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Old 03-11-2008, 11:57 PM   #1
Donnageddon
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The Opton: eBook device of the Future and the Past

This is from technovelgy.com, a website devoted to "creative ideas and inventions of science fiction writers".

In 1961 in Return From The Stars Stanislaw Lem described an eBook device called The Opton.

Quote:
The books were crystals with recorded contents. They can be read the aid of an opton, which was similar to a book but had only one page between the covers. At a touch, successive pages of the text appeared on it.
Fascinatingly accurate description of today's eBooks and eBook hardware.

More here
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Old 03-12-2008, 07:03 AM   #2
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Wow! That was brilliant! Thanks for that, Donnageddon.

Anyone got any other early sci fi descriptions of e-readers?
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:39 AM   #3
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Thanks, but I'll opt off for the term opton. But a nice find, Donnageddon. Thank you. One part of the article caught my eye: "Only scientific publications having a very limited distribution were still printed..." Great. Even in the most optimistic dreams of the ideal future I still won't be able to get what I most want in digital form.
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:25 AM   #4
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Only scientific publications having a very limited distribution were still printed ....
That sounds more like a candidate for an email than for printing to me.

Guess it made sense at the time though.
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:02 AM   #5
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Actually, I wish I could find Return From The Stars as an eBook. Looks like a good read.
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:41 AM   #6
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"Mote in God's Eye" includes handheld computers, but they are probably more like a iPhone/smartphone than a eBook reader. In this book though, everyone has one and it connects to the "Network" where anyone can look up anything at any time. This book was written in 1974.

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Old 03-24-2008, 01:02 PM   #7
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Marinerrr, I'm w/ you on _Mote in God's Eye_, but would like to note that it was more like a Newton, since it specifically used a pen for input.

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Old 03-24-2008, 01:30 PM   #8
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Many SF books, movies, and TV shows have some sort of "personal device", though they are often multifunction devices. Slates, tablets, terminals (Iain M. Banks), and so on. Even Star Trek often showed Picard reading on a hand-held device.
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Old 03-25-2008, 01:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillAdams View Post
Marinerrr, I'm w/ you on _Mote in God's Eye_, but would like to note that it was more like a Newton, since it specifically used a pen for input.

William
That's exactly right! I'm glad to see someone else who made that connection. I'm actually a reformed Newton user (MP110, 120, & 2000 that was upgraded to a 2100) but am reluctant to mention it since so many people immediately classify users of Apple technology as, "oh, one of those users..." (eye roll included).

Even though this technology is over a decade old, I still use my 2100 when I go camping and want to have a text input device with a very impressive battery life. My 2100 will still run for over 24 hours on a single charge. I can write a lot of essays in 24 hours in the back country.

Kind regards,
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:16 AM   #10
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I carried my Newton MP100 'til the shirts I'd had tailored to have pockets large enough to hold it wore out....

If the MP2100 had been that size or smaller, I'd likely have purchased one and still be using it --- instead I got tired of waiting for Apple to make a replacement and bought a Fujitsu Stylistic, which is nice, but nowhere near the battery life / pen-centric interface, &c.

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Old 03-25-2008, 11:14 PM   #11
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I updated my profile to include all my book readers.

Custom tailored shirts... that's even crazier than the custom made soft cases that I had made.

Kind regards,
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