ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Whilst I Am A Bit Thick.

with 5 comments

No blogger’s block, rather my minds none too sharp at the moment, so I’ll cover a few technology bits, they are not too demanding and they might be informative, if you’re lucky.

I lied before. I tried PC LinuxOS LXDE version and it hasn’t been too bad. Midori as a browser is a nice experiment and the initial install took only about 6 minutes and 1.2 Gb of space which is very low by today’s standards. You do need to add things, but it allows a certain flexibility. Still it is early days and I haven’t tested it in earnest yet.

Ebooks have a great potential, and whilst I don’t think they will ever replace normal books, they do have lovely possibilities, forgetting Amazon’s Kindle for the moment, I think they could evolve into some form of cheap handheld computer device, like out of Star Trek. Now they are terribly costly and you get the feel that the manufacturers are still trying to find an elegant design. Whatever they choose I hope they use that lovely facility within Kindle for text to speech. Apparently some 17 ebooks will now support Adobe’s EPUB format, which is a way of standardizing the media, even though it is DRMed and trying to break Amazon’s monopoly.

Arch’s been updated, I do wish they’d get a real good X installer version for the lazy and no, Larch is rubbish.

Chrome for Linux is being update regularly, anyone using a Debian derivative should try it.

Wine reaches 1.27, dev.

Texting too much? Hmm, read this.

Written by modernityblog

14/08/2009 at 04:08

5 Responses

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  1. yes, but will the rise of the ebook put the final nail in the coffin for bookstores, especially used book stores, which can often be the nucleus of a social scene for left-wing bohemian types, at least for those of us that are still above ground? and how will they affect the world of the small press, which, in the states, certainly, publishes some of the most important and vital stuff out there? those are the questions i have, which are not of a technical nature. and, as i hope you know, i’m no luddite, but i am concerned about the withering away of public space and the corrosive role that certain kinds of information technology can play in that, especially in a capitalist society. to quote a well-known british (ex?)blogger “just saying like.”

    les

    14/08/2009 at 15:20

  2. I suspect not, as those using Ebooks might not have been the biggest shoppers in used book shops.

    I think ebooks have a certain functionality which should be welcomed, 1 ebooks vs. carrying 5-6 paperbacks.

    Small publishers/authors can make their work available on ebooks, if they wish it would be trivial task to do.

    I hope that it expands reading in society, which surely must be a good thing?

    modernityblog

    14/08/2009 at 17:05

  3. I heard somebody say (not sure where – it was in fact a discussion about why younger people are still buying CDs in ever higher numbers) that readers wouldn’t be used for reading books much, because (unlike music) you tend not to read most books more than once, you don’t mash them up or create playlists, and so on. True for me – I use my iRex iLiad for reading academic papers and out-of-copyright free stuff from Guttenberg. It’s saved reams and reams of paper. But I still buy books in copyright.

    I also haven’t found the optimal reader – there are so many things I want in one, but I can’t (don’t dare) hack my iLiad.

    fleshisgrass

    17/08/2009 at 00:12

  4. Reading several books at once? I thought everyone did that!

    I think ebooks have the potential to expand literacy and make people read more, certainly the font sizing and text to speech will help the elderly and disabled, if they are implemented carefully.

    But we are in the infancy of this technology, I’d want the price to come down to £50 eventually, here’s my wish list:

    1) good media support (full PDFs, etc)
    2) external storage, SDs etc
    3) USB up and downloads (just in case something happens)
    4) Wifi
    5) text to speech
    6) landscape and portrait mode with full font support.
    7) less than half a pound in weight, with the weight spread out (not top heavy like the Kindle is supposed to be)

    etc

    modernityblog

    17/08/2009 at 01:26

  5. Great list. My iLiad does all except 5 out of the box.

    What it doesn’t do well is power management. My electronics is virtually non-existent but I think this might be something to do with the note-taking function – the iLiad lets you write all over your PDF and upload the notes into a new PDF.

    I’d add to your list:

    8. Excellent power management
    9. Hand-written note-taking with handwriting recognition so you can search the notes
    10. Bookmarking within and between texts for cross referencing.
    11. Good interface with snappy focus-shifting for quick cross-referencing
    12. Colour
    13. Speedier page-turns

    fleshisgrass

    18/08/2009 at 18:21


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