Tuesday, August 10, 2010

E-Book Readers, Blog 1

I have been reading e-books since the late 90's. I started reading on my computer, then moved to the Palm Pilot. My favorite Palm Pilot was and is my Tungsten W. Great, but, small. I typically used the Palm Reader.

When Palm did the Tungsten W they really screwed up. The Palm Treo phones were a mess too. I switched to the Treo and hated it. Time for the Blackberry, but, what to do about a book reader? I used my Tungsten W as a reader and my Blackberry as a phone. Eventually Mobipocket came out with a free reader. It sucked, but, it was better than nothing and the screen resolution on the Blackberry was better than the Treo.

A couple years ago I picked up an OLPC XO laptop and began using it as a book reader. Excellent device, but kind of large and clunky. I kept trying to turn pages by touching the screen :-)

A few weeks ago I started looking into the new book readers. Like readers in the past the Barnes & Noble Nook and the Amazon Kindle make it difficult to use common formats like *.pdb, and *.txt, but, I figured I would test the system out.

I bought an Android M001 tablet and tested it out.

I plan on purchasing and testing out a Kindle.

I will blog on my experiences with these e-readers and hopefully you can learn from my experiences. The first unit I am blogging about is the Nook.

To sum up my experience with the B&N Nook:

Essentially, it sucked.

*.pdf files sent to me by colleagues were displayed using whatever title Acrobat had assigned when published and not using the file name so I had no idea what the dissertation/thesis or paper name was.

*.pdb files published with the Barnes and Noble Drop Book program could not be opened on the Nook.
*.pdb files downloaded from gutenberg.org could not be opened on the Nook.

*.epub files could downloaded from gutenberg.org could not be opened on the Nook.

e-books purchased from B&N back around 2004 could not be opened on the Nook.

B&N is charging for books that are in the publish domain and can be freely downloaded.

B&N "loses" track of books that you have previously purchased and you have to submit proof that you purchased them to download them.

I was unable to open any of the "free" books I had purchased from B&N on my Nook.

Phone technical support was no help at all.

I returned the Nook after owning it less than 24 hours.

A simple subjective analysis of Nook user reviews on C-Net

Something I have noticed reading the 120 reviews, it looks like people who read for a living, students, researchers, professors, etc, and who have a lot of experience with e-readers typically give the Nook a very low score. People who read for fun, fiction, etc, and have actually gotten the download your purchases feature to work seem to like the product or at least do not hate it.

Typically, the people who like it seem to be new to e-books and purchased e-books from B&N

From my experience and after reading the reviews:

Buy one and try it out. It will either work foryou or it won't and you will return it immediately.

If it works use it every day for at least an hour or two. You will either have frustrating power, lock-up and lost book mark problems or it will work fine for you.

If after 12 days you have any doubts at all, take it back.

If you have no doubts about how well it operates after 12 days I wish you happiness and good luck.

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