My new Sony PRS-T1 eBook reader

As I was using my old Android pad mostly as a ebook reader, when it became obsolete, OS wise (about the day after I bought it) I went looking for a cheap/inexpensive ebook reader. I only real requirement was to be more or less open, and I had a handful of EPUB formatted ebooks already. The Nook’s were looking promising and then I stumbled upon this;

Sony_PRS-T1_2

The Sony PRS-T1 on sale, a bargain, and it does even more than I was expecting on the low end of the market. And it’s still android, should I decide to root it, but it’s works very well. Reads all my books, and manuals, browse the net (in grayscale) and I have it syncing up with my Mint Laptop using Calibre, and I’ve been piling in all the free ebooks I can find, great!

The rise of the Smart Watch

With all of the talk about the iWatch from Apple, and every other vendor plus Dog announcing a smart watch. I thought I’d jump in and examine an apparently Failed smart watch. The Sony Ericsson LIVE VIEW

Ericsson_liveView

Now this device was generally panned by the media, partly because it was breaking new ground, and partly is was clunky, or so said.

Now I, like others would not have invested in such technology, partly as I’m not that active with my phone (Android) but also because it wasn’t rated highly. However Amazon was selling them for 25£ and that isn’t even an impulse buy by current standards. So I ordered one, and I now have had it less than a day, and this is my impression. But I really will try to comment on the whole Smart Watch issues.

The NM800 is an earlier version Sony Smart Watch technology, so first efforts not withstanding this is quite a nice device. The screen, while small is still readable, and at a very wide angle due to a lensing effect on the crown. It whole device is plastic and very light, but bulky enough to make you want to wear it on your wrist, I’m using it on the included clip, for three reasons, the included strap is poor, second, I have a nice watch. You can use a standard pin strap on the plastic watch fitting, thirdly and this is important, you can’t charge it on the wrist bracket, but you can on the clip.

In use the Liveview linked up easily with my phone, an HTC Desire X, after downloading the Sony App from the Google Play store. but it took a bit of fiddling, and downloading of additional (free) plugins from the Play store to add more complete functionality. But now, SMS, Gmail, phone calls all get forwarded to the device. I can read SMS, and email on it, though I have yet to get Facebook to work. In reality, there is nothing wrong with this device.

Now for the issues, the device at maximum range has a disconnect, reconnect problems, but I have yet to upgrade the firmware, which supposedly fixes this problem. The real issues, and this is the crux of Smart Phones is purpose. Of what Purpose do you need a Smart Phone.

Due to the use of Bluetooth for communications, 30 Meters is the furthest you and can be parted from your phone, in fact 10 meters is a more likely range. This might then be useful to check your ‘status’ without taking the phone from your pocket, or in a meeting, jogging or driving. However in normal practice the need for a bigger screen, and control surfaces found on the ‘full’ phone will be required to complete many actions and then would require you to pull out the phone anyway.

The next issue, as with Smart Phones, is power, and while I have not discharged the battery for the first time, the projected battery life for this device is 8 hours, about the same as an average phone. Which, by the way, decreases the battery life of the phone, requiring Bluetooth to be active on the phone all the time.

So the conclusion, if there is one, is this; they work but have limited usefulness and are cute as hell, and a cool geek gadget.

We only want to produce Blockbusters

The recent Blowup about HP exiting the PC/WebOS Business reminds me of an old story about when Sony bought MGM, the movie makers.

The story goes like this; executives were briefing Sony Management about how profits were generated from the Movie Making business. One accountant described the process such;

“Well we make a hundred movies a year, about 10% are Blockbusters and we make millions, 60% make a modest profit, and pay for themselves, and the about 20% Lose a small amount, but help maintain our reputation, and then there are 10% that are serious bombs.”

The Japanese executives looked at each other and carried on a small side conversation and then stated;

“We only want to produce Blockbusters”

HP is like this, they only wanted to produce Blockbusters, as if this was merely a simple decision, “We only want to make Blockbusters”. As if there was no effort involved, no trial and error involved. And when the first effort fails, quit and run from the first attempt as if shedding the failure is the only responsible choice.

And I thought that the Executives of Sony and Nokia were failures, Looks like there is a Plague of idiot CEO’s out there.

NOTE 1: It looks like bad decisions MIGHT have repercussions as HP might oust Apotheker