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Old 04-03-2010, 08:33 PM   #1
CO'Neil doesn't litterCO'Neil doesn't litter
Posts: 35
Karma: 154
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: upstate NY
Device: PRS500
Second Firmware Upgrade

Wooooooo Hooooooo!

Checkin' out the updated ol' 500 today and giving it the acid tests:

Battery life is restored, as advertised. (Tough to say if it might not be better than original, actually, 'cause that was infinite, too.)

FAST, FAST, FAST. For instance, I have a habit of clearing the "history" after every 100 pages, since that's the size of the buffer. Used to take a little while.
Now it's literally instantaneous.

Eighty degrees in the sun out in the back yard today -- hooked up the ol' MySoldius solar charger to the USB port to find out if the 500 would finally charge that way. Still no go. Biggest wish for an e-reader: Solar Power (if eInk is that frickin' power-stingy anyway!).

First time reading under direct sunlight (after all these years!) there were two distinct letter-sized areas where actual pixels were missing in the text, regardless of page displayed. These areas were also notable as "whiter" than the grayish "white" background when not required to display characters.

So, thoughts of, "Well, now for a 505, at least. 10% better contrast, but I really like this form factor. Eh, maybe a 900, have to look and see. How's Sony going to fight off the iPad anyway?"

But, out of the sun, back indoors where it's lived its whole life so far, the display snapped right back to full-definition as usual. No more undue thermal stresses (I assume, never could figure out how teeny floating balls could be immune to that).

Bottom Line
The original PRS500 upgrade was ostensibly to provide support for an industry-standard: ePub, while retaining capability for BBeb (.lrf) a proprietary, superior format (henceforth only available in Public Domain documents, but widely).

After the second upgrade, the PRS500 has not only met the design goal, but excelled it, to quite a large degree.

Since the Sony guys in Laredo don't leave an address to reply to, I'll say it here:

Thanks for the upgrade. Service was superb. I couldn't appreciate it more (unless you have a firmware upgrade for solar charging, of course, hi, hi).

Chris O'Neil
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