Is anyone else addicted to these things. I buy 'em; read 'em . . . and
can't bring myself to throw them away. As a consequence, I have 85 issues
of Woodwork Magazine and 168 issues of Fine Woodworking taking up 64 inches
of shelf space in an already crowded study. My wife will probably have one
helluva bonfire when I cash it in.
I don't throw any away either, but in reality I don't have them organized
such that I could ever use them again. Let's see, most of the FWW issues,
all of ShopNotes, I think all of WoodSmith, about 7 years of Wood and
American Woodworker and another I can't think of right now, several years of
Workbench, plus a hundred misc one-off issues of various mags. Boxes and
boxes of the damn things. Then throw in a hundred books and my house isn't
big enough. No wonder my shop is so dang small. One of these days I need
to at least organize them into boxes so I can actually find a particular
Larry C in Auburn, WA
"Bubba" < email@example.com> wrote in message
Mine go into the 'library', on a built-in bookshelf next to the water
closet. I pick one at random every morning and continually find new projects
that I want to start immediately after the current one is finished ... then
back on the shelf it goes, perhaps never to be seen again except by random
Too bad corporate greed keeps digital ink from blossoming. My recreational
reading has been done on an electronic book for the past five or six years
and my once yards of bookshelf space in almost every room of the house has
been reduced to a couple of CD's. Beside, my eBook holds 50 novels, and
those bits and bytes weigh next to nothing when you go to packing for a
I am not sure that it is corporate greed that has slowed the momentum of
e-books. There have been technology issues, and problems with authors who
are concerned about the potential piracy of their work.
Then they shouldn't publish their work as an E-book. Personally, I hate
E-books. I'm much more comfortable with a 'real' book in my hands, plus
I can carry it outside etc, I can drop it and its ok. Not so with a
Suffice it say that if your e-book reading experience has been limited to
computer screens, hand-held pda's, and even the "Bookman" or HieBook, you
have yet to experience the technology that will eventually replace "real"
books for many purposes.
I've not seen this technology, but I have some trouble envisioning truly tough
electronic circuitry, the kind of tough that will take the battering even a
paperback will take. I'd like to see something along that line, as I am
learning a little more about electronic publishing almost daily, and hope to
eventually turn out some good quality CD books for woodworkers. Slower going
than I thought for a variety of reasons, starting with a house fire and then
getting complex (little things like learning book layout, checking out some of
the programs used to lay out print and e-books, etc.).
My concept still involves a computer, primarily because I know zip about any
other form of electronic publishing. That may change, but at the moment, I
don't see it. There's nothing out there on a large enough basis for me to work
at making the transition. If I do my books in formats that only one person in
100 (since we're already into a specialized audience called woodworkers) how
many am I apt to sell? That may be greed, but someone somewhere has to pay my
bills while I work.
So, should I google on Bookman and HieBook to see what's workable? Or is out of
sight? Will digging back a message or 2 and googling on your names help? I'm
gonna give it a try.
"A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other
way." Mark Twain
Thus far the only acclaimed "satisfactory reading experience" has been on
the Rocket eBook (and I've tried, and tested, them all). Had its reception
been met on the publishing side with the same vision and foresight as went
into its design, you would see school kids walking around without back packs
at this point. ... and you have to keep in mind that it was a first
Unfortunately, I would not recommend either the Bookman, or the HieBook as
an introduction to e-book readers as they are not nearly as well designed,
or as ergonomic, as the ReB, which is no longer being produced. It was
proverbially "ahead of its time".
I own all three, and four ReB's. Other than magazines, I have read NOTHING
but a ReB since 1998, and I read vociferously (spent as much as $200/month
on books prior to that time). BUT, I have had to confine my recreational
reading to what is in the public domain for the past couple of years because
of the issues on publishing side of the coin.
While you may still be able to find a ReB on eBay, my advice is to wait for
"digital ink" based on nanotechnology ... those who (mis)judge the reading
experience solely on prejudicial experience with computer screens and pda's
will likely favor the next wave of technology.
Sorry I didn't reply to this part of your message earlier, but I was doing a
complicated glue-up in steps and couldn't leave it for more than a few
minutes at a time. (OBWW) ;>)
Unfortunately, you've hit the current 'state of affairs' nail on the head.
It doesn't have to be that way, because the technology has been there for a
while, but it currently _is_ that way because of issues I alluded to in
other posts with regard to the publishing industry, along with the
following, current 'show stoppers':
What is reckoned to be the largest factor of general non-acceptance thus far
is a no brainer - "Cost", due to economies of scale. Those in the know
reckon that a reading device must sell for well under $100 to gain
ubiquitous acceptance by the masses, and preferably "free". Thus far the
best devices have been double or triple that. Many reckon that once
economies of scale kick in, reading devices will likely be given away as an
adjunct to purchases.
Standardization on a format which can be used by different manufacturers has
been the next biggest fly in the ointment, and is probably more responsible,
in combination with cost, in non-acceptance thus far. One of the factors in
this regard is that Microsoft got into the fray, wrongmindedly as usual, and
muddied the waters to the extent that they have yet to clear.
Next biggest bugaboo is digital copying. Digital Rights Management is
ostensibly the biggest factor/excuse for the publishing industry being
scared to move forward with digital publishing. They, like the recording
industry, simply do not have a clue how to handle digital rights, nor do
they understand how to create a business model to take advantage of digital
publishing. NuvoMedia had a workable solution to this to a great extent, but
NO encryption system in current use is hack proof and easy enough for
publisher and consumer alike. However, NuvoMedia/GemStar's encryption system
did work, and worked well for a couple of years. Barnes and Nobles, and
Powell's, sold many best sellers in NM's format, and so did GemStar, but the
publishing industry never really got behind it. GemStar had a shot a getting
it right, but was reckoned too greedy in the final analysis.
The least important aspect, but one that was hyped in the media and the
Internet, is/was the misconception that you've seen propounded here today as
THE reason. That is, the actual experience of "reading a book" is missing in
e-book devices. Nothing could be further from the truth for most people who
have actually tried a well designed device like NuvoMedia's. However, the
publishing industry was all to eager to get behind this misconception and
make sure it got plenty of publicity. What you get is opinions from those
who have never used a good device, particularly the all too predictable
"computer screen" and "pda" analogies, which are comparing apples and
oranges Then there are those who will only be dragged kicking and screaming
to any kind of "change". I will say this, damn few lovers of reading and
books who have spent overnight reading NM's original device are willing to
give it up, and I've never met a single one. I can't tell you how many 'off
the cuff' presentations I've given in air terminals and restaurants when
folks see me reading one that really does "read like a book".
None of this does much for your efforts in self publishing, but have heart.
The big factors for acceptance - cost, standardization, and digital rights
management, will be solved in the not too distant future. And the newer
nanotechnology that is on the drawing board will mean that you will be able
to fold up your entire library and stick it in your pocket.
ITMT, if you want to pursue digital publishing on your own, I'd say (and
hate to do so) that Microsoft Reader probably has the most ubiquitous
acceptance on the most device, such as they are ... but at this point you
still have to figure out a way to protect your intellectual property from
Well, my efforts are a lot more mundane, I'm afraid. The essential book is
going to be a book, done on a CD, with PDF formatting.
Any writer learns to accept the fact that the occasional theft of copy will
happen. There really isn't much that can be done, because catching the culprits
is nearly impossible. That said, an astonishingly large percentage of the
public is honest and won't steal even given the chance, so the odds are good I
can make enough money (especially since everything is mine to keep after
expenses that do NOT include 85-90% to the publisher and bookseller) from each
book to make it worthwhile, IF I can figure out the marketing end. Just putting
the offer up on my web site, when I get one, is not apt to be enough.
But that's probably 8-10 months away now. I'd like to get it rolling in time
for the Christmas market, but who knows. All my predictions in the past 26
months have laid themselves out below the holes on a busy two seater, so
there's no reason to expect a change now.
"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you
nothing. It was here first." Mark Twain
Do books on tape have anti-piracy tech? It seems to be a lot easier to
pirate a audio cassette than a CD, yet books on tape must make money or they
wouldn't exist. I actually wish they would offer the books on tape as books
on CD as I have a CD player in my truck and not a tape player. The only tape
player I own sits next to the TV and the wife would have a seizure if I were
to turn it off to listen to a book.
"Charlie Self" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
Just one note: This is a BS excuse. If you standardized on a cartridge
format that does not exist yet, the you can effectively prevent copying,
specially of something so relatively undesireable as the text of a book.
How do I know? Just look at the gaming industry. They have a problem
with PC games because everyone has CD burners and many hackers can
program a PC to circumvent copy protection. But they do _not_ have a
huge problem in console games.
How hard is it to copy an XBox game? Well, XBox games are stored in a
special DVD format called DVD9. This is a super-high density storage
technology, giving each DVD a potential data storage space much larger
than what they would ever want to put into a single game. Why did MS go
this route? Because consumer burners for this technology are many years
away. Unless you're a techie gamer, this is probably the first time you
hear of DVD9. If MS' gamble pays off, DVD9 will never become a consumer
technology. The result? The damned ganmes are extremely hard and
expensive to copy. Anyone even thinking about copying the games better
think about that $50K investment, and maybe put his money in a legal
business, maybe producing legal DVD9 disks for game makers?
All right, let's look at another gaming techniology not often pirated:
The video game cartridges (like Nintendo or Atari). These things have
special plugs not very easy to find. In order to copy the contents, you
have to know your electrical engineering really well, because you will
have to create a custom device to read the data. Then you have to create
a chip and a circuit board to hold the copied game. Then you have to
figure out how to actually make the copy. By the time you're done with
all of that, you spent much more than the danged game cost you!
Now, let's say that given today's technology to combine one of these two
methods with encryption... You are home free. Let's say your e-books
cost the same as a normal printed book. Will pirating the content be
worth it? Absolutely not!
So I don't buy the "protect our intellectual property" argument one bit.
If anything, publishers are trying very hard to do the following:
1) Charge per person, not per copy of the book. They would love to
charge per set of eyes that reads the book.
2) Make it self-destructing. Books that last forever are a pain in the
ass for publishers because even though you keep it for 20 years, you only
paid the initial cost.
3) Make it absolutely non-resellable. When Amazon started it's used book
marketplace (you look up a book and Amazon shows you the price of a used
book together with the new book), publishers started crying because the
used book marketplace would eat into their sales, and they were right.
So, my guess is that publishers are trying to change the business model,
to one very much like software, where the intellectual property owner
retains huge control over how you use the software (ie, MS Office "dials
home" every time you install it, and refuses to continue working if you
modify your computer too much).
Ebooks are not for everything, but I started using them for novels on
my Pocket PC. For some reason I found them easy to read, especially
when I am eating breakfast or excercising on a stationary bike. It is
much easier to hold and turn the pages under those conditions. The
problem I found was that popular novels were costing as much as a
hardcover. Although I bought a few, I felt that that did not make
sense. Don't want to argue the logic here, but I know that did not
help expand ebooks. I don't think they make sense for magazines like
Fine Woodworking, etc. But for novels, I felt they were great.
Anything with pictures resulted in a less than a satisfactory
experience. The pictures were just too small.
email@example.com (Charlie Self) wrote in message
There was no logic ... it defied all common sense, but that's the current
publishing industry for you.
They didn't, but they could, and eventually will. Actually, there was one
device, the "SoftBook", that would do magazine format, but it was very
expensive and as big as magazine. GemStar killed it also.
In a word "electronic books" that are actually designed to be read like a
"real" book. Most definitely NOT computer screens, or PDA screens!
Once upon a time there was one such device being manufactured that, even
though it was a first generation device, fulfilled many of the promises and
dreams of "electronic books", including the perception of "reading like a
book". See my recent reply to some of the factors that have thus far kept
these, and similar devices, more or less unknown and unappreciated.
Since dreaming about a book similar to the one in Neal Stephenson's "The
Diamond Age" when I was about five, I've kept a close eye on the technology
down through the years, and even had a financial interest in the technology
at one point, and the NuvoMedia device, which is now defunct, IMO, is the
only one thus far to come close to the promise.
If you are a student of human history, as most of us come to appreciate as
we get older, and if you have sufficient perception to appreciate the
astounding impact of the Gutenberg press on mankind with regard to
communication, then you have an inkling of what the impact of the
"electronic book" can foretell.
That serious enough for you? :)
As much as I hate to say it, I would be extremely cautious as there no user
support left for the ReB whatsoever, only that which GemStar saw fit to
provide since they decided to shut their operation down, so you will be on
I am very familiar with the devices, have had them apart and even added
memory from one to another which is not supposed to be possible at user
level, but since they are no longer manufactured, I would hesitate to
recommend that anyone purchase one unless it is money you can afford to lose
... that, in itself, is a damn shame, the more I think about it.
The battery is built in and is NOT user changeable. However, I have one that
is six years old and the battery is still operating without problem. Do NOT
buy one without a power supply/battery charger!! Might want to check to see
if you can still register the device so that you could buy content as there
is encryption involved in some of the available content. You must have a
computer with a serial port to load content and you must have the "Rocket
Librarian" software loaded on the computer to communicate with the device
via serial port.
As far as content, you can no longer buy best sellers from Barnes and
Nobles, Amazon, or Powells, however you can roll your own using the old
software and digitized public domain text from places like:
or buy unencrypted ebooks from places like:
In short, caveat emptor!
Rarely are these studies NOT skewed in some manner ... because of a number
of factors, but mostly because they are based on use of hand-held pda's and
computer screens. Unfortunately it is an old, and sad, oft repeated myth in
the industry .. or what's left of it.
Nothing funny, or conclusive, about it. See above... and my reply to his
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