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Old 06-10-2010, 09:31 PM   #1
JLYates
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not sure I am doing this right

I have a Sony 900, and so want to make sure that what I am doing is right; if not what do I do?

I downloaded on my computer the Calibre, was I supposed to also download it onto my ereader? I know, stupid question, but I am NOT technological savvy, I grew up with the old typewriters, just as the electric ones came out. So these newfangled items easily throw me for a loop.

I didn't download the Sony Reader Library software yet, am waiting till later.

If it is downloaded on just my computer, then how do I bring up on my reader the collections of books? I have only windowshopped for books so far, not bought or downloaded any.

I guess I also need to see if I have the ADE (correct name?) for the format of the books.

I really hate not understanding what to do.


Janette
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:59 PM   #2
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We all started out as newbies. Being a newbie is nothing to be ashamed of, so long as you correct that situation as quickly as possible.

Calibre goes on your computer. You're doing it right so far.

The interaction between calibre, your computer, your ebook reader, and your ebooks, goes kind of like this:

Calibre organizes your books. You use it to keep track of which ones you have, tag them according to whatever scheme makes sense to you (for instance, you might label them "mystery", "fantasy", "history", etc.), and load them onto your reader. You can do a lot more with it, of course, but I'm just touching on the basics.

Now things get a little more complicated depending on where you're getting your books from. There are a couple of things to consider:

The big one is DRM -- what the publishers call "digital rights management" and other people call "digital restrictions management" because, as someone (probably someone named RMS) pointed out, DRM manages rights like prisons manage freedom. DRM is what publishers use to make sure you can't read your books on any device other than the one they're registered to, can't lend them to anyone, can't sell them when you're done with them, etc. If you're planning to buy through the Sony store, you'll need to deal with DRM, and with Adobe Digital Editions -- ADE -- which is part of the DRM system. I'll leave the details of that to someone who actually deals with the stuff, because I'm a curmudgeon who's voting with my wallet, as tiny as it may be, and I will not buy a DRM-locked book. Calibre can organize and transfer DRM-locked ebooks, but it can't convert their formats, and of course can't buy them from online bookstores.

So where does that leave you? Well, it leaves you with a lot of independent publishers, like Baen Books, Bookview Cafe, BeWrite, and others who will sell you DRM-free ebooks. Quite a few of them hang out here, or at least have some staff member who does. A lot of indie authors post about their books here on MobileRead, scattered throughout various forums (I'm agitating for a "Book Fair" forum to collect them all into one place, so we don't have to go digging for them). The independent publishers have the further advantage of much more reasonable pricing than the big guys -- they sell ebooks at paperback prices (sometimes even used paperback prices!), rather than hardcover prices. Baen has the Baen Free Library, an insidious system where they give you the first few books in an SF or fantasy series free, because the devilish little schemers know that if you read them, you'll buy the rest of the series. They've sold me a lot of books that way. :/

Then there are the classics. That's my main source of ebooks: Right here on MobileRead, for one, and on a larger scale there are Project Gutenberg, ManyBooks, etc. Hundreds of years of literature there for the taking. They constitute the majority of the books cluttering up my reader. I'll post my big "where to get free books" list further down.

The best thing to do, I think, would be for you to snag a few books you like from here on MobileRead -- you'll want epub format, by the way -- import them into calibre, look at them there, and then use "send to device" to send them to your 900. The best way to learn to use any software is (IMO, of course) just hacking around with it for a while and seeing what it can do (aren't you glad I'm not an air traffic controller?).

Here's the list of where to find good ebooks free -- yes, legitimately and legally free, both gratis and libre:

Right here on MobileRead is a good start -- the ebooks are built by hand by MobileRead members, and in my opinion they have the best formatting. There are a lot of other good ebook sites out there. Here's my personal free ebook source list:

Public Domain

MobileRead - best formatting, limited selection (hand-built by MobileRead members)

ManyBooks - PG scraper, but sometimes has books from other sources, good formatting

Feedbooks - mostly scrapes PG, improves formatting

Project Gutenberg - the granddaddy of them all, phenomenal selection

Munseys - painful to use, but has books nobody else does

the Internet Archive - generally only the scans are readable

Google Books - most of the time, what's good isn't free, and what's free isn't good

Free non-PD

Baen Free Library - amazing selection; also, they will tempt you into buying books

5th Imperium - Baen CD collections

Other Things

Search: Inkmesh. Sadly, it's not a very comprehensive search engine, at least when it comes to free ebooks - it misses a lot of them - but as far as I know, it's the only ebook-specific one out there.

If you're using free ebooks, it's only right to give something back: proofread a page a day at the Distributed Proofreading Project.
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLYates View Post
I have a Sony 900, and so want to make sure that what I am doing is right; if not what do I do?

I downloaded on my computer the Calibre, was I supposed to also download it onto my ereader? I know, stupid question, but I am NOT technological savvy, I grew up with the old typewriters, just as the electric ones came out. So these newfangled items easily throw me for a loop.

I didn't download the Sony Reader Library software yet, am waiting till later.

If it is downloaded on just my computer, then how do I bring up on my reader the collections of books? I have only windowshopped for books so far, not bought or downloaded any.

I guess I also need to see if I have the ADE (correct name?) for the format of the books.

I really hate not understanding what to do.


Janette
I learned on a Manual Royal in Jr. High Peaked out at 12WPM. Been using computers since the late 70's since the allowe corection of typing errors.

ADE (Adobe Digital Editions) is only needed if you buy e-books (PDF and EPUB) infested with Adobe DRM.

If you use Calibre to manage your Reader, you probably don't want to install the Sony software.

Did You INSTALL Calibre after you downloaded it?

There should be a Calibre Icon on your Desktop (or Start menu) if it is installed.
Install Calibre if it was not done (double click the Calibre installer file you downloaded).

Once installed, you are ready to start. Double-click the icon. (it can take a minute or so to start.


Once Calibre starts (you need to specify where to put yor Calibre library. Unless you have a computer guru in the family, that set up your system like an advanced user, accept the suggested location.

If you have books already on your Sony, and Calibre is running.
Within a Minute of connecting your Reader, Calibre should "discover" it (additional icons will appear next to the "Library" Icon and start building a list (The spinner in th corner will, spin).
When it stops, click the other icons to see what was found. This proves that Calibre can communicate with your reader.

Note NO books Move or are copied, this is only a list.



Step to will be to copy books from your reader to you Calibre Library (if they are not already available elsewhere on your computer.

A Sony user-person will have to lead you through the specific steps for a Sony.
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:15 PM   #4
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I wish I hadn't downloaded the Sony software. I had to get help to stop it from opening everytime I plugged in my reader. I think Sony will try to install as soon as you plug your reader in.

Calibre does the same thing but easier for me to understand.
I installed the Calibre on my computer, and then plugged in my reader. You can then choose to look at your books in your Calibre library on the computer, or see what books are on your reader.

It may not be the most correct way, but this is how I do it.

1. Download books to ebook folder on computer.
2. Add the books to my Calibre library using the blue book thing in the top left.
3. Send the books I want to read using the Send to Device button.

So far I have not had any problems. I have only downloaded books from Smashwords, MobileRead, and Google books.

Hope this is of some simple help.

Last edited by SneakySnake; 06-10-2010 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 06-11-2010, 04:56 AM   #5
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Hi Janette. Like you, I'm no technotop, and I found out the hard way that the Sony library software is less than useless. I discovered Calibre when I found MobileRead over a year ago, and I've never looked back. It's as easy as falling off a high bar stool once you get the hang of it. It offers all kinds of fancy options to the techies, but the basics are a doddle for folks like us. Mind you, I wouldn't change my Sony reader. The company at least got that right. Good luck. Neil
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Old 06-11-2010, 02:18 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone

My son, not trusting me, installed and downloaded Calibre, it shows up on my reader, I was just concerned as the reader wasn't plugged into the computer, should it have been plugged in. It shows the Calibre on the screen though, and has the user guide.
I definitely DON'T want DRM books, only the ADE or epub or whatever that is safe to download. I may download some articles from professional journels, those that are and are not in pdf if I can, but if I can't no big deal.

On the Sony store, I don't want to install their library software, but can I still buy books there? And the Adobe, the ADE, is it free or does it cost? I haven't downloaded that yet.

I have a good size list of ebook stores (seventeen so far), some that offer free ebooks. I have I think three that are listed here (beside MR's) already saved in a folder in my favorites. Plus around 10 others. I will add the ones I don't have in that folder.


I had read about ereaders while posting on Amazon's communities. Wasn't interested in one until around 6 months ago so did so reading online about them. Then three months ago I decided to get one and have done indepth research, pros and cons of different brands, which series of each brand, talking to those who had one, all that I could find.
Sony seemed to be the best choice so I decided to go for the 900. They provided some excerpts from some books and I have read them and played a little with some stuff. What I do see I am well pleased with it.
Meanwhile, as I am learning how to use it, I am having fun running around this fourm reading posts.

Thanks again for the help, I am sure I wil have lots more questions LOL.

Janette
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Old 06-11-2010, 03:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLYates View Post
Thanks everyone

My son, not trusting me, installed and downloaded Calibre, it shows up on my reader, I was just concerned as the reader wasn't plugged into the computer, should it have been plugged in. It shows the Calibre on the screen though, and has the user guide.
I definitely DON'T want DRM books, only the ADE or epub or whatever that is safe to download. I may download some articles from professional journels, those that are and are not in pdf if I can, but if I can't no big deal.

On the Sony store, I don't want to install their library software, but can I still buy books there? And the Adobe, the ADE, is it free or does it cost? I haven't downloaded that yet.

I have a good size list of ebook stores (seventeen so far), some that offer free ebooks. I have I think three that are listed here (beside MR's) already saved in a folder in my favorites. Plus around 10 others. I will add the ones I don't have in that folder.


I had read about ereaders while posting on Amazon's communities. Wasn't interested in one until around 6 months ago so did so reading online about them. Then three months ago I decided to get one and have done indepth research, pros and cons of different brands, which series of each brand, talking to those who had one, all that I could find.
Sony seemed to be the best choice so I decided to go for the 900. They provided some excerpts from some books and I have read them and played a little with some stuff. What I do see I am well pleased with it.
Meanwhile, as I am learning how to use it, I am having fun running around this fourm reading posts.

Thanks again for the help, I am sure I wil have lots more questions LOL.

Janette
Adobe Digital editions is Free (They make their money Selling the Encryption licenses to Book Publishers).

You will ONLY need it for (EPUB or PDF) Books Sold with DRM (You can't buy from Amazon and read on your non-Kindle reader without engaging in the grey practice of cracking the DRM for your OWN USE.)

(Not all book sellers make it obvious that the book is encrypted.
Beware. Before you buy. Some, Like Amazon lock you to their reader or PC software. Beware.)
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:45 PM   #8
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I'm a bit less helpful than usual (which may put me into the negatives!) today because I've got a slight concussion (long story) and my brain isn't braining very well at the moment. But some quick answers....

Quote:
I definitely DON'T want DRM books, only the ADE or epub or whatever that is safe to download. I may download some articles from professional journels, those that are and are not in pdf if I can, but if I can't no big deal.

On the Sony store, I don't want to install their library software, but can I still buy books there? And the Adobe, the ADE, is it free or does it cost? I haven't downloaded that yet.
Any books you get (paid or free) from the Sony store will be DRM-locked. ADE (Adobe Digital Editions) is the program necessary for reading it. So if you don't want to deal with DRM restrictions, you're going to want to avoid the Sony store.
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:50 PM   #9
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+ pretty much all the other big ebook retailers as well... except of course Smashwords


Stinger's suggestion: Do a google search on 'removing Adobe ADEPT DRM'. It's really not all that hard, I'm sure your son could figure it out.

Or better yet jump the DRM-FREE bandwagon like many of us:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Worldwalker View Post
because I'm a curmudgeon who's voting with my wallet, as tiny as it may be, and I will not buy a DRM-locked book.
I personally look for any ebooks I can't find without DRM on the 'darknets', and then purchase a first hand paperback to support the author.

Last edited by Stinger; 06-11-2010 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:17 PM   #10
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okay, I think I understand what you are saying. If I do the Sony route, I have to get the DRM books. Which can have problems. Some books have DRM and are not clear on it. I don't want to do any of the "grey area".

Perhaps I need to do this backwards, LOL. What should I use to get ebooks that won't create problems for my reader, be breaking any legal, moral or ethical laws of downloading book. I would like to get free ebooks, ebooks from libraries, buy ebooks from reliable sources that I don't have to worry about problems due to something of the dowloading format or whatever. If possible have access to pdf articles from professional journels, perhaps some magazines. I don't want to be stuck with having to get books of one specific type of format, or from one specific place (if I had not minded that, I would have bought a Kindle).

Some rules are meant to be broken or bents a little, but in this area, I don't think so.

So, what should I download?

Thanks again for the help.

Janette
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLYates View Post
okay, I think I understand what you are saying. If I do the Sony route, I have to get the DRM books. Which can have problems. Some books have DRM and are not clear on it. I don't want to do any of the "grey area".
I believe the sentiments expressed above were that DRM itself is the problem. If we ignore the by-design restrictions of the DRM scheme, DRM'd books don't generally suffer from problems any more than their friendlier DRM-free cousins.
Quote:
What should I use to get ebooks that won't create problems for my reader, be breaking any legal, moral or ethical laws of downloading book.
Wow... that is quite the tall order. By not breaking moral or ethical standards I'm assuming you mean stripping DRM. Are you still looking for DRM-FREE books only? Or are you more flexible in this regard with what I stated above?

If you still only want DRM-FREE content, but consider it ethically wrong to break digital locks, you're unfortunately going to be severely limited.

Cheers!
--Milo
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLYates View Post
. I would like to get free ebooks, ebooks from libraries, buy ebooks from reliable sources that I don't have to worry about problems due to something of the dowloading format or whatever. If possible have access to pdf articles from professional journels, perhaps some magazines. I don't want to be stuck with having to get books of one specific type of format, or from one specific place (if I had not minded that, I would have bought a Kindle).

So, what should I download?

Thanks again for the help.

Janette
Most Library books (any modern title) have DRM that limits the time the book is readable. ADE software is commonly used.
Books for loan is one of the few uses of DRM that I consider acceptable. They were never you books. :/
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLYates View Post
okay, I think I understand what you are saying. If I do the Sony route, I have to get the DRM books. Which can have problems. Some books have DRM and are not clear on it. I don't want to do any of the "grey area".

Perhaps I need to do this backwards, LOL. What should I use to get ebooks that won't create problems for my reader, be breaking any legal, moral or ethical laws of downloading book. I would like to get free ebooks, ebooks from libraries, buy ebooks from reliable sources that I don't have to worry about problems due to something of the dowloading format or whatever. If possible have access to pdf articles from professional journels, perhaps some magazines. I don't want to be stuck with having to get books of one specific type of format, or from one specific place (if I had not minded that, I would have bought a Kindle).

Some rules are meant to be broken or bents a little, but in this area, I don't think so.

So, what should I download?

Thanks again for the help.

Janette

OK Janette, I have a sony device (505) so here is my 2 cents of advice.

Since you are new to this, stick to something really easy the first time.

1. Go to the mobileread sony epub book forum HERE. Choose a book. There are lots of books here. They are all free and public domain (depending on where you live). Click to download one. It will ask you where you want to save it. Choose somewhere on your computer you will know where it will be downloaded to.
2. Open calibre. Drag that "*****.epub" file you downloaded onto the calibre window. It should import a copy of your book into the library. The original will stay where you downloaded it in case you want to keep it somewhere else.
3. Connect your sony device to your computer using the usb cable it came with. Calibre should recognize that you have connected the device and you will notice the sony reader icon added next to the library icon near the top of the calibre program.
4. Select the book in the library. Click on the "send to device" icon at the top of the calibre screen (near the middle). Your book should be transferred to your sony. Now click on the "arrow" near the icon of your sony device (next to the library icon about 1/5 of the way down from the top) to eject your sony from calibre and the computer. Detach the usb cord. Wait for your sony to catalog your book (swirly arrows on my device) and then open it.
5. Read.

Now when you have figured this out, it will all become easier as you repeat the process.

You asked about where to get books and are concerned about DRM and formats. It is really confusing when you start out. Everyone has their own format. Here is a partial list:

Ones you CAN'T use:
eReader [.PDB]
Microsoft [.LIT]
Palm Doc [.PDB]
Rocket/REB1100 [.RB]
Franklin [.FUB]
Hiebook [.KML]
Isilo [.PDB]
Mobipocket [.PRC]
Kindle [.MOBI]

Ones you CAN use:
ePub [.EPUB]
Adobe [.PDF]
Sony Reader [.LRF]

Ones you can use AFTER conversion in calibre:
text [.txt]
html [.html]

OK, here is some more confusion: the epub and pdf formats may have DRM attached to them. These books are purchased books and usually titled as "secure ADE", "secure PDF", "secure Adobe", or "secure ePub". The "secure" is the hint

If you want to purchase books that do NOT have DRM, look for the following formats in the ebook stores:
-html
-txt
-epub
-multiformat

The hint to use on these is that the bookstore often lists a whole bunch of formats under the same book title. If one of the formats is either html or txt, then DRM is not present.

For some great places to purchase DRM free books you can start at these sites:
Fictionwise (all genres)
Smashwords (all genres)
Samhain (erotica/romance)
Baen (sff)

Now, if you wan't to use your library for ebooks, this becomes slightly more challenging. You will need to find out from your library the website that you can use to get the books. This varies from place to place, but they usually have an easy primer to get you started. You will need to download adobe ADE since these books will be protected by DRM. Once you have adobe ADE, you will need to sign up for an adobe ID and then when you get the book from the library website, it will show up in the adobe ADE library (not calibre). Now you have 2 choices:
A. put it on your device via the ADE system (you may need to ask how to do this in a separate topic)
B. strip off the DRM and send it to your device via calibre (illegal in the US, but not in many other countries. morality quite gray)

Hope this helps start you off.
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:29 PM   #14
JLYates
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hummm, okay I need to rephrase that so it is clearer. Sorry, I am have problems thinking clearly, as Worldwalker is. He is dealing with a concussion and I injured my shoulder, specialist says it is an over stretched tendons (rotator cuff area) along with severe arthritus (didn't know I had that) and bursituis. So, pain meds is making me dopy at times. Typing gets painful and so mess up my sentences.


I don't intend or ever want to do, what, strip the DRM. And I know that I don't get to keep the books from the library, they are on lend for I think 21 days.
What I am trying to figure out is what do I need to download to read books borrowed from the library, buy books from such places as fictionwise, or e-desiel, or obtain free boooks from MR or other sources.

So, here is what I have so far. Correct me if I am wrong.

If I want to get books from Sony, i have to download ADE and buy books that are DRM locked.

I only need ADE for DRM books

I can get books in epub from many sites and not have to use the DRM.


I'm pretty flexible (well, my mind is anyway, my body is another thing altogether) I just don't want to do something that is in the wrong, and from what I have gathered in reading lots of post, striping a DRM is just wrong; I got the impression it is a form of stealing.



Is that making more sense or did I just muddy the waters more?

Janette
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Old 06-12-2010, 07:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLYates View Post
I just don't want to do something that is in the wrong, and from what I have gathered in reading lots of post, striping a DRM is just wrong; I got the impression it is a form of stealing.
Two questions:
- You have a Sony. Assume that one day it is run over by a truck and turned to dust. At that point you buy the new Whatzit reader that is the latest rage. Would it be stealing to read your books on the Whatzit? After all, you bought them and the Sony is well-and-truly dead. Unfortunately, the Whatzit might use a different DRM scheme, in which case you *cannot* read them. Your books are now dead bits. Sony (ADE) vs Kindle vs Nook are the big examples today.
- You want to give your book to a friend, who also has a Sony. When you do so, you delete your copy, so that your friend's copy is the only remaining one. Is this stealing? Sony thinks so, and will prevent your friend from reading the book.

As you can see, the question of right or wrong is nuanced. DRM prevents me from doing some things that are unquestionably morally proper, even if not legal in the place where I happen to live. Such moral vs legal questions arise in many situations and in many places, and we make judgments and decisions about them all the time. Some trivial examples: do you ever cross the street where there isn't a crosswalk even though it illegal, or do you ever drive faster than the speed limit? It is up to each of us to decide what lines we will or won't cross, and also to respect other peoples' decisions about it.
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