What I Like About eBooks
The World Public Library Blog Newsletter
Volume 1, Number 8
Monday, June 13, 2011
Published Twice Weekly
by Michael S. Hart
Founder, Project Gutenberg,
Inventor of eBooks
What I Like About eBooks
The first thing I like about eBooks, of course, is that we will be able to carry around millions of eBooks in our pockets today-- all we have to do is download them onto one of those terabytes, the ones that easily fit into your pockets, for under $100.
If fact, from this July 4 through August 4 you have the chance, not only to download as many as you want from a million eBooks, but from FIVE MILLION items at The World eBook Fair, http://www.worldebookfair.org.
Besides that there are literally thousands of Internet sites on tap with various eBook downloads, not to mention Google, though they go way out of their way not to let you know how many their collection contains, nor how much is copyrighted, and thus they impose a fairly strict limit on how many pages are downloaded.
Nevertheless, if you downloaded every item from The World eBook Fair, Google, and a few of the other major sources [and they're other sites in other countries with major collections] you will find your choices are from over 10 million eBooks.
A collection of 10 million eBooks might double the cost of your computer, but think of the fact that not so very many years ago there weren't but a dozen or two libraries on the entire planet with over 10 million items [and many of those were pamphlets or other very short publications].
When people talk about "The Killer App," I always hearken back, perhaps it's just me, to what was really the very first of this whole Internet site and downloading thing. . .eBooks!
After all, when you consider that the average book sold by such stores as Borders, or college bookstores, is $100, then do some easy, but large, multiplication and find out that:
10 million books at $100 has a value of ONE BILLION DOLLARS!!!
However, as one of our greatest quotations points out:
"A cynic is a person who knows the price of everything, but who knows the value of nothing."
This brings me to the another thing I like best about eBooks:
eBooks have no value to the person who never uses them!!!
Obviously some people buy paper books more for to show them for their friends, neighbors or colleagues to admire, than actually to do any real reading.
In fact, in the days before The Gutenberg Press a great library valued at a higher price than an entire region might be one for which there was actually very little other use than to impress.
[Before Gutenberg the average book price was equal to that of a whole family farm.]
So, in today's world, a it is harder and harder to impress such people just by the sight of bookshelves filled with books, they are more and more only impressed by what you know about reading them and how you understand the contents and apply them.
Books used to be more about form than content, but now books in the future will all look the same from the outside and the only way you will perceive them is if they are really in use.
After all, a book isn't a book until someone starts reading it.
Until then, it is just waiting to be a book, a potential book.
So. . .get out there and bring your books to life!!!
A Bit More News About the iCloud
Apparently the effort between Apple, Microsoft, Mozilla and a perhaps unknown number of others to eliminate older softwares is even bigger than we had originally reported.
Apple has apparently insured that even more people would drop Microsoft Windows XP than otherwise, just to get into iCloud.
As previously reported various incompatibilities are built in to a number of new products to insure dropping the old ones-- a term once popularized by the term "Planned Obsolescence" in the period when various home appliances were built with dates in mind by which they should have to be replaced due to a new intentional program to insure old products function no longer in the current environment. After all, how were you going to sell new toasters to people who had handed down the perfectly good previous toasters from generation to generation?
Personally, I have collected a number of toaster, and others, from before this era of "Planned Obsolescence," and they work as well as they day they were manufactured.
I should warn you however, if you plan to do these sorts of a preservation with computer hardware and software, that I have found a certain way that the computers we usually talk to all the time seem to know that your computer is, or is not, of an order they like to deal with. I'm not sure how it all works, but you can try it simply by setting your clock back a number of years until you find that you are rejected from logging in to your own ISP or other sites and servers simply because the "date" on your "cookies" and other similar packets that we're never supposed to be aware of don't match the current policy, and you are summarily tossed out.
Don't worry, though, you can simply reset the date and go on, and apparently there is no grudge held, as I have done all of this on many occasions from the same computer, and I get back online as soon as I set the date properly.