Yesterday's HP media survey confirms something many Reg readers passionately believe - hard copies have great value, and they aren't going away any time soon. Two-thirds of people surveyed want their hard copies of photographs and music, and 90 per cent want books to remain in that very handy paper format that you can read in …
I want real paper imprinted with hyperlinks and videos. Maybe it could be called HP-PTech. It should still be able to crumple so that I can wad it up and throw the entire internet at people I don't like.
It doesn't need to be able to run Flash, but it can if it wants to.
HP-PTech 2.0 is supposed to be even glossier, so I can't wait for it to come out.
Ooh! Can it be edible too?
I've always wanted to eat the internet.
Tastes like everything.
E-books will stand a chance when...
...each e-book comes with 500 or 1000 flexible sheets that only require electricity to change the image stored on each one. Put all the storage and other gumph in the spine. Then I may contemplate an e-book.
Until then, I might as well just download a PDF onto a netbook. All the disadvantages you'd expect of a computerised reading device, but you can use it as a COMPUTER. Ye gods!
1.0 not there yet
Version 1.0 has lots of problems. High capacity systems are heavy, there's no backlight for low light reading, pages sometimes change on their own, it keeps losing bookmarks, there's no search, and I can't seem to unhighlight text. I've opened and closed the PTech several times hoping it would update itself, but no luck yet.
"They value [TV] more than ever as they get older"
I'm likely in the minority, but my own experience is opposite: I watched a lot of TV from age 10 to 20, then got out of the habit. At 50, I barely give it an hour a week if that.
I like to say we're in 1974 with regards to e-book readers. Think how digital calculators evolved from 1974 to 1990 and you'll get the idea.
Consumers still want it hard, says HP
Actual copies of things beat the non-physical ones.
So fucking sell your for shit hardware with proper hard copies of the OS on disks.
The famous HP recovery disk utility. Rather than spend the few pence to include a proper stamped windows disk, that will outlast the hardware, you get to create 1 copy (only one) on your own disks, that will probably degrade and stop reading properly in a few years.
Then you can pay them a load of money to restore it for you if anything goes wrong.
As to reading material, i want both! maybe i'm greedy, i like the experience of reading a physical book, with work i print documents off and write on them during meetings. It doesn't mean i don't want an electronic copy too, for when a physical one might be impractical.
Common or garden books...
...frankly, they still can't be beaten for a whole range of reading activities. They've been about to become extinct for the last 50 years. They haven't vanished yet, and they aren't going to in the next 50 years either. Yet to have a single problem with that particular interface.
Though the odd pdf, etc, isn't half handy helping us decide what to buy...
Can I yet buy a CD jukebox?
With cheap Terabyte disks, it ought to be possible to buy a box into which I can read all my CDs to save shelf space, and then play them back in their original high fidelity.
I know of several that would convert my hi-fi CDs to lower-fi MP3 files. No thanks. Lossless compression or no encoding are the only two options acceptable to me.
In passing, controlling such a device and the PVR/TV/DVD stack, would be good reasons for purchasing a tablet computer. If they made these AV universally network-able and controllable with a web browser, that is.
Such systems are on the market already.
Already outdated systems: Cambride Audio Azur 640H
Olive Opus No. 4
Yamaha HiFi MusicCast MCX-2000
And many many more...
What a load of rubbish
Hard copy just takes up space, costs more, consumes more resources etc. etc. etc. The *only* problem is that the media companies are not prepared to offer their *entire* range of wares at *fair* prices. I was in Asda last week looking at cheapo DVDs, mostly not great it's true, but I bought 4 for between 3 and 6 pounds each. Could I have bought the same films on-line for less or even the same price? Not legally I couldn't! Stupid stupid stupid industry idiots.
As for books, I love reading but currently the eBook readers do not satisfy me, though the availability and price of the eBooks at least looks like it's heading in the right direction.
They are trying to dump old stock to clear the warehouse. Space costs money. It is not the same for online content...
It's nice to see an article that mirrors my own view these matters. When I buy music or movies I insist on physical media. I am fine with online distribution for rentals or for streaming but for purchases, unless it’s some cheap $2 expansion or something that I won’t really miss, I demand a physical copy. When it comes right down to it, media companies really cannot be trusted long-term. Look at the PlayStation 3 and its Install Other OS feature, the company actually stated that they would not disable the feature in a future firmware release and then they went and did it anyway a few years later when they deemed the feature to be a potential threat to them. Media companies always do what is in their own best interest regardless of any prior promises to the contrary. They have a long nasty history of taking actions to protect themselves that ultimately screw the consumer as an "unfortunate" side effect. I reading reports that indicate the world is moving to online distribution but as long as I live I will stand by reliance on physical media. As long as I take care of my investment it will continue to be there for me years from now.
On a related subject, you also brought up the subject of a new physical media format to replace CDs. On principal this is an excellent idea. The only problem I see with this is greedy media company’s tendency to rely heavily on digital rights management. When the CD standard was ratified, said companies weren’t so concerned about “protecting their interests” and so we ended up with a reliable open standard that balances the needs of the provider and the consumer. When I buy a CD I don’t have to worry about losing the ability to play it due to some licensing deal done behind locked doors or conversely a failure to properly license (see Amazon and that fiasco with Orwell’s 1984). I don’t have to worry about it failing to play at my friend’s place because the disc somehow got locked to my own player. I think it would be nice to have a smaller more modern format that allows for much higher bit rate music. Something like a minidisc sized CD with the data density of a blu-ray disc. Unfortunately my instinct tells me any new format the media corps come up with will likely be leaden with some ridiculously restrictive DRM that simply destroys the product’s long term value (Glaring balefully at you Ubisoft).
Younger buyers may initially try online distribution options but as they grow older and get screwed a time or two by some soulless media conglomerate I think they will develop a greater appreciation for physical media distribution. Thus it is my opinion that physical media distribution is here to stay.
Random scattered thoughts
Long boring sleepness nights at boarding school, I'd frequently sneak out of the dormitory and curl up somewhere cosy with an RS catalogue. Sometimes Maplin, back in the days when products weren't repeated a dozen times and the catalogue was stuffed with useful information. I'd wonder what PLCs were and how you'd use them. I'd get maps from the geography room and look at the list of TV transmitters and try to work out why the transmitters were placed the way they are.
Sometimes, even now, I have catalogues to browse, from La Redoute to Farnell. Not looking for anything in particular, just looking. Waiting for a spark of inspiration, or not. I find on-line resources are 99% terrible in this respect. If you know exactly what you want, you're good to go. If you aren't sure, it gets progressively more difficult. And if just want to idly browse, you can't beat a paper copy.
In defence of electronic media, however, is the venerable PDF datasheet. I have loads of data on the innards of a variety of devices in my possession. I'm looking at doing some code for the OSD, so I have datasheets of all the stuff inside it. Now, getting those the old fashioned way would be nigh on impossible. As PDFs, remarkably simple. I would like to print them (to sit in the sun in the garden and read through some of the things I'm hazy on) but at several reams, I think not. Oh well, here's hoping for a decent PDF-compatible (and this includes zoom for the tech diagrams) eBook reader at a reasonable price sometime soon. After all, those silly digital photo frame gizmos were once 100 euros each, now you can pick up better ones for 30. MP3 players with a massive 256Mb were obscene money. The same price five years later will get you an 8Gb video-capable unit. So, in a few years...
To end, a comment from my mother: Girls enjoy receiving love letters. To wrap a ribbon around them, to put them in a shoe box. To cherish. To take out and read many years later, the beautiful and the cringeworthy. All of this stands to be lost if you email or, worse, text. You can't beat a proper, considered, handwritten letter. An actual physical thing.
I HATE RS online. Its not the same as the big book of geeky wonders.
And the last bit summs it up nicely. Words are like friends. Oneline ones are all well and good, but just not the same as the real thing.
Personally, I love ebooks
It's just so convenient to carry a few dozen books on my phone, so I'm never stuck somewhere with nothing to read. And the OLED screen is surprisingly easy on the eyes even when reading for a long time. I still love paper books too, but I find I'm reading more and more in electronic formats while the tonnes of paper are just taking up shelf space.
Now, if only publishers would make more of their catalogues available in epub format (proprietary formats can fuck right off. I'm especially talking about YOU, .lit) and stop trying to charge nearly the same price as a physical book. Oh, and just give up on the DRM already. It's never, ever going to do what the vendors claim it will.
These are the reasons paper books still have a slight edge over ebooks. Baen and Cory Doctorow have the right idea.
Count me in !
I totally agree. I want my books in paper format, I want to "see" my video and music collection, and I have no interest whatsoever in giving the entertainment industry the possibility of spying on me.
Make no mistake, I read a lot of stuff on a screen. But reading for leisure and reading for work are two different things.
And besides, it's hardly ecological to insist on doing everything we usually do with electronic thingys that require batteries. There is no such thing as an eco-friendly battery.
You want green computing ? Don't buy an e-reader, buy a BOOK !
What Thorfkin said. I would add that I’ve been wrestling recently with a friend’s Blu-ray version of Avatar, which is so heavily DRM’d (by Fox, natch) that it won’t work in a number of players, instead putting up a message that the player needs a software update. All sorts of excuses have been made, including the suggestion that the player and TV have to match (!), but since my chum has both items made by Pioneer, this doesn’t seem to hold water. As this film is allegedly the most pirated of all time, one wonders what it will take for the message that DRM doesn’t work to penetrate the bony heads of those sweaty media execs...
Horses for courses
I love both/
If I buy a physical music CD, I tend to listen to it far more than I have MP3 downloads. MP3 downloads I have paid for do get anywhere near as much time as the physical CDs I have bought and ripped.
Books, love the convenience of being able quickly scan dozens of PDFs quickly looking for something, but love having solid tomes to hand while on the train to work. Making notes in the margins is far easier with a pencil, then on a PDA with PDF annotations. Sharing pages with my colleagues is easier with PDF docs, simply pass the URL references to the shared server and they can be reading the docs at the same time, while we are on conference calls fixing problems.
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