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Old 02-17-2011, 01:48 PM   #61
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Power requirements aside, I'd call that necessary. Would the rest of the picture remain unaffected if it did have to refresh the entire screen while displaying the video in one section, or would we see artifacts of the refresh (like flickering) in the text area?
dennis,
dude go churn some butter already, sheer a few sheep, mike a cow or two, repair the broken spoke on your wagon wheel and dear god stop using that tool of the devil called the internet. you and find all you need is nature.
hehe...just busting yur stones for fun, I getwhere you are coming from but guess what, it's incongrous(sp?) with the existing tools you are using to communicate with the enire globe. Thing about that for just a moment, what are you saying with you pooh-poohing then entire idea and potential of companies at least exploring color EPD technology?
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:37 PM   #62
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hehe...just busting yur stones for fun, I getwhere you are coming from but guess what, it's incongrous(sp?) with the existing tools you are using to communicate with the enire globe. Thing about that for just a moment, what are you saying with you pooh-poohing then entire idea and potential of companies at least exploring color EPD technology?
Hmmm. (Dennis looks in the mirror, and notes the hair is mostly grey, then recalls the first computer he ever used, which was an IBM mainframe at a bank in the late 70's, when the original IBM PC running Lotus 1,2,3 was first displacing the venerable Apple II running VisiCalc on everyone's desktop, and thinks back over 3 decades of active technology involvement...)

I don't claim that age brings wisdom, as I've seen too many cases where it did quite the opposite. But it does bring a sense of perspective, and a certain amount of pragmatism.

I'm not pooh-poohing it. I was impressed by the demo - I hadn't thought the refresh rate on e-Ink screens could be fast enough to make video playback realistic. Likewise, I'm not opposed to color e-Ink. But PVI announced a prototype 12 bit color e-Ink screen in 2006 that they claimed would be in volume production in 2007. It took till now, with Hanvon sampling a device using it, for it to become available.

You might ask why. I did, and the answer I could see was some combination of problems ramping from prototype to production, costs higher than manufacturers were willing to pay for the units, and unsatisfactory display quality. I covered Amazon and Sony launch events for MR, and color support was a question asked of both vendors. Both said they were aware color was desirable, and keeping an eye on developments, but did not see technology then available they thought would give a satisfactory customer experience. (Translation: they didn't think the market would find the color offered by color e-Ink acceptable, and the other low-power color solutions weren't there yet.)

Well, maybe they were wrong. Or maybe they were right back then but the tech has gotten good enough recently to merit a second look. I don't know. I know it wouldn't meet my needs, but I'm an ex-designer who is fussy about color values and wants better color reproduction than what color e-Ink can currently offer. I don't assume I'm representative, and there may well be enough people for whom it's acceptable to constitute a profitable market for for a manufacturer to address. (Hanvon obviously thinks so.)

It's why I advise people who are interested in a color e-Ink device to see one in person, and preferably test on material they might like to read in color, to see if they find it acceptable for daily use.

The bigger question for both video and color is use cases: why do you need either?

For video, the answer I can see is "enhanced" ebooks, including audio and video. That's a hot topic, and there's a lot of development going on. The question is what books actually need multi-media. I think most efforts along that line will fail because the content doesn't really need it, and would be better offered as a normal book.

I have similar questions about color. What content really needs it? Is the color reproduction offered by color e-Ink sufficient to properly present that content? That may depend upon who you ask.

So no, I'm not pooh-poohing this stuff. I suspect my feelings can be summed up as "Just because you can do something, it doesn't mean the you should." I'll watch with interest to see what appears that uses these capabilities, and who will buy it when it does. But right now, I don't see the Next Big Thing.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:40 PM   #63
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Plenty, because it was what they had.

How many people would watch it today, when colour is common and available?
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Beyond the US - worldwide, I think it could be huge. Schools here in France are currently giving students iPads, but I doubt that schools in Africa and Asia could afford to do that, whereas they might be able to afford B&W readers. Obviously it would depend on how soon colour becomes available, what the prices are, and the differential is.

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Hmmm. (Dennis looks in the mirror, and notes the hair is mostly grey, then recalls the first computer he ever used, which was an IBM mainframe at a bank in the late 70's, when the original IBM PC running Lotus 1,2,3 was first displacing the venerable Apple II running VisiCalc on everyone's desktop, and thinks back over 3 decades of active technology involvement...)

I don't claim that age brings wisdom, as I've seen too many cases where it did quite the opposite. But it does bring a sense of perspective, and a certain amount of pragmatism.

...
He he ... in which case, you're still young, in my book. I remember using Ge transistors, a PDP-8, and being excited when the 8" floppy arrived. I could go on, but I won't. However, there's a bloke in the UK called Alan Sugar, who made a fortune buying up 8-bit Z80 microprocessors - after PCs had progressed to 16-bit - and used them to produce low cost word processors. There's a whole world out there that doesn't need, and can't afford cutting-edge technology.

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Old 02-17-2011, 04:47 PM   #64
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Beyond the US - worldwide, I think it could be huge. Schools here in France are currently giving students iPads, but I doubt that schools in Africa and Asia could afford to do that, whereas they might be able to afford B&W readers. Obviously it would depend on how soon colour becomes available, what the prices are, and the differential is.
<shrug> You can produce LCD devices that will perform the same functions cheaper than devices using e-Ink, and you get good color out of the box. What you don't get is battery life, but there will be an underlying infrastructure problem regardless: just where do you recharge these devices when they do need it? In many of the places you might have in mind, that will be a major issue.

You might be better, all told, to simply use paper books. Better durability, no charging issues, and recyclable when worn out.

In many cases like this, the real problems aren't things technology alone can address.

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He he ... in which case, you're still young, in my book. I remember using Ge transistors, a PDP-8, and being excited when the 8" floppy arrived. I could go on, but I won't. However, there's a bloke in the UK called Alan Sugar, who made a fortune buying up 8-bit Z80 microprocessors - after PCs had progressed to 16-bit - and used them to produce low cost word processors. There's a whole world out there that doesn't need, and can't afford cutting-edge technology.
Hmmm. The Amstrad PCW? Lots of Z-80 based boxes got used for that sort of thing. You had to deal with a 64K address space to hold OS, application, and data, but a number of things did. I still use an old editor that originated as a CP/M alternative to WordStar and was subsequently ported to MS-DOS.

I logged time on PDP-11s, but missed the PDP-8. (An old friend logged time on a PDP-1.)

But yes, there's certainly applications for older technology. What we're talking about here isn't older technology by that yardstick. The basic question is the same: just what problem are you trying to solve? That's pretty much the question for things like video on e-Ink displays and color e-Ink. If that stuff solves a big enough problem, it will do well. Right now it's a solution in search of problems.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:02 PM   #65
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Dennis,

ya got my curiosity up now as the only word processor I can remember using on CP/M was Wordstar which was eventually ported to DOS. The only other off the wall but well regarded word processor I have in my noggin' is Xywrite and as I remember that was DOS from day one or close enough.

My first and favorite word processor was the only one built from the first version as a Windows app called Ami Pro (now known by the unfortunate name of Word Pro) that was then bought by IBM and just left to die even though it was so much faster and feature rich than MS Word or the abomination that was Wordperfect.

I still liked all the Wordstar commands as they worked in Borland's Turbo Pascal IDE/compilier so I knew them by default. I actually liked a small word processing app called pfs:Write (aka Professional Write) as it could do rectangular/block cut/copy 'n paste that even the big boys did not support.

So what the heck are ya using...curious minds wanna know!
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:04 PM   #66
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... just where do you recharge these devices when they do need it? In many of the places you might have in mind, that will be a major issue ... The basic question is the same: just what problem are you trying to solve? ...
People in Africa already charge mobile phones using solar panels, also, they use radios with built-in dynamos. Something similar could be used to charge a reader's battery. The problem that still needs to be solved is education. I remember reading about an initiative that Bill Gates was (is?) involved with, to get laptops into schools. There are charities in the UK that collect books, old mobile phones and computers, and ship them out to Africa. What I imagine would be useful, is a fairly rugged reader with video capability, housed in a case with solar cells to charge the battery. Imagine what a boon that would be for schools, situated in parts of the world that don't have electricity, let alone Internet access. Imagine how useful such a device could be, to help educate children, to help them to raise themselves above their parent's poverty. Assuming they were produced in sufficient quantities, with economies of scale, developing countries should be able to afford - perhaps they would need some some assistance from charities - to provide such an educational device to schools. It would require a company that is prepared to make a leap of faith, and produce something for the masses, a bit like the Tata Nano, rather than members of a privileged elite.

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Old 02-17-2011, 06:25 PM   #67
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Dennis,

ya got my curiosity up now as the only word processor I can remember using on CP/M was Wordstar which was eventually ported to DOS. The only other off the wall but well regarded word processor I have in my noggin' is Xywrite and as I remember that was DOS from day one or close enough.
The one I was referring to was Eric Meyer's VDE, which was a WordStar clone that ran entirely in RAM instead of using overlays. Eric ported it to MS-DOS and released it as shareware. Carson Wilson picked up the CP/M sources and continued to develop it for CP/M as ZDE. He also did a Linux version called SUE (Simple Unix Editor). Eric still develops and supports the MS-DOS version. It's freeware these days, and there was a November 2009 1.96a release. See http://sites.google.com/site/vdeeditor/ for information and downloads. There is an associated mailing list I maintain.

I have XyWrite about, too. I described it as a programming language for manipulating test, wrapped in a clever word processor disguise. XyQuest and XyWrite are long gone, but Nota Bene, a product based on it aimed at the scholars market still exists, and the former chief XyWrite developer is an investor and helping in development. See http://www.notabene.com/

XyWrite reminds me of Emacs on Unix. Emacs is a Lisp interpreter, and most of the editor is written in the dialect of Lisp it supports. If you know elisp, you can get Emacs to do just about anything, and people have. With XyWrite, you did it in XBL.

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My first and favorite word processor was the only one built from the first version as a Windows app called Ami Pro (now known by the unfortunate name of Word Pro) that was then bought by IBM and just left to die even though it was so much faster and feature rich than MS Word or the abomination that was Wordperfect.
I used Ami Pro a bit. Most of what I do these days requires a text editor, not a full word processor. So while I have Word, Open Office, and a few other things about, I seldom use them.

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I still liked all the Wordstar commands as they worked in Borland's Turbo Pascal IDE/compilier so I knew them by default. I actually liked a small word processing app called pfs:Write (aka Professional Write) as it could do rectangular/block cut/copy 'n paste that even the big boys did not support.
I stayed fluent in WordStar because most editors either used it as their command set or could be told to. I had Emacs customized to use WS keystrokes at one point to save retraining my fingers.

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So what the heck are ya using...curious minds wanna know!
See above for a very partial explanation. I collect text editors, and the results of my investigations appear here: http://texteditors.org

If it's an editor that ran on a computer, the TextEditors wiki tries to document it.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:00 PM   #68
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thanks Dennis!!

I honestly don't remember VDE. But geeze are we dating our creaky old selves or what? hahaha I'm a lot like you anymore, I don't need full on word processing. In fact I wrote a simple text editor for my business needs and use EditPad for a lot of my other not taking and other needs. Funny how times have changed over the years in this area. Even WordPad is way more powerful than I need more than a few times a year.

What I loved about Ami Pro was the drawing tools, the thing had Bezier curves when apps like Photoshop and CorelDraw were just thinking about it. Add to that it was XML before that became the trend. Plus there were the powerhouse that could, ya had to love anyone who bucked the MS and Wordperfect legions. It also had a spiffy equation editor though I used MathCad in college for that purpose.

And REALLY thanks for that link about text editors. I still have my old Borland IDE for building your own word processing app, I forget the name of it at the moment. Had loads of fun with it. Heck I even have a great SoundEx routine I wrote in, get this, dbase III (well, Foxpro 1.x anyway, well before that it was dbase III but in the QNX dbase clone). It's all on floppy somewhere, if I could only find a real floppy drive!!

Have you noticed that people today, even developers, seem to have forgotten that data entry is far faster using keyboard shortcuts than mousing. It's why I have longed for real from the ground up touch devices and apps. Odd they still haven't mastered text entry. Maybe before I die, but as that could be any day I might miss that bit of fun.
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:23 AM   #69
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... I collect text editors, and the results of my investigations appear here: http://texteditors.org ...
Apparently there are a quite a few of the old paper tape and punched card brigade here. My, how all those more recent names brought old memories flooding back (Lotus 1-2-3, VisiCalc, CP/M, WordStar, PCW, Ami Pro, Borland, dBase, and so on). Thanks for the interesting link - I had a brief look and didn't see this listed, so might like to add LocoScript to your collection. Apologies if I've missed it; I'll have more time available later.
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:57 AM   #70
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Wouldn't it be nice if there would be a massive breakthrough in battery technology, and we would no longer have to worry about the power consumption of devices?

It's great that companies strive to produce devices with increasingly efficient power usage, but it still feels depressingly like we're saddled with battery tech that hasn't significantly improved over the past two decades.
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:19 AM   #71
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One of Bookeens programmers were the first ones to get in touch with us regarding our story, then we got 2 emails from other people within the company that gave us more details on the video. Hence is why we updated it, while preserving original post.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:31 AM   #72
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Apparently there are a quite a few of the old paper tape and punched card brigade here. My, how all those more recent names brought old memories flooding back (Lotus 1-2-3, VisiCalc, CP/M, WordStar, PCW, Ami Pro, Borland, dBase, and so on). Thanks for the interesting link - I had a brief look and didn't see this listed, so might like to add LocoScript to your collection. Apologies if I've missed it; I'll have more time available later.
No, it wasn't there. Thanks for the pointer, and I'll add it. I hadn't heard of it before. Feel free to provide more corrections and updates.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:34 AM   #73
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Wouldn't it be nice if there would be a massive breakthrough in battery technology, and we would no longer have to worry about the power consumption of devices?
It would be wonderful, but I don't see it happening.

I wouldn't mind seeing beamed power, but there are an assortment of obstacles to be overcome.

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It's great that companies strive to produce devices with increasingly efficient power usage, but it still feels depressingly like we're saddled with battery tech that hasn't significantly improved over the past two decades.
It actually has improved, and there is continual research, but there are limits to anything. The first step is what manufacturers are doing now: try to use less power in the first place.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:40 AM   #74
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The bigger question here is use cases. Why would you want to display video on an eInk device?
I can see many uses outside the world of eBooks. eInk displays would be idea for advertising displays, since they are daylight readable. Video capabilities would certainly be beneficial in that area.
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:02 AM   #75
DMcCunney
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Posts: 5,120
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Device: Palm TX, Azpen A727 tablet, Fujitsu Lifebook p2110 w/ FBReader
Quote:
Originally Posted by snipenekkid View Post
thanks Dennis!!

I honestly don't remember VDE. But geeze are we dating our creaky old selves or what? hahaha I'm a lot like you anymore, I don't need full on word processing. In fact I wrote a simple text editor for my business needs and use EditPad for a lot of my other not taking and other needs. Funny how times have changed over the years in this area. Even WordPad is way more powerful than I need more than a few times a year.
Tell me more about the editor you wrote? (Do it as a PM or VM, rather than in this thread.)

Quote:
What I loved about Ami Pro was the drawing tools, the thing had Bezier curves when apps like Photoshop and CorelDraw were just thinking about it. Add to that it was XML before that became the trend. Plus there were the powerhouse that could, ya had to love anyone who bucked the MS and Wordperfect legions. It also had a spiffy equation editor though I used MathCad in college for that purpose.
I'm betwixt and between. From my POV, the difference between a text editor and a word processor is the end result. A text editor assumes the end product is a file on disk. A word processor assumes the end product is a printed page, and provides functions to control the appearance.

If I need to control the appearance, chances are I'm doing a publication, and need full DTP.

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And REALLY thanks for that link about text editors. I still have my old Borland IDE for building your own word processing app, I forget the name of it at the moment.
Text Editor Toolbox, I believe.

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Had loads of fun with it. Heck I even have a great SoundEx routine I wrote in, get this, dbase III (well, Foxpro 1.x anyway, well before that it was dbase III but in the QNX dbase clone). It's all on floppy somewhere, if I could only find a real floppy drive!!
They make USB floppy drives. I have one that came with an old notebook.

My desktop has a combo half-height 3.5+5.25 floppy drive. I still have some 360KB MS-DOS floppies.

Quote:
Have you noticed that people today, even developers, seem to have forgotten that data entry is far faster using keyboard shortcuts than mousing. It's why I have longed for real from the ground up touch devices and apps. Odd they still haven't mastered text entry. Maybe before I die, but as that could be any day I might miss that bit of fun.
Most of the flood of new tablets coming out seem assume communication will be one way - you'll be getting stuff from the net. If I get one, the first accessory purchase will be a folding bluetooth keyboard for data entry.
______
Dennis
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