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  1.    #1  
    Here on VC I've been hard on Microsoft's Reader. This is especially so for the version of the MS Reader that ships on the HPC. I've criticized it for producing pretty type that actually does little to improve readability. Not everyone agrees with this . . . which is fine.

    Some may recall that most of the commercial ebooks that will be released in MS Reader format will utilize an encryption scheme that won't work with the version of the MS Reader on HPCs. I think can we all agree this this is incredibly lame! But wait; there's more! The commercial ebooks can only be read on two devices that you register with Microsoft. If you ever upgrade (or want to read your ebook on a third device), you are SOL. Really. Here's the URL - http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/0,1199,NAV47-68-84-91_STO49358,00.html

    [Edited by yucca on 09-07-2000 at 09:01 PM]
  2. #2  
    The whole Microsoft Reader issue ticked me off a few months ago, when Barnes & Noble started selling MR ebooks... They had offers of free ebooks (new, best sellers) - "for a limited time". Even though I don't own a PPC, I decided to download one of the books. Why you ask? To maybe give to someone else (who *could* read it, and might miss the offer, or didn't have Internet access...), to hold for a possible PPC purchase of my own, just because…

    Well, when I hit download, it came back asking me to “confirm ownership of your Pocket PC”. They wanted the 25-digit product key that came with the PPC. (!)

    What if I was a person that was saving my money to buy a PPC? These kind of offers don’t last long, and I could have just been trying to get at much free software as I could, before I made my purchase...

    After all, look at Palmgear (and most other sites that offer PDA software). Do they ask for *proof* that you have already purchased a compatible machine? No, they just put it out there, tell you which programs work with which machines/operating systems, and let you make your own choices (and mistakes).

    There are probably lots of people out there that are 'storing up' on free software, for future PDA purchases. If it’s for a PocketPC, it might be a little more difficult.
    "Attitudes are contagious... Is YOURS worth catching?"
  3. #3  
    When I tried the link it would work.
    BEN
  4. #4  
    Aside from the annoying compatibility issues, I really don't see this as a big issue. Microsoft has already said they will release an update to Reader for Pocket PC. But what really pisses me off is that they never disclosed the fact that the version currently installed on all Pocket PCs is a "preview" version. In other words...beta! That sucks! But what do you expect from Microsoft? For every clever, well thought move, they make a dumbass mistake. But they are getting better at this game.

    As for ClearType being useful...I think it's a dramatic improvement over the PalmOS font rendering system. Pocket PC has a tremendous advantage over Palm as an ebook platform. I've been wondering why Palm has sat quietly by while Microsoft cuts deals with every major publishing firm. It's a mistake they can't afford to make any longer.

    For Narnia's mishap with the 25 digit code requirement; this has less to do with the Pocket PC, and more to do with encryption and security issues with ebooks. Basically, publishing firms don't want ebooks to be pirated and spread throughout the internet like MP3s via Napster. And they are right for taking this course of action, even if it is an inconvenience. Even if you could download a Reader format ebook, it would be useless on your Visor. The file formats are incompatible.

    *As a footnote, I'm getting out of the Pocket PC business. I recently sold my iPAQ on ebay, and have gone back to a Palm IIIxe. My main reason for this is that within the next couple months I will be switching to a PowerMac G4 for Graphics and Web design work. At which point I will need a PDA that can sync with both a Mac and a PC. Unfortunately, Pocket PCs are Windows only handhelds...that sucks! It was a painful but necessary decision. But to be honest, I really missed the Palm community. It's actually refreshing being able to use applications that I couldn't get on my Pocket PC such as HanDbase, PortaMonkey (god I love this game), AllTime, DateBK3, HackMaster, BugMe!, iSilo, blah...blah...blah. I miss the color and MP3 music...god do I miss the MP3 music, but it's hard to say no to your one true love. The PalmOS is something you really never can get out of your blood. It's like the old saying; "You can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy". Guess that applies to me as well.

    The prodigal son has returned.
  5. #5  
    Originally posted by BEN
    When I tried the link it would work.
    BEN
    yucca's link?
    http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/sto...TO49358,00.htm
    Originally posted by foo fighter
    For Narnia's mishap with the 25 digit code requirement; this has less to do with the Pocket PC, and more to do with encryption and security issues with ebooks. Basically, publishing firms don't want ebooks to be pirated and spread throughout the internet like MP3s via Napster.
    Other sites (i.e. peanutpress) have encrypted ebooks, but I think MS is going a bit too far...
    Originally posted by foo fighter
    The prodigal son has returned.
    I'm speechless...

    [Edited by narnia_77 on 09-07-2000 at 11:44 PM]
    "Attitudes are contagious... Is YOURS worth catching?"
  6. #6  
    Welcome back from the Dark Side, Foo. I saw a pig flyin' and I knew somethin' must be up.
    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice...
  7. #7  
    Originally posted by foo fighter
    For Narnia's mishap with the 25 digit code requirement; this has less to do with the Pocket PC, and more to do with encryption and security issues with ebooks. Basically, publishing firms don't want ebooks to be pirated and spread throughout the internet like MP3s via Napster. And they are right for taking this course of action, even if it is an inconvenience. Even if you could download a Reader format ebook, it would be useless on your Visor. The file formats are incompatible.
    If you have to enter a PPC product key, then it's a PPC issue as much as a security issue. You don't have to enter a product key for your Rio when downloading MP3s from Goodnoise and other fee-based MP3 servers. Imagine having to enter your Windows product key every time you downloaded a WMA file onto your PC. The inconvenience, even more than the money issue, is what drives people to Napster (which is far more popular than other free file-swapping technologies like Gnutella, Freenet or IRC). You can debate the ethics of IP all you want, but in a free market, consumers will always seek the least unpleasant experience.

    Narnia's point was that the download process should be separate from the hardware, so that PPC owners can download the files to their PC without having their PPCs in front of them. Obviously MR books won't work on the Palm OS.
  8. #8  
    Originally posted by Gameboy70
    Obviously MR books won't work on the Palm OS.
    Believe it or not, many Palm users have tried to get access to Reader format ebooks at B&N for their Palm. Several have even emailed me asking if they could "barrow" my CD key, or requesting that I send them Michael Crichton's Timeline book. I can't for the life of me imagine why they think they can install these books on their Palm, but they do. Some people are hopeless.
  9. #9  
    You think that's bad? During the first weekend of Windows 95's release, the number two complaint that MS tech support received was from customers unable to install the OS on their Mac! (I worked at a computer store at the time and actually talked to some of these people, so no, it's not an urban legend).
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by foo fighter
    The prodigal son has returned.
    Welcome back... we missed ya...
    .
    .....
    MarkEagle
    .....<a href="http://discussion.treocentral.com/tcforum/index.php?s=">TreoCentral</a> | <a href="http://discussion.visorcentral.com/vcforum/index.php?s=">VisorCentral</a> Forum Moderator - Forum Guidelines
    .....Sprint PCS Treo 650
    .....God bless America, my home sweet home...

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