E-Reading Challenge: CONNECT in a Coma

A week and a half ago, my Sony CONNECT software stopped functioning entirely. For the Sony Reader, this is a big deal. All of the books live in CONNECT, and even though they live on my Reader too, I can’t get anything new unless/until CONNECT starts talking to me again. (Imagine your iPod without iTunes and you get the picture.) Double-clicks, shouts, entreaties, are all met with a blank screen. Now, I’ve been rebuffed by software before. I’m a fan of Knowledge Bases, form life-long bonds of friendship with telephone support staff, and can follow all manner of instructions to resuscitate unresponsive software. That’s life as an early adopter. But this is the first time that I’ve reached a true impasse. My latest email exchange with Sony had messages with helpful tips like:

For XP systems

Open My Computer.

Go to Tools / Folder Options.

Click View and select Show hidden files and folders and click ok

Please delete the following folders as listed below:

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\kinoma and delete

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Marlin and delete

C:\Documents and Settings\%username%( i.e. you windows log in name) \Local Settings\Application Data\kinoma and delete

Re-start the Connect Reader software application.

Log-in with your user name and password it will re-authorize your PC to your account (this will be counted as your only PC authorization)

Which sadly didn’t work. Does this sound like an application that’s ready for prime-time? Would my mom or my grandmother go searching for hidden kinoma and Marlin files? There’s only so much frustration that regular consumers will absorb before they lurch back to that tantalizing Nora Roberts paperback with a mental note to revisit this e-paper stuff in another five years.

What’s maddening is that this is, once again, a failure of execution rather than vision. The fact that I want to fire up CONNECT to put a new book on the Reader is nothing short of miraculous for a paper addict like myself. The fact that I can’t, despite my best efforts, suggests that the mirage-like iTunes-of-eBooks is still very much up for grabs. Amazon Kindle perhaps?