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Old 09-24-2021, 07:15 AM   #136
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Printing without moveable type predates gutenberg in Europe. Chinese movable type and printing is older still.

I know what a manuscript is. Clue in the name. Though I've not worked like that since about 1979.

Duplicators that could use a typed stencil are from the Victorian era. Some could print a smaller number of copies from specially prepared handwritten sheets.

In the 1850s it was still cheaper to go to the play than read the book. Carnegie donated libraries as he realised that made books available to poorer people. Even rich people had taken advantage of libraries before that, also sharing books. See Jane Austin.

The founder of Gutenberg.org (in maybe 1972) realised the importance of electronic texts.
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Old 09-24-2021, 07:28 AM   #137
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Because most people like an opportunity to repaginate the material at will, to fit a paragraph or a figure on one screen.
Ebooks and paper books do that without scrolling. It's a question of good formatting. You can't re-paginate a web site unless you set a paper size to suit a window and select Print Preview. You then rely on the content creator having used page break before, after and don't as well as widows and orphans properly. So in theory it's not hard to develop any existing desktop browser to have an optional Paginate to Window Size mode with user preferences for widows, orphan and page break vs heading levels. In fact many ebook apps and programs internally use a web rendering engine and the Kindle DXG had pagination of web pages, more sensible than the scrolling on newer eink based browsers.
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Old 09-24-2021, 08:55 AM   #138
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The founder of Gutenberg.org (in maybe 1972) realised the importance of electronic texts.
If you go by the date of https://gutenberg.org/ebooks/1 December 1, 1971.

Which in my mind begs the question, how exactly would someone have read an ebook in late 1971?
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:15 AM   #139
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Which in my mind begs the question, how exactly would someone have read an ebook in late 1971?
On a terminal screen in a university. I played a poker dice game on a mainframe in real time in 1969. But even in 1973 I usually only had punched card access on the Polytechnic ICL computer.
The Intel 8080 came out in 1974 and CP/M slightly later in the same year.
The first "PC"s, in concept were mostly based on the S100 bus, also 1974, but I think rare before 1976.
The precursor to the Internet started in US Universities and US Military about 1976.
The Commodore Pet slightly earlier than Apple II in Jan 1977. The Apple 1 was a short lived kit. I've never seen one.
The Apple II was 1977 (Same CPU as Pet) and had typically a 100 K 5.25" floppy drive. By 1980 the 8" 1 MByte drive common on S100 based microcomputers.
My company had an S100 computer, Apple, RM380Z and an ACT Sirius 1 (Victor 9000 in USA) before the IBM PC was sold in UK or Ireland.

I had regular email from 1987.
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:06 AM   #140
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Which in my mind begs the question, how exactly would someone have read an ebook in late 1971?
Probably printed on a 132 column drum line printer.
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:46 AM   #141
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Probably printed on a 132 column drum line printer.
Only if you were in charge of the budget. ASCII art was allowed. Not entire books!
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Old 09-24-2021, 05:19 PM   #142
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I imagine when books went from Clay Tablets to Scrolls and thence to Manuscripts (prior to printed books) that there were some people who weren't happy about it. In a sense we've come full circle from a Tablet to a Tablet.
And some people, I think Socrates was one of them, were against the written word in general, arguing that it would have a deleterious effect on the human psyche (or mostly on memory).

They were right, too. After literacy spread memorization skills deteriorated. This would be seen as a big blow by many ancient philosophers, as they valued memory highly and thought it the central piece of the unique personality of each human being.

Nothing is free. It's all a question of trade offs. We have better access to information, but a worsened capacity to actually remember it. Is it worth it? Probably. But it's not a clear cut case of progress=better, in my view.

Going from the tactile and physical book reading experience is also going to have some cost. We may not be able to pinpoint it exactly at this point, and it may well be negligible compared to the benefits, but it's still worth considering.

In my case comparing physical book reading with LCD screen reading it's clear that both my memory and focus suffer from the latter. Not only do I forget more of the material, but I find it harder to focus on any single task having used an LCD screen. Whereas reading paper or e-ink is calmer and more focused with better recall.
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Old 09-24-2021, 05:33 PM   #143
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eBooks are terrible because publishers treat them as 2nd class citizens while simultaneously pricing them higher than the paper versions. I still run into things like random hyphens mid-line, typos created from OCR etc. in purchased eBooks from big publishers.
One publisher that I have a few books from has a friendly notice at the beginning of Kobo-purchased ePubs that the book had been printed on 100% recycled paper.
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:30 PM   #144
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One publisher that I have a few books from has a friendly notice at the beginning of Kobo-purchased ePubs that the book had been printed on 100% recycled paper.
Maybe the draft copy for proof reading?
But we don't use any paper in the process from idea to ebook.

Paper editions, if they exist, are later and maybe 20 pages (5 sheets of paper) 2 up duplex to check font size. POD is less paper waste.
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:48 PM   #145
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Old 09-27-2021, 03:42 PM   #146
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Well, if you've ever read a book on a Palm Pilot (I have) most any eReader today will be quite a few steps up. Still, that's no excuse why most a lot of the current crop has 10 year old performance. Single core iMX6Solo? Barf. Still, the folks at Google are doing their best* to tamp down performance on your shiny new octo core eReader.

* I don't mean intentionally. It's just that the flood of bells, whistles and gratuitous animations takes its toll.
Agreed. the first book I read as an eBook was Jeremy Davis's excellent Missing; Presumed Undead. I met the author once on Reddit and begged him to continue the series. (A Whodunnit mystery told from the point of view of a sentient sword-- trapped in the body of a letter opener-- attached to a film noir-style detective who just happens to be a minotaur. Seriously. Go read it.) I read it on a Handspring Visor (A cheaper version of a Palm Pilot.)

I don't mind the ability to add page animations and make it look like more of a book, but I don't think most eReaders need most of the stuff they have.

Although, as I've said before, I'm not you, so if you want every page turn to have a different animation, you do you!
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Old 09-27-2021, 03:50 PM   #147
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Perhaps over 10,000 not read in the modern era that are in museums.
Much papyrus was used to light fires. Paper writing deliberately burnt in ancient China. The animal skins later used in Europe kept well. Paper didn't.
True, but keep in mind that formats change. Amazon has changed their formats at least twice in the last ten years. This is why I am so grateful to Kovid for Calibre. My books are mine. I will download them, strip the DRM from them if necessary, and keep them on my own media so I, not Amazon, not Barnes and Noble, not anyone but the man in the mirror, have total control of them.

I read an interesting article once where a parent was asking what to do with a digital letter that had been written by their father to his grandchild. The parent was asked not to read the file, but he was concerned about format changing making it unreadable before his child grew old enough to read it. (Indeed, it was about ten years ago that I read the article and the letter was saved to a floppy disk.) The person who wrote the article suggested printing it on acid-free paper and having it stored in a safety deposit box. I have to admit that I agreed with that decision.

Formats change and paper, under the right conditions, lasts longer than eBooks stored under the wrong ones. But I do agree with your point that pagination is a better method of delivery than scrolling.
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Old 09-27-2021, 03:53 PM   #148
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Because most people like an opportunity to repaginate the material at will, to fit a paragraph or a figure on one screen.
I'm kind of losing my crap at the way we seem to have stepped back a few years. I used to be able to zoom in on web page text on my iPad or phone and it would reorder the words to wordwrap on the screen. Now the damn lines scroll off the sides. When did such a simple thing vanish from the web?
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Old 09-27-2021, 04:03 PM   #149
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And some people, I think Socrates was one of them, were against the written word in general, arguing that it would have a deleterious effect on the human psyche (or mostly on memory).
Have you read The Reluctant Swordsman by David Duncan? Excellent series. Wally Smith dies of spinal meningitis and wakes up in the body of Shonshu, a swordsman of the seventh level on an alternate world. He discovers that the World of the Goddess doesn't have writing. It doesn't even have words for it. He tries to ask a girl how to spell her name, and it comes out, "How do you make marks-of-saying for that?"

Wally is the POV character, and he even ruminates on how everyone's memory is so much better than his, and how he's basically an illiterate in their world.

I strongly recommend the series. (There was a time when the SciFi editor of Del Rey books had the same taste that I do. He also always used Darrell K Sweet as a cover artist. I learned that any book I saw with his artwork on it was going to be something I liked. So I discovered the American
publications of Sir Terry Pratchett, David Duncan's Reluctant Swordsman and A Man of His Word series, Terry Brooks's Magic Kingdom of Landover, and a few others.) Sweet also did the artwork for about 2/3 of Piers Anthony's Magic of Xanth. He has a very distinctive style.)

What blew my mind is when Wally comments that the invention of writing hampered memory, but it also made knowledge cumulative, and that without it, societies couldn't truly evolve. (Writing is a part of the Goddess's mission for Wally. I don't want to spoil it for you.)
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Old 09-27-2021, 04:38 PM   #150
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What blew my mind is when Wally comments that the invention of writing hampered memory, but it also made knowledge cumulative, and that without it, societies couldn't truly evolve.
No, it doesn't. It just makes memorising less important, or sometimes the kind of thing you need to memorise is different. Before autocues and electronic prompt and near invisible earphones the actors learned their lines.
Also there was cumulative oral tradition.

It sounds like an interesting story, but real life is more complex.

Now electronic texts accessible by mobile means that people that know how to use "search" and the starting point can seem smarter and beat the traditional reference shelf at home.
I have a library and loads of reference books where I've found the online resource don't exist or are unreliable.

Also you need to memorise a lot of starting points and for your main day to day skill/work memorise almost everything in some fields.
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