16 Jun 2010

And Then There Was An Up-date….

A while ago I went shiny shopping and found myself buying me a Sony 600 e-reader. 600, that’s the one with the touch screen. As I have been using the thing now for a goodly amount of time I thought I would give all my reader an up-date on how she do be working. In a nut shell, she do be working fine. I wish the things had been around when I was a travelling and working away a lot type of person. It sure would have saved on weight and space in the ol’ bag.

Below are a few of my personal points on the reader. Search the Inter-web and you’ll find no end of reviews, all differing to a degree depending on, I guess, the reviewers personal preferences.

Page turns are supposed to be in the thousands between charging; I must be a slow reader as I’m sure I don’t get the advertised number. Have I counted the turns? No, but it’s not in the thousands.

It would be the absolute bees knees if they gave him two hinged screens so he opened and read like a book. There may be one coming along late this year. I did buy the high priced cover for him which goes a little way towards the proper book feel.

600Technical stuff? Go find it yourself. Card slots, head set port and other stuff are there. The new Sony, not available in the UK yet, has wireless connectivity also, as well, would you believe, yes it does. More on this a little bit after a while ago.

There are a host of download sites for books, and a bunch are free. That’s modern stuff as well as the out of copyright stuff. New titles by top authors can be expensive but other than that, paid for books are a reasonable price with many bargains available.

The library software for moving books around feels very dated and limited to me, but does the job. First book I paid for, the download was 1.2 KB. What to do? I clicked on it and….. nothing. At least nothing I could see. I then opened the library software and guess wot? There he wuzz. As best I can figure this is to do with DRM protection on the purchased book files.

It did take a while to get used to reading him, black print on a mud gray background, not too long, but a little time, and now, to me, it’s just a book. The black and gray display is, they say, to prevent eye strain. Personally I’d prefer a bright colour display.

A result? For me, yes, a result – I like it, and if you enjoy browsing book shops, then a winters evening browsing the web-a-net for e-books is up there with it.

If your interested, try this site for reviews of a bunch of readers. The sites I find myself returning to are The Burgomeister's Bookshelf Great site, and well worth a donation. Then there’s obooko Click on that to go straight to Crime & Thrillers. And Online Novels – don’t be put off by ‘Online’ – they can be downloaded.

There are many book file formats in use through the readers, but it seems most will read most formats. The native Sony seems to be .epub All this format seems to be is a type of compression. For instance, the Sony will read PDF files, and, indeed many book downloads are PDF, but whacking them into .epub will greatly reduce the file size. An example? 3 MEG PDF will typically be 600+/- KB in .epub.

Lastly, for free, a very natty bitty of softy-ware is Calibre. This fella’ will convert, now I hope this doesn’t get too technical for you, just about anything from anything to anything for any e-reader. If you ask it nicely, it will also pop out, download and then stuff your daily newspapers and magazines straight onto your reader. Now that’s just way too cool for the day you’re hopping on that ten hour plane ride. Cool eh? I mean, is that cool or wot? Oh, come on, it’s cool.

To conclude, put simply, if you enjoy reading, and definitely if you do a whizz of travelling, you should enjoy an e-reader. But wait. With the release of that iPady thingy, I would expect a whole bunch of varying types and sizes of e-reading choices popping up towards the year end.

Quote; Robert Chambers.

“Books are the blessed chloroform of the mind.”

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