First, Brandyllyn received her Sony 505 for the Smart Bitches Test Drive, and was so moved with the joy, she got all comic on our asses. Not Comic Sans, thank the baby Cthulu.
1J-505.JPG (click for popup of larger size).
Brandyllyn is also keeping a blog wherein she writes a bit about the Sony Test Drive and will be adding more comics (YES!).
Second, and I laughed my behind off at this photo essay: Tami has the same reaction I did to the “quick start guide,” but her joy is palpable.
I created an email loop for the Test Drivers to talk to one another, and the experiences they’ve had as they have worked on their Sonys are very revealing about why there’s a big difference between the Kindle and the Sony.
- One user had two days of trouble with compatibility issues with Vista 64 and the Sony bookstore software, which was finally resolved when (a) Windows allowed her to uninstall the software completely and then reinstall it and (b) she vented mightily to the loop. Tami’s expression at the “quick start guide” is a dead-on summary of how much of a learning curve there is for the Sony, and it’s a challenge for anyone who isn’t extremely tech-savvy sometimes to figure out how to make the device work, how to load it, and how to organize the books on it.
While the Kindle instructions are: “Open box. Turn on. Buy books. Read,” the Sony instructions are incredibly complex by comparison – which is why Calibre is so amazing since the interface is so simple.
My advice to the Test Drivers who are just starting out has been to install Calibre, plug in the Sony, and try a book from one of the DRM-free publishers out there – because the process of installing the Sony Bookstore, then possibly figuring out which format from any other vendor aside from Sony itself, can be so frustrating that it’s best to start super simple. Thank God there’s DRM free publishers out there.
That said, I still love the Sony devices, because they allow users to price-compare and shop in other venues, and they allow users to hook up to the many public libraries that offer digital downloads. Kindle may be simple in the “quick start” department, but my experience also “quick started” my frustration and heartburn with their exclusivity and the limited download availability of books “purchased” from Amazon for the Kindle. I’m still a Sony fan. I just wish they were easier to use.
I’m sure the Test Drivers do, too!