You can add text to some of the screens on the Reader, and control how they appear, by editing those XML files. For example, when you select Settings from the main menu, followed by About, you’ll see the various copyrights and logos. The information on this page comes from the
main.xml file, which is in the scripts folder.
Open it in a text editor and look for the tag that starts
Just below is a <records> tag with individual <record> elements, all of which contain the text that appears on the screen. Each has a ‘kind’ attribute: types 0 and 1 have additional information added, based on authorisations for Sony’s store and Adobe DRM. If you want to add your own name and address, the simplest way is just to edit one of the other options, leaving the ‘kind’ attribute set to -1. For example:
<record><number name="kind" value="-1"/><string name="text" value="This Ebook Reader belongs to Nigel Whitfield (email@example.com): If found, please email, or post to PO Box 7248 London E5 8UL."/></record>
Again, save the XML file, copy it into the appropriate folder on an SD card for your Reader’s firmware, flash, and you’ll see the new text appear on the About menu.
Calibre – using a Sony Reader with Mac and Linux
The software that’s supplied by Sony is Windows only, but that doesn’t limit the reader to just PC users. An open source tool called Calibre is available for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. As well as providing tools for managing your library of documents, it can also fetch websites and format them for the reader, and convert documents between formats.
Calibre can manage Sony Readers and other devices, on Mac, Linux and Windows
If you want to use DRM books, such as those sold by Waterstone’s eStore and you use a Mac, you’ll need to register for an Adobe ID first, then spend some time on a PC with the Digital Editions software installed. Use that to authorise your reader with the ID, but don’t transfer any books – the Mac version of Digital Editions can’t authorise the Reader.
Adobe Digital Editions on the Mac can’t authorise your Sony Reader for DRM books
Once the authorisation is done, you don’t need a PC any more. You can use the same ID in Digital Editions on the Mac, and use Calibre to transfer the DRM-protected ePub files from the Digital Editions folder on to your Reader.
Yep, temptation won in the end.
I bought one of the Sony readers recently because it clearly now does a little more than when first released and there is so much material to read. And it seems there are people dedicated to removing the defective-by-design DRM from protected books so many of those can be had free too. But of course if the publishers would make eBooks a little cheaper then buying them would feel less of a rip-off.
Now, all I need is to find time to live, work and sleep in between reading and I'm all set!
@ Well, pretty much everybody
I've had a PRS505 ever since they went on sale in the UK, being both a book buff (whatever one of those is) and a lover of gadgetry in all its forms.
Several points spring to mind:
1) As has been said, when travelling, one PRS505 is way more portable than even a couple of paperbacks. Compared to the 5 or 6 paperbacks I used to carry, it's no contest, and the electronic version allows even more variety. Battery life is good for 2 week trips without a recharge, even when spending hours every evening in hotel rooms reading.
2) The price. I paid £200 for mine. However, I have read well over 100 free books on it, there's a huge amount of copyright free classic stuff out there for free download. As these are all out of copyright, they would normally retail at £2-3 in paperback, so the device has paid for itself and more, and has expended my reading as a bonus.
3) The scope. There's a load of stuff out there for download that is out of print, or never made it into print in the first place. I've found loads of stuff from the golden age of Science Fiction, for example, all out of copyright and freely available. One day I might buy a book for download, but I doubt it will happen any time soon.
The lack of depreciation despite there being no stock shortage should be the clue. These are deeply gorgeous machines (let down, as ever, by the shite supporting software - pull your finger out, Sony....).
@Gerard Krupa: re PDFs
If your reader isn't rendering PDFs well, make sure you're running the latest firmware. I agree that the firmware that shipped with my 505 was hopeless on PDFs, but since getting the new firmware I read quite a bit in PDFs and it's totally fine.
Since PDF is a page-description format, it's really not suitable for ebooks, and it's foolish for people to publish ebooks as PDFs, but if that's all you have, then reflowing like the new firmware does is about the best that can be done.
home insurance clain? or some such similar insurance prod to replace rather than repair?
i wouldn't mind one of these but i'm a habitual late-adopter.. mostly due to financial constraints.. and i might never put the thing down if i had one and that might be a bad thing.
i liked the article and it's light approach as an intro on how-to etc. well written, more of this please Monsenior El Vulture.. this is much better than the bash-the-government-for-yet-another-software-snafu stuff.. :)