Re: [NTLK] Future Apple PDA/ideal Newton

From: Dan (
Date: Thu Mar 17 2005 - 09:05:42 PST

> I heartily agree with Robert. If convergence is the way to go, why is it
> necessary for me to have Mobipocket, Palm Reader Tomeraider and Adobe just
> to read e- books on my Palm T3. I suppose there is two issues there.
> But if we get a new Apple PDA, I want the Newt's size, for e-books (maybe a
> little smaller than 2000/2100)
Well first off it is not "necessary" to have all those programs unless
you buy encrypted books in those formats. I suggest not buying
encrypted at all and only unencrypted formats ('s
multiformat is a good example, and there are other sellers that don't
use encryption or at least have nonencrypted as a selection).

One reason to do this is you can be certain reading your books in the
years to come will be possible. If you buy encrypted formats, if that
format is no longer supported at some time in the future or does not
work with your new hardware you can't convert it to a format that will.
  If you don't buy encrypted formats then you can just use a free reader
like Ubook which supports many formats (txt, rtf, palm doc, etc) and has
all the features of a nice book reading program (remembers your place,
generates table of contents etc).

I buy the unencrypted books then convert them to NewtonBook format on a
regular basis so I can read them on my Newton. Encrypted ones I can't,
but as I said in the future no company can guarantee that your books
will be readable. Software and hardware changes are just going too
fast. Even with CURRENTLY supported formats you still have users that
can't access some books after a upgrade or hardware change and have to
go through a lot of hassle trying to get the books readable again (and
sometimes they never do and the book is thrown away because of this).

As for a little smaller format, did you try a MP130? That works well as
a ebook reader if you want a backlight. If you don't care for the
backlight get a 120, it still works great (and arguably easier to read
for long periods of time). Yes you still have to convert books to
NewtonBook format if what you want is not currently available, but that
is easy to do and only takes a few minutes extra to add a nice table of
contents with Bookmaker if you are so inclined.

But since this is a Future Apple PDA/Ideal Newton thread, I would like
to have the Bookreader software upgraded so that it could accept txt,
rtf, palm doc, and other such common unencrypted formats directly (like
Ubook does). I also want the ability to add software to make it "my
Newt" and customize it to my liking (as we do now). But definitely the
data exchange can be a pitfall for many. I don't have a problem, but
better ways to export data directly from the OS perhaps (for programs
that are not specifically designed to export data, you would still get a
option to do the equivalent of cut and paste all data easily to your
desktop if you needed to. And more ways to convert it to a different
format if needed easily.


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