Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1.    #1  
    http://www.rca.com
    Above site shows the company's EBook offerings.
    Add in Visor PDA/Springboard components and I am sold.
    Doesn't fit in a shirt pocket, but has the size screen I want.
  2. #2  
    I don't see any of the current incarnation of e-book readers replacing my Visor any time soon, especially those from RCA/Gemstar:
    • They are a closed platform, and do not allow for software installation, supposedly to prevent people from decrypting the e-books.
    • They are designed primarily as e-book readers, with PIM functions added as an afterthought. I'm looking for the exact opposite.
    • They only allow the viewing of content purchased from them.

    Jeff Kirvin bashes these devices alot better than I ever could here. It's a great read.
    Life's just a blast, just it's moving really fast, and you'd <BR>better stay on top or life'll kick you in the *** -Limp Bizkit
  3.    #3  
    Originally posted by parb33
    [[*]They are designed primarily as e-book readers, with PIM functions added as an afterthought. I'm looking for the exact opposite.
    I definitely agree.
    My main point that I forgot to mention was that I like the size for reading. The PIM part would also have to be tightly integrated and allow for the same software capabilities of the Palm platform.
    I tried EBooks on my Visor. Did not like it at all. But that is my opinion, others have no problem.
    Also the physical size of a pocket book or novel doesn't matter to me. But I still want all the capabilities that the Visor has to offer.
    One can only dream!!!
  4. #4  
    Originally posted by BudPritchard
    I tried EBooks on my Visor. Did not like it at all. But that is my opinion, others have no problem.
    The problem is that the current Palm hardware is a very poor platform for ebooks and large documents. It was only meant to retrieve phone numbers and appointments, not War and Peace. In order for ebooks to REALLY take off, the pixel resolution MUST be increased. 160x160 is simply too primitive. However, when Palm unveils its "Next Generation" hardware/software in 2002, I have a feeling we may see a totally new font rendering engine built into the Palm OS.

    What really breaks my heart is that we aren't going to see these new devices (including OS 5.0) for another 18-24 months.
  5. #5  
    I actually don't find the Visor to be too bad for short content. I wouldn't want to read a novel on it, but it's fine for short stories and the like. My new Prism is particularly good, the screen is very readable. I agree it could be better, and I look forward to the higher resolution in future versions.
  6. #6  
    I agree with VTL. I don't mind reading on a PDA for short content, but I've never enjoyed reading full books on one. I used to think that true black-on-white text, which requires a color screen, was the problem. But the color screens I've seen, of any resolution, don't seem to facilitate longer reading sessions. The text looks better on a PPC but I don't find myself spending any more time reading.

    I have two problems with e-books: lack of content (virtually none of the books I read are available electronically), and screen brightness. I can't take more than 20 minutes of reading on the Prism or the iPaq at a time. Then again, I've never read full books on a PC, either.
  7. #7  
    The other problem, of course, is battery life. When I fly, I tend to read the whole flight. On a coast-to-coast flight, if I read an e-novel on my Prism, I'm going to burn through a good portion of the battery, even if it's fully charged.
  8. #8  
    This past Christmas I read Dune by Frank Herbert, about 1/4 on my old Deluxe and then the rest when I upgraded to the Prism. I really liked it, its much smaller than the actual Dune book and it remembered my place better than I would.

    When I was reading on my Deluxe I used FontHack to change the font to something easier on the eyes, but I really had no problem with the Prism. Right now I'm reading the new Starcraft Book they just started offering on Peanut Press, then probably get around to starting the 2nd book in the Dune series.
    Matt Nichols
    VigoSpraxPalm@Yahoo.com
  9. #9  
    Now I really love reading full-fledged novels on my visor. It makes the books I read more portable (in fact they weigh nothing because I'm already taking my visor with me because of the datebook), it makes for great night reading without disturbing my wife, and it keeps the book(s) I'm reading handier than a paperback. I agree that its abilities as a book are secondary when compared to its abilities as a PIM, though.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  10. #10  
    Matt-

    Where on earth (or Geidi Prime, or Arrakis...) did you find Dune in eBook format? I would love to have a copy on my Vx (I know, heresy on a Visor board). Any information would be appreciated.

    Thanks in Advance,

    Adam
  11. #11  
    I still can't believe that Foo is preaching the myth that Palms " . . . are a very poor platform for ebooks and large documents." I'm near-sighted, and I've worn glasses since the 4th grade; I'm not blessed with superior vision. Given my eyesight, how is it that I've comfortably read 7+ novels, 24+ magazines and 100s of DOC files in less than a year on my Visor? In fact, the lack of silly encryption schemes on the Palm actually makes it a better platform for ebooks than any of the specialized ebook readers or Foo's beloved Microsoft Reader. Speaking of which, has Microsoft fixed the MS Reader on the PPC so it can read commercially encrippled ebooks?
  12. #12  
    Originally posted by yucca
    I still can't believe that Foo is preaching the myth that Palms " . . . are a very poor platform for ebooks and large documents."
    They are, because the Palm has lousy font rendering. Text appears pixilated and jagged. It reminds me of looking at Cell phone or pager. Adobe and Palm partnered back in 99 to bring PDF to the Palm OS. I suspect we may yet see something come out of that. Be that as it may, I stand by my conviction. Compare a Palm device to a Rocket Ebook reader, or one of the new ereader devices from RCA, and there is no comparison!

    In fact, the lack of silly encryption schemes on the Palm actually makes it a better platform for ebooks than any of the specialized ebook readers or Foo's beloved Microsoft Reader.
    My beloved Microsoft Reader? I should point out to you that I no longer use Pocket PC devices. I'm back to a Palm...again. Right now I am more interested in the Symbian "Quartz" platform, and the new Linux devices that will be coming out this year. Although, I don't have much high hopes for Linux. Judging from the reaction the Agenda PDA (Linux powered), Linux will run extremely slow on a Palm form factor device. Which backs up my theory that sticking Linux on a PDA is every bit as stupid as putting Windows in it!

    We'll see

    Speaking of which, has Microsoft fixed the MS Reader on the PPC so it can read commercially encrippled ebooks?
    Nope. This is one of the reasons why I no longer carry a PPC. That, and I'm tired of waiting for my Palm apps to get ported over. Perhaps when Microsoft gets its sh*t together, I'll go back. But for now I will wait and see what this year brings for the PDA market. One thing is certain; this year is going to bring a MAJOR push from Symbian. If Palm doesn't wake up to the changing mobile environment, they will be left behind. Jeff Hawkins has been in talks with Symbian for the past week or so. Something is afoot at HS Headquarters. We may yet see HS license EPOC32 for some upcoming device.
  13. #13  
    Originally posted by foo fighter
    The Palm has lousy font rendering. Text appears pixilated and jagged. It reminds me of looking at Cell phone or pager. Adobe and Palm partnered back in 99 to bring PDF to the Palm OS. I suspect we may yet see something come out of that. Be that as it may, I stand by my conviction. Compare a Palm device to a Rocket Ebook reader, or one of the new ereader devices from RCA, and there is no comparison!
    It's interesting that what you see as a bug I see as a feature. I happen to think that cell phones and pagers are much more readable than smaller, rendered fonts. That's not to say that that the fonts on the non-Palm platforms mentioned above don't look better; I just don't think they read better. There's a difference between technology that's intended to be admired and technology that's intended to be used.

    My beloved Microsoft Reader? I should point out to you that I no longer use Pocket PC devices. I'm back to a Palm...again. Right now I am more interested in the Symbian "Quartz" platform, and the new Linux devices that will be coming out this year. Although, I don't have much high hopes for Linux. Judging from the reaction the Agenda PDA (Linux powered), Linux will run extremely slow on a Palm form factor device. Which backs up my theory that sticking Linux on a PDA is every bit as stupid as putting Windows in it!
    Last week I talked to an engineer at Ericsson, and I happened to accuse the Quartz of being vaporware. He shook his head and detailed his experience with a working prototype. He claims that Ericsson plans to release a Quartz product somewhere in Q3 of this year, which I translate to Q2 of next year (Innogear time).

    As for Linux on a PDA -- true, technically, it's a pretty ham-fisted solution for a PDA. But it has two advantanges over Windows CE. There are no licensing fees, which means higher profit margins for manufacturers. And it's open source, which means that anyone can correct what he or she feels is a mistake in the OS' design. You can complain about the PalmOS, but Palm and only Palm controls the future of it. With Linux, if there's something you don't like, all you have to do is learn how to code, quit ********, roll up your sleeves, and fix it.

    One thing is certain; this year is going to bring a MAJOR push from Symbian. If Palm doesn't wake up to the changing mobile environment, they will be left behind. Jeff Hawkins has been in talks with Symbian for the past week or so. Something is afoot at HS Headquarters. We may yet see HS license EPOC32 for some upcoming device.
    As much as I'd like to see a major push from Symbian, like I said, I don't expect any shipping products this year -- just more "around the corner" announcements. Then again, I said a color Visor was at least a year away . . .
  14. #14  
    Gameboy:

    When I mention the big push from Symbian, I'm not just talking about PDAs. There is going to be a huge array of PDA/Phone hybrids and Smartphones to hit the market. Many will probably fail due to poor design and usability, but some form factors may prove to be winners. We'll see.

    As for Linux, I have yet to see a good working implementation on a PDA. Every GUI I have seen is a grotesque mutation of the old WinCE interface. It always puzzles me why Linux zealots really believe that this UI will work on PDA this time because its NOT a Microsoft product? Hmm, don't count on it penguin heads! This spring HP will introduce a low-cost entry level PDA (possibly a new addition to the Jornada line) that will run on Linux, at least, that's the rumor. I'm anxious to see what developments have taken place with usability and performance. I'm not holding my breath.

    As a side note, I have to correct you on something. You always claim the Microsoft continues to use cascading menus and hierarchical menus with the Pocket PC interface. That is totally untrue. There are no cascading menus whatsoever anywhere throughout the interface. In fact, the only remnant of a menu is the Start menu, but even that has now morphed into a form of task switcher. Its still not a perfect solution, but it is a vast improvement over the last half-assed GUI.
  15. #15  
    I agree re: Symbian and Linux. There is a rumor that Hawkins met with the Symbian folk recently re: their OS. This may have something to do with Handspring releasing products with alternative form factors (seeing as there appears to be no practical means of exceeding current Palm OS display resolutions until OS5).

    Re: dedicated ebook readers - - Yes. I've seen them, and the only thing going for them is the size of their screens (which are ideally sized for reading books). Their text is both more attactive and legible than the Visor's at larger font sizes, but then they display little more text than my Visor does. If you use a font size similar to that of the Visor, their type quality is about that of the Visor. Which, I'll say again, is "good enough." Their content is not portable between platforms, there seems to be no good way to archive old content, and they are only readers. That is it. I even hear that you can not utilize a broadband connection with these devices. For all these reasons, they are vastly inferior to the Visor.

    DOC readers (including PeanutReader) do not render text. Rather, these apps utilize the OS's the bit-mapped fonts. This is why your font size (and effect) options are limited on the Visor, and why it performs as well as it does with relatively slow processors. These built-in fonts were optimized for legibility; and, while not pretty, do little to hinder efficient reading. To be sure, the bold and italic fonts are a distraction; but thankfully most books never use these fonts.
  16. #16  
    Originally posted by foo fighter
    As for Linux, I have yet to see a good working implementation on a PDA. Every GUI I have seen is a grotesque mutation of the old WinCE interface. It always puzzles me why Linux zealots really believe that this UI will work on PDA this time because its NOT a Microsoft product? Hmm, don't count on it penguin heads!
    As a penguinhead myself, I'm not crazy about the idea of putting Linux on a PDA. I'll reserve final judgement until Linus finishes Mobile Linux. But I'd rather see a new open source handheld OS built from the ground up.

    I've never cared that WinCE is a Microsoft product; but like Linux, it's a mistake to port an OS designed for desktop servers and workstations to a handheld device. MS could have created a new OS with a UI and memory management model similar to Palm's and still been able to support higher screen resolutions and many additional features -- which is essentially what Symbian is doing.

    As a side note, I have to correct you on something. You always claim the Microsoft continues to use cascading menus and hierarchical menus with the Pocket PC interface. That is totally untrue. There are no cascading menus whatsoever anywhere throughout the interface. In fact, the only remnant of a menu is the Start menu, but even that has now morphed into a form of task switcher. Its still not a perfect solution, but it is a vast improvement over the last half-assed GUI.
    You're right: it's still not a perfect solution. It's been three months since I've had my hands on an iPaq, so I can't say I remember seeing submenus on it, but I still remember having to get to too many things through menu selections (probably via the task switcher you're mentioned). There are lots of things I like about the iPaq, but the interface is still the one thing that irritates me -- and it's not a minor irritation. I used to see the iPaq on display at Staples, look at that terrific screen and think, "I should give it another try. Maybe this time it'll be different." Then I'd test drive it a while and realize that, 10,000 features or not, I hate navigating around the platform. My dislike would manifest itself in seconds, but I'd force myself to try out more stuff anyway. It didn't matter. Only cell phone WAP microbrowsers are more painful.

    The PPC would be a better choice if the applications I'm interested in didn't require much manual interaction: MP3, e-books, voice recording, etc. But those things don't interest me. I'm more interested in being able to conveniently jot down and retrieve information, which does require a lot of manual interaction. With that standard in mind, the quality of the interface becomes critically important. There are other reasons why I prefer Palm devices (more software, longer battery life, etc.), but the interface issue is the decisive factor.
  17. #17  
    Originally posted by foo fighter
    As for Linux, I have yet to see a good working implementation on a PDA. Every GUI I have seen is a grotesque mutation of the old WinCE interface.
    Check out the Agenda VR3 at http://www.agendacomputing.com/. It looks to have a very Palm-like interface. Looks very promising. Apparently they also are working on the VR5, which will have among other things a color screen.
  18. #18  
    Gameboy:

    For the most part, I agree with your misgivings regarding the Pocket PC. My basic opinion is that they are not quite there yet. For example, one problem I see time and again, is that performance varies so widely from device to device. HP's Jornada 54x performs miserably, while the iPAQ is a screamer. The same is true of Casio; the E-115 is a snail, but the EM-500 and E-125 are very fast. Microsoft needs to set standards in what processors are used in base-line models. In fact, I think they should move the entire platform over to StrongARM, which I suspect will happen anyway. HP will unveil a new Jornada some time this year that will run on the same 206 MHZ ARM as the iPAQ.

    Needless to say, Pocket PCs still have some problems, but Microsoft is getting very close, and that illustrates a serious problem for Palm. I think even you would agree with me that much of Palm's past success has come from Microsoft's failures. But Palm can't count on that any longer. Microsoft has a long track record for constantly experimenting and improving their products until they get it right. I suspect this may end up being the case with Pocket PCs. This iteration is a significant improvement in usability and performance over that last truly awful WinCE. In fact, Microsoft has successfully fixed the three basic problems with WinCE: slow performance, system instabilities, and a cramped interface. From what I understand, the next upgrade due out this year will be a major improvement.

    My feeling is that Microsoft will never dominate the PDA market, but they will command a significant share. Everyone here seems to make the misinformed mistake of believing that MS must crush Palm in order to succeed. Your wrong. They only need to grow their market share. If Microsoft commands a 35% share, many third party Palm developers will begin making their products available to Pocket PC users. After all, this isn't a popularity contest...it's market, and developers will not continue to ignore Microsoft's platform simply because Palm started this industry. If developers see an opportunity to make a profit, they will take advantage of it. I know we sometimes see Palm vs. Microsoft as a whimsical battle of good vs. evil, but its not. Handhelds are merely products, and consumers will buy what they like.

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