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Old 06-04-2011, 09:42 PM   #61
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LOL! I use my calculator almost every day, usually to balance my checkbook.

Are you sure I'm in the minority?
My phone is more handy then the calculator and the phone has a calculator. I also use the calculator in Windows.

But I do use my reader almost every day and I'm glad it won't play angry birds.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:47 PM   #62
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I'll start with single-game, handheld video games (a la Coleco's Electronic Quarterback).
And I'll counter with a brand new unit sold on Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Coleco-Electro.../dp/B000WOVD1O
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:53 PM   #63
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And one more comment. I'm glad my reader is only a reader as I won't be distracted surfing the net or playing games.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:59 PM   #64
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Actually, I think that sf writers overall have a pretty bad track record at predicting things that have/will come to pass. Which is not really bad; that's not their job. SF (like all utopian literature) is really about the present.
They've certainly been wrong about flying cars. It seems to me that more SF is dystopian, or at least equally so. Often they deal with advancements in science and technology that have gone haywire.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:59 AM   #65
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A friendly challenge for those who are convinced that the dedicated ereader will fade away...

I'd like to compile a list of technological gizmos that were introduced as dedicated, single-function devices that were eventually assimilated by a popular, multi-function, Swiss-army-knife kind of device. Easy enough, right? But here's the catch: to make the list, the single-function, dedicated version of the device must be no longer available for purchase*.

* Available for purchase meaning; brand-new, still being manufactured.

I'm sure some will be thought of, so it's not my intention to simply be a smart-ass, but rather, that I'm fairly certain the list will be quite small. Ignore branding and competing formats for this particular exercise... ex. VHS & Betamax were all VCR's—which are still being manufactured.
Nobody's come up with anything??
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:33 AM   #66
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Nobody's come up with anything??
I missed that first post. Darn fine question. Still thinking...
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:56 AM   #67
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Nobody's come up with anything??
What about word processors? Maybe there's still someone manufacturing dedicated word processors, but for all intents and purposes I think computers have replaced them.

Car radios? Aren't most (all?) of them CD players as well these days?

Cell phones? Are there any models left that ONLY make phone calls? The most simplistic one I could find with a quick search was one that could also do text messaging.

Video game consoles? I'm pretty sure the Xbox, PS3 and Wii can do more than just play games. Although, I suppose there's those cheapo multi-game units you can buy that have all the games preprogrammed... which brings me to a related topic I'll put in another post.

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Old 06-05-2011, 09:12 AM   #68
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Video game consoles? I'm pretty sure the Xbox, PS3 and Wii can do more than just play games. Although, I suppose there's those cheapo multi-game units you can buy that have all the games preprogrammed... which brings me to a related topic I'll put in another post.
I'm wondering if the question perhaps is less whether they'll stop making single-purpose e-readers altogether, and more whether there'll be any high-end e-readers in a few years.

Take the single-game portable gaming unit as an example. At one point there were high quality such units being made by people like Nintendo, but these days it's pretty much just cheap crap from Hong Kong.

I for one hope the big guys don't give up on e-ink readers anytime soon. I like only having to charge my Kindle once every couple of weeks.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:20 AM   #69
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Dedicated readers will not go away, for one good reason: Magazines. Mags will be the next media to go digital (as Barnes & Noble is demonstrating, with great success, with their Nook Color), and devices in the Nook Color and iPad formats are best suited to carry and display them.

Yes, iPad is a general-use device... but that doesn't mean it's the best device to display magazine content, because you can do more with digital magazines than just stare at the pages. We can expect digital magazine content to evolve with digital access, to include: Libraries; content-sourcing and indexing; cut-and-paste and "scrapbook" functions; and probably a dozen other functions I haven't thought of, or aren't coming to me right now. Maybe a general-use device can handle these functions, but a dedicated device will handle them more efficiently.

As to format, I agree that Jeter might be thinking too American here: ePub has already become the dominant format for most of the world; most bookstores that sold other formats have already added or switched to ePub; ePub is just plain better than Mobi; and not everyone in the world buys ebooks from Amazon. (EPub is also better-suited for digital magazines than Mobi, though PDF is better still... a good reason not to discount the future of PDF in reading.) Even in the places that do, devices would be better suited being able to read Mobi AND ePub than just one format.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:57 AM   #70
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Steven, you seem to be making the opposite point, IMO. The Nook Color is really nothing more than an App running on a tablet. And those multi-function features you imagine would most effectively be done by additional apps that work with the reader app: the scrapbook app, the recipe-holder app, etc. With a dedicated reader device, you are dependent on the device maker to add the features you want, vs. having thousands of app developers making compatible recipe apps that you can choose the best from.
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:06 AM   #71
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The NC may be "an app running on a device," but really, can't that be said about any device, including an iPad, a cellphone, or a PC? And B&N isn't selling it as a tablet with the B&N App, it's being sold as a dedicated device.

I think one disconnect here is the fact that "dedicated devices" aren't always that dedicated. Even the Kindle can do other things than serve you a book to read; going to the Kindle store to buy more books isn't, strictly speaking, "reading." And the "extras" on a Nook Color can support the act of reading just as Kindle Store access does. So, which is the more dedicated? Should either of them be considered "dedicated?"

By that consideration, the NC, the Kindle, in fact all major ebook reading devices can be considered "general use" devices optimized for reading and supported activities.
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:40 PM   #72
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Some great points here. I don't think dedicated ereaders will disappear immediately, but I do think the trend towards convergence will eventually win out.

I remember wanting a PDA years ago, but could never justify the cost. Now, PDA,s are all gone with their scheduling, notes and contact management features all taken over by cell phones.

I used to carry an MP3 player and a cell phone. Now, my iPhone is my MP3 player.

When I looked at buying my first ereader, I decided to read on my iPhone for 6 months first to see if I would enjoy it as much as "real" books. I found my enjoyment wasn't diminished. But, since I found the screen didn't bother me, I then jumped directly to a 7" Android tablet for reading. It was only about double the cost of the ereader I was looking at and does so much more.

I think as more tablets come out and price drops, more people will make a similar choice.
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:53 PM   #73
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I remember wanting a PDA years ago, but could never justify the cost. Now, PDA,s are all gone with their scheduling, notes and contact management features all taken over by cell phones.
Are you sure PDA's are gone? Or could you still buy a brand new PDA if you really wanted to? I think people make the mistake of thinking that since they've forgotten all about a previous piece of technology and moved on (or if it's not the most popular anymore), that it's extinct. But it's all still there... at the periphery. Everything lingers.

So tell me that dedicated ereaders won't be nearly as popular in the near future... I'll believe you. History supports that. But tell me that they're going to disappear from the planet? Naw... history doesn't support that. They'll be around for a long, long time... even if Johnny GottaHaveTheLatestGadget isn't buying them.
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:05 PM   #74
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Some great points here. I don't think dedicated ereaders will disappear immediately, but I do think the trend towards convergence will eventually win out.

I remember wanting a PDA years ago, but could never justify the cost. Now, PDA,s are all gone with their scheduling, notes and contact management features all taken over by cell phones.

I used to carry an MP3 player and a cell phone. Now, my iPhone is my MP3 player.

When I looked at buying my first ereader, I decided to read on my iPhone for 6 months first to see if I would enjoy it as much as "real" books. I found my enjoyment wasn't diminished. But, since I found the screen didn't bother me, I then jumped directly to a 7" Android tablet for reading. It was only about double the cost of the ereader I was looking at and does so much more.

I think as more tablets come out and price drops, more people will make a similar choice.
You make some good points, and I think a development along these lines is quite likely, but perhaps especially for people who don't read that much or haven't had the opportunity to try a dedicated reading device. Personally, I've found myself returning to my kindle - even though both my iPhone and iPad are completely satisfactory to read from. It's just that my Kindle gives me and even better reading experience when reading fiction, because there's no web to distract me, and the e-ink screen is nicer to stare at for hours. I wouldn't like to trade in that reading experience with a multipurpose device - but I'm also sure that I'm in a small minority who both read a lot and am finicky enough about my tools that I want to spend the extra money on it.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:17 PM   #75
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Everything lingers.
Everything? What about word processors, car radios, cellphones and videogame consoles?

edit: And I just looked in multiple places for a PDA and came up empty. Unless someone shows me otherwise, I'd say it qualifies as a device that's been replaced by a more multipurpose competitor.

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