* Posts by Ian Farrell

5 posts • joined 23 Nov 2009

One last production run for TouchPad

Ian Farrell
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You old cynic!

But I think you're probably spot on!


HP confirms faster, paler TouchPad tablet

Ian Farrell

Old news?

Yesterday HP stated it would cancel all activities to do with PCs as well as Tablets and phones.

It would sell off its PC business and cancel all PalmOS manufacturing.

Perhaps this is not true for France? I doubt it.

I suggest you check your sources.


UK gov chews over Amazon Book Depository engulfment

Ian Farrell

Not in customers best interests

As a long term customer of both retailers I believe the competion between them is very important. The Book Depository has offered a free delivery option on purchases for some time and this is a much valued service appreciated by UK customers and by so many customers in territories where books are much more expensive (New Zealand for instance) or the choice is more restricted.

Amazon delivery charges are expensive, particularly for overseas customers where Amazon has no local delivery outlet. A point acknowledged recently when they half heartedly offered free delivery using a convoluted and unfriendly option themselves.

Although the Amazon buying experience is a lot slicker than the Book Depository and many retail prices offered by Amazon are slightly cheaper, the Book Depository free delivery option often represents far better overall value for money.

The loss of the Book Depository will be a major loss of competition and not be in the interests of customers in the UK or overseas.


Google slaps barcodey stickers on Favourite Places

Ian Farrell

Off subject.. voting on the Reg

I like the new spiffing "voting" system on this and other pages. Problem is, after voting I appear to have to press the "Go back" button on the browser and then refresh the page to see my vote. Isn't this a little clumsy?

Perhaps I missed something but a return to the page of comments button that automatically refreshed the pages, somewhere near the "Your vote will be there in a minute" comment would have been nice. But why not just register the vote without going to another page at all? Other sites manage this better.


eBooks: What to read on which reader

Ian Farrell

Does the tech have a long term future in its present form factor?

I own quite a few eReaders. I have all the Sony models and although they are probably the best of the current bunch, they still fall well short of what will eventually be an acceptable standard.

Kindle have gone down the proprietory (closed) route with format and DRM and now that Sony have woken up and offer a slightly more open standard they will possibly win a larger market share.

As a slightly aging geek I have hundreds of manuals which I do not wish to cart about. The eReader is a very good way of getting all my manuals into a bag and taking them with me.

So far, two publishers have come closest to getting it right. O'Reilly has a pretty good offering but the company that really has impressed of late is Packt. All their manuals are in ebook format and with great discounts if you buy both print and pdf versions. But regrettably, prices of most ebooks are still way too high and that has to change quickly if there is to be a major adoption of the medium by a larger audience.

I have one serious problem with PDF manuals though. Most screen grabs are jpg graphics dropped in to the text and these do not display well in ebook PDFs, being virtually unreadable.

Having said all this, I have to conclude that unless someone comes up with a fully searchable format that can be annotated and possibly suppports insertions to keep the content current and up to date, then perhaps this is a niche technology that was always destined to fail in a wider market.

Most tech publishers don't understand the product and manufacturers, with Sony as the surprising exception, have not learnt much from the film and music industry DRM and format wars of the last twenty years.

I am an avid collector of books, printed ones, and I will never give them up. ebooks are a tech convenience that lends itself to temporary media publishing such as newspaper and magazine replacement and technical manuals that are usually out of date before the presses even roll.

Perhaps the netbook or its next incarnation will serve the purpose better than dedicated eReaders that are both very limited in what they offer at a price that is way too high. A fully radio connected, light weight tablet with decent 12-14" screen and a long battery life with a searchable and editable publishing format would be ideal.



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