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Books, paper and eReaders – Do we still have to use dead trees?

16 Oct

Since getting the Kindle App for my iPhone, iPad & Mac I can honestly say I have not read as much in my life!

Its just so convenient and you feel a little better that you are not contributing as much to the death of  trees.

I tried the iBook App from Apple originally, but I found that a lot of books I wanted were simply not available in the Apple book store. Frustrated, I tried the Kindle App and I haven’t looked back since. To be fair to Apple they are fairly new in this game and Amazon, who invented the Kindle world, have been doing it much longer and as a result have the publishing supply chain well established.

One thing I love about using an eReader, be it physical like the Kindle itself, or virtual like an App, is the fact that you can quickly grow a reading list of books you want to read in the future.

Amazon Kindle

What do I mean by a reading list? From time to time you stumble across a book title that you fancy reading (i.e. via a recommendation from someone else, a review you read, a title you’ve always wanted to read, the current best seller), but if you are already in the middle of another book you have to remember it or write it down. In the ‘old days’ of paper based reading I’d often forget what the book recommendation was, thinking I’d remember it – I never did, and was left thinking ‘what was that book!’. There was a second ‘got ya’ when you purchased a book, what if you didn’t like it!

With the eReader, for me, that problem dissapears to a large extent because I’ve got into the habbit of downloading the free sample of a book I fancy. The sample simply sits there in my eReader library waiting to be read, no physical book shelf required here. By the time I finish my current book I’ve normally got a queue of free samples to browse through. If I like the sample (which is normally the first chapter) I’ll buy the full version. If not I’ll delete it. Simple, efficient and environmentally friendly.

That leads me nicely onto the second thing I love about eReaders. If I want a book, assuming its in the eReader store, I can have it in seconds! Gone are the days of waiting for a book to arrive in the post, or to have to trudge down to the shops hoping they have it in stock. Simply select the book in the online book store and press ‘download’!

Paper production - Dead trees

I guess you can also consider the space, production, logistics and transport saving from not having to produce and cart dead trees

(paper) all over the world. Yes, there is an environmental impact to making and supporting eReaders, but once they become common place the environmental savings will be huge, especially considering that quick ‘throw away’ paper media like News papers and magazines are also starting to make an appearance on eReaders. Imagine how much cost and environmental impact just one major Newspaper causes per day.

Paper waste

Apple has just brought out the ‘Newsstand’ App for magazine viewing with iOS 5. I’m currently subscribed to the paper version of Runners World and, after reading the free electronic sample of Runners World on NewsStand, I’ll definatley be moving my subscription over the eReader version as soon as possible.

Reading on a eReader, for me, is easier, simpler and better than the paper version.

Ah, but what about battery life? What about it? I don’t have to charge my iPad for over a week and thats with fairly heavy usage. The Kindle, because of its E Ink technology, boasts a battery life of two months! Yes you read it correctly – TWO MONTHS!

But I can’t afford an eReader compared to a book with is just a few pounds! Yes, its true that the iPad is expensive, but in my opinion very well worth it. But the new Kindle, that came out last month, is only £89. OK, that’s still more than a book made out of paper, but consider that paper books are generally more expensive that the electronic version, simply because they cost more to produce.

For example I’m currently reading ‘Deamon’ by Daniel Suarex. On the Amazon book store the cheapest paper back version of Deamon is £3.52, a used hardback you can pick up for $4.52, whereas the Kindle (eReader) version is £0.99! Yes 99 pence! This is one of the better deals and most Kindle books are around £1 cheaper than the dead tree version, but you get the point. This is also not including the fact that you can get hold of a lot of ebooks for free if you look around. Some eReaders offer you the ability to import your own documents, so if you do get a free electronic version of a book you can still read it on your eReader.

If you read a fair amount, and you’ll probably read more with an eReader, it might not be as expensive as you fist though. Also take into account of the space saving in not having all those finished book lying around gathering dust and getting in the way.

iPhone 4s still stays dry with ZipLock bag!

15 Oct

A few days ago we, OK us geeks, waited with baited breath to see what would be in the Apple announcement.

Would it be a new iPhone? Would that iPhone be an iPhone 5? One thought that went through my mind was ‘If its a iPhone 5, presumably with a new body design, would it still fit into a ZipLock bag?”.

Why on earth would I want to put an iPhone, or any expensive smart phone, into a ZipLock bag? I does sound a bit mad, but there is logic in my madness. If you read my “Keep that iPhone dry – Perfect ZipLock bag size” and “Running kit” posts you’ll see why.

However to summarise: I go running in the rain sometimes and needed a cheap, reliable way to keep my really expensive smart phone (iPhone 4) dry, as I use a running tacking App called Runkeeper (its also a good idea to carry a phone whilst running for safety and emergencies).

iPhone 4s

I couldn’t find any purpose made, snug fitting, waterproof ‘bags’ for the iPhone 4 (or any other model for that matter) on the market, that would allow me to keep the waterproofed iPhone in my running armband or running belt.

However, after a big of googling I stumbled across the idea of using a ZipLock bag instead. And talk about cheap! No £££ cost as you can buy around 100 ZipLock bags for less that the cost of a bottle of water!

So the Apple media event came and went and the new phone wasn’t a iPhone 5, it was the iPhone 4s, which externally looks exactly the same as the iPhone 4. So no need to get onto ebay to buy any more ZipLock bags.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens in 12 months time when the iPhone 5 finally make an appearance!

iOS 5 is now available + more (updated)

12 Oct

OK geek time at ScribsBlog!

Apple have just released iOS 5 for the iPhone, iPad and iPod! But not only that, to support iCloud there is also an update for Mac OS.

Also in the Apple update news today are new iOS 5 apps including an iOS 5 Airport/Time Machine utility and ‘Find my Friends’ app.

Not forgetting that the iPhone 4s will be released on Friday!

It certainly going to be a busy download night tonight!

 

Update: Apply TV update now availae offering:

AirPlay Mirroring, Photo Stream, Trailers, National Hockey League and Wall Street Journal Live

My broadband is going to be bus tonight!

More info on MacRumours: http://www.macrumors.com


Steve Jobs: Amazing inspirational video from commencement speech 2005

6 Oct

Just watched this video on YouTube twice. I feel very inspired!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=D1R-jKKp3NA

Do you look in the mirror every morning and know you’re on the right road in your life? If not then perhaps you need to shift direction and Stay Hungrey!

Steve Jobs had died

6 Oct

I’ve just heard the news that Steve Jobs had died of cancer. Steve and Apple certainly changed the playing field in the technology market and his vision and drive has always expired people, including myself. You’ll be missed Steve! RIP. ScribsBlog.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15193922

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