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Old 11-01-2006, 06:20 AM   #1
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iRex Iliad was not designed for Suspend/Hibernate

There are dark clouds on the horizon for all of us who bought an iRex Iliad and hoped to get Sony Reader- or Hanlin-like battery-life.

After our member Malder1 had caused quite a stir with his comment in this thread, I put the question up on the iRex Forums here and asked for some answers from the iRex team.

The answer is there, and it has no good news. Basically, it boils down to "the iLiad was not designed to hibernate or suspend to RAM/FLASH".

What this means is that if you want to use your Iliad for casual reading, maybe 5 minutes or 10 minutes when you have a short downtime you'll have to do a full and time-consuming power-up and power-down every time and probably also navigate your way back to the book you had last been reading.

How an oversight like this could ever have happened with a 650€ device is beyond me. iRex, I'm heavily disappointed!
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Old 11-01-2006, 06:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderROR
How an oversight like this could ever have happened in a 650€ device is beyond me.
iRex, I'm heavily dissappointed!
Why...? Was this one of the main features given back in June/July...?
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Old 11-01-2006, 06:31 AM   #3
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they quoted 21 hours reading time on the box so we'll still have to see if they can achieve that
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Old 11-01-2006, 06:50 AM   #4
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You are right Jaed...they never promised it or I'd have thrashed them even more, but if you like, you can read their "community statement"

I'll quote the relevant part:

Quote:
Q) Will there be an operating mode on the iLiad, which suspends after every page turn to give us the 10.000 page turns?
A) Yes, this will be part of our power management optimization activities. However do note that in order to improve the speed of the page turns pre-rendering is required. Pre-rendering stops once all links are pre-rendered and so preventing the processor from going to standby after a page turn.
you can read it all here

the reason for my outrage is that I had talked to them evenbefore the device was launched and they also more or less promised that they would have the kind of Page-turn based battery-life the Sony Reader has.
Maybe I can't catch them with a direct lie (if you discount the statement above), but if you want a paper-like experience that contains the added bonus of needing about 1 minute to get back to the book you were reading or to take notes or to do anything at all...then you'll probably be very happy with the Iliad.
If it were something new and revolutionary they were trying, I'd perhaps be kinder, but since just about every PDA out there does this today (I've got a really old and cheap PDA lying here actually) right out of the box, I don't see any reason to be nice about it.
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Old 11-01-2006, 07:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderROR
Maybe I can't catch them with a direct lie (if you discount the statement above), but if you want a paper-like experience that contains the added bonus of needing about 1 minute to get back to the book you were reading or to take notes or to do anything at all...then you'll probably be very happy with the Iliad.
Well... I would very much doubt Irex is lying... I've never seen a promise for a hibernate mode... It looks like there is possibility for a sleep, or even a standby mode which would probably extend battery life...

I would also very much doubt that you have been intentionally misled... Remember English is not their first language...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderROR
I don't see any reason to be nice about it.
Up to you, but hopefully you remain civil about it...? I've found being nice to be a better long-term strategy... Perhaps a trip to the Meditation thread...?
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Old 11-01-2006, 07:17 AM   #6
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Well, I guess the Customer Q&A reply I posted above is pretty much a lie, but never mind.
I won't be uncivil, I just want to keep people who are looking for a paper-book replacement (people like me) from buying the wrong product.

I did a lot of "advertising" for iRex when they startet their "customer trial", the whole mobileread.com/teleread.org invite story, and I alsways tried to be patient with them, today I wouldn't do that anymore...

The fact that they actually came out into the open and admitted that it won't be possible is a good sign, but they should have done that back in July...enough people were asking about it after all...
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Old 11-01-2006, 07:34 AM   #7
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Well, if you want open hardware, buy an Apple II (that machine was coming with the electric schematics). I am not very surprised, and on other hand 33 MHz wait mode, if feasible, seems me almost so good as interruptable sleep mode. Can we speak mAmps here? Specs anyone?

It is unclear if it is possible to switch off the power of some RAM and let the machine running on cachable RAM only. If it were, people asking for longer modes could rely on the CF trick, as Scotty suggested (but I also could to insert a bigger extra battery in the CF slot )

Now, it is true that a True Suspend was a discussed feature last year during the discussion of the OLPC machine, which in some designs was supossed to have a human energy based e-ink display. It is amusing that iLiad engineers missed that discussion; more likely the machine had already been deployed into production.

Also, it is rare to have a Wacom tablet and to try to be energy-savvy at the same time.

Last edited by arivero; 11-01-2006 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 11-01-2006, 07:37 AM   #8
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Also, software could solve some issues. For instance, instead of the splash page, it could start by offering the list of the last read books, to click straigh into them. And same after card insertion.
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Old 11-01-2006, 07:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderROR
Well, I guess the Customer Q&A reply I posted above is pretty much a lie...
Why...? Nothing in that post points to a "hibernate" feature...? There is a mention of "standby" feature I would imagine this is what is described in their post about the possibility of standby/hibernate... (ie, scaling back the cpu...)
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Old 11-01-2006, 07:56 AM   #10
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ahem...the question clearly was about "suspend" which is not the same as standby...and they formulated the questions, not the users...they just took the user questions as "basis"
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Old 11-01-2006, 08:23 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by CommanderROR
ahem...the question clearly was about "suspend" which is not the same as standby...and they formulated the questions, not the users...they just took the user questions as "basis"
Well... Then you're back to what "standby", "suspend" and "hibernate" actually mean...
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Old 11-01-2006, 08:25 AM   #12
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I wonder an ebook device should consume very few power between page-rendering and fast awake up within 1 sec when I want to read it.

I will wait and wait until the iLiad can do it (maybe within 2~3 sec by some kind of power management mode), though it is good enough in readability and digital handwriting...

I think the iLiad should do it as an e"book", especially an expensive one.
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Old 11-01-2006, 08:36 AM   #13
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well, since I actually sent the "Suspend mode" question in to iRex (I don't know who else did) I can only tell you that I asked for "suspend like a PocketPC when it's turned off". I actually talked to some forum members (I think Scotty1024 wsa among them) asking about the Power-Management possibilities of devices like PDAs in general before I asked iRex too, just to make sure that I'm asking the right question and not misunderstanding anything.

As far as I know, Suspend mode means that all the RAM data is written to the disk (or in the case of Suspend to RAM stays in RAM) and then all power is turned off (only in the case of Suspend to RAM the RAM stays on very-low-power mode, just enough to keep it's data-content intact).
My computer does this as well, but there it's called Standby...it means the Power-Supply is still running and leaves a little voltage on the rams...everything else is completely off, the processor included.
There are different "modes" of standby, but I think Suspend is rather clearly defined with only the matter of "to RAM" or "to Disk" as variables.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 11-01-2006, 08:53 AM   #14
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The question is: why would iRex not support suspend? The PXA255 supports the necessary power management modes. Is it the touch screen that causes problems?
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Old 11-01-2006, 08:59 AM   #15
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You're quite right, just one little detail: A PC has multiple standby modes, S3 is (I think) "suspend to RAM", while S1 leaves the CPU running and only switches off some other hardware.

So what iRex is aiming for is "Standby S1", with the CPU still running but with a reduced frequency.

If I had to guess why they cannot do S3/"suspend to RAM" or even "suspend to flash", I'd say the hardware buttons have no way to wake up the CPU. So the CPU has to run to check if a button is pressed.
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