Mobileread
Review: Astak 5" Easy Reader Pro
#31  Spiffy 06-09-2010, 08:14 PM
Quote DaleDe
An inconvenient feature. I like that. It is the most versatile system around. Just create folders which you can name anything you wish and as deep as you wish and put you books wherever you wish. If you need favorites just make a folder named favorites. Easy. It does keep track of recently read which is enough organization for me along with alphabetical order. Of course YMMV. I don't like systems that forces me to learn their way of organizing. However you can always use ADE or Calibre to do your organizing.

The inconvenience is mostly that you have to do it while connected to a computer.
The fact that you have to hook it up to a computer to make directories and/or move files around is the issue. Needing a PC to manage things makes it no better than iTunes.

As for making a favorites directory? That means file copying or moving. So you either have to maintain duplicate copies of your books on the same device, or you have to yank the original files out of your otherwise efficient sorting system into this special directory. Neither is very efficient, and again they require the use of a computer. That's the bug up my butt here. I don't like being chained to a PC. The whole POINT of a good ebook reader is to break that dependence as much as possible. I'd be reading books on my PC if it wasn't. Hooking it up to the PC to get books in the first place? I'm FINE with that--I don't need stupid 3G capability to get my books. But after that? I shouldn't need the PC for every last bit of basic file maintenance.

I don't see what the crime is in wishing for some firmware updating. The actual hardware is great. Its the software which needs work. A lot of work. Basic file level tools ON the unit would be the easiest way to stay with the "open" philosophy of the product. Sort of like what the alternate firmware that Buggins guy has been doing, but a bit further, since all Buggins firmware really adds is an ability to delete files and the ability to move files between the SD card and the built in memory. What we really need is a full service file cut and paste. Cut from here, paste here. All on the unit. Add that, and we're in business. That, and as I said elsewhere, a mimicking of the "Recent Files" mechanism, but with things you deliberately mark as Favorites. All of this can be done with a popup file context menu, the same way Buggins version does it (by holding DOWN a number key).
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#32  Steven Lake 06-10-2010, 10:31 AM
I guess that whether or not it's inconvenient is in the eye of the beholder. For me, the lack of onboard file management is not an inconvenience, since the only time I'll be managing files is when it's connected to the PC, so lack of a file manager on the device is not a loss for me.
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#33  dyosa888 06-10-2010, 10:42 AM
Hi, I am interested in buying Astak 5 but the problem is that it is not available in my country (Philippines). Can someone help me how to get one?
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#34  Sylver 06-10-2010, 11:35 AM
Quote dyosa888
Hi, I am interested in buying Astak 5 but the problem is that it is not available in my country (Philippines). Can someone help me how to get one?
Many Asian countries have Hanlin 5 available, Astak PocketPro is Hanlin 5, and Astak 6 inch ezreader is Hanlin 3.
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#35  Spiffy 06-10-2010, 06:47 PM
Quote Steven Lake
I guess that whether or not it's inconvenient is in the eye of the beholder. For me, the lack of onboard file management is not an inconvenience, since the only time I'll be managing files is when it's connected to the PC, so lack of a file manager on the device is not a loss for me.
I guess so, but I have to ask how many ebooks you have on the unit at one time.

Maybe I'm the odd one out here, but I have a large percentage of my collection on their all at once.

Before I figured out how to have Calibre shove everything into subdirectories (something the average home user probably won't or can't do) I was, I admit, totally disgusted at having to hit the page down button dozens of times in a row to get to books later in the alphabet.

After figuring out a nice way to have Calibre arrange things (A-Z top level directories, and author specific directories below that), things were much better. But THEN it turns into a game of having to memorize author names corresponding to titles to find what you want.

The latest idea is maybe using the Catalog feature in Calibre, except the two problems there is that a.) it keep crashing when building one b.) I believe its a Catalog of both what I have on the unit AND what I don't, right? Which makes it a bit less convenient.

Anyway, sure there are workarounds for everything, but it would be oh so much easier with that basic file maintenance on the device, including that Favoriting ability (I know the PB360 has that one, for example). I've resorted to using the Buggins firmware (got to be extra careful to find a version which doesn't have an awful battery drain problem), and temporarily copying my "Favorite" books to the built-in storage (keeping a master copy on the SD card).

Still, I can't be the only one annoyed by stuff like this, and not everyone has the wherewithal to find a site like this and fool with all these workarounds. So yeah. The firmware needs to be better. The hardware is golden, in my opinion, as long as you don't get one of the overly Paint-peely versions of the unit.
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#36  theducks 06-10-2010, 07:25 PM
Quote Spiffy
find what you want.

The latest idea is maybe using the Catalog feature in Calibre, except the two problems there is that a.) it keep crashing when building one b.) I believe its a Catalog of both what I have on the unit AND what I don't, right? Which makes it a bit less convenient.
I keep 1K books on my SD Card
I also put the Calibre Catalog in main storage.
The Catalog (EPUB format) is 12 M in size.
It has never crashed either my PC while generating, nor my PEz Dec Astak FW in use or Lbook FW)
You may have corruption in your Calibre library. Run the advanced preference: Check Database integrity.
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#37  dyosa888 06-11-2010, 06:55 AM
Quote Sylver
Many Asian countries have Hanlin 5 available, Astak PocketPro is Hanlin 5, and Astak 6 inch ezreader is Hanlin 3.
So Hanlin 5 and Astak 5 is the same under one company or they just happen to have the same features? I think it is China made and I am quite wary to buy China made for I might buy an imitation. No offense coz I know they have lots of good products but I really want to be sure that what I'm getting is the real deal.
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#38  Steven Lake 06-11-2010, 08:11 AM
Spiffy, I'm a minimalist. If it doesn't need to be there, it's not. So I typically don't have more than half a dozen books on a reader at any one time. Of course, I don't actually own a portable ebook reader yet, since I do the majority of my reading via Calibre, but when I do finally get my reader (it'll be an astak), I figure to plunk a few books each onto my sd cards and just swap as needed.
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#39  Dave_S 06-11-2010, 09:16 AM
Quote dyosa888
So Hanlin 5 and Astak 5 is the same under one company or they just happen to have the same features?
Astak, BeBook, Lbook, and some others are all sell the same Hanlin V5 device. Some resellers do value added firmware development for the V5, but Astak and BeBook both use the firmware provided by Hanlin. One of the nice things about so many sellers selling the exact same hardware is that you can try the firmware from any other Hanlin V5 reseller on your device to find what works best for you.
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#40  dyosa888 06-11-2010, 11:17 AM
Quote Dave_S
Astak, BeBook, Lbook, and some others are all sell the same Hanlin V5 device. Some resellers do value added firmware development for the V5, but Astak and BeBook both use the firmware provided by Hanlin. One of the nice things about so many sellers selling the exact same hardware is that you can try the firmware from any other Hanlin V5 reseller on your device to find what works best for you.
Thank so much for giving me an idea, I may be able to check what is available here in Asia.
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