Articles Tagged with ebook readers

Asus re-redux

I haven’t read any more on the Asus since my last post about it. However, it recently paid for itself when I had a computer emergency. For three days that little thing was an absolute workhorse. It was a little slow and klunky, but it did the job and it kept me earning money. I NEVER expected to need it for that.

So for around $250, I have an emergency work computer, an e-book reader on which I can read ANY DAMN FORMAT I WANT, listen to music, surf the net, keep my data, and write.

And I should buy a Kindle/Sony/Nook/JetBook . . . why?

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More on the Asus

I haven’t used my eBookWise in a while. I’ve been reading *gasp* paper and on my Asus EeePC in my recliner. So last night I went back to my eBookWise.

It’s cold here (well, for early October, it is). It was toasty warm in my bed. I ducked under the covers and read my eBookWise, holding it in one hand (and the ergonomics on this are prescient).

I could not do that with the Asus.

Just sayin’.

The handy-dandy all-purpose digital reader

Some time back ago, I said I wanted an Asus EeePC to read digital books because it was kind of an all-purpose device. As time went on, I decided maybe I’d rather have an iPhone or a BlackBerry, but then I found out about their mandatory data plans and I’m a cheap bitch, so no thanks. I wanted something reasonably portable that I could 1) read digital books on in any format I wanted; 2) listen to music; 3) keep my personal data on (now that I have this awesome personal information management standalone app); and 4) to basically be able to haul my brain around with me. I don’t like talking on the phone, so I would rather not have one at all, but must. I want to keep the phone separate from my other tasks.

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PSA for LDS publishers

Y’all probably don’t read my blog. I curse muchly and there is “sex” in my banner, not to mention a bare nekkid lady.

Before you read any further (if you are still reading or the least bit interested), please go to these websites and study them. Ignore the content; I want you to see what they’re doing. Then come back. I’ll wait.

B10 Mediaworx.

My Bookstore and More (mostly Samhain Publishing‘s titles, but look under the “manufacturers” tab and see the other e-book publishers).

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Eating a little bit of crow…

Yesterday, I got a little mouthy (see this post), which will surprise no one.

I was sent an EPUB file that had embedded fonts that rendered perfectly in ADE. I cracked the file open and what did I see? Perfection. The file wasn’t bloated, it was neatly organized, the CSS sheet was reasonably tidy for its detail, and the detail was compact. It worked and it worked beautifully. I can see how it’s done.

In Sony Reader, it MOSTLY rendered the way it was coded (still no full justification).

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Yo, EPUB evangelists!

June 26, 2009

For those of you EPUB designer/evangelists who talk about the way EPUB allows you to embed fonts, listen up: It doesn’t make a damn bit of difference.

The only thing that makes a difference is what the EPUB reader has available to it, to wit: Adobe Digital Editions will display one font and one font ONLY.  ITS OWN.

So will Sony reader.

So will FBReader.

You can mark up the text like crazy, but I’m here to tell you, your CSS theatrics is a big fat waste of time. Ask me how I know.

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The book is dead. Long live the book.

Had a very instructive morning, dear boys and girls. The power in my neighborhood went out for a while.

The devil! you say. No, truly, it did. No lights, no TV (poor Dude and Dude’s daily recordings), no stove (electric, ptooey), no dishwasher, no washing machine or dryer (not like I personally use those things), no hot water (after what’s left is gone), no Internet (gasp!), and, my personal favorite, no data because my laptop went on battery immediately, but I keep everything on my grab’n’run emergency preparedness external hard drive.

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The forbidden Apple

So let’s try this again and I will make myself very clear: I’m seriously pissed.

Apple rejected my book from its iApp store on the basis that it has the F-word. Now, I’m sorry, but the fact that the F-word is in my book is the least of its crimes (they must have missed the “cunt”), so…“fuck”? Really? But that’s not the point.

And you can download the Stanza (free) or eReader (free) applications to your iPhone, download my book, and read it that way, so all is not lost. But that’s not the point.

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A rose by any other name

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the definition of a “book,” or more specifically, the proper formatting of an e-book, and the definition of a “page” and its importance in the New eWorld Order.

I’m here to tell you: Unless it’s on paper or in PDF, they ain’t no such thing as a page.

I’ll admit that it took me a while to get used to reading on my eBookWise. Between the whacked-out spacing and the left justification and the lack of paragraph indents, it looked…sloppy. Inferior. But I stuck with it and realized that each book is formatted differently; some are prettier and easier to read than others, but mostly not. I did, however, have problems even with the “prettiest” of the formatting. I was able to adjust my expectations of the presentation once I realized it was a function of the DEVICE and that the DEVICE was not a print book. The print book and the e-book simply have nothing in common except the words they contain: not headers, not footers, not design, not formatting, not…page numbers.

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Jukeboxes and libraries

I have a bunch of beautiful books. They’re mostly in hardback because I don’t see paperbacks as objets d’art the way I do my hardback books. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I read hardbacks, certainly. If I have it, I read it. But there’s just something substantial about a hardback book. Specifically, I’m thinking of my faux leatherbound books, but no matter.

As I go around the ebook blogs like Teleread and The Book is Dead, a bunch of dissociated rememberies from my childhood plague me. They’re always the same ones, played in different order, but in a loop:

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The perfect bookstore

Hey, publishers and booksellers. Let me help you solve all your problems, ’kay? Behold the perfect bookstore:

The problems? You know exactly what they are and obviously you aren’t interested in solving them.

You booksellers have been rolling around on the back of the consignment system like it’s catnip for too long—and it’s still going to bite you in the butt.

You publishers are doing everything you can to stymie ebooks and are determined to cling to your outmoded ways. You can lay off people all you want, but you’re not actually willing to do what it takes. Never fear, though! The economy will help you with that.

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My way or the highway

Lately I’ve been reading a snowballing number of posts in the ebook community about adopting EPUB as the international (and pleasepleaseplease DRM-free) standard. This is great and I’m SOOO on board with that. What’s got me disturbed is that the subtext (and sometimes it’s not even that subtle) is that in order to adopt EPUB, publishers ought to ditch every other format, I assume, to force the issue of EPUB format adoption for everyone.

No fucking way!

Are you serious?

As a consumer and producer of ebooks, let me tell you, this is simple crackpot evangelism. EPUB is the future; I do not disagree and I would love to see it come into its own and beat the competition.

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For future reference

Over on Teleread, there’s a new blog post today about ebooks being fertile for annotation. I envision this somewhat like a post littered with Wikipedia links to explain things so that the reading audience who doesn’t know what he’s talking about can go get a little primer, and the part of the audience that does know won’t have its reading flow interrupted.

I could have (and still could at any point in the future) litter The Proviso with references and annotations embedded in the ebook editions, but my question is this:

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Target: Sony

So, update on the Sony ereader: Not impressed.

Besides no backlight (my all-time favorite feature), the text was grainy (grainier than my eBookWise’s dot-matrix-on-best-setting text).

That is all.

Er…no, it’s not. I still want Sony to kick Kindle’s ass. I think Amazon has an end-game in mind that’s going to come back to bite consumers in the tokhes.