Now this looks more like it. (The article is somewhat oddly and sketchily written but it has an image gallery that’s worth a
thousand couple of hundred words.)
Startup company Plastic Logic on Monday demonstrated an e-book reader that it hopes will give business users the same document-reading convenience that theAmazon (NSDQ: AMZN) Kindle gave to consumers.
“I’ve been reading, writing, and talking about the paperless office for 20 years,” said Chris Shipley, executive producer of the DEMOFall 08 conference, introducing Plastic Logic. “You know the joke — the paperless office will happen when the paperless bathroom does.”
Plastic Logic is looking to bring the paperless office closer — or, at least, reduce the amount of paper that that business users have to carry around with them — with the introduction of its e-book reader.
I admit to being one of those people who prints long web articles to read over breakfast or while drinking tea outside in the sun. Anything over 1500 words is beyond my ability to focus on at my computer. Then there are all those periodicals I subscribe to; manuscripts I’m sent for blurbs (which I rarely feel able to give, alas); my own mss. to review…
Assuming this slice of tech is priced reasonably (< $150) and has some kind of annotation function, this would let me save many, many trees. Yes, I recycle, yes, I print on both sides of the paper but, still, that's a lot of ink, a lot of energy. And think of all the littering I can avoid, e.g. when those pages fly off into the ravine as I see a flock of hot needle birds (tiny things, some kind of nuthatch or chickadee, possibly, with a call so high it goes through me like a hot needle) and gawp at them happily and forget to hold down the pile. (Okay, I'm lying, my papers have never flown into the ravine, but they have fluttered off over the fence into the garden; much grumpiness ensued.)
So what do you think? Plastic logic? Kindle? Sony Reader? iRex? Tablet PC? What I want, of course, is the unnatural spawn of an unnatural mating between the above. I want something to read books, periodicals, blogs, that I can access wirelessly. I want this device to be able to access my own network wirelessly and upload and download. I’d like to be able to annotate, or create whole documents, with both stylus and keyboard. It would be beyond awesome if the screen functioned as a kind of graphix pad. Oh, the blogs I would make! Oh, and it has to weight next to nothing. A few ounces.
So what should our super slate look like, what should it do?
13 thoughts on “plastic logic”
Sounds like you want a laptop in an e-tablet or a large PDA.
Like you said but one you can also roll up!
evecho–the tablet sounds good, if it has the e-ink screen.>>chadao–oh, would that be *cool*!
I like your tablet idea. There is actually something kinda close to what you want already. Have you seen this < HREF="http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Modbook" REL="nofollow">Modbook<>? It’s a modified Apple MacBook. The screen is a touch-graphics tablet. You could use a wireless mouse and keyboard with this as well. Now if they would just make this out of a MacBook Air instead of a Macbook, you’d almost have the lighter version you want. My wish list for this future mac would also include the ability to switch screen mode from computer display to e-ink type display. It would also have a built-in solar charger that would detach for positioning. I would like an e-reader that would fold up to fit in a pocket. I’d just as soon have the e-reader and computer stuff separate, in case I lose it.>>I’ve seen a design for and e-reader with solar power, but I can’t find it again. < HREF="http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/12/core77_one_hour.php" REL="nofollow">Here are some other designs<> that have been put forth tho. There’s one that is round, but looks like too much scrolling for my taste, and wouldn’t transport easily.>>How about those slates used by people in SLOW RIVER? Someone’s thought of this before…
I should’ve given you < HREF="http://www.axiotron.com/index.php?id=modbook" REL="nofollow">this link<> for the Modbook.
I love books – paper, binding, dog-ears, that lovely musty smell old ones get. I love arranging them on the shelves by category, then by author with a few favorite writers placed in my special bookcase of squee-ness and joy.>>The e-book is something I am fighting it all the way. My greatest concern is that the technology for the reader will be replaced by something else and all my lovely e-books will be inaccessible. Thinking Beta vs. VHS vs. DVD vs. Blueray vs. whatever is after Blueray here.>>All the free online writings I receive are printed out so I can bundle up under my quilt while I read them. Bundling up with an e-book thingie isn’t the same and my eyes can’t deal with reading things on a screen after having spent all day reading off a screen for my work. >>Plus, how much do we know about earlier societies is due to the existence of their books? Just can’t envision this happening with e-book thingies. >>I know I am acting like this is an either-or situation, but as long as I can get books on paper and the e-book thingie is only an adjunct to it, well, OK, but I will whinge and fret about it.>>Okay, I’ll shut up now.
jennifer, oh, the modbook looks great for working at home on the sofa. Not travel-portable but very, very nifty. I think I want one. I think I also want a Kindle and/or plastic logic thingie to read books. Huh. Better go earn some money.>>kiaduran, it seems to me that these days obsolescence isn't that much of a problem as long as you don't leave it too long. For example, you can convert music from cassette tapes to .mp3 files by sticking them in a boombox and buying one of those male-male audio cables and connecting the boombox headphone output to the sound card line-in/headphone input, and using something like Audacity software. And machines to convert VHS to DVD are about $50. But as you point out, that only works if the format has a huge base to start with, i.e. if it's the version that won the war (VHS rather than Betamax, BluRay rather than the Toshiba thingie). Who's going to win the ebook war? No idea. But for me it's getting to the point where I just really need a small, light reader. My job is information. My eyes only have so many hours a day that they can be fixed to and LCD display. And I can't afford to spent $27 on every new hardcover I want (and it seems silly to, when the Kindle version costs < $10). And think of the tree savings. And how many books I can lug around at once. And, oh, being able to read with one hand... But I do understand the appeal of paper. I wrote a short < HREF="http://www.nicolagriffith.com/pleasure.html" REL="nofollow">essay<> on it.
Thank you for the link to that beautiful essay. The memories invoked by things found in a book beside its words – lovely.>>I agree that saving trees is an argument for e-books. And being able to afford new books is always excellent as is the portability of e-books. Can’t begin to imagine the number of pounds I’ve hauled over the years in the form of books. >>Guess part of what bugs me is that once I’ve bought something, I have to buy something new later on in order to enjoy the thing I already own – if that makes sense.>>I am Luddite, hear me splutter in indignation…..
I’d be tempted by the e-readers if they’d make one I can bring in the shower.
kiaduran, not wanting to constantly get ripped off by the bleeding caPITalists (it’s a Dick Frances reference) doesn’t make you a luddite, just an upstanding rightously pissed off citizen.>>jesse, yes, let’s add that to the list: waterproof. And let’s add Jennifer’s earlier suggestion of solar power. This is turning into an awesome device :)
I am with kiaduran on this one. I love the heft and substance of books. >>My family asked why I do not sell them when I am finished. Oh, never could I do that. There are favorites I reread and I never fail to make a new discovery each reading.>>I buy many books at Half Price Books and over the years I have found “surprises” left by previous owners- a doctor’s apppointment reminder from 15 years ago, an incomplete postcard, a concert stub, an address very near where I lived in Dallas. Cannot imagine that in a techno format.>>I do see, and approve of, what assistive technology has done for so many people with significant physical challenges so I guess that makes me a technorealist.>>Jesse. In the shower? Ummm…I can think of many things to do in a shower but reading is not one of them. :)
Then there’s something like this http://www.readius.com/pocket-ereader>If only it was a phone too.
I’ve got a Kindle–you can wirelessly download books, magazines, newspapers and blogs in under a minute (you can also bookmark pages, annotate and highlight passages, and email docs to the device…). For me nothing replaces the tactile and aesthetic pleasures of a physical book, but it certainly is convenient and especially handy when you’re traveling.
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