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Computers to replace books

Vinod John
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 162
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4243733.stm

"In China they spend $17 per child per year on textbooks. That's for five or six years, so if we can distribute and sell laptops in quantities of one million or more to ministries of education that's cheaper and the marketing overheads go away."

I like the idea of saving trees but not childrens reading and writing/typing using Laptop, may be because I barely use (or prefer not to use) computers outside my work enviornment.
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
and what about the cost of those ebooks?
Or do they intend to distribute pirated versions of textbooks in pdf format created using pirated versions of Acrobat (this is China after all)?

I also wonder where they're going to get $100 laptops that can stand the abuse children put them to and last 5-6 years


42
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Why does everyone want to replace books? They are the perfect technology. They can stand extremes of heat and cold. Leave your book locked in your car on a summer day in Phoenix and it will be fine when you want to read it. Try that with your laptop. Or leave your book in the trunk of your car when the temp drops to 50 below. Again, the book will be fine. You can even drop your book in the bathtub and after it dries out it still works fine. Need to reach that high cabinet? Stand on a couple of books. Your son doesn't reach the table when he sits down? Let him sit on a book. You can even use a book as an emergency hammer. Try that with your laptop. Imagine a book store with no books. Imagine not being able to browse through a book store because all the books are stored on some disk on a server somewhere. Books are a simple technology. Even an infant can figure out how to work a book.


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Axel Janssen
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Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
You can even drop your book in the bathtub and after it dries out it still works fine.

I am absolutedly pro books, too. But everybody who once in his life developed the nasty habit to read books in bathtubes knows that books and bathtub simply does not match very well. I mean, the book doesn't look very nice after that treatment.
Bacon
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Joined: Jul 14, 2004
Posts: 305
Originally posted by Axel Janssen:
I am absolutedly pro books, too. But everybody who once in his life developed the nasty habit to read books in bathtubes knows that books and bathtub simply does not match very well. I mean, the book doesn't look very nice after that treatment.


At least if that happens you know two good things about that person.
1. They bathe, presumably.
2. They read, uh... presumably.

or

3. They look at pictures in books while sitting on the edge of a bathtub full of water.

ok, ok, so you don't really know anything. However, one can presume.
Ellen Zhao
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Joined: Sep 17, 2002
Posts: 581
printed books are much more sensational and sexier than ebooks. Case closed.
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
there are exceedingly boring books out there Ellen

But in general you're right. Plus I don't really like reading from a screen.
Dave Lenton
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Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Posts: 1241
I personally hope that laptops don't replace books. Reading a book and reading a laptop are completely different experiences. There's very few things I enjoy better then putting on some good music, opening up a bar of chocolate, and sitting down on my sofa with a good book. Reading a laptop screen just wouldn't be the same. There's something inherintly more pleasurable and satisfying about turning pages then clicking a mouse(pad). I also enjoy seeing all my books on the bookshelves - I like to look through my collection, taking some off the shelf and browsing through them. This again wouldn't have the same satisfaction when using a laptop.

Other than saving space, for 99% of people that read books (the remaining 1% including people who have difficulties reading that a laptop may help with), books will still remain the simplest, cheapest, most environmentally friendly, and most importantly the most pleasurable way to read.


There will be glitches in my transition from being a saloon bar sage to a world statesman. - Tony Banks
Bacon
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Joined: Jul 14, 2004
Posts: 305
I read an article about the top inventions in the history of the world and this particular piece sited the Gutenberg press as number 1.

The computer was on the list, however, it was not in the top 5.

Unfortunately I cannot locate the article. I'll try at home, when I have more time.

Computers are far more inconvenient and inefficient than books when disseminating knowledge. Too many prerequisites.

All you need to read a book is: A) The ability to read. B) A book C) Adequate light.
[ February 08, 2005: Message edited by: Ray Marsh ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Ray Marsh:
I read an article about the top inventions in the history of the world and this particular piece sited the Gutenberg press as number 1.
Of course books existed before the printing press but the printing press made books mass produceable and therefore cheap. Once cheap books became available, there was more incentive to learn to read. Knowledge was no longer just in the domain of the wealthy and the large colleges and monasteries. The printing press made all human knowledge available to anyone who was interested in it. Could any of the scientific developments since the printing press (including the computer) have been developed if 90% of society was illiterate?
Ashok Mash
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Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936
May be we are enjoying the printed books like how our ancestors enjoyed pristine environment, crystal clear water and unpolluted air, thousands of years ago?

Printed books are a time-tested fail-poof method to store and distribute information, but I am not sure if it is �scalable� enough to support the future requirements. Other than the obvious cost to environment (paper, recycling and the lack of it etc), the cost of the ink, labour and the huge cost involved in transports books from point A to point B, are going to be the main issues with printed books going forward, and they will be the same reasons for the take up of ebooks. There are plenty of new devices out there, combining a phone and a PDA into one gadget, and as the storage and cell technologies improve, ebooks will be come more popular, IMHO!
[ February 08, 2005: Message edited by: Ashok Mash ]

[ flickr ]
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Would you willingly read a book on a PDA screen?
The screen is tiny, and with the tech companies trying to get things ever smaller will decrease in size even more to about the size of a cellphone screen.

Envision that screen being the display you have to read all your books on.
Tiny, low resolution, better not use the backlight because then your battery is dead in a few minutes, but you're in direct light so the screen is impossible to read. And oh darn, another scratch and another dead pixel.

I have some ebooks I got planning to turn my laptop into a sort of ebook reader.
I found myself printing them and placing the binders with the printed pages on a shelf.
The ebooks are resting on a CD with other backups, I use only the printed word...
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
There are plenty of new devices out there, combining a phone and a PDA into one gadget, and as the storage and cell technologies improve, ebooks will be come more popular, IMHO!

Do you know what has become the hot PDA lately? Paper and pen. I kid you not. In NYC it has become hot to toss your PDA and take notes the old fashioned way. And I don't know anyone other than a true geek who wants a PDA in their cell phone.
Manmohan Singhania
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Joined: Feb 19, 2004
Posts: 55
Computers won't replace books.Did people stop going to shopping malls although they can purchase many stuffs on websites? But one must agree that number of porn-xrated magazines has reduced substantially.


Jayalalitha is my girl friend. KarunaNidhi is my boy friend
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Manmohan Singh:
But one must agree that number of porn-xrated magazines has reduced substantially.


I'll have to take your word for that
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
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Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

Just wait. There will be an iPod for books some day soon.

It will come with a monthly subscription and give you access to a number of periodicals, books, and tv shows/movies (why not?).

And our grandkids are going to think we are from the stone age because we still like the paper books.


A good workman is known by his tools.
Vinod John
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 162
Though I am really against the replacing the book with e-books, a "reprogrammable newspaper" will be a great one. This gadget, from "Minority Report", impressed me the most.

http://www.g4techtv.com/techtvvault/features/39119/Are_Minority_Report_Gadgets_Realistic.html
"An example of "Minority Report" tech that could be reality in the near future is the reprogrammable newspaper. In fact, the film's science and technology advisor, John Underkoffler, said there are companies currently working on what is "essentially rewritable paper, electronically self-printing paper. So you don't throw out the newspaper at the end of the day. It just reprograms itself."
Ashok Mash
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Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936
Would you willingly read a book on a PDA screen? The screen is tiny, and with the tech companies trying to get things ever smaller will decrease in size even more to about the size of a cellphone screen.


If I were to commute more than half an hour using public transport, I would consider that - benefits are obvious - I download a .doc or .pdf from work and finish reading it on the way back. I would prefer using my laptop, but trains are way over-crowded to find an empty seat.

And I will have to disagree about the PDA screen size. Obviously mobile phones are getting smaller, and soon they will become fully wearable, and PDAs or PalmPCs or Handheld computers will get lighter with bigger screens and will converge huge storage (mp3s, photos & even videos) and will include your bluetooth mobile phone, and will have plenty of juice in them. Ofcourse that what I think is going to happen!


Do you know what has become the hot PDA lately? Paper and pen. I kid you not. In NYC it has become hot to toss your PDA and take notes the old fashioned way. And I don't know anyone other than a true geek who wants a PDA in their cell phone.


May be so, but I would imagine that is similar to the internet bubble situation - I bet most of them bought it with out realising how it would suit their needs, or just because its a cool gadget or something like that. On another hand, I would have never thought a PDA is any good for taking notes anyway!
Bacon
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Joined: Jul 14, 2004
Posts: 305
Originally posted by Manmohan Singh:
But one must agree that number of porn-xrated magazines has reduced substantially.


That's likely due to the photographic nature of that sort of publication, not the literature. Please forgive me for using the term literature in this context. I meant it in the most common form.
Ellen Zhao
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Joined: Sep 17, 2002
Posts: 581
I would never have dated my boyfriend if he never sent me a decent letter which is:

1. hand-written
2. written on _paper_

It is the sexiest thing I could ever imagine from a potential boyfriend.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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