There is a sub-class of computer enthusiasts who build extreme gaming rigs. They do crazy things like refrigeration for cooling, and spend thousands of dollars to squeeze an extra 5% of performance out of their computer.
I’ve been working a lot lately, scrambling to catch up with some application programming work. Part of this is a result of being behind the technological curve in terms of the particular programming environment I’m working in (J2EE/WebSphere/Hibernate/Spring). Suffice it to say I’ve been working some overtime.
I mentioned some months ago that I was experimenting with Windows Live Writer. This is an off-line blog editor, somewhat like Ecto or Qumana. I’ve been quietly using the Beta 1 version ever since, and have been very happy with its functionality.
Electronic books, or “e-books”, are coming. Some would say they are already here, with several major releases such as the Sony Reader and iRex iLiad over the last year or so.
What is the big deal? Haven’t we been able to read books on computers or electronic devices for years? Yes, but try reading pages upon pages of text on a glowing computer display for hours and hours: your eyes will suffer. LCD displays without backlighting have viewability and resolution limitations. Most of the attempts at electronic books until the last year or so have lacked a great deal of the convenience and eye-friendly readability of the paper alternative. That is, until the development of e-Ink.
E-Ink or “electronic paper” is a totally different kind of display technology that is far more like the paper it is attempting to replace than anything that has come before. I’ve been watching the various e-Ink based devices for some time now, and made the leap a couple of weeks ago: I ordered an iRex iLiad. I’ve had it for just over a week now.
So what is it like? Is it worth the price I paid? Read on…
I have toyed periodically with various ways of monitoring RSS feeds and bringing them to my desktop. Nothing I’ve used has felt quite “right”, and like PDAs I’ve ultimately ended up relegating several “almost but not quite” solutions to the junk bin. I’m feeling tempted to try again.