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Old 01-02-2010, 10:32 AM   #121
DMcCunney
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One of the unsung advantages of ebooks, regardless of the reader technology is that 19th century novels in electronic form are free for the downloading from Gutenberg and elswhere, while I've never seen a free out of copyright pbook.
It brings up an interesting question: Has this changed anyone's reading habits?

There are certainly any number of "classic" works I've always meant to read, but money to buy them and time to read them have generally been in too short a supply. With ebook reading devices and good quality electronic copies of public domain texts widely available, the second problem largely goes away, and the first problem is lessened. With a reading device that goes with me anywhere, I can open a classic and read whenever I have a few spare minutes, like in transit on a subway. (I can do that with a pbook, too, but there are limits to what I can/want to carry when out.)

I'm certainly reading a lot more stuff I wouldn't have before ebooks, though the "classics" tend to be non-fiction - history, philosophy, essays and the like. I haven't quite summoned up the energy and desire to read War and Peace (and have no idea how good the PD translations are.)

What has been the experience of others?
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:43 AM   #122
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That's what I've done with my Clie, but for some reason it stopped syncing with my work computer. I've tried reinstalling and all kids of stuff but for the life of me I can't get it to sync my calendar and contacts (which is was doing probably 6 months ago...) Not sure what changed....
What happens when you try?

It may be a USB driver issue. I had similar problems with my Zodiac a while back, and that proved to be the problem.
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:48 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
It brings up an interesting question: Has this changed anyone's reading habits?

There are certainly any number of "classic" works I've always meant to read, but money to buy them and time to read them have generally been in too short a supply. With ebook reading devices and good quality electronic copies of public domain texts widely available, the second problem largely goes away, and the first problem is lessened. With a reading device that goes with me anywhere, I can open a classic and read whenever I have a few spare minutes, like in transit on a subway. (I can do that with a pbook, too, but there are limits to what I can/want to carry when out.)

I'm certainly reading a lot more stuff I wouldn't have before ebooks, though the "classics" tend to be non-fiction - history, philosophy, essays and the like. I haven't quite summoned up the energy and desire to read War and Peace (and have no idea how good the PD translations are.)

What has been the experience of others?
______
Dennis

It hasn't changed the time available to read, but it has given me e-books I'd never thought of reading before. A book of Japanese fairy tales - old detective pulps - 1930 and 1931 Astoundings - the complete L. Frank Baum OZ books - The Queen's own FBI - that's off the top of my head...
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:49 AM   #124
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DMcCunny: Have to ask. Are you the same person who is active on the TextEditor.org site?

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Old 01-02-2010, 12:39 PM   #125
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DMcCunny: Have to ask. Are you the same person who is active on the TextEditor.org site?
Yes. I'm the principal maintainer. A chap named Ron Peralla is site owner/admin.

There's another Dennis McCunney out there who is probably a cousin, but I've never met or communicated with him, and I don't think he's involved in technology.

I starting using text editors using a TSO/SPF clone on an IBM mainframe in the '70s, and logged time on DEC micros, early IBM PCs, and an assortment of Unix flavors. I got interested in text editor design, and at this point I have a hundred or so for various platforms in my collection.

I hope you enjoy TextEditors.org, and feel free to post additions/corrections.
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:09 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
It brings up an interesting question: Has this changed anyone's reading habits?

There are certainly any number of "classic" works I've always meant to read, but money to buy them and time to read them have generally been in too short a supply. With ebook reading devices and good quality electronic copies of public domain texts widely available, the second problem largely goes away, and the first problem is lessened. With a reading device that goes with me anywhere, I can open a classic and read whenever I have a few spare minutes, like in transit on a subway. (I can do that with a pbook, too, but there are limits to what I can/want to carry when out.)

I'm certainly reading a lot more stuff I wouldn't have before ebooks, though the "classics" tend to be non-fiction - history, philosophy, essays and the like. I haven't quite summoned up the energy and desire to read War and Peace (and have no idea how good the PD translations are.)

What has been the experience of others?
______
Dennis
Even though this is basically off topic, I gotta say "Yes", it really changed my reading habbits - in 2 different ways.

First of all: when my wife and I go to the next biggest town for shopping, we take the train. In the past, I used my HDD mp3 player (not an ipod) to listen to my music while we are on the train. But since I got my Bebook, whenever we get on a train, I read ebooks. I also read a lot in the past, but the size and the weight of paper books always disturbed me ....

And second: in the past, I never read any classics. But now they are so easy available through Gutenberg and other pages. In the past I never thought about reading old classic books like "Heidi", "Alice in Wonderland" and all the books written by Karl May ... there are so many classic ebooks that I want to read, I am sure that I wont have to buy a book within the next few years ...
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:39 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
It brings up an interesting question: Has this changed anyone's reading habits?

There are certainly any number of "classic" works I've always meant to read, but money to buy them and time to read them have generally been in too short a supply. With ebook reading devices and good quality electronic copies of public domain texts widely available, the second problem largely goes away, and the first problem is lessened. With a reading device that goes with me anywhere, I can open a classic and read whenever I have a few spare minutes, like in transit on a subway. (I can do that with a pbook, too, but there are limits to what I can/want to carry when out.)

I'm certainly reading a lot more stuff I wouldn't have before ebooks, though the "classics" tend to be non-fiction - history, philosophy, essays and the like. I haven't quite summoned up the energy and desire to read War and Peace (and have no idea how good the PD translations are.)

What has been the experience of others?
______
Dennis

I read a bit more now. 1 or 2 books a month or so, vs maybe 5 or 6 a year before (not counting reading academic stuff for work etc.). That's just because the convenience. I hated going the library and dealing with due dates, renewals etc., and hated buying books I'd only read once and then have cluttering the condo--until I move and end up chucking it in a donation bin somewhere.

In terms of what I read, it hasn't changed. Still reading a mix of fiction (with a lot of fantasy), some non-fiction and the occasional classic as I was before. Just reading a bit more overall due to the convenience.
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:40 PM   #128
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There seems to be a lot of people saying they want a tablet...but I haven't seen a single post from anybody who owns one...

Tablet PCs have been around for years, and not many people use them. The reasons they are not popular are obvious - there are really no usage cases I can think of that a tablet covers that a laptop/netbook/PC/PDA/phone can't do equally well or better. A tablet is only slightly smaller/lighter than a laptop but with the same ratio of sizeower.

I find e-ink much better for reading. Touch screen computing is a terrible experience as soon as you need to type something. It's painful watching someone type on an iPhone. It's like watching someone struggling in slow motion. A tablet is too large to carry around casually (e.g. on the train), and if you're at home (or anywhere portability isn't an issue) surely a laptop or even a netbook would be more useful.

Why not just get one of those laptops with a swiveling lid that converts it to a tablet but also can be used as a laptop? Best of both worlds, and it wouldn't be much larger or heavier than a dedicated tablet.

That demo of Liquavista looks promising from a reading standpoint.

I think a future device might be able to include both screen types in two layers. E-ink for low power usage and reading text comfortably and in well-lit conditions, and an LCD (or OLED) for animations, colour illustrations, video, etc. That would be a multi-purpose device that I would leave a dedicated reader for.
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:04 AM   #129
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there are really no usage cases I can think of that a tablet covers that a laptop/netbook/PC/PDA/phone can't do equally well or better.
Apple's Jobs could think of one single usage for tablets --- you can browse while sitting on a toilet.

But seriously, until tablets are as light as e-readers, do not heat up, have batteries lasting for at least a week when used for reading only, and have a screen technology that is as easy on the eyes as e-ink I will be sticking to the old e-reader, smart phone/PDA, laptop, pbook combo. Best case scenario for a really "reader worthy" tablet to appear is 3-5 years. But then the first thing I will toss is my laptop, not my reader. And by then we may have foldable or rollable screens, or high quality projectors for phones so that tablets, laptops, and TVs become obsolete.

In the long run, of course, e-ink is doomed. So are LCD screens and any other technology.
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:09 AM   #130
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Damn, I suppose I'm going to have to give up on those cuneiform wedges pressed into clay, and move onto these new-fangled wax tablets and stylii soon...
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:01 AM   #131
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There seems to be a lot of people saying they want a tablet...but I haven't seen a single post from anybody who owns one. Tablet PCs have been around for years, and not many people use them. The reasons they are not popular are obvious...
I'll agree with you up to that point, though I think the reasons you cite are not the ones I'd choose. The tablets we've had so far have simply haven't been good enough on any front - too big, too clunky, too power-hungry - too much like cut-down PCs with removable/hidden keyboards, frankly.

A tablet needs to be better than that. I use a Moleskine-sized notebook for all my work-related notes and sketches, and I'd replace it in a heartbeat for a similar sized tablet that let me do similar work, for one reason alone; backup. But it needs to work properly, with a decent set of tools accessed through a UI designed for the device, not ported across from a general-purpose PC - something that nobody's attempted recently...

As for the 'death' of e-ink, why does it have to be one thing or the other? I have an e-ink reader which I like and find appropriate for many things; I also read paperbacks or hardbacks when they're give to me (don't really buy them these days) and read occasionally on my iPhone when convenient. If I had a tablet, I may also read on that (if the screen's decent, and I wouldn't buy it if it wasn't...) just like I did with an iPaq, and a Palm PDA before that.

Dedicated e-ink devices vs multi-purpose tablets is a non-argument, IMHO <shrug>

Cheers, Pete.
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:20 AM   #132
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I'll agree with you up to that point, though I think the reasons you cite are not the ones I'd choose. The tablets we've had so far have simply haven't been good enough on any front - too big, too clunky, too power-hungry - too much like cut-down PCs with removable/hidden keyboards, frankly.

A tablet needs to be better than that. I use a Moleskine-sized notebook for all my work-related notes and sketches, and I'd replace it in a heartbeat for a similar sized tablet that let me do similar work, for one reason alone; backup. But it needs to work properly, with a decent set of tools accessed through a UI designed for the device, not ported across from a general-purpose PC - something that nobody's attempted recently...

As for the 'death' of e-ink, why does it have to be one thing or the other? I have an e-ink reader which I like and find appropriate for many things; I also read paperbacks or hardbacks when they're give to me (don't really buy them these days) and read occasionally on my iPhone when convenient. If I had a tablet, I may also read on that (if the screen's decent, and I wouldn't buy it if it wasn't...) just like I did with an iPaq, and a Palm PDA before that.

Dedicated e-ink devices vs multi-purpose tablets is a non-argument, IMHO <shrug>

Cheers, Pete.
Excellent look at the real reasons...I would also add that there has yet to be an OS with a UI that leverages the tablet concept as something different than a PC w/o things tethered to it. The closest device design I have found is from TabletKiosk and their Sahara 440i model. but price and the whole OS issue made it kinda pointless compared to what sort of business build laptop I could buy for 1/2 to 1/3 the price.

Something else is nobody had developed anything better than a keyboard for data entry. Hand written notes are fine for simple things, but when writing a report, book or whatever as long as it's more than a few pages, I can type it out faster and easier than using a pen device. In my mind a tablet should be along the lines of a large PDA with the ability to use wireless peripherals in the event one wants to more desktop sort of apps.

I actually think that the evolution of the ebook reading device has caused businesses to revisit the whole idea of how using tablet PC might actually improve many aspects of productivity. Still, the $3000ish entry point for real Slate PC's is far too much considering the cost of the components. Not when a top notch business build laptop is just over 50% of that...
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:42 PM   #133
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I own a tablet, Samsung Q1, but rarely use it because it is too heavy, too hot, and the battery life is dismal. I upgraded the OS to Win 7 and it's better than Vista but still not good enough. My tablet is more a curiousity than something usable.
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:14 PM   #134
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There seems to be a lot of people saying they want a tablet...but I haven't seen a single post from anybody who owns one...

Tablet PCs have been around for years, and not many people use them. The reasons they are not popular are obvious - there are really no usage cases I can think of that a tablet covers that a laptop/netbook/PC/PDA/phone can't do equally well or better. A tablet is only slightly smaller/lighter than a laptop but with the same ratio of sizeower.
Those are Tablet PCs. I don't want a tablet PC. I want something about the size of a legal pad (will have to be a heaver of course) with no keyboard etc. bulking it down.

And I want it to read and mark up academic PDFs as the primary function. Currently I print them out, mark them up and file them away, only to pull them out when needing to cite them in an article I'm writing or a class lecture etc.

With a tablet I could do that electronically. Possibly a large screen e-ink device with stylus--like the forthcoming Que--could work. But the displays would have to speed up as I have a need to flip through documents quickly to find tables,figures etc. And the other limit is such devices seem to run $500-1000 which is a bit high for something I'd just use a handful of hours a month.

So a future multi-media tablet that could do that, and replace my PDA, surf the net, display video etc--without being as big and bulky as a full fledged Tablet PC--would be more worth dropping that kind of money.

So why I haven't used one is such a device doesn't exist and is probably a ways off from having one that's functional and under $1,000.

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Old 01-03-2010, 02:14 PM   #135
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Those are Tablet PCs. I don't want a tablet PC. I want something about the size of a legal pad (will have to be a heaver of course) with no keyboard etc. bulking it down.
I agree. Too many posters here seem stuck in the "it's never succeeded yet, and there's nothing out there NOW that I'd want to use" mode of thinking, while others are trying to operate in the "gee, what *I* want is this..."

The closest thing I've seen to what I want in a slate/tablet/reader can be seen by watching almost any Star Trek series except for TOS (TNG, DS9, VYGR, Enterprise). They have 'slates' that are about the thickness of current eInk devices, are almost all display, in a variety of sizes, and (of course) are color, and display a host of things from text to video and programs. They're ubiquitous on those shows: everyone has 2 or 3 of them, it seems, and they're touch activated.

Can we do those today? Of course not. Are we close? We're getting there. Do you still want to grasp your eInk device until your cold rotting flesh falls off of your fingers? Of course you do! But for me, it's just a stop gap device, because I don't have my nose stuck entirely in a book, I have one eye watching where I'm going, and I'm an eternal optimist (as opposed to an immortal optometrist).
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