Thursday, August 7, 2008

Finally got my eBook reader

After quite some waiting, the ebook reader arrived. All specs can be found on the Bookeen page, this entry will only be my own personal experiences of this device.

As promised, the screen does look like paper, I must say it has a more grayish tone than normal cheap pocket paper, but it suffices perfectly. No reflection or problem reading characters. When connecting the Gen3 to the computer (I use both Windows Vista and Ubuntu) the device shows it's connected by by displaying a "Connected" text together with an image of the Usb connector.

The size is all okay, a little larger than a pocket, and smaller than an average paper back novel. For comparison, I shot the Gen3 besides Beta.
The device came with some free books, a manual and some demo books. I also bought an SD card of 2GB, it shows up in windows as a separate? device which has the same internal directory structure as the on board memory of the device. Disregarding this, I start by purging all the unwanted demo books and demo images. Unluckily, not all the demo books have a demo suffix (some files have a "demo" suffix which eases the job considerably), as for those wondering if there is some "Remove book" option inside the menu ... there is none (should be added). Thus, after the purge what remains is

Cybook Gen3 - User Manual
Hans Christian Andersen - Contes Merveilleux
Bach [musical notes]
Bronte Emily - Les hauts De Hurlevent
Don Quichotte (First book)
Bram Stoker - Dracula
Crime And Punishment
I Robot
Nouvelles Histories Extraordinaires
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Needles to say, there where some french texts in there, and they also had to go for the benefit of the freshly bought "Making Money from Terry Pratchett", as this is my first ever bought EBook, I must say this was extremely easy. A lot of ebook (re?)sellers can be found on the Mobipocket Ebase 1.0. I set for "Fictionwise eBooks" which seemed to have a reasonable price. (Amazon would be the first choice, but buying their ebooks in another format than "Kindle" format is obscured beyond recognition; honestly I don't even know if they have another format than "Kindle" and on that matter, why foul things up with yet another format?).

So, disregarding Amazon for their lack of clarity (and because Kindle is ONLY sold in the US; thank you so much!), I bought the book (which was extremely easy;

1) Choose the book
2) Select format [secure Mobipocket]
3) Pay.

Once the purchase is complete, I entered the "Bookshelf" section of my account. This is where I had to register with my Mobipocket Reader PID (only once; several could be registered)

4) Register my Mobipocket PID
5) Download the book to my computer

And this is where Windows started to get annoying (should have done this in Ubuntu), Vista suddenly would not find my USB devices ... (a restart later), I dragged and dropped the eBook into the eBooks directory (just to make it more interesting, I actually copied it into the SD-memory "eBooks" directory), disconnected the Gen3, and voila, the book is readable!

All my future books will be digital / eBooks, moving my library with me could not be easier, Amazon is obscure and the market of available eBook readers is surprisingly thin for the Europeans.


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