Re: Ebook readers, anyone?

Subject: Re: Ebook readers, anyone?
From: "Dana Worley" <dana -at- campbellsci -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 09:45:47 -0600

Not all ebook readers support PDF. I have a Kindle, which I love, but if you want to read a
PDF on it you have to send the file to Amazon for converting it to their proprietary format (I've
never done it, but I think it is quick and cheap -- seems like its 25 cents or something...).

I suspect there would be formatting issues, unless the content was developed specifically for
ebooks. I also suspect that each type of ebook might format content differently; thus, material
prepared for the Kindle might not render optimally on the Cybook.

Another issue would be ruggedness. A field tech probably isn't going to be too easy on an
ebook reader. The same could be argued for laptops, but it's a little easier to toss an ebook
in the back of the truck than a laptop :)

Netbooks are comparable in price these days to ebook readers (if you factor in "bang for the
buck"). True, you don't get the battery life, but in return you get a lot more functionality. And at
the end of the day just plug it in and you're ready to go the next morning. One downside with
many of the netbooks is that the beautiful glossy display isn't readable in sunlight. On the flip
side, many ebook readers are not backlit and thus aren't readable in low light conditions :)

So I would agree that a lightweight reader could be useful, but I don't think I would specifically
develop content toward a reader.

I do, however, love my Kindle (did I say that already? ;). It's like Books On Demand, and
some of them are even free! If I am going on a trip I can take multiple books with me and not
need a second duffle to cart them around. Of course, I read an article a while back on the
typical profile of a Kindle owner. I was disappointed that the article described me pretty well ;)

Dana W.

On Saturday, September 11, 2010, David Neeley wrote:

> I have been enjoying a new (to me) ebook reader--in my case the Cybook
> Opus.
> Since they support .pdf files, I was wondering if anyone has seen them
> used by customers as a highly portable documentation platform. I would
> think that repair people in the field, for example, could make good
> use of them when repairing complex machinery without having to have a
> computer nearby.

Dana Worley
Software Product Manager/Manager, Software Support Group
Campbell Scientific, Inc.
Microsoft MVP, Windows Help


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