That's the problem that I hope has been resolved with the new devices. I
haven't found a good way to organize either by topic or a simple
read/unread. There are a series of small dots that indicate how much
you've read but they require carefukl attention to differentiate.
I particularly dislike the current trend to consider webinars
'documentation'. It's the lazy way out and my mind tends to wander when
people ramble on.
Ideally, a set of tags associated with each file. But, *applying* and
*examining* them then becomes difficult -- you need to have a tool
designed expressly for that purpose.
SWMBO takes a LOT of photographs. The camera records lots of detail -- most
of which is unimportant to the (amateur) photographer! (exposure, etc).
Periodically, she downloads the photos from her camera onto her
computer. Then, tries to sort through them based on content.
One of the tools she uses builds a database of user-defined tags
(keywords) that you manually associate with the photos. So, she
can create tags: rocks, water, mammals, birds, atmosphere, etc.
Then, if she's got a photo of some BIRDS chasing a COYOTE
alongside a ROCKy RIVERbed at SUNSET, she can choose to apply
ALL of those tags to that picture. Later, if she's looking for
examples of "sunsets", she can search for photos tagged with
"atmosphere" and find this photo -- along with umpteen gazillion
Great -- in theory. In practice, its almost impossible to use!
First, *you* have to come up with an appropriate set of keywords to
cover *your* interests (makes sense; how would *I* know what is of
interest to YOU?!). Then, you have to go through the tedium of
applying them individually to the pictures (yeah, you can select multiple
photos but, chances are, each photo will have a different SET of tags;
so, select all that qualify as "sunsets" and ADD the "atmosphere"
tag to those; then, deselect them and select all those with birds
and add the bird tag to those; etc. And, later, when you realize
your categories are too *broad* (e.g., originally you may have
lumped "mammals" "reptiles" and "birds" into a single "wildlife"
category and you later realize that these should have been spllit
out into finer detail -- do you now go back through all the
"mammal"-tagged objects and retag them with this new set??)
Or, you may realize there was a category that you hadn't initially
considered and ALL of your existing photos need to be reexamined
to determine if the category applies (if you *don't* do this,
then the category has very limited practical value as it will
I had this problem when I originally lumped all my "programming languages"
texts into a single directory -- which quickly became overly cluttered!
"Hmmm.... maybe I should break things down by language?"
That's one of the reasons I don't watch youtube videos. They are all
*Organize* your thoughts before you present something. Then, *plan*
how you will present it. And, afterwards, edit the result to best
implement this vision! (would *you* want to watch what you've just
There are lots of instructional DVD's covering art topics. One
particularly good illustrator has a large series of "lectures/demos"
he's prepared on different aspects of drawing human anatomy.
But, the "productions" are terrible! They were apparently recorded
sessions in classes he taught -- so there's lots of background
noise (chairs being dragged across the floor, people coughing,
crickets chirping, etc.). The microphone appears to have just been
placed "somewhere convenient" -- instead of somewhere APPROPRIATE!
Camera angles are lousy -- you end up seeing *him* instead of
the *work* he is preparing.
And, there's a fair bit of an investment (money and time to view!)
in order to benefit from this... mess!
The same is true of many painting videos.
Given the sort of desktop audio/video editing capabilities
available to damn near ANYONE, its silly that you can't shoot
with multiple microphones and cameras and then mix the results
appropriately in post. I.e., make a *professional* presentation
instead of a cheap "hack".
I've never had a lot of interest in photography but when the digital
cameras came out I started carrying one. I've got a great collection of
mountain tops, waterfalls, canyons, alpine lakes, and so forth. I can
identify about 20% of the locations. Geotagging would be nice but I'm
too much of a Luddite.
I use a digital camera to save typing. Easier for me to snap a photo,
shrink it to emailable size and send it as an attachment to a message
than it would be to try to describe a lot of things. E.g., to illustrate
how far from the house the water flowing *off* the roof falls as it
SHOOTS past the edge of the roof. A numerical measurement wouldn't
be anywhere near as impressive as seeing a sheet of water defying gravity
as it moves *sideways* instead of *down*!
A friend once observed that I only take pictures of *things*, not *people*.
My reply, "Of course! I *know* what these PEOPLE look like! And, if I
were to describe them to you, I surely wouldn't fixate on their *appearance*
but, rather, their relationship(s) to me, etc. How would I photograph
When I undertake a car repair, I find the camera a great expedient
to track which bolts came off of which mechanism, etc. Or, recording how
cables were dressed.
Likewise when I repair someone's laptop (as each one seems to be
different and filled with assorted bits of varying dimensions, etc.)
She's usually not interested in where/when a photo was taken.
Rather, she's captured the "texture" of water running over a
submerged rock. Or, a cloud pattern. Or, sky color. Or, what
some particular creature looks like. I.e., something that she
can use as a "model" for a drawing/painting without having to
be *there*, again.
That does beat a crude sketch on the back of whatever I had laying around.
I don't do art so it's more about remembering the day. If I can remember
where it was. Some I certainly can like Muir Rock at Kings Canyon or the
goats I met on the trail at Mt. Aneas. Other times I've seen too many
waterfalls and mountain vistas unless they're really memorable ones.
A neighbor gave me the idea of using a digital camera to document
things. I'd never been much of a camera buff. But, once he
brought the idea up and made me realize I never had to "develop"
any film (i.e., ENDLESS PHOTOS!), it was like getting slapped in the head
with a brick: d'uh!
I don't rely on photos to preserve "(personally) important things".
I figure if they are important, I'll remember them. If not, then
E.g., I can distinctly remember watching a sea turtle lay eggs
on the beach when I was ~5. Damn thing felt as big as *me*!
How could I possibly forget a thing like that?
OTOH, I doubt I could remember 1/4 of the names of the kids
in any of my grade school classes! <shrug> Haven't seen
any of them in 30+ years so why would their names "stick"?
OToOH, I can remember the date of birth of my best friend from college
and that's just as ancient!
Second bake is done. Yippee! Now I can get back to work...
First things first. . . ;)
The OverDrive app is one of the top-rated eBook apps available for iOS,
Android, Chromebook, Mac OS, Windows, and Windows Phone.
I suggest you go to YOUR library's site and see what they have to say
about HOW you can read the type(s) of ebooks they offer.
Virtually all devices are supported -- along with PC/Mac "computers".
As she is NOT interested in reading on a computer (otherwise, any of the
desktops, laptops, tablets or other "appliances" that we have would be
acceptable options), this means getting a *device* that she can use to
fill the role that a print *book* would have filled.
Kobo Aura H2O, waterproof, dustproof 6.8" backlit screen. I have read
18,000 pages last quarter alone. Coming up to it's first anniversay of
when I purchased it it and love it.
This is my answer to replacing my paperback library since I have read
them all to tatters :)
(Buy the case for it as well).
How do ebook pages compare to print pages? E.g., can you provide a count
for some (popular) title that I could contrast with a print version?
And, does page count vary based on (chosen) font size?
For example, a recent read (for me) was _Snow Crash_ -- just under 500pp
in an ~8x10" format.
I've kept about 4 xerox boxes of paperbacks -- those that I reread the
most often or that have some other sentimental attachment. Or, that
are hard to find in other forms or lose much of their appeal in non-paper
forms (e.g., _Letters from the Earth_ --
<http://www.sacred-texts.com/aor/twain/letearth.htm ). Or, have quirky little
illustrations that complement the
A E van Vogt is my favorite science fiction author (I suspect I have every
title that he's written -- even reissues under different titles!). When
I encounter one of his titles at a used bookstore (increasingly rare),
I simply buy it, reread it and donate it (if I've already got a better
copy in storage). This allows me to reread without having to "wear"
(Having said that, some titles simply don't hold up to use; e.g., _The
Yum Yum Book_ was printed on very "stiff" paper so the pages *break* off!)
Yes, if you choose a larger or smaller font the page is reflowed. There
is a percentage given but not a page count.
This is really apples and codfish since I don't have a book as small as
the Kindle screen, but a Per Wahloo detective story in a English
paperback has about 300 words on a full page. The paperback is 8x5 with
a fairly dense text format. A Asa Larsson mystery (in German) on the
Kindle has about 160 but the Kindle screen is 5x3.5. An English novel
with a little more dialog to break up the page was 150.
I'm not sure it's a meaningful metric. The percentage is equivalent to
looking at a paper book and gauging how far along you are. I believe the
newer models try to predict how long it will take you to finish based on
your reading rate.
Wow! Are you sure about that size? Hell, that's barely larger than an
For me, the issue would be how often you were "flipping" pages.
The typical 1.5 - 2" thick paperbacks that seem to be the norm,
nowadays, take me about 1.5 - 2 minutes to read a verso and recto page
before having to "flip". An ereader would halve that time just because
it only shows recto pages.
But, if the pages are considerably smaller (due to screen size of
lack of display resolution at "typical" typeface sizes), then
it could be even faster!
That's what is affectionately known as a 6" screen. 4 7/8 high is a more
accurate measurement. The Paperwhite is 300 ppi for 1440 x 1080, while
the keyboard is 167 ppi for 600 x 800. I haven't seen a Paperwhite in
the flesh so I don't know how much the higher resolution buys you.
The SONY Digital Paper DPT-S1 is A4 size with 1600 x 1200 resolution.
It's also around $800 and I don't know if it does anything other than
Sheesh! I think I have 10-15 year old PDAs with screens bigger than that!
I suspect that is probably overkill. IIRC, my tablet PC's are 1024x768 (?)
at 12" (just as large as the "active" portion of most sheets of paper)
and I rarely have to zoom to see additional detail.
As it's a PC, it's not limited to ereader functionality -- nor a specific
set of ebook formats (having a single function device, nowadays, seems
pretty crippling). E.g., I presently have one in it's "dock" connected
to four external USB drives serving their contents to my "NAS-RAID"
over SMB shares. A BT keyboard and BT mouse let me use it as a
computer when not acting as a file service.
Take it out of the dock and it's back to being my ebook reader.
(Unfortunately, I only have *one* dock so other tablet sits in a small
I've never noticed a limitation. My tablet's screen is and inch longer
and 1/8 narrower for 7" diagonal. The problem you get into is the
overall size. Back when we started to develop a tablet product I spec'ed
out a couple of Acer 10" tablets for the programmers on the project. The
selling point was the charger was a separate connection so you could
leave it on the wall wart and use the USB port for the debugging interface.
After working with them, I walked across the street to BestBuy and
bought an almost identical tablet but in the 7" form factor. I realize
that if I was going to hump around a 10" tablet I might as well bring
the 13" Win7 notebook with the real keyboard. I can slip a 7" tablet, or
the almost identically sized Kindle into a cargo pocket.
Phones have been through the same thing. The postage stamp sized display
is awkward, so they started to grow up to the phablet class with 5 to 7"
It's all about being mobile and if you can't reasonably stick it in a
pocket or purse it's a problem.
Neither of us is looking for "portable" more than "living room, bedroom,
or office". We don't travel anymore. In the past, if I traveled, I'd
pack a large "aircraft carrier" laptop (small displays and small
keyboards are irritating). SWMBO would pack a *tiny* laptop in
her travels to economize on space in her luggage (she would only use
it to stay connected to her email).
When I reference stuff in my archive, the tablet PC just frees me from
sitting at a "PC" (even laptops create the "desktop" style interface).
Standardizing on PDF's means I can also reference those same documents
when "working" at a desktop/laptop -- without having to deal with an
assortment of formats.
When she's reading (leisure), the BOOK is in her lap on the couch,
in bed, etc. When not actively reading, the "novel du jour" sits
in a basket by the bed. She could conceivably store an ereader in
that same space when not in use. Charging would require some other
But, she's likely to get frustrated, at some point, with the
experience. She was using a PDA (kept in her secretary) for
addresses and calendar. But, grew frustrated with ActiveSync's
flakey performance and opted to go back to paper and pencil.
The pile by my bed includes the Kindle along with paper books, both
from the library and one's I've purchased.
My PDA is and always has been a spiral ring notebook small enough to
slip in a shirt pocket. I don't have that many addresses to keep track
of, or anything that passes for a calendar. At work I use the
Thunderbird calendar which gives me an alert so I can disappear before
Mine is lined with bookshelves (technical/reference literature).
I don't borrow "books" from the library (just DVD's).
She liked the PDA when it worked reliably. But, when ActiveSync
started throwing fits and she could no longer keep a backup on
her laptop, she decided it wasn't worth the effort/risk.
I used to keep my address book on a PDA (not trusting an email
client as email is, by definition, on an "accessible" machine!).
But, as I moved away from snail mail and telephone contacts,
the utility dwindled. Now, I have a backup of the PDA on one
of my NetBSD boxes but, for the most part, don't fret the
street addresses, birthdates, driving directions, etc. that
are stored therein.
I've saved the PDA's, though, as they will eventually be used as
little BT "terminals" (small touch screen, convenient to keep
on a coffee table to interact with the automation system!).
Silly to try to *build* something in that form factor, cost, etc.
I have one TINY cell phone (WiFi/BT) that I will carry, from time
to time, to use as a portable terminal when interacting with diagnostic
services on certain devices. Tiny display is more convenient than
carrying a laptop for that purpose. (and, the diagnostic services
aren't written expecting bountiful display resources! :>)
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