9
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Interesting. What causes the crash do you think? And what does the crash look like? There are plenty of people with this hardware, the Hanlin V3 has been around for some time and pretty stable.
I don't know what might cause the crash. On page transition the green indicator lights up and then eventually it turns orange and the unit reboots. It's long enough that I can take note of the page number
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:38 PM   #10
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I don't know what might cause the crash. On page transition the green indicator lights up and then eventually it turns orange and the unit reboots. It's long enough that I can take note of the page number
Was the crash on approximately the same page in ePUB as in MOBi? It is likely that there is some error in the source file that Jinke doesn't catch. The ePUB can be easily taken apart and the html code can be inspected or perhaps tested against a standard. I know it is work but it would be nice to nail this problem down and put it to bed. There are test programs that can be used to verify the ePUB but they are not too good. There is also the W3C tests for HTML code that are much better although fussy. If you can find the individual file that is causing the problem perhaps it can be tested. I would just ask for a copy but the book is copyrighted so I won't.

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Old 01-17-2010, 06:10 PM   #11
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Dale,

Perhaps the clue is "Latest version of Tirwal" - this seems to have it's origins in a version that uses "New SDK". I tried three versions with the same origin and was unhappy with lockups - mainly when trying to return from "keypad lock" mode.

I didn't exhaustively test them but if I get a lock-up requiring a paper-clip reset within one hour of installation I quickly revert to something that has proved more reliable, and I did this with the three versions I tried.

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Old 01-17-2010, 06:53 PM   #12
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Hi BobC

Interesting. Have you input that to the Jinke forum? It is good feedback they need to see.

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Old 01-20-2010, 02:23 PM   #13
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Dale,

If, by the Jinke forum you mean the one at jinke.com.cn - No I haven't. I could find no reference there to any of this "New Kernel" stuff and traffic there does seem light to say the least.

I would really need to do some more testing and record the results before firing off a problem report. My comment above was just based on general feelings and the point that the OP did mention "the latest Tirwal firmware" which at the time was 1.9. I see Tirwal has reverted to the "Old Kernel" for his 2.0 offering so perhaps that says something !

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Old 01-20-2010, 02:50 PM   #14
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Hi all:

All my versions are made with old kernel. If there are some artifacts, maybe the memory footprint has the fault. I discovered, that when I reduce the size of the firmware, it has more velocity, and more stability. In lastest versions, only CoolReader has been updated, nothing else. But, some user, tell me about different conducts that not have to do with the changes made.

New kernel has a lot of problems. LIT, MOBI, PRC, XPDF, don't go. Shut down fail. Blocked up fail. Keys fail. Till Jinke publish an official firm, we not have to do anything.

Thanks
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:43 AM   #15
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FWIW the crashes are never repeatable either with the mobi or epub files.
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