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Old 12-15-2006, 08:07 AM   #1
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A possible reason for E-ink flash annoyance?

Our little group just picked up its third reader, thus spreading literary gadgetry even further. While listening to people seeing it for the first time, something finally clicked. They always ask questions as if it were some sort of media player (after all, it does have a screen and is a computer, right?). Questions like "can it play videos" and "can it hook up to the web". And then almost always a negative reaction to the page-flip refresh.

I said ALMOST always. Two people who saw it had almost nothing but praise for the idea and implementation. They weren't even bothered by the refresh. In fact, they didn't notice it. Why were they different? My guess would be because neither one uses a computer nor do they have a TV. (Yes, they are intentionally simple people by choice and lifestyle and much happier that way.)

Could what annoys everyone else who complains about the refresh be looking at it instinctively as a monitor and not a page? With most current devices that flip-flash makes us think our display is bad and it becomes an automatic strike against it when doing an initial evaluation. After a bit of use, the user becomes accustomed to it and can separate the display standards between regular monitors and e-ink so it generally no longer bothers them.

Strange that the people who look at e-readers as a book and not a computer are pleased with it while those who look at it as a device and not a book are not.

(By the way, those two are now trying to decide between the Sony and the Irex. Like I said, they live a simple lifestyle because they WANT to but know a good idea when they see it.)
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Old 12-15-2006, 08:24 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stxopher
Our little group just picked up its third reader...
Which "group" is this...?

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Could what annoys everyone else who complains about the refresh be looking at it instinctively as a monitor and not a page?
I think its more poeple trying to find problems and reasons not to use it... I use LCD monitors all the time, and I don't actually much of the refresh flashes or ghosting other people... Yep its there but compared to the advantages e-readers give, its just a minor problem that will solved...
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Old 12-15-2006, 08:25 AM   #3
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I guess that the whole flash thing is usefull to remove some of the ghosting issues that you have with e-ink.

I must say that once you've read a full book, you don't even realize that there's a flash between page turns, so it's not such a huge problem...
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:29 PM   #4
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Which "group" is this...?
Friend/community thing. It started out a couple years ago with the kids coming over for school research and homework help and then developed over time into a focal point for everyone. Currently my place is being used as a manga/anime center (Friday-Saturday), gaming clans (Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday) and a complete library lending center (database located at my place with everyones books, DVDs and CDs listed so they can trade). Hey, it's cheap, parents know where their kids are and we all share resources. Works for us.


As for the flashes, for most of us using the readers, the point was that it doesn't seem to bother us because, well, you guys are right, we got used to it very quickly. But what is it about that one particular action that seems to turn so many people away? Even people who were really interested in them often see the refresh and decide that single point is enough to outweigh all the benefits offered.

That's why I was wondering if it was a perceptual problem. We look at things such as monitors and TVs completely different than we look at static displays. Perhaps that unconscious categorizing is what makes the refresh so unbearable to some people. In their mind they judge it by video standards instead of static standards. That flash on a video display WOULD be unbearable over time. (Owww. I'm getting a headache just thinking what that would be like.) On a static display, it fades to the background rather quickly as just a "page turn".

Almost every negative review really comes down on the refresh. I honestly wonder how many of those come from reviewers who spend a lot of time in front of their monitors and so automatically use what they look at all day every day as the baseline. What sort of a graph could you draw between non-techcentric book readers and high-techcentric book readers? Blast, just what I need, another project.....

(This isn't really that important an issue but it's been making me crazy...ier ... than normal trying to figure out why such a minor thing upsets so many people.)
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Old 12-15-2006, 02:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stxopher
As for the flashes, for most of us using the readers, the point was that it doesn't seem to bother us because, well, you guys are right, we got used to it very quickly. But what is it about that one particular action that seems to turn so many people away? Even people who were really interested in them often see the refresh and decide that single point is enough to outweigh all the benefits offered.
[/QUOTE]

I think it is nothing more than a perceptual thing. Just like some people can see the 50Hz (60Hz I guess, in the US ) "flicker" of fluorescent lights, and are bothered by it, while most peope don't see it at all. I just literally do not see the "page turn" on my Sony Reader; my brain just completely "filters it out".
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Old 12-15-2006, 02:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by stxopher
That flash on a video display WOULD be unbearable over time. (Owww. I'm getting a headache just thinking what that would be like.) On a static display, it fades to the background rather quickly as just a "page turn"
Well... Back in the days of vcr, recordings made on dodgy video cassettes were still watchable even though there were flickers around the edges, and occasionally in the middle... The prain edits it, just as it edits out page turns...

Why people pick up on it...? Because some people like to highlight negatives rather than positives. Also, for the reviewers with a vested interest in continuing print its an easy point to score against the Reader / e-ink...
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Old 12-15-2006, 04:28 PM   #7
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A friend of mine who reads on a large size Palm also did not comment on the page refresh. For me I have always looked up between pages of a paper book to exercise my eyes to another focus length as this avaoids eye strain for me.
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