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Old 02-25-2008, 03:41 PM   #46
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In another ten years or so, we might see a shift to the status being in having the latest and most expensive/nifty mobile phone/e-mail device and high-powered laptop. In which case, the execs will be doing all their own e-mail and communicating.

To bring things back to the topic, I do feel that ebooks and pbooks can exist side by side. As I said earlier, I see some of the value in ebooks being that books never have to go out of print.

I also see a pushback because as ebooks become more accepted and easier to use, it will change the paradigm of publishing, which has needed a good kick in the pants for 20 years or so. I think the author will have more power in this new paradigm. At least I hope so. But the publishers and booksellers, who have the power balance in their favor now, will fight against it. They would be smarter to try to adapt and get in early IMO.
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:21 PM   #47
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In another ten years or so, we might see a shift to the status being in having the latest and most expensive/nifty mobile phone/e-mail device and high-powered laptop. In which case, the execs will be doing all their own e-mail and communicating.
We're seeing that now, with status fights because X has a bigger, fancier machine than Y, who wants one too. Never mind that X does stuff that requires the bigger, fancier machine, and Y can just about manage reading and replying to email...

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To bring things back to the topic, I do feel that ebooks and pbooks can exist side by side. As I said earlier, I see some of the value in ebooks being that books never have to go out of print.
They exist side by side, here. I have about 3,500 ebooks on my PDA. I have at least that many pbooks, a good chunk of which are hardcover. I don't buy pbooks to consume and toss. If I buy a book, I plan to keep it, and if I accumulate dupes, or decide I no longer wish particular volumes, I find good homes for them.

Ebooks are splendid for reference, where I can use tools to look stuff up. They are handy for reading on the go, and I love having a large library in my pocket. They won't replace my art, design, architecture, and photography collection, nor some of my other volumes, even if electronic copies were available.

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I also see a pushback because as ebooks become more accepted and easier to use, it will change the paradigm of publishing, which has needed a good kick in the pants for 20 years or so. I think the author will have more power in this new paradigm. At least I hope so. But the publishers and booksellers, who have the power balance in their favor now, will fight against it. They would be smarter to try to adapt and get in early IMO.
At least a few publishers are beginning to get it, witness Baen and Tor. Booksellers have been battered for a while now, and the reasons have nothing to do with ebooks. They are being affected by consolidation. The smaller independent bookseller is a vanishing breed. They are being squeezed by the big chains and the "club" retailers. In the US, Costco and Sam's Club are now major forces in bookselling. The smaller independent booksellers simply can't match the pricing the big outfits can offer.

The independents I know of locally are either in a specialized niche, like travel books or children's books, or are in areas where a branch of a big chain hasn't plunked down a store yet.
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:52 PM   #48
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Dennis:

Why will you not replace your art/design books?

Would a high definition, interactive display like that of Jeff Han or Microsoft's Surface change your mind?

Am not picking a fight, I only seek to understand your reasoning better.


Will accept that for many things, given the current level of sophistication, paper is a better medium.

Being ignorant of all the math, money, and technology involved makes it very easy for me to envision a world where we have infinitely re-usable smart paper like in Stephenson's The Diamond Age. (interesting note: Wikipedia's link from smart paper goes to e-ink)

I like digital texts, because they store easy, are transported easily.

Unfortunately, I see the detente attitude as harmful for physical and digital. Without having a clear winner in such a 'format war,' publishers need never change their ways, and their outdated notions of content will remain the same.

Lastly, when I call for the worshipful dogs of pulp to be smothered in the smelly goo that they wreak on mankind,

I'm mostly just kidding.
Just give me a smartbook, and I needn't hurt anyone.

;-

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Old 02-28-2008, 11:15 PM   #49
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Dennis:

Why will you not replace your art/design books?
Because current replacements do not and cannot match the books.

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Would a high definition, interactive display like that of Jeff Han or Microsoft's Surface change your mind?
No. There are things such displays can not replicate, such as the texture of a particular custom paper stock on which a piece is printed.

And I don't have the room for, nor the budget to afford the sort of display required for some of the stuff in my collection, like posters.

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Am not picking a fight, I only seek to understand your reasoning better.
See above.

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Will accept that for many things, given the current level of sophistication, paper is a better medium.
There are certain things for which paper will always be a better medium.

Paper isn't evil, nor is using it.

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I like digital texts, because they store easy, are transported easily.
So do I, for the same reasons. I like carrying a library in my pocket. But they aren't the only form of text I like.

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Unfortunately, I see the detente attitude as harmful for physical and digital. Without having a clear winner in such a 'format war,' publishers need never change their ways, and their outdated notions of content will remain the same.
Then I guess you never really want to see ebooks become a significant factor. If you insist on a clear win by one or the other, paper will be it. Too much inertia for any other outcome.
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:48 AM   #50
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There are things such displays can not replicate, such as the texture of a particular custom paper stock on which a piece is printed...

There are certain things for which paper will always be a better medium...
Maybe... but will paper really be a better medium for image display? Your comments sound a lot like the "I won't give up the feel and smell of paper" argument. However, with better display technology, an image can be clearer, and can even be further manipulated for better examination (e.g. zoomed, shifted, etc).

Besides, when I see a beautiful painting, I don't need to touch it. Just see it.

Personally, I can see coffee table books going away someday--hey, they only appeared as luxury items when quality paper became available--to be replaced by displays embedded in walls and tables. We're not that far from being able to convert an entire wall into one, big display, able to show us anything we want to see, at full size, in any combinations.

How could that not be better than displaying shrunken versions of fine art in a book?
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:43 PM   #51
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Too much inertia for any other outcome.
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I don't remember this firsthand, but I imagine some folks said similar things regarding the unreliable, new-fangled horseless carriages.

;-)
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:19 AM   #52
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In many cases, I've discovered that the turning point tends to be the obvious one: Money. When a new system earns the company more profit... when it allows them to the same job at lower cost... when it significantly cuts internal expenses...
Where I've worked the printers have been treated the same as air conditioning and electricity - something that just has to be paid for. I mean that both ways - these people would no more think of turning their computer off than of proofreading a document on their screen.

There is hope though, I showed our tech writer how to rotate their monitors to 1200x1600 so they can have a full page on each one. That's cut down on paper use. I'm working on getting QA to email us fault reports instead of printing screenshots.

eNotebooks that we can write on are the next step, I think. I already have friends addicted to Crackberry, I'm sure that once they can scrawl into them instead of micro-typing they'll do that.
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:24 AM   #53
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will paper really be a better medium for image display?
As a photographer, can I just say that to me paper is not, and has never been, a better medium for displaying photographs. It's convenient, cheap and accessible. But for proper reproduction backlit transparencies are necessary in order to get a better colour gamut and dynamic range. One of my hopes is that eink drives the popularity of higher-resolution computer displays rather than the current trend toward excessive dynamic range over a restricted palette. Currently high-res displays are ludicrously overpriced ($US1000 for a 1600x1200 20" display, but $US10,000 for a 3200x2500 20" display).
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Old 03-01-2008, 06:56 AM   #54
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I would like to read some ebooks .
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Old 03-01-2008, 04:59 PM   #55
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Where I've worked the printers have been treated the same as air conditioning and electricity - something that just has to be paid for. I mean that both ways - these people would no more think of turning their computer off than of proofreading a document on their screen.
I was amazed to discover, at my new job, that IT had convinced the office to leave their PCs on all night! Color my mind boggled.

But I've also been in offices where every desktop PC had a printer... until I showed them how to use a network and knock 12 printers down to 2 (1 in color). As I said, the obvious savings made it a no-brainer. Setting up a file server, allowing people to stop swapping paper by sneakernet, also saved money, and was an easy-sell.

People may like their little conveniences, but if the boss decides it's time to change... even if it's just to benefit his back pocket... things change.

Moz, I agree I'd love to see displays improve until they can be compared favorably to transparencies, not paper, not CRT resolution.
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:12 PM   #56
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I was amazed to discover, at my new job, that IT had convinced the office to leave their PCs on all night! Color my mind boggled.
Well, there is a debate about what is best to do and I usually leave computers on since if they have a hardware failure they will have it most probably when you turn it on so I feel you minimize problems that way. I also consider it obvious that you should be able to login to your computer remotely but I have noticed the Windows user usually do not feel that way.
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Old 03-02-2008, 09:23 AM   #57
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I know about the on-off debate, too, though I've never seen enough hard data one way or the other. However, everyone's concern about wasting power is beginning to have an overriding voice in my head. Though my aging home PC takes 10 minutes to fully boot up (no lie), I'm leaving it on less and less when I leave it.

Besides, in my office, no one logs-in to their PCs remotely (except the IT staff). I understand it's mostly for office-wide updates, but I fail to see why one night wouldn't be sufficient for duties like that.

And besides, besides... are you ready for this?... if you turn off a PC in my office, the network magically turns it back on overnight! So, you could turn it off every night, and updates could be saved up for just one night, when the network switches the PCs on and loads everything. So, what're we leaving them on all night, every night for? I don't know!

Um... what was the topic again?
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:08 AM   #58
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I know about the on-off debate, too, though I've never seen enough hard data one way or the other. However, everyone's concern about wasting power is beginning to have an overriding voice in my head. Though my aging home PC takes 10 minutes to fully boot up (no lie),
Good heavens? What hardware/OS? I may be able to make suggestions to tweak that.

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I'm leaving it on less and less when I leave it.
I leave my PC on 24/7, and always have. I don't see ill effects. Various things happen on a scheduled basis overnight.

In terms of wear and tear on the components, "always on" is less stressful than on/off.

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Besides, in my office, no one logs-in to their PCs remotely (except the IT staff). I understand it's mostly for office-wide updates, but I fail to see why one night wouldn't be sufficient for duties like that.
Having been an IT person that did that, it depends. My shop didn't have a policy one way or the other on on vs off, but I was just as happy to do remote logins during the day. Partly, it was because I normally did so to solve a user's problem, and that was simpler if they were there to talk to at the other end. And partly because I liked working regular hours, thank you. I've been known to SSH into a server at 2AM to do something that required the users to be off of it, but stuff like that is a rare exception.

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And besides, besides... are you ready for this?... if you turn off a PC in my office, the network magically turns it back on overnight! So, you could turn it off every night, and updates could be saved up for just one night, when the network switches the PCs on and loads everything. So, what're we leaving them on all night, every night for? I don't know!
That's called "Wake on LAN", and is a BIOS Setting on modern devices.
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:24 AM   #59
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In terms of wear and tear on the components, "always on" is less stressful than on/off.
While you're at it, why don't you leave your car running 24 hours a day, so you don't have the wear and tear of turning it off? And don't forget to leave the water faucet open all the time; that way you don't have to worry about the valve.


The point I am trying to make is that the financial cost of running your PC continuously outweighs any benefit you might gain in the lifetime of the hardware.
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:38 AM   #60
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Good heavens? What hardware/OS? I may be able to make suggestions to tweak that.
It's a 10-yr old Gateway PC running Windows 2000, and I've already maxxed out the hardware as far as I can without outright replacement of the box (which, at this point, is pretty imminent...)

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That's called "Wake on LAN", and is a BIOS Setting on modern devices.
And very beyond my non-IT experience. I'd never seen it used before I started this job, and everyone else in the office thinks it's pretty cool (or spooky, depending on who you talk to). But mostly they just like the idea of being lazy and not having to worry about it.

As Nate suggested, though I was once behind the idea of saving the PC "wear and tear," I now believe saving the energy is more important. Even with an energy-star-rated device, running even in standby mode for more hours of the day than it is actually used just doesn't make sense these days. It's one of the reasons American culture has become THE most wasteful on the planet, and it's a trend that needs to be broken.
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