Ebook readers - Sony PRS-2

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avatar
jon

Ebook readers - Sony PRS-2

The Sony PRS-2 arrived yesterday.

On the positive side, we like the look and feel of the device, find the display amazingly clear and reading books seems easy. The two month battery life between charges also sounds good. My parents are delighted with it so the negatives are mine.

While turning pages is fast enough, I find other operations slower than I expected and, to me, it has the sort of sluggishness that I might expect from a PC lacking in RAM. Also, I can't really put my finger on it and am not familiar with hand held devices (I've never used a smart phone, tablet or another reader) I have a general sort of "they could have done better" feeling about the user interface.


Setting up the wireless network itself was easy but... This is probably not a problem to many but I could find no way to enter my own DNS settings and (for access to web pages on our local network) had to work round that limitation.


As for getting books, I don't imagine the Sony store will be used often and I haven't tried. Their main source is likely to be Project Guttenberg. I have tried this but (although I suppose I could get used to it if I really had to) I found browsing for books using the built in browser was painful. Also it's not clear to me how use the device to move books from its "download" location its "books"
location.

For Linux users, I haven't managed to get the Sony Reader program to run under wine but books the USB connection works as a USB storage device and files are easliy transfered using drag and drop operations with a file manager. For the moment, I've suggested that my parents use their PC to browse for books and download them and I will move them to the PRS-2 for them. In the longer term, as it is possible to delete the wrong files using a file manager, I will write a simple java application for my parents to transfer files themselves - it will be safer.

Although this will take some (mostly web interface to suit the limitations of the browser display) programming on my part, I'm fairly confident it will be practical to use the built in browser for scheduling tv recordings (already works but is too clumsy to be practical), a remote control for the lights, perhaps for checking email, etc. so I imagine its uses will extend beyond those of just a book reader.

Overall then, my parents are very happy and I think it will prove to be a useful device. I can't help but feel though that if I was buying for myself and able to try a few readers that while I would stick with the EPUB requirement, I may well have chosen a model from some other maker.

avatar
SonyaK

Ebook readers - Sony PRS-2

Well, I'm glad your parents are delighted with it, even if you aren't:)

I always use my iMac to browse for books and download them, then use the Sony software to store them and transfer them to the reader. Using Linux complicates the issue but you seem to be able to work around it, so that's good.

"I'm fairly confident it will be practical to use the built in browser for scheduling tv recordings (already works but is too clumsy to be practical), a remote control for the lights, perhaps for checking email, etc. so I imagine its uses will extend beyond those of just a book reader."

I use mine just as a book reader - never expected it to do all those fancy things!!j

avatar
JAMES

Sony Ebooks.

Sorry, Jon, but I think you are expecting far too much from a cheap device like an ebook reader.

They are used to read books on, nothing more.

avatar
jon

Ebook readers - Sony PRS-2

Sonya, the reader would be doing no more than acting as a web browser. It would not be doing anything fancy itself.

The lights should be easy - just a simple page with links like

Living Room | On | Off
Bed Room | On | Off


Will do for what I want and the browser should cope with that easily. The lights use my own X10 program though and that doesn't have a "web connection" yet so I've a bit of work to do there.

tv (mythtv) is a different problem as it comes with a web interface. It displays far too much info on a page (lots of zooming and scrolling needed) for the Sony but I think I can come up with a sort of cut down page that would work. I'll have to see.

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SonyaK

Ebook readers - Sony PRS-2

Getting back to books, have you tried 'Calibre' a program written for an early Sony model to make it compatible to Linux.
Now it's available for windows, Mac or Linux and it's run by some Indian guys who update it all the time. Lots of people use it - I did for a while then went back to Sony software, but can use both.
It's quite a sophisticated programme - worth a look if you haven't already come across it.

avatar
jon

Ebook readers - Sony PRS-2

Yes, I've got a copy of Calibre on this PC and I quite like it.

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jon

Ebook readers - Sony PRS-2

Just a follow up as there was a bit of doubt regarding the other possible uses.

The remote for the light switches worked well. I was able to do it in a way that avoids browser refreshing and I think it's quite a nice remote.

I'm not that happy with tv recording but if for example I saw a program in the paper, I'd rather reach for the PRS-2 than boot a PC to schedule the recording so, for me, it does achieve it's main objective. I hope my parents use it.

avatar
jon

Ebook readers - Sony PRS-2

Sonya, re Calbire.

I have to admit that while I'd tried it a good while an used at as reader, I only tried it with the PRS-2 plugged in yesterday.

It brings up an (device) icon I'd not seen before...

All in all, I'd cancel my "Linux thoughts above" re writing a program for my parents to download onto the prs.

I'd completely missed that Calibre does this and does it far better than anything I'd have been likely to come with...

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SonyaK

Ebook readers - Sony PRS-2

Glad you found that function on Calibre - lots of people use it instead of the Sony software. Didn't realise you hadn't seen that functionality before.
It also can change books into ePub and can find different covers for books. Not an essential but I've used that a few times.
Like I said, it's quite sophisticated and regularly updated.
And it's free!!

 
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