Book Still Readable – Decades Later!

“If you’d have told me then that by 2007 the state of the art would barely have advanced beyond that of 1998, I’d have wept openly.” – Dave Slusher

If you fell into a coma when Business 2.0 had a roller coaster on the cover and woke up today, you’d have one more reason to double check the calendar. Amazon’s $400 Kindle eBook reader was announced today.

It feels exactly like all the eBook attempts over the last decade; ugly form-factor, proprietary DRM format, read-only, vendor-controlled titles, customers nickel-and-dimed after paying hundreds of dollars.

In other words – far more inconvenient and annoying than the media form it’s attempting to replace. Oh, and it’s Moore’s Law compliant? No thanks.

“What happens to these e-books if Amazon, having lost money on the endeavor, stops producing Kindle readers a few years from now?” – John Gruber

Damn good question. Sitting next to my Mac mini is a stack of CD just as tall. Decade-old backups of work, a substantial percentage of which is un-openable due to proprietary formats from long extinct companies and products. Compare that to the bookshelves of hardcovers and paperbacks I’ve moved with me for nearly two decades – all still fully functional.

If I could freely load up the ‘library’ of PDFs I’ve collected over the years or queue up some RSS feeds into Kindle, then maybe UPS and USPS should be concerned.

Unless you’re an eBook collector, there’s nothing to read.

5 Replies to “Book Still Readable – Decades Later!”

  1. Instead of all this wasted energy on “developing” and trying to sell an e-book thing, why don’t people just make a BlackBerry or an unlocked iPhone with a bigger screen? Isn’t that what a real human would prefer? You know, something that…does stuff…you know, that I — the owner — might want it to…you know, *do*?

  2. why don’t people just make a BlackBerry or an unlocked iPhone with a bigger screen?

    Yes! If it’s just aggregating RSS feeds, aren’t there already phones with wifi that you can use to access those same RSS feeds? Why would you buy a special device just to do that with? I don’t need to read my feeds that badly.

  3. This could be one helluva research tool if coupled to web browsing then grabbing documents and books in some very low-cost “check-out” mode. But it has to input my research to my laptop/desktop unit and format my bibliography in one of several styles.

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