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Old 01-16-2007, 10:58 AM   #1
macanima
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Talking Bookeen producing eInk reader for Baen Bar - IF they get 1k orders

From Baen Bar:

Quote:
This is the offer from Bookeen :

Bookeen offers for USD320:

- 1 Eink device

- 1 USB cable (the device can be charged through the USB connection)(*)

- 1 user’s manual

- 1 Packaging

- Shipment is not included (**).

- 1 year warranty (please see terms of trade for more explanation) .

Supported format: RTF, HTML, PDF and PRC (No DRM).

Here is what we can propose for 1000 units at USD320:



The device specifications and mechanical design will be exactly the same as the Starebook (thinnest and lightest device).

To summarize:

Hardware :

Size: 4.7" x 7.4" x 0.3" (118 x 188 x 8 mm)

Weight: 6,3 ounces (183 g, battery included)

Screen: Black & White 4 level gray-scale Eink, 6", 600x800 pixels (170 dpi), Daylight readable, Portrait and landscape display capabilities

Sound: standard 3.5mm stereo headphone plug

Controls: buttons "ON/OFF", "Up ", "Down", "Right ", "Left", "Enter ", "Cancel", "Menu", "Music".

Battery: Rechargeable built-in Li-Polymer battery (800mAh) (8000 page flips battery life) rechargeable by USB

Processor: Samsung S3C2410 ARM 200MHz

ROM memory: 16 MB + 64 MB Data Flash

RAM memory: 16 MB

Connectivity: USB Client (v2.0)

Expandability: SD Card slot

Power Supply: USB

Color: white(*)

Logo: Bookeen (*)



Software

Operating system: Linux

(*) can be changed but extra cost to be determined.

- Bookeen will provide patches, updates and upgrades for new format support. These software enhancements will be free as long as Bookeen doesn’t need to pay any royalty to a software publisher. (For example : Macromedia provides Flash player for Bookeen eink device with a USD5 royalty fee then the update will not be free. Bookeen has developed its own support for CHM format then the update will be free)
Thought some people here were interested in this deal, so you might wanna head over there and be tallied if you're interested. This isn't an immediate thing - I think I saw a mention of 'September' at one point - but for a DRM-free ebook reader, I'm willing to wait a bit.
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Old 01-16-2007, 12:08 PM   #2
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I'm in. I guess there will be a whole slew of Sony eink devices from Mobile Read users on E-Bay? LOL.
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Old 01-16-2007, 02:20 PM   #3
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I suppose it will be the equivalent of the STAReBOOK (same manufacturer), but without the proprietary stk format, so converting files to the format wouldn't be necessary. What would make it worth switching from Sony, if you've already got one? Just to make a point about DRM? It won't meet my needs in any case-- I need stylus annotation capabilities-- but I'm curious as to why it would seem to be worth switching from Sony to this. I seriously doubt the end-user support is going to be any better, unless the Baen Barflies are going to provide it, and that assumes root access, which I don't see specifically listed.

I'm not trying to be a wet blanket, I just don't see the advantage here, yet.
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Old 01-16-2007, 02:27 PM   #4
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It would be so that I could read books without conversion. Sony doesn't read html natively. Many, many romance e-publishers offer html as a format choice, plus a read reader can convert secure files into html format. That is a huge deal for me. I bought my Sony Reader with a 2 year accident protection plan. I feel confident that I won't lose money on this transaction.

There isn't anything about the Sony Reader except for the screen that makes me want to stick with it. There isn't any content that it sells that I can't get somewhere else, cheaper. It doesn't offer a great browsing format. A way to make notes. It just has a beautiful screen.

If I can get the beautiful screen that reads htmls natively, Sony loses me as a customer. Bookeen partnered with Gowerpoint Ubook reader in the past and I hope that program is the basis for its e-reading software. Gowerpoint allows to have bookmarks, display pictures, has a great library feature. The only thing it doesn't do is allow you to rate your books. Other than that, I think it is a wonderful ebook program.
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Old 01-16-2007, 02:33 PM   #5
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Since I've already converted all but a handful of my Palm books to RTF for the Sony and the conversion from HTML to RTF is trivial, there is no incentive to move to the Bookeen. While the Sony does support DRM, there is no requirement that I use the DRM since there are viable alternatives available on the Sony. Also at a savings of less that 10% (before shipping and taxes) there does not seem to be a financial incentive either.
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Old 01-16-2007, 02:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by da_jane
There isn't anything about the Sony Reader except for the screen that makes me want to stick with it.
Even without a backlight, Jane? Sorry I just couldn't resist.

They were talking about FBReader at one point, but I don't know if that's what they've ended up going with on this.

Edit: Now I'm seeing a post on the Bar to the effect that Bookeen has developed their own reading app.

Last edited by NatCh; 01-16-2007 at 02:39 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 01-16-2007, 02:47 PM   #7
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For the interested: It looks like they're going to be gathering orders via the naebllc site. The link isn't up yet, but I'll post it when it is (unless someone else beats me to it ).

I know it's been mentioned that they need 1000 units worth of orders to get the pricing they're talking about.
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Old 01-16-2007, 02:49 PM   #8
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The description posted doesn't mention root or shell access, an SDK, or a user-replaceable battery. I'd recommend some caution.
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Old 01-16-2007, 02:58 PM   #9
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Funny you should say that, those are very hot points of discussion over at the Baen Bar right now. Not much coming out of said discussion at the moment.
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Old 01-16-2007, 03:27 PM   #10
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Does Sony come with any of those? Just wondering? And yes, even without a backlight. I feel like I have to have one of these e-ink devices. LOL.
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Old 01-16-2007, 05:27 PM   #11
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I guess I can't help it-- I'm skeptical. TANSTAAFL: There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. The Bookeen reader is probably a workable device -- looks like they're the manufacturer for the STAReBOOK, after all-- but I just don't see enough value for the cost when you factor in a machine that will be orphaned out of the gate. The BAEN crowd is essentially trying to trim off Sony's margin, but when everything is factored in, I doubt the final cost will really be much less than the Sony unit, with less direct end-user support. If it came with an SDK and root/shell access, limited functionality could be improved. But US$300+ is still too much for me to pay for a device that is only a reader -- can't take notes, can't search, can't run any other apps, etc.

Hopefully I'll be proved wrong on this, the people who get one will be happy with it, the user development community will flourish, and eBooks will take off. But I think I'll sit this one out. My eBookwise 1150 still works well enough, at 1/3 the price.
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Old 01-16-2007, 06:37 PM   #12
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Looks a lot like the Sony minus the A/C adapter, but plus HTML and prc compatibility, and the adapter sort of accounts for the slight price difference. But remember that a complaint about the iLiad arose after the fact that DRM was not supported (because you couldn't buy recent popular books for it).

On the other hand, Baen folks probably don't care about that for the most part.

One of the main draws would be an open environment to support third party apps. It's odd that it was missing. Maybe it was asked for, but not allowed? Or maybe that was an issue for future support because the retail software probably isn't set up that way. For example, they offered to basically provide functionality updates, and that might be difficult if the platform was different than their main retail products.

And I would have also expected foreign font support. I wonder why that was left out, or maybe if it is included.

I think most people are likely to prefer the Sony Reader, but this might find a nice niche market. I hope so. I'd like to see many devices succeed as long as we don't split up the 3rd party development efforts too much. Hopefully they will get the 1000 orders they are aiming for!
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Old 01-17-2007, 05:28 AM   #13
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1000 units is a huge order. I am sure we could come up with 100 or so MR orders, but 1000?
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:07 AM   #14
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We could'nt even come up with a hundred people interested. And most of them were in a category below the $320 sticker. It would have been nice with the MR logo.

@ da jane... Html is so easy to deal with. What I do is open the book with Word, pass it through a reformating macro,change the properties of the document and resave it under an other name in RTF format. That takes under two minutes. Quite worth it for a ten hour read. With PDF; open document in Acrobat reader, select all, copy and paste in Word. Then pass it through the macro and save in RTF. ET three minutes. The "copy" is the culprit in this process, it seems to go on forever...
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Old 01-17-2007, 11:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yvanleterrible
We could'nt even come up with a hundred people interested. And most of them were in a category below the $320 sticker. It would have been nice with the MR logo.

@ da jane... Html is so easy to deal with. What I do is open the book with Word, pass it through a reformating macro,change the properties of the document and resave it under an other name in RTF format. That takes under two minutes. Quite worth it for a ten hour read. With PDF; open document in Acrobat reader, select all, copy and paste in Word. Then pass it through the macro and save in RTF. ET three minutes. The "copy" is the culprit in this process, it seems to go on forever...

You know, I hate to say it... but what about embeded images in a true reflowable and rescaleable environment? Man I love html viewers. If they get this guy off the ground I'm all over it

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