How about a book-sized electronic device that could store many books at once? The first ebook readers were the Rocket eBook and the SoftBook Reader, launched in Silicon Valley in 1998.
These dedicated electronic readers were the size of a (large and thick) book, with a battery, a black and white LCD screen, and a storage capacity of ten books or so. They could connect to the internet through a computer (for the Rocket eBook) or directly with a built-in modem (for the SoftBook Reader).
They got much attention from book professionals and the general public, with few of them buying them though, because of their rocket-high price — several hundreds of dollars — and a small choice of books in the digital bookstores available on the companies’ websites. Publishers were just beginning to digitize their own books, still wondering how to market them, and worried with piracy concerns. Continue reading eBooks: 1998 – The first ebook readers
Since my relocation to Germany I’m struggling to find as much time to research and put together interesting articles for the newsletter, so I’m putting this request out for volunteers.
You will not be expected to write dozens of articles per week, although you are welcome :-) but if there were just a handful of people writing one per week or fortnight, this would really help to provide more interesting content for the newsletter.
Back in August, Marie Lebert wrote the excellent ‘The @folio Project‘ article and has indicated that she may have one or two more over the coming months. You could join her and help the PG Newsletter become more than just a stats listing.
If you’re interested please email me using the contact page.
I look forward to hearing from you.
@folio is a reading device conceived in October 1996 by Pierre Schweitzer, an architect-designer living in Strasbourg, France. It is meant to download and read any text and/or illustrations from the web or hard disk, in any format, with no proprietary format and no DRM.
The technology of @folio is novel and simple, and very different from other reading devices, past or present. It is inspired from fax and tab file folders. The flash memory is “printed” like Gutenberg printed his books. The facsimile mode is readable as is for any content, from sheet music to mathematical or chemical formulas, with no conversion necessary, whether it is handwritten text, calligraphy, free hand drawing or non-alphabetical writing. All this is difficult if not impossible on a computer or any existing reading device.
Continue reading The @folio eReader