I got the Sony E-book reader in the mail last Tuesday and have been
playing around with it ever since. For those of you who are waiting for
an in depth technical review of the device, well you’ll have to be
patient or just google for it. Plenty of people have done a review of
the device, and it’s thanks to their hard work that I was convinced I
needed to get one. Lets say the last 48 hours with the device have
consisted of unwrapping it (I shall show you the unboxing porn later), overloading it with 1400 e-books
( which proved to be a little too much, not for the device, but for the
person who planned to READ 1400 books.. me) and .. Draining the
Sony is a wonderfull company. You get a free rootkit with their audio cd’s, but you don’t get a freaking power adapter with your e-book reader. Sure they shove one of those USB-cables
into the box, that will let you charge up your device with your
computer… But still. I don’t always have my computer with me. ( For
example when i’m
in the bathtub) Now according to Sony the device has a battery life
that mounts up to the same number of page turns you will make while
reading "war and peace" .. Four times over. First of all : Who in his
right might is going to read "War and Peace" four times. You must have
a problem with your short term memory if you do that .. Or you realy
like the book that much .. ( in both scenarios : you’re a basket case).
But instead of reading "war and peace" you can just shove in the USB
cable and "THINK" you are charging the device .. While in fact you are
draining the battery. Oh joy ! So the first day of using my PR-505 was
overshadowed by battery-power-deprivation-syndrome. Where the nagging
alert of "battery low" kept nagging me while reading my first book.
The book I am reading is NOT a purchased book , it was a (little) .txt version of a star trek novel I had lying around on a cd somewhere. I had planned on printing a hard copy of the sucker but decided I love both my ink-cardridges
AND tree’s too much to do it. Since its a good book, I decided to use
it to loose my e-books virginity. First impressions ? Its awesome. The
E-paper truly "feels" like paper and the readability in the most
extreme light conditions is downright awesome. Sitting IN the sun (high
noon) outside proves to be a great way to read a book, no glare, no
hard time reading the small print, its just fine. The MORE light you
have.. the better. ( I had been reading the e-book on the couch the
night before , and as dusk set in i had to turn on a reading lamp to
continue my book). So in those accounts its just like having a "real
Content-wise the e-book is NOT very fast when it comes to PDF’s.
Although they are readable ( you might need to adjust the orientation
of the book to get a larger font size ) the Sony PR-505 is not the
fastest device in the world to open them. Think of booting up Acrobad adobe reader on your computer ( Version 5 or something, the ones packed with bloatware) It’s about that speed. The larger the pdf’s get , the slower the reader is. But you can do a little dirty hack to get around it. OPEN the pdf on your computer, Install a pdf printer, next PRINT the pdf , using your PDF printer to a PDF
file (are you with me) but instead of printing the entire book, print a
chunk of about 50 pages, or a 100. This way you will end up with
several ‘smaller’ pdf’s each holding a section of the book you want to read. The reader responds much faster when you use a smaller PDF file. I have also noticed that PDF files WITHOUT a lot of images display pretty fast, the more
first impressions of the PR-505 are very positive, partly the device is
easy to use ( Tip : Don’t buy an expensive Sony PR-505 Power-adapter,
just buy a Sony PSP Power adapter and jam that one right in, same voltage, same plug , 1/4th
the price) The fact that you can put "all" of your books on the same
device is just downright awesome. In my enthusiasm I shoved 1400 books
on the device, only to come to the conclusion it was getting very hard
to find the book I wanted. And that I needed at least 4 human lifetimes
to get through them all. So even if the new firmware supports SD cards
up to 8 gigabytes, the number of books that you will be able to store
on that kind of space .. is just too much to practically sort through.
My tip is to digg
up those 32 or 64 meg SD cards and put your books on those. Shove the
SD cards you don"t need in your wallet and just stick the one with the
book(s) you are reading into the reader. Building one massive library
on one single stick is not practical and makes the bootup time of the device way too long. (it has to index everything on the card).
I did get some remarks on Twitter about the whole DRM thing. The Sony reader was quite restricted when it came to DRM’d books that where not bought in the Sony store. You could not read Amazon Drm’d books on the Sony and vice versa. Well, boohoo. Most of you know what I think about DRM"d content. I DON’T BUY IT. With that I do not mean "I don’t believe in it" (I DON’T believe in DRM) But I also DO NOT BUY drm’d content. When being offered the choice to "steal" drm’d
content through channels of dubious legality (pirated shit) or be
‘stolen from’ by some major multinational who only ‘rents’ me the book untill they decide they need more money and scrap their DRM strategy .. We’ll Shiver me timbers matey .. I’m pirating that crap !
But.. you don’t NEED to pirate. There are soo many free books out there, free E-zines, Magazines, Novells, Fanfiction, Books, more then enough to keep you occupied. Tie in the internet with a PDF printer AND the cross platform E-book client "Calibre" and the internet is now yours to read. Subscribe to RSS feeds and have them converted to TXT files or PDF’s. Print your favorite webpages to PDF
format and read them on the fly. Who ever said its lame to copy and
paste text of the net into notepad and shoving it on your reader. There
is soooo much out there.. and it won’t cost you a dime.
So to get you started i’ve rounded up some links to free books and free content for you to get your hands on. Before you fire up the HMS Bittorrent and sail into the Pirate bay. Walk the just, non-drm’d line with me and get your free stuff.
Project Gutenberg Its like a library pass to infintity (and beyond).
Of course Scott Sigler’s latest novel " Contagious" is also available as free PDF chapters.
For those into the Ubuntu Linux field, why not put the FullCircle magazine onto ones e-book-reader.
And finally if you are looking for a cross platform (Win/lin/osx) E-book management application, Calibre is your thing .