Tag Archives | Books

What have I been reading?

Sold the iLiad

I sold my Iliad. It was just to small to use for A4 PDFs and too big to use for fiction. Plus the Sony eReader is perfect for fiction and I have that. So the iLiad is off to a new home in sunny England!

Moleskine notebooks

I decided that I needed a small notebook to jot things down in when they occured to me. Things like story ideas, song snippets, general notes; anything really. So I ordered a Moleskine Pocket Plain Notebook after seeing Simon Wolf with one at WWDC. It’s perfect. Fits in the pocket, has a sleeve at the back to store a few items, has a ribbon bookmark and an integrated elastic to hold it closed. Cool. I also ordered a Moleskine Large Plain Notebook for more copious writing and note taking. I liked them so much I’ve just ordered a Moleskine San Francisco City Notebook for use on WWDC and Macworld trips. The city notebook has a map, which gives an overview of the city, along with 36 pages of zone maps, which provide large scale maps of the city centre. A 96 page tab separated personal section allows you to keep hotels, shops, addresses, places of interest and facilities organised. A further 76 blank pages let you jot down thoughts, stories and memories of trips. Excellent. Basically the city notebooks let you build up your own guidebook for cities you visit regularly.

There are editions of the city notebooks for about 20 major cities so far. See the full list at the Moleskine site.

More praise for Hellstrom’s Hive

I finished listening to the audio book version of Frank Herbert’s Hellstrom’s Hive yesterday. God, I love that book. It is so crying out for a sequel. I want to know what happened next, then over the following few years, decades, and centuries. I’m now reading the book again. On my Sony Reader of course. I created a LRF version of the book from a PDF I “found”. I’ve bought two paper copies of the book and an audio version. I’ll buy an authentic eBook version when I can.

I might take some notes and jot down some thoughts of possible sequel ideas in Scrivener as I read it this time…

iRex Iliad

I’ve been using a Sony eInk device for about a year. It’s an excellent device for reading fiction (and text grabbed from opinion piece web sites). The Sony is poor for A4 PDF documents though, as the screen is too small. The whole A4 page is rendered on the small screen and the text is too small to read. There are tools to change the PDF’s and increase font size etc., put they are a bit of a pain.

I’ve been looking at the iRex Iliad as a device for reading A4 PDF’s on for a while as it has a larger display, but it has always been a bit too expensive. iRex recently introduced a new Book Edition model with a different case, no wireless networking and a reduced price. I bought one to replace the big pile of paper I’ve been reading (Apple Mac OS X Server and VMware VI3 documentation). I recently printed out a PDF technical manual (that was a few hundred pages long ) and 2 days later a new updated version was released! Now I just update the version on the Iliad. I could read these on my Mac laptop but the eInk screen is much easier on the eyes for prolonged reading. Plus you can use a pen to annotate the PDF’s.

I have to say that the Iliad did not have the wow factor that the Sony PRS-505 had. I think this is a function of the design of the device, and maybe because I’ve been using eInk for a while. The design of the Sony is much better than the Iliad. The Sony feels like a book, whereas the Iliad feels like an electronic device. Both are better than the Amazon Kindle though! What an abomination in design.

So the Iliad now hosts my technical library and the Sony is my electronic paperback. I’m hoping that there will be a larger screen iPod touch device released by Apple that’ll have a good PDF reader. The Sony will stay as a fiction book replacement for the foreseeable future though irrespective of any new iPod touch type devices. It’s just too good to be replaced. The battery lasts for weeks and it fades into the background in use.

Book clear out

I’m having a tidy and the following books are in the to go pile. Free to a good home. Email me or comment if you want them:

Evolution by Douglas Futuyma (Hardback – the first 90 pages are not bound into the book but are there. I removed them for easy carrying to read when in England).

Step into Xcode by FritZ Anderson

Learning Cocoa with Objective-C by James Duncan Davidson

Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds (I have this in Sony eReader format so don’t need the paperback copy. It’s in perfect condition.

I’ll have other books to give away over the next few weeks so check back. It’ll be next weekend before anymore are posted.

New Peter Hamilton stuff on Sony Connect store

Peter F Hamilton’s latest book, The Dreaming Void, is up on the Sony Store for the Sony eReader. Excellent. I’ve got the hardback copy and, truth be told a dodgy PDF of a pre-release proofing edition of the book. I converted the latter to Sony LRF format using BookDesigner. I read it on the Sony. The paper copy is on the shelf in the spare room beside the other books set in there same Universe. So now I have a legit copy on my Sony eReader. I’m also completely legit again. No eBooks, software, music or games on my Mac that I haven’t purchased.

I also purchased a copy of his A Second Chance at Eden at the same time.

Inspiration matters

Garr Reynolds over at Presentation Zen has some excellent points to make on why inspiration matters.

(1) Never apologize for your enthusiasm, passion, or vision.

(2) Never apologize for being inspired by another human being.

(3) Seek out inspiration (don’t wait for it).

(4) Inspire others by sharing your talents and time.

(5) And no matter what: Don’t let the bozos grind you down, ever.

There are a few projects I’m working on that involve me trying to get people to change the way they do things. I’m treading a fine line between evangelising new technologies, solutions and products and trying not to come over as a zealot, at which point people turn off. The 5 points above provide a good framework for this process. Number 1 is certainly true. I believe passionately in the solutions I’m advocating and won’t apologise for that. I’ve found inspiration on many (too many?) fronts, so Number 3 is covered. Hopefully I’m progressing with number 4. Number 5 is for the times when you don’t think you are making progress. Well worth reading the whole post over at Presentation Zen. Check out Garr’s book as well.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes