Digital Books and the iPad

March 16, 2010

A nice illustrated piece by Craig Mod entitled “Books in the age of the iPad”.

I can’t find the link right now, but Craig’s piece reminds me of some speculation that collector’s edition books could eventually become the only books worth actually printing, and that publishers who want to sell physical books should innovate along those lines.

The Problem Of Electronic Page Numbers

January 31, 2010

A nice aside in Steven Johnson’s recent review of the new Kindle:

6. No page numbers! They have “location” numbers instead, because pages don’t really exist in the Kindle, given that you can resize the type with two quick taps on the keyboard. There’s a small question here about how you cite a passage from a Kindle e-book, but I think it begs a larger, and more interesting question about standardizing page references in all e-books — including Google Books for instance. (I’m going to write a longer piece on this…)

This isn’t really a new problem – anyone who has used a text from Project Gutenberg has run into this issue (try citing a passage from Heart of Darkness, for example). However, the difficulty may become more prevalent as devices such as the Kindle become more common. Of course, electronic books also present difficulties when it comes to marginalia (the most notable marginalia is probably that of Fermat).

There are some general difficulties here with electronic text and it will be interesting to see how they can be solved in effective, portable ways.

Books and more books and no time to read

May 23, 2009

Moving your household provides many opportunities, one of them is the opportunity to sort through your belongings and get rid of some of them. Due to time constraints, I was unable to do much sorting during the packing phase. Thus, I find myself sorting items during the unpacking.

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Small World

December 7, 2008

Gary Riley’s comment here on November 6 alerted me to a book that I didn’t have: The Engineering of Knowledge-Based Systems: Theory and Practice by Avelino J. Gonzalez and Douglas D. Dankel. So, I went to Amazon to track it down. The book is out of print, so I purchased a used copy.

When my copy arrived a little while ago, I quickly noticed that the owner’s name written inside the cover was that of John Durkin, the noted author of Expert Systems: Design and Development. I spotted it quickly since at a previous employer this book (along with Gary Riley’s book) was used in both internal and external training.

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