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back to article Vale Michael Stern Hart

The man who arguably gave the world its first glimpse of non-Sci-Fi e-books, Michael Stern Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg, has died at the age of 64. Hart’s passing was announced in this obituary, posted on the Gutenberg Project’s Website. For those who understand e-books only in terms of the Amazon Kindle, Hart’s name might …

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Happy

And you can help

Volunteering at PG or proofreading those scanned books at Distributed Proofreaders http://www.pgdp.net/c/ C'mon, you know you want to find the mistakes the computers made!

Or you could just enjoy the books. That'll bring smiles to both PG and you. :-)

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Unhappy

Fare thee well

For I fear we shall see precious few of his kind again.

The world is full of people who make the world open and, dare I say it, legitimately free for use, but there are precious few people who have the vision to do something that I would suggest has changed the world in its own way.

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Silver badge

Just out of curiousity

Was he any relation to the Gutenberg that made the first ever printed Bible?

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Unhappy

Relation

As Herr Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg had no children, Mr. Hart could be - at best - his greatgreatgreat...nephew.

.

.

However, in spirit he is Gutenberg's successor. And the world lost one of men it can't afford to lose.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just out of curiousity

Of course not. Think about it a bit more. Gutenberg's press made distribution of the bible cheap and easy. This removed a lot of power from the church and initiated the move toward universal literacy. Hart hoped to extending this hence naming his project after Gutenberg.

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Anonymous Coward

Well ...

No. He's not called Gutenberg, or related to Gutenberg.

The name for the project was chosen because Gutenberg invented the printing press and mechanical moving type printing. So he created the first books, or printed work, as we know it today. Michael Stern Hart supposedly invented ebooks, by typing the US Declaration of Independance into a mainframe at the Uni of Illinois, and then made the resulting file available to users on the network. Six people downloaded it.

So there's no familial connection to Gutenberg, and no Bible association.

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Boffin

Copies still exist of a Buddhist text printed in Northern China in the early 9th century ;

books were printed on presses with movable type in that country in the 13th century, and with movable metal type in Korea in the 14th century. Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg played a most significant role in advancing European culture - as, indeed, Michael Stern Hart did in advancing global culture with his own project five centuries later - but the former was as little the inventor of the printing press as the latter....

Henri

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Bronze badge

"typing the US Declaration of Independance into a mainframe"

Is it still possible to correct that spelling, or does it remain as his memorial? ;-)

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Money making, too

Not to mention the Church's exploitation of the technology to raises lots of money by selling easy to reproduce indulgences! ;-) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Gutenberg

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Silver badge
Facepalm

/facepalm

And this folks is why I shouldn't post while a) I'm ill b) I'm half asleep c) WITHOUT READING THE ARTICLE or d) a braindead combo of the above. -.-

I think Svantevid picked up on the connection I was trying to make.

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Unhappy

A sad loss

If you own an e-reader (Nook user myself), you owe it to yourself to go project gutenberg's website and fill it up with free books. Screw editors who shave off part of the books that they don't like, read as close to the original as possible.

Jules Verne's books are all free and have helped me through long trips and meetings.

This project could enable people that cannot afford books, to read the good works of the Masters.

Why lady Death, pick up a more undeserving soul when in life many scumbags remain who our beloved BOFH shall not get to? So many assholes, so little bullets. Why take one of the good ones?

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Anonymous Coward

If you're undecided

They've got porn.

But not heaps. If anyone has a copy of the Victorian "Adventures of a Schoolboy" - oh, never mind.

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Silver badge

RIP Mr Hart

And may his successors keep the project alive.

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