Monday, December 31, 2012

Gemstar eReader - still working

You find the oddest things when getting ready to leave one home for another.

Today we found our Gemstar eReaders. Your what?

Gemstar. eReaders from about a dozen years ago. Color. With their own store. And network connectivity - both wired Ethernet and telephone line.

I have a hundred books on mine. I read Turtledove's "Worldwar" series on it. If I remember rightly you could buy magazines as well as books for it. They were delivered directly to the device across the network.

It could run for 8 hours on a charge, more if you dimmed the screen backlight. And, surprise surprise, the battery still takes a charge. After lying discharged for years.

They don't make 'em like they used to.

It's still quite advanced when compared to today's offerings. All the concepts were there on release. Your books were even backed up "in the cloud" - though it wasn't called that then.

The books remained available for 3 years after the devices were discontinued. A good customer service move.

And they remain on my device. Which still works.

There's hope for this industry yet.


  1. Wow. I've never even heard of the thing. Amazing the battery will still take a charge. Funny what you find when you're packing. :)

    1. It's funny, indeed, Laura. We were pleased to find they still worked. We didn't come across the Rock eBook devices though. Perhaps that's too far down in the archeological strata. :)

  2. I hadn't even heard about these but I'm not at all surprised that it still works - early models of devices are nearly always built to last. When they become successful, obsolescence gets built in. Absolute madness...

    1. I agree with you, Icy. The back casing of my first Kindle, the original model, has a bad crack (not that a crack in a device is likely to be 'good') in it and the page turn bar is very loose.

      Plus, the design of the first Kindle was...well...not an award winner ('least, not the kinds of awards designers usually want to win.)

      The Gemstar, quite a different kettle of monkeys. We checked out all four (we'd bought an additional one when we heard the company/service was going down) and all of them work. All the batteries took and held a charge. And they remain excellent readers.