Tag Archives: e-book

Adobe’s EPUB Standard (and some other comments)

Here is an article about how Barnes and Noble is backing Adobe’s EPUB standard.

Link

I’m happy to see content  providers getting behind this so there is device independent standard for e-books.

As for the jabs at Apple’s iTunes, well, iTunes isn’t completely locked down.  There are plenty of software programs available that remove Apple’s “wrapper” so users can play the music they purchased  on any device as an mp3.  I had to do this when my laptop crashed and the only copy of my music collection was on my iPod (it seems to me Apple can remedy this by making it easy to transfer songs from an iPod back onto a computer, rather than locking iPods with one device).  Depending upon Kindle’s success, I imagine some “Robin Hood” spirited programmer will “crack” that device as well (it may already have been done).  This really is beside the point, but I am a little tired of reporters feigning ignorance about the various ways to circumvent proprietary file formats and touting proprietary file formats as the key to having a successful digital distribution business model.  iTunes doesn’t have a lock on the market because their file format is proprietary.  They have a lock because their device is easy to use, it’s drop dead simple to buy music for iPod and iPhone devices, and the pricing structure for the music available is within reason.   Can you say Apple has had the same success with video entertainment via Apple TV? No … (in my estimation, it looks like Netflix is poised to dominate in this area due to the numerous deals they are making with TV and gaming console manufacturers.  It is very simple to watch Netflix movies on demand via my XBox360 with my existing Netflix account).   So far there is no clear winner on e-books or e-reading right now other than the personal computer and there are many PC manufacturers.   As for e-readers, I think it’s pointless to have a separate device outside of a laptop for e-reading.  Ultimately, I think this is a software play and not a device play.  I think Amazon recognizes this too, which is why they are making the Kindle software available for PCs the same as Apple did for iTunes.  This leaves box makers to struggle for margins as they try to one-up each other by driving device prices down.  My advice to the box makers is to multi-task existing laptops, minis,  and mobiles rather than wasting time and money on developing a separate e-reader device — unless, of course, that e-reader can be submerged underwater for tub-time reading.  Of course, tub-time computing would also be quite revolutionary …

Santa Delivered — HP Mini 1000

I guess I was nice this year because Santa delivered :). I didn’t get the Vivienne Tam Edition, but I did get the HP Mini 1000 Mini-notebook with the 60GB harddrive and bluetooth connectivity. So far I’m surprised by the power of this little notebook. I am able to play standard definition avi files on it.

We’ve place the little notebook in the kitchen next to the telephone. This turns out to be a perfect place for it. So far I set up e-mail, I used it today to look up recipes for Christmas dinner and I researched external laptop sound cards for our entertainment laptop. It was convenient to have the little notebook on the counter so I could browse while waiting on food to cook. The small footprint also it made it fit nicely on the little bit of corner space we have where our phone is.

A few things about the notebook that you may want to know before purchasing. It is strictly wireless. There is no Ethernet port for a wired connection. It comes with Windows XP installed so you don’t have to worry about the little laptop barfing on Vista. I went ahead and moved the windows bar to the left side and had it auto-hide. I found this to be a good use of the small screen. It also came installed with Microsoft Works, which has everything you need for home and student use — word processor, spreadsheets, presentations, e-mail, and a calendar. The keyboard takes a little getting used to. True the keyboard is about the same size of a standard keyboard, but some of the keys do double duty when combined with the function key.

I don’t recommend this little laptop as a main computer. I think you are far better getting a full-sized laptop if this is your first or only computer. It is a great secondary and travel laptop. It does basic computing and supports music and standard definition videos nicely. I also recommend getting the 10-in form factor. Web pages display nicely and are readable. It also passed the online manga test ;p. Now if only I could rotate the image on the screen like an iPod touch or the iPhone so I could get a full page of manga or a book on the screen. The screen is about the same size as a paperback book and the arrows keys are in the right place currently for page flipping ;). Hint, hint … it could be fudged with a software update … Though, the hinge doesn’t allow the device to open the full 180-degrees … maybe the next gen …???