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Old 08-10-2009, 06:19 PM   #1
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CourseSmart - Is anyone using it?

Has anyone tried their subscription services? I'd like to know what you think.

Last edited by Nate the great; 08-14-2009 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:36 AM   #2
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yes, im using it....good for reading online...no problem of drm pdf...one can save easily print,copy,save pages etc....also user friendly....but needs good net speed.....very good books available there which are not available on net for free !!!! but one has to buy ebook if want to read....
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:27 PM   #3
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yes, im using it....good for reading online...no problem of drm pdf...one can save easily print,copy,save pages etc....also user friendly....but needs good net speed.....very good books available there which are not available on net for free !!!! but one has to buy ebook if want to read....
Are you saying theyre using pdf format?
I would sure like to know
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:51 PM   #4
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A exchange student I know uses it and showed me how it worked, he complained that he had problems with it when using his mobile internet, which I imagine is down to the speed of the connection and it also lacked some of the more specialised texts.

Personally I prefer a printed copy for studying, so wouldn't use it.
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:55 PM   #5
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A exchange student I know uses it and showed me how it worked, he complained that he had problems with it when using his mobile internet, which I imagine is down to the speed of the connection and it also lacked some of the more specialised texts.

Personally I prefer a printed copy for studying, so wouldn't use it.
Yeah I would not use the online version but the downloaded file.
You didnt find out what format it was did you?
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:04 PM   #6
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Yeah I would not use the online version but the downloaded file.
You didnt find out what format it was did you?
No sorry, it was a few months ago now I was shown it. I can try to find out.
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Old 05-08-2011, 03:40 PM   #7
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No sorry, it was a few months ago now I was shown it. I can try to find out.
I would really appreciate that
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:32 AM   #8
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Yeah I would not use the online version but the downloaded file.
You didnt find out what format it was did you?

they're at http://www.coursesmart.com/

I went all over their site, and couldn't find any mention of ebook format. They did say that the page numbers are the same as the printed book, so it's almost certainly pdf.

Regards, Alex
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:39 AM   #9
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they're at http://www.coursesmart.com/

I went all over their site, and couldn't find any mention of ebook format. They did say that the page numbers are the same as the printed book, so it's almost certainly pdf.

Regards, Alex
I believe it's .vbk. It's the same as VitalSource, which I believe is the same company.

I'm interested in Coursesmart if that's the only place I can find my textbook in ebook format, but I'm really diggin' on Inkling.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:40 PM   #10
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I use the online version since I'm frequently doing work on multiple PC's. No complaints on my part.
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Old 06-21-2011, 01:13 AM   #11
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It's an abysmal service. You pay a pretty substantial proportion of the list price and in return you're forced to use crappy proprietary software with a poor interface and draconian restrictions on what you can actually do with the product you paid for.

To cap it all off, the subscriptions are time limited, so it's not even like you really save money. (Since you don't get to keep the book anyway, you'd do just as well financially to buy and sell secondhand.)

Edit: oh, I forgot to mention that it's far from clear in advance just how restricted the service is, and that the customer service stinks.

Last edited by random50; 06-21-2011 at 01:18 AM.
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Old 06-21-2011, 01:49 AM   #12
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Angry CourseSmart appears to be moving to an online-only format

Hi Everyone,

I've been using CourseSmart's electronic textbook service since the Fall 2010 semester. It looks like they have just recently implemented a pretty big change in their business model or whatever--the CourseSmart/VitalSource bookshelf client is no longer needed because the books are generally only available online now, (read: web browser, app for your smartphone, etc.). They have an offline browsing/reading feature, which seems to work OK on Firefox 4 on Windows. They simultaneously say Yes! You Can read your books on line, and in the fine print, it's still in Beta. Brilliant. (Idiots).

The last few books I bought (rented) from CourseSmart did not have the option of choosing whether to read online, or download and use in the CourseSmart/VitalSource bookshelf client. (I prefer the latter by a mile).

Getting (now online only) copies of the electronic textbooks from CourseSmart has pros and cons. You can't beat the search feature, which beats the hell out of flipping through pages. Highlights, notes, yes, yes. Perfect? By no means. Cheap? kinda. Time limited? You betcha, 180 days. I think they finally nailed down the 'remember what bloody page I left off at' feature. Seriously. Better late than never.

I miss the local Bookshelf client, (draconian DRM time-bomb and all). The Web page bookshelf reader has only two zoom settings. This is in one word: rubbish! The CourseSmart/VitalSource bookshelf client would fit the page to your screen, (or facing pages--which the web version doesn't do), to match your screen, (either full page, or by page width, similar to Acrobat), and supported a full screen mode.

I can only estimate this has to do with licensing, cracking down on crackers, etc. etc. Bottom line: a reasonable product has been replaced by a mediocre one. But their prices haven't dropped. Bunch of wankers. Sucks, because much like Microsoft, you can have a mediocre product like QDOS renamed..., and still become the industry heavy weight.

Yes, there's a lot to be said for still having the regular hard copy. For open book quizzes, performing fast searches, etc., you can't beat the search feature. Now is it work paying another (roughly 40% of the retail price) for a 180-day rental of the book? You decide.

If you like amateur night (and presumably dollar drinks), then CourseSmart is for you.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:15 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by martumz View Post
Hi Everyone,

I've been using CourseSmart's electronic textbook service since the Fall 2010 semester. It looks like they have just recently implemented a pretty big change in their business model or whatever--the CourseSmart/VitalSource bookshelf client is no longer needed because the books are generally only available online now, (read: web browser, app for your smartphone, etc.). They have an offline browsing/reading feature, which seems to work OK on Firefox 4 on Windows. They simultaneously say Yes! You Can read your books on line, and in the fine print, it's still in Beta. Brilliant. (Idiots).

The last few books I bought (rented) from CourseSmart did not have the option of choosing whether to read online, or download and use in the CourseSmart/VitalSource bookshelf client. (I prefer the latter by a mile).

Getting (now online only) copies of the electronic textbooks from CourseSmart has pros and cons. You can't beat the search feature, which beats the hell out of flipping through pages. Highlights, notes, yes, yes. Perfect? By no means. Cheap? kinda. Time limited? You betcha, 180 days. I think they finally nailed down the 'remember what bloody page I left off at' feature. Seriously. Better late than never.

I miss the local Bookshelf client, (draconian DRM time-bomb and all). The Web page bookshelf reader has only two zoom settings. This is in one word: rubbish! The CourseSmart/VitalSource bookshelf client would fit the page to your screen, (or facing pages--which the web version doesn't do), to match your screen, (either full page, or by page width, similar to Acrobat), and supported a full screen mode.

I can only estimate this has to do with licensing, cracking down on crackers, etc. etc. Bottom line: a reasonable product has been replaced by a mediocre one. But their prices haven't dropped. Bunch of wankers. Sucks, because much like Microsoft, you can have a mediocre product like QDOS renamed..., and still become the industry heavy weight.

Yes, there's a lot to be said for still having the regular hard copy. For open book quizzes, performing fast searches, etc., you can't beat the search feature. Now is it work paying another (roughly 40% of the retail price) for a 180-day rental of the book? You decide.

If you like amateur night (and presumably dollar drinks), then CourseSmart is for you.
Do you know if possible to use the wifi printing service tecnique to get a drm free copy with the online version?
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:16 PM   #14
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Hi Everyone,

I've been using CourseSmart's electronic textbook service since the Fall 2010 semester.
... snipped
this is really very useful. One question: did you choose to use Coursesmart, or did your instructor recommend it? Because from the blurb marketing this to lecturers I really cannot see much point in using/recommending it (from the teaching side of things)
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:03 PM   #15
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Red face CourseSmart: can't live with 'em, can't eat 'em

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Do you know if possible to use the wifi printing service tecnique to get a drm free copy with the online version?
No idea. I don't recall ever printing anything from them. Something on their web site, I think when you're in your 'bookshelf' and highlight one of your active book subscriptions, says if you have printed x out of y pages.

If memory serves there may be a limit to the No. of pages which may be printed.

Quote:
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this is really very useful. One question: did you choose to use Coursesmart, or did your instructor recommend it? Because from the blurb marketing this to lecturers I really cannot see much point in using/recommending it (from the teaching side of things)
No instructor recommendations for CourseSmart. Another prof recommended an ebook which was available from another source, Norton books or something similar.

I wish the publishers were a little more forthcoming directly with this medium, rather then leveraging third parties. 180 day restriction...what crap.

A family member at a technical/engineering/etc. technical college said one or more of his professor's is using wikibooks.org, which sounds interesting. Has anyone else had an instructor which used these?
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