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Old 09-16-2005, 09:50 PM   #13
rmeister0
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian
With regular books, can you:

1. Carry around all of Wikipedia?
I don't need to. My need to access a Wiki would occur either at home or at the office; in both instances I am connected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian
2. Carry volumes of research and technical information?
See 1 above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian
3. Conduct keyword searches on indexed information to help you find exactly what you're looking for?
All the technical books I own have this little thing in the back called an "Index". I just wish the rest of the people in my company would learn how to use them

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian
4. Carry all of your textbooks (for students) or your entire library?

Once people learn that e-books could offer them these capabilities and conveniences, and some of the issues are worked out like open/standardized cross platform formats, optimal devices with excellent paper-like readability (e-paper) and great battery life, and content providers offer a simple and affordable delivery system, in my opinion e-books will really take off. I said e-books are "on the verge of going mainstream" because some of these things are starting to happen or are in the late stages of development.
Again, you are talking a specialized application that will apply to some people more than others. I disagree on the last paragraph though - I think most of the technical issues are still little more than vaporware. The Libre was a good proof of concept but the business went nowhere. Really good battery life is still a ways off and we've been promised on that one for years. You will never, ever get an open standard as long as profits are at risk; remember that the success of mp3 as a file format was not because it was sold to consumers as the next big thing in music but was a grass-roots adoption.

The sad thing is I already have a device that matches the 'ebook iPod' description I made, and that's the eb-1150. It has a phenomenal battery life, a display sufficient for text, is light-weight, and reasonably sized, and works with the ebookwise site very smoothly. But won't natively display any file formats other than its own, can't handle graphics, has poor library management, and involves too many steps to port custom content to.

Understand that I'm not saying eBooks don't have their advantages; they clearly do. But I stand by my point - they don't solve problems most people are wrestling with. They're like Tablet PCs (another technology I like; Hey Steve Jobs, where's my OS X tabler?) - very successful in certain vertical markets but a relative failure in consumer and most business markets. Why? Because they solve a problem most people don't have.
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