The Cybook is more then just an eBook
It’s been a long time since I have been writing about the Cybook and ebook readers in general.
I am still the same great fan of these devices, if not bigger. I have read more or less the whole Golden Compass triology on the Cybook, and my eyes are so relaxed. The screen is so much better to read on then a LCD screen. It is truely the closest you can get to paper. My New Year’s Eve resolution was to not print paper for personal reading this year, I haven’t managed that completly. I still prefer to read tutorials with screenshots on paper, but more or less everything else I read on screen. And belive me, I have not missed the traditional books a single day! The Cybook is more or less constantly with me, on the subway to and from work, in coffeebars and out on my local pub. Battery is long lasting. I have only had to recharge it once since I bought it in January.
If you are an owner of a Cybook, there is one application you need to install, Mobipocket Reader. Mobipocket Reader is currently out in version 6.1 (6.2 beta is available). In short, the application could be said to be iTunes for books. The only difference is that it lets you choose what store you want to buy your books from (Mobipocket is default). You can also read your books from within the application, but better is to sync them on to your preferred eBook reader. Below you can see a screenshot of the books that I have bought on Mobipocket, and be assured that the last two books of Eragon is gonna be bought only as ebooks.
The Cybook has also become my favourite RSS reader, as it syncs with the Mobipocket Reader application. The application itself, is like most or all RSS readers on the Windows platform, crap! I find both implemented displays hopeless. My hope is that the devs behind Mobipocket Reader could have a look at Vienna and/or Netnewswire. They both have a far better user interface implemented. Other then that, both RSS and Atom support are implemented, and I have not experienced any problems with syncing.
But as so often, there is one feature that makes it worth hanging out with an application that you are not satisfied with, and in this case the feature is that your subscribed feeds can be syncronized with your eBook reader. Sadly a lot of publications only let you read 3-4 lines of the articles and then you have to click on the article’s link to read the rest, so you have to be a bit picky on what feeds you subscribe to. I hope a future version of Mobipocket lets you select which feeds you want to sync with your device. My favourite news site to read on the device is Arstechnica.
A new firmware for the Cybook is to be released soon. I haven’t heard of any new functionality to be included, but I hope to be able to deliver a blog entry when it is released.