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Old 04-05-2010, 11:01 PM   #1
shadowboxer47
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Angry NOT HAPPY

So, I'm about two steps away from chucking my Astak (and my mom's) on eBay and buying a Kindle. I cannot begin to tell you how frustrated I am. Here goes my rant, after another extremely frustrating evening.

I receive mine in the mail. It was wonderful. I downloaded Calibre and life was good. I read through several non-encrypted novels. I loved it. I loved it so much, I bought one for my (very non technical) mom for her birthday. I was even thinking of buying one for my wife.

To my dismay, it arrived DOA. My mom called technical support. The individual spoke way over her head and confused her. She asked to speak to a (much nicer) manager, and eventually got Astak to send a box for a return. (Over a week or so later... still no box).

Next, since I was going on a trip, I thought I would buy a book or two. And what's this? Astak has opened their own eBook store! Awesome! I buy two books.

Guess what? The store isn't ready yet. Talk about premature! One of the books never appeared. The other failed to authenticate through Adobe. I spend several hours trying to get them to work. I'm wasting my time. I send the store an e-mail. After the weekend is over, I receive an e-mail that says, "whoops! We weren't really ready yet, even though our store and certain books are STILL ONLINE, we have no idea when we can get you yours. Perhaps we can give you a refund."

Fine. I understand hickups. However, since I'm leaving for my trip to Orlando tomorrow, I ask for a refund and decide to go to Books on Board. Hey, look they have one of the books I want! In several formats. Good, because I don't want to screw with Adobe again. I get the eReader format. Astak does say their device supports it. So I shouldn't have a problem, right?

WRONG! NO support for the drm files. I can read it on my Mac, but I cannot transfer it to my EZReader. I've spent the last two hours desperately trying to get this to work. To no avail.

I've about had it. I'm in the hole $30, and I don't have a new book on my device. I'm afraid to buy one anywhere else because of DRM compatibility. I've lost trust in this device.

At least with a Kindle, I can get less expensive books right away, without issue.
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:32 PM   #2
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shadowboxer47, I'm sorry you've had such a difficult time with your ebook reader! I know it's so frustrating when things don't seem to work the way they are supposed to. As far as ereader books, I believe the Pocket Pro reads non-DRM books, but they haven't been able to get a deal with whomever does the DRM ereader books. The only DRM books it works with are ADE epub and PDF. (http://www.theezreader.com/html/highlights.html)

As far as getting the ADE books to work, do you have Adobe Digital Editions installed on your computer? If so, did you register your copy? I had ADE registered on my computer and bought a DRM epub, but at first I had difficulty getting it installed on my Pocket Pro. Well, I could install it, but once there, it wouldn't open. I thought I had authorized my Pocket Pro through ADE, but either it didn't take the first time, or there was some other problem that I couldn't figure out. After much trial and error, I tried authorizing it again. And once I did that, I have been able to load DRM epubs with no difficulties. Also, I found out you have to actually put the book onto your ebook reader with the ADE program. I had been trying to just drag and drop it in Windows Explorer, and that wouldn't allow the book to work on my Pocket Pro.

Do you have a library that uses Overdrive? If so, and if they have ebooks, you might try checking out a copy of a book online, just to be sure that ADE is registered properly, and that your ebook reader is authorized.

I guess I don't really have any solutions for you, but I hope things work out. Even though it's disappointing to not have the books you were hoping for on your trip, there are so many great free books out there that might tide you over while you are gone. What kind of books are you interested in? Maybe some people here can point you in a good direction for some free options to get you by until the pay books are working for you.
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:57 PM   #3
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Wow, I'd call those start-up problems, but as you said, they're to be expected the first week or so.

That said, I have to admit I had some initial start-up issues with my device as well. Starting with a not so pleasant experience with a Barnes & Noble purchased. After that, I decided to really look into what I was getting into and only purchase from sites that had been in existance for a while (and actually recommened on this site.)

DRM protected books? The first thing was with another bad purchase, but I've learned my lesson. In doing so though I only made small purchases. I think no more than $11 maximum.

I tried my local library using ADE and have been totally satisfied and learned how to use the tool before I purchased anything else and then ONLY after reading up on the various formats here and looking at the site list.

I've not gone wrong with anything I've bought since, but then I've spent a lot of time at the library and over at Project Gutenberg and some of the other free sites mentioned here.

I do think it a mistake to give up so soon as I've found my PEZ extremely useful, friendly to use and quite versatile. Just give it a chance
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:06 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by shadowboxer47 View Post
Fine. I understand hickups. However, since I'm leaving for my trip to Orlando tomorrow, I ask for a refund and decide to go to Books on Board. Hey, look they have one of the books I want! In several formats. Good, because I don't want to screw with Adobe again. I get the eReader format. Astak does say their device supports it. So I shouldn't have a problem, right?

WRONG! NO support for the drm files. I can read it on my Mac, but I cannot transfer it to my EZReader. I've spent the last two hours desperately trying to get this to work. To no avail.
It is the case that PDB is included in the list of supported formats, but this isn't eReader PDB it is PalmDOC PDB. There are actually about a dozen different ebook formats all stored in PDB files. I think Astak should remove PDB from its list of supported formats (or call it PalmDOC) to minimize confusion. In any case they do say:
Quote:
The EZ Reader also supports secured or copy-protected files in these two formats only: PDF and EPUB.
In other words, at Books on Board you must buy the Adobe versions - ePub is best but PDF (Digital Editions) will do in a pinch. Books on Board have good help pages to get you started. They recommend starting with their free test ebook - however it isn't DRM-protected so that does not help much.

The advantage of Adobe Digital Editions is that you can buy them from lots of stores. Books on Board is good, and so is the Sony ebook store (but you need to use the Sony Windows or Mac application). Don't buy from Barnes & Noble, because they are the only store selling ePubs that are not using AdobeID DRM.

You may be able to get a refund from Books on Board. I suggest buying a different ePub from them to confirm that this works, and then seeing if they will swap the eReader version for the ePub version. If not, it is possible to strip the DRM from eReader ebooks and then convert them to ePub (say) using Calibre. However, eReader is one of the less easy formats to strip DRM from, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the terminal and command line apps.

Last edited by wallcraft; 04-06-2010 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:39 AM   #5
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I do SO sympathise with shadowboxer. I am APPALLED at the implementations of DRM and the quality of the software in general. The troubles I had getting my wife's computer (Windows 2000) to even download and install ADE (issues with flash etc etc) then to get it and the ereader authorised were something NO non-technical user should EVER have to put up with.

Then the confusion over different formats (not just the drm'd ones) and types of DRM is so bad, I fear the fledgling eBook industry is doomed unless it gets sorted out real soon. Don't get me wrong, I love eBooks, but I can (just about) handle the silly idiosyncrases, but the pain and confusion being inflicted on newbie users will drive them away.

Shadowboxer says he's "lost trust in this device" and I don't blame him. This will be MANY new users' experience the way things are at the moment.


Sorry rant over
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:09 AM   #6
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I do SO sympathise with shadowboxer. I am APPALLED at the implementations of DRM and the quality of the software in general. The troubles I had getting my wife's computer (Windows 2000) to even download and install ADE (issues with flash etc etc) then to get it and the ereader authorised were something NO non-technical user should EVER have to put up with.

Then the confusion over different formats (not just the drm'd ones) and types of DRM is so bad, I fear the fledgling eBook industry is doomed unless it gets sorted out real soon. Don't get me wrong, I love eBooks, but I can (just about) handle the silly idiosyncrases, but the pain and confusion being inflicted on newbie users will drive them away.

Shadowboxer says he's "lost trust in this device" and I don't blame him. This will be MANY new users' experience the way things are at the moment.


Sorry rant over
This is where it was a good step for Astak to open up an ebook store. Now they supply an ereader and have their own store selling books that will work on their device. Amazon did the Kindle/Bookstore combination well, and it looks like Kobo are releasing a reader that will read all their ebooks. So whilst people can buy ebooks for their EZReader at a variety of places, Astak having a one-stop-shop is a good move forward, especially for new users to the ebook market.
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by shadowboxer47 View Post
Fine. I understand hickups. However, since I'm leaving for my trip to Orlando tomorrow, I ask for a refund and decide to go to Books on Board. Hey, look they have one of the books I want! In several formats. Good, because I don't want to screw with Adobe again. I get the eReader format. Astak does say their device supports it. So I shouldn't have a problem, right?
Could you point out where Aztak say that they support eReader? I've looked through the spec of the device, and I can see no mention of it.
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:30 AM   #8
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I'm sorry but I think Kindle's are overprice pieces of cr%p that are so closed and expensive (hardware and their books) you will be extremely sorry if you buy one. Also kindle has do several massive Screw U jobs on their users Like not transfer books from kindle 1 to version 2 forcing many people to have to re buy books they though they owed but didn't(kindle your really leasing books and amazon can cancel the lease at any time they want),also they can delete books you think you own, also with kindle 2 active gsm connect amazon can monitor all books you have on the kindle and with the warrant less searchs of cell phone networks a variety of law enforcement agency's / quasi legal thugs (riaa and I sure there book publisher version) can know everything your reading without your permission. Uh no I like my libre pro which is under my control there are so many free public domain books (look for simple text they work on anything) and there plenty other book for sale web sites that support the drm epub format that the pocket pro supports do a little research and you discover what a POS the Kindle 2 really is and you'll avoid like a STD.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:15 AM   #9
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Well put Bob1xxx...... Kindle/ipod/ipad.... like their closed worlds..... I for one do not. But, If one likes that system all the power to them.....
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:04 AM   #10
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Like not transfer books from kindle 1 to version 2 forcing many people to have to re buy books they though they owed but didn't
This is incorrect. Any book that can be read on the Kindle 1 can also be read on the Kindle 2. Can you elaborate on what you mean, please?
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:05 PM   #11
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Well I going on complaints I've read on amazon forums apparently amazon change its book format and many books were not converted and deleted from there owners "amazon cloud library' making the move from there kindle 1 to 2 impossible . The fact that you can not back up your amazon bought books that where directly load to the kindle via gsm to a pc backup was a major reason I didn't buy the kindle. And if you read the terms of US sold kindle books you are leasing the books from Amazon and they can revoke the lease at ANY TIME like they did with 1984. And sense your really only lease the kindle reader itself from amazon they can delete any books they do not like on your kindle and if they want too amazon can turn off your kindle by remote if your a bad boy or girl. So far amazon has not nuke anyones kindle hardware on purpose , but I was warned by a friends with legal back grounds the language in kindle ToS is there. Sorry but no to kindle if you Ive in the US , Harry your in the UK so kindle ToS my be different in EU/UK

Last edited by bob1xxx; 04-06-2010 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:10 PM   #12
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Well I going on complaints I've read on amazon forums apparently amazon change its book format and many books were not converted and deleted from there owners "amazon cloud library' making the move from there kindle 1 to 2 impossible .
This is incorrect. Amazon have never changed their book format. Perhaps you are thinking of Sony, who changed their proprietary "LRX" format to "ePub", and took a while to convert all their books over to the new format.

Quote:
The fact that you can not back up your amazon bought books that are on the kindles to pc was a major reason I didn't buy the kindle.
I'm sorry, but this is entirely untrue. You can copy your books to and from the Kindle via the USB connection exactly as you can with any other reader. Forgive me for saying so, but you seem to have some rather odd ideas about the Kindle.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:23 PM   #13
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I'm sorry but I think Kindle's are overprice pieces of cr%p that are so closed and expensive (hardware and their books) you will be extremely sorry if you buy one. Also kindle has do several massive Screw U jobs on their users Like not transfer books from kindle 1 to version 2 forcing many people to have to re buy books they though they owed but didn't(kindle your really leasing books and amazon can cancel the lease at any time they want),also they can delete books you think you own, also with kindle 2 active gsm connect amazon can monitor all books you have on the kindle and with the warrant less searchs of cell phone networks a variety of law enforcement agency's / quasi legal thugs (riaa and I sure there book publisher version) can know everything your reading without your permission. Uh no I like my libre pro which is under my control there are so many free public domain books (look for simple text they work on anything) and there plenty other book for sale web sites that support the drm epub format that the pocket pro supports do a little research and you discover what a POS the Kindle 2 really is and you'll avoid like a STD.
I didn't like the Kindle for various reasons, but most of this is wrong and/or paranoid.

Amazon can't check your Kindle to see what you're reading, unless it is something you bought from amazon. And if you bought it from amazon, they don't have to check your Kindle, since it will be right in their purchase records.

I owned both a K1 and a K2 and all my books were transferred seamlessly. Every Kindle book stays on your account and you can choose the send it over whispernet to whichever Kindle you want, to download it to your computer to transfer manually or to download to Kindle for PC. By far the one outstanding feature of the Kindle over every single other reader is the ease of buying books and getting them onto your reader.

The Kindle turned out to be not for me, for it's lack of support for any format other than mobi, as well as it's poorly designed ergonomics, but the stuff above is just wrong.

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Old 04-06-2010, 12:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by shadowboxer47 View Post
Fine. I understand hickups. However, since I'm leaving for my trip to Orlando tomorrow, I ask for a refund and decide to go to Books on Board. Hey, look they have one of the books I want! In several formats. Good, because I don't want to screw with Adobe again. I get the eReader format. Astak does say their device supports it. So I shouldn't have a problem, right?

WRONG! NO support for the drm files. I can read it on my Mac, but I cannot transfer it to my EZReader. I've spent the last two hours desperately trying to get this to work. To no avail.
I can't help you with your hardware problems, but for the eReader book, you might want to consider stripping the DRM and converting it via Calibre to a format your reader does recognize.

It's actually very easy to do, as there is a GUI tool available. If you google apprenticealf and then search the page for erdr2pml you should have what you need. Calibre will easily convert pml to any format you need.

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Old 04-06-2010, 12:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowboxer47 View Post
So, I'm about two steps away from chucking my Astak (and my mom's) on eBay and buying a Kindle. I cannot begin to tell you how frustrated I am. Here goes my rant, after another extremely frustrating evening.

I receive mine in the mail. It was wonderful. I downloaded Calibre and life was good. I read through several non-encrypted novels. I loved it. I loved it so much, I bought one for my (very non technical) mom for her birthday. I was even thinking of buying one for my wife.

To my dismay, it arrived DOA. My mom called technical support. The individual spoke way over her head and confused her. She asked to speak to a (much nicer) manager, and eventually got Astak to send a box for a return. (Over a week or so later... still no box).

Next, since I was going on a trip, I thought I would buy a book or two. And what's this? Astak has opened their own eBook store! Awesome! I buy two books.

Guess what? The store isn't ready yet. Talk about premature! One of the books never appeared. The other failed to authenticate through Adobe. I spend several hours trying to get them to work. I'm wasting my time. I send the store an e-mail. After the weekend is over, I receive an e-mail that says, "whoops! We weren't really ready yet, even though our store and certain books are STILL ONLINE, we have no idea when we can get you yours. Perhaps we can give you a refund."

Fine. I understand hickups. However, since I'm leaving for my trip to Orlando tomorrow, I ask for a refund and decide to go to Books on Board. Hey, look they have one of the books I want! In several formats. Good, because I don't want to screw with Adobe again. I get the eReader format. Astak does say their device supports it. So I shouldn't have a problem, right?

WRONG! NO support for the drm files. I can read it on my Mac, but I cannot transfer it to my EZReader. I've spent the last two hours desperately trying to get this to work. To no avail.

I've about had it. I'm in the hole $30, and I don't have a new book on my device. I'm afraid to buy one anywhere else because of DRM compatibility. I've lost trust in this device.

At least with a Kindle, I can get less expensive books right away, without issue.
Dear Shadowboxer:

I am here to help as I work for Astak. You could have sent me a PM and I could have acted.

We do NOT send out boxes to people. We send out postage-paid labels only on rare occasions. Never boxes. I do apologize if our tech confused your mom. I would have been happy to talk with her. I hate that techie-talk stuff anyway and am very kind and easy with phones. Maybe I did talk with her. I do remember someone asking for me after the tech could not please them. If so, we DID send out the postage-paid label that same day to her email.

Our eBook site is working fine. What is not working fine is something known as an Agency Model. This was out of our hands as five publishers are making an attempt to fully control pricing. It left our wholesaler for content completely off guard and this happened overnight. We still do not know the Agency Model prices. Nor does Books On Board. We do not even have a list of the titles affected. As such, most eBooks are selling fine on our site but some are held up until we can get a list of the titles affected and what price the publishers demand they be priced at. This has been talked about greatly on this forum as the Agency Model by 5 publishers affects everything. Again, we were NOT pre-mature. The Agency Model by the five publishers has everybody up in arms!

I am sorry that you are unhappy. This is the first time I heard of your displeasure.

It has been mentioned on this forum at least 50 times that ereader is a format owned by Barnes&Noble. We DO support their non-DRM format... but they will not allow us to get their DRM format. Our own eBook Store carries ONLY PDF and EPUB... not ereader titles.

Can you send me a PM so I can help you? What were the titles that you had a problem with on our site?? We will check that out immediately. If you were charged, we can reimburse promptly. We DO want you to be happy; but I need more info to be of help!

I AM sorry that we caused you grief.

Bob

Last edited by Robertb; 04-06-2010 at 04:10 PM.
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