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Old 06-10-2010, 12:59 AM   #1
megacoupe
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Why is the un-upgraded PRS500 no longer supported in Calibre 0.7?

I installed the new Calibre recently and was shocked at the speed improvement in conversion of any formats to LRF. I was accustomed to waiting anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes for my conversions, and 0.7 was doing them in 10 seconds! Unfortunately, Calibre 0.7 was unable to detect my PRS500.

Is there any reason why support for the un-upgraded PRS500 was dropped? Surely I'm not the only PRS500 owner who decided not to send his reader to Sony. A quick search on the forums here reveals the numerous problems people have had, from battery life issues to unresponsive customer support. I'd rather not take the chance of upgrading my reader when it works perfectly fine as it is (on the rare occasion I get an .ePub, I just convert it to .lrf through Calibre).

Is there any chance at all that support may be brought back in a future update? I've switched back to 0.6.55, but it's so... slow. And less pretty. Please, Kovid, don't make me send my baby away!
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Old 06-10-2010, 01:23 AM   #2
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Is there any reason why support for the un-upgraded PRS500 was dropped?
I don't know why it was dropped, but it had been dropped from the Mac OSX side since 0.6.29

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Surely I'm not the only PRS500 owner who decided not to send his reader to Sony. A quick search on the forums here reveals the numerous problems people have had, from battery life issues to unresponsive customer support.
Certainly it is up to you to decide what to do, but all battery issues were solved long ago and since those issues were resolved customer service has been reported as excellent. On the rare occasion a problem occurred the client generally got a newer machine as a replacement.

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Is there any chance at all that support may be brought back in a future update? I've switched back to 0.6.55, but it's so... slow. And less pretty. Please, Kovid, don't make me send my baby away!
I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and wish you luck, but I'm not holding my breath.
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:44 AM   #3
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Is there any chance at all that support may be brought back in a future update? I've switched back to 0.6.55, but it's so... slow. And less pretty. Please, Kovid, don't make me send my baby away!
Almost certainly won't happen. The un-upgraded 500 uses a unusual method to talk to the device, which is incompatible with the new device driver architecture and near-future enhancements to calibre. Maintaining it so that it works at all has a cost that doesn't seem to be justified.

Of course, if you want to maintain it...
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Old 06-12-2010, 06:03 PM   #4
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that's a shame about calibre - Some of live in countries which Sony have decided not to allow the upgrade support to (No we don't live in a War Zone - just New Zealand). So we can't update our reader.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:43 AM   #5
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I too have an PRS500 without epub support, if it helps at all, you can still take out the SD card/Memory stick from the PRS500, put it in a independent card reader, browse calibre to the new removable drive, and upload your books that way. It is certainly interesting no one has figured out how to upgrade without sending it back to Sony, although I'm guessing it would require some DIY data cable, and the community is becoming wearier of hardware hacks by the day.
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:27 AM   #6
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the community is becoming wearier of hardware hacks by the day.
What makes you think this? AFAICT, there's more interest than ever in working around limitations imposed by hardware manufacturers. The difficulty or ease of installing modified software into the hardware I buy is probably my biggest consideration when buying electronics. I run modified software in the following: TiVo, 3 PDA's, smart cellphone, DVD player, MP3 player, router, sewing/embroidery machine, car engine control, espresso machine, computer BIOS and various electronic test equipment. Every time I turn around I find another interesting hardware hacking project.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:14 PM   #7
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What makes you think this? AFAICT, there's more interest than ever in working around limitations imposed by hardware manufacturers. The difficulty or ease of installing modified software into the hardware I buy is probably my biggest consideration when buying electronics. I run modified software in the following: TiVo, 3 PDA's, smart cellphone, DVD player, MP3 player, router, sewing/embroidery machine, car engine control, espresso machine, computer BIOS and various electronic test equipment. Every time I turn around I find another interesting hardware hacking project.
Gosh, you sound handy to have around. Would you like to come and live next door?
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:11 PM   #8
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Gosh, you sound handy to have around. Would you like to come and live next door?
Good point. A hacked coffee machine - now that IS serious hacking

Our PRS 500 was so hard to hack we sold it and got a second Iliad
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:47 PM   #9
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Sorry, I expressed myself poorly, what you say is true, I'm on my second mp3 that runs rockbox(rockbox.org), my NAT router runs openWRT since forever, and I wouldn't own a NAT router that didn't, among many other hardware hacks. It is my sincerest hope it will continue increasing, that it will reach the much needed domain of chinese clones, and that open source hardware will become evermore the choice of technologically confident. What I meant was that all of those are softmods, what the community is doing less and less are physical hardware mods, the PRS-500 for example has a JTAG port, it seems unlikely installing the new upgrade would be so hard, but I wasn't able to find even the new firmware NOR+NAND dumps(which I'm ashamed to say I would probably have tried flashing my PRS-500 in the dark if I had).

Last edited by eumesmo; 08-29-2010 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:00 PM   #10
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What I meant was that all of those are softmods, what the community is doing less and less are physical hardware mods, the PRS-500 for example has a JTAG port
A jtag based mod, IMHO would be a softmod. As you know, hardware tends to be harder to modify these days. Surface mount technology is hard to deal with. Not everyone has a rework station to play with. That said, there's still lots of hardware hacking going on. Hack-a-Day is still going strong.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:09 PM   #11
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All very true, and it is certainly a step forward that so much hardware is eventually modifiable by software alone, although I feel that we're getting so used to it, that if a hack requires any hardware mod based assistance, it isn't much of a hack at all, which only the most committed would dare venture. I find the notion that one can be a hardware modder without any soldering skills a bit, disheartening... Well, not being hardware hacker myself, perhaps I should consider the probability that it is dying because it was rendered useless.
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