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Old 11-22-2006, 10:50 AM   #1
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The Sony Reader will be outdated in 10 years

The Sony Reader will be outdated in 10 years. Wow! But not only that. Some believe it'll take another 20 years before people get accustomed to e-book devices. I know, that's ridiculous. Here a snippet from the Boston Globe:

Some think a younger generation, accustomed to reading newspapers online, may eventually take to devices like the Sony Reader. "I think you will see a change in 20 years," said Thomas Horrocks, associate librarian for collections at Harvard's Houghton Library of rare books. "When people get into their 30s and 40s who have never had the idea of reading that we have, [using an e-book reader] will not seem a big change -- it will be something they're quite comfortable with."

However, there's one advantage the printed book will always have. Computer technology changes rapidly, and today's innovation is obsolete tomorrow. The Sony Reader "will be outdated in 10 years," said Blair, the Harvard historian. "Books can sit in people's attics, ignored for hundreds of years, and they're still usable. But what do you do with Granddad's computer?"
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Old 11-22-2006, 11:17 AM   #2
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My gosh, I certainly hope the Sony Reader will be outdated in less than 10 years. If it takes that long, what would that say about future Sony devices and all the other potential new devices we hope to see? We are surely hoping for progress faster than that!
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Old 11-22-2006, 11:46 AM   #3
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I'd like to see it outdated in less than 2 years so I can upgrade and pass the old one on to one of my parents. They rely on my sharing of books for their reading material.
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:18 PM   #4
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I'm not real impressed with this guy, he thinks that we don't use transistor radios anymore.

He also fails to recognize that even if the hardware is 'outdated' (18 months is my prediction) because something cheaper/more powerful comes along, as long as the files are migratable, then the e-book continues. You don't have to dig out "Granddad's computer" to read the TXT files he typed up. Though ... you might have some trouble with his 5.25" floppy disks.

All in all, I find the write up shallow and disappointing, more interested in airing the writer's (underinformed) opinion and showing off his command of tangentally related trivia than actually bringing anything new to his readers.
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:40 PM   #5
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I've just read the article and I'm amused by the two examples of unchanging technology he quotes.

The Plow. - To my mind this invention has come on quite a way since the days of the ox drawn single bladed device. The removal of the ox being a key point closely followed by all the other bits that go into modern plow production.


The Wheel. - Unquestionably a key component to modern living it too has changed. The addition of tires being a very important change. The slight customisation to make cogs and pulleys and the myriad of other uses of the wheel.

So both his examples fail to illustrate his point. I do appreciate the amount of time it must have taken him to carve his article on stone tablets though before submitting it for print.
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh
, as long as the files are migratable, then the e-book continues.

All in all, I find the write up shallow and disappointing, more interested in airing the writer's (underinformed) opinion and showing off his command of tangentally related trivia than actually bringing anything new to his readers.
Agree completely with the assesment above of the article. However the point about 10 years obsolescence may not be far off the mark with BBeB books. Already encrypted rb books are harder and harder to read, the ebk books from the now defunct embiid publisher have also a short life ahead, and the imp Ebk1150 books may not last that long either. I would think that pdf's are safer for the longer term, with prc and lit coming next, but who knows...
Only if the book is in an open format like txt/rtf/html, you are sure you will be able to port it wherever if you are careful and keep backups.

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Old 11-22-2006, 01:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liviu_5
However the point about 10 years obsolescence may not be far off the mark with BBeB books.
That's exactly the point I had in mind when I added the qualifier "...as long as the files are migratable...."

I agree that PDF will likely be around for a very long time, but as it presently exists I don't really consider it an e-book format, for reasons that have been previously discussed here in great detail (so I won't go over them yet again ... maybe later).

I'm hopeful that a standard format might come along within ten years, all these devices which are supposed to 'obsolete' the Reader would seem to increase pressure for establishing one. I think a standard is inevitable, it's just a question of how long will the players be able to delay it.

I'm also hopeful that Connect would migrate their offerings to this notional standard. It only makes sense from their standpoint. If a standard does come into being, then anyone who doesn't support it won't sell any hardware, and anyone who doesn't offer content in it won't sell any content.

But of course you are most correct that there is no garauntee that Sony would see it that way, or even still be in the e-book business when this standard comes to pass. BBeB is just like Mobi, PRC, LIT, and the rest in that regard: you pays your money, you takes your chances. DRM without a standard format is basically a craps shoot when it comes to future usability.
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Old 11-22-2006, 01:33 PM   #8
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Yesterday, here in Canada, the CRTC which is the board responsible for radio and telecommunications, heard a plea by the big TV companies to stop airwave diffusion. They're thinking about letting them do so, but they have not rendered a decision. These companies complain that when HDTV is mandatory in 2011 they will have to reequip all transmission towers across the country, that represents a lot of money.

The reader will not disappear in 10 y. it will evolve. First they will stabilize the software and then all issues with the computing part and Connect. After that there will be color for coffee table books and maybe... video?
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Old 11-22-2006, 01:50 PM   #9
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I just figure that no matter what future devices appear, it's pretty certain that formats like plain text, HTML, RTF, etc, will either be natively displayable or, at least, convertable to it. That's all that concerns me personally. Just like with music players, they may support their own native DRM formats, but I can be pretty certain that I'll still be able to play my collection of MP3 files on them.

I sincerely hope that Reader is completely obsolete in 10 years. Heck - I hope there's something a lot better around next year. I'll be mightily disappointed if there isn't .
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Old 11-22-2006, 01:53 PM   #10
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Well, there's always the Kindle.
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Old 11-22-2006, 01:56 PM   #11
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Hmmm. Interesting . I think I'll stick with the "Reader", although the "reading light" is a nice idea.

Wonder how long it'll be before someone comes out with a "clip on" reading light for the Reader?
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Old 11-22-2006, 02:02 PM   #12
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There are a number of them discussed in this thread, but the most promising (in my opinion) is probably here.
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Old 11-22-2006, 02:14 PM   #13
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I'm not real impressed with this guy, he thinks that we don't use transistor radios anymore.
But have you actually went out to try to find them? They are getting obsolete. Hubby went out looking for them, very few if any, found a few on the web.

As far as the Sony reader being outdated in 10 years, heck I may be outdated as in dead in 20 years.

I know, I have a strange mind.....
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Old 11-22-2006, 03:42 PM   #14
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There are transistors in virtually everything electronic, even if only as part of a more complex structure like a processor.

So a Transistor Radio is basically any radio that doesn't use tubes or crystals.
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Old 11-22-2006, 03:44 PM   #15
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I just meant go out and try to buy a small transistor radio out in the stores. Very hard to find......with todays ipods and all that stuff, nobody has use for little transistor radios.. they are around but not like in the good old days.
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