Thursday, June 30, 2005
Monday, June 27, 2005
- The Portable Beat Reader by Various
- The Portable Mark Twain (Penguin Classics) by Mark Twain
- The Portable Sixties Reader (Penguin Classics) by Ann Charters
Double-checking that book size rule of thumb, I visited Project Gutenberg for ASCII (plain text) files, MemoWare for various PalmOS e-book formats, and browsed further on Amazon for Adobe Reader and Microsoft Reader formats. Here's some sample data on Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers (848 pages in the Penguin Edition)
In summary: compressed formats for the Palm and Microsoft reader are much smaller than straight ASCII and Adobe Reader's format is huge. [How did Microsoft manage to add in the DRM and compress at the same time while Adobe exploded the file?] Multiplying this per page size by the "nearly half a million pages" in the Penguin collection (rounding up to exactly a half million pages), we get total collection size between 0.45 GB - 1.51 GB.
That is portable.
The tricky part now is getting a small device with a sufficiently high resolution screen. I'm watching for the "insanely crisp and clear" e-ink technology used in the Sony Librie to move further into the market.
Friday, June 24, 2005
So, a couple weeks ago, my fingers were aching from the awkward stretch to alt-left arrow to go back a web page and I knew that if the more industrious emacs users of the world had been working diligently that there would likely be an extension for Firefox to map keys from the main part of the keyboard to do this and other simple things. A google search for "emacs firefox" led me to the conkeror project. "Conkeror is a mozilla based web browser designed to be completely keyboard driven, no compromises. It also strives to behave as much like Emacs as possible."
There is indeed is a simple keystroke for moving back to the previous page and all links on the page show a number for quick navigation. The trouble with the tool is that more and more sites try to do more for you -- blogger.com's editor steals C-b (control-B) to put text in bold when my fingers want C-b to move back one character. Gmail's standard mode doesn't seem to respond to the numbered link requests. Gmail does have a basic HTML mode which works fine under conkereror.
I may play with it on and off, but I don't think it'll become my standard browser yet and it's definitely not for anybody unfamiliar with emacs. And people more serious about emacs than I am may end up doing their browsing from within emacs using w3
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
(Save as reference for when I have my own mac)