eBooks

Book Review: Microsoft Windows 7 Unleashed by Paul McFedries

A few week ago, I received a copy of this book to review. I’ll admit it, I’m primarily a Mac user, but I use Windows XP at work, and I run it on my Mac in a VMWare session so I can support my Windows Mobile devices and do those things that are available only for Windows. And yeah, I’m one of the many, many, people who played with the…


eBook News Avalanche!

Welcome to another round of State of the eBook! There’s been an avalanche of eBook news and releases, so let’s dive right in! Barnes and Noble releases the nook upon the world B&N’s nook came out swinging, with a dual screen design and an Android foundation. Check out Gear Diary’s coverage of the nook’s release here, and commentary on a B&N conference call that answered some questions and raised new…



Review: Disney Digital Books

It’s a ritual around my house, and I imagine it’s done in households everywhere — the bed time story.  Whether one of my kids is laying down for a mid day nap or getting tucked in for the night, they always get a story before they close their eyes. With three girls at home we’ve become fans of many of the Disney characters, so when Disney Digital books asked us…


The Dark Side of eBook Popularity?

Welcome to another “State of the eBook”. We’ve got some quick news to review, and then a discussion of something that keeps publishers up at night; piracy in ebook-land. Is it an epidemic of music proportions or is it the straw-man argument that publishers use to justify high prices, digital rights management, and slow ebook adoption?


Make Memories Last with Picaboo Photo Books

Do you have summer photos just hanging around on your hard drive, abandoned now that fall is here?  (Well, or almost here if you live in Texas!)  Don’t let them get forgotten–upload them to Picaboo! Picaboo is a service that allows you to create photo books and cards from your digital photos, starting at just $9.99 for a softcover book. They offer easy-to-use software that guides you through the creation…


eBook Gains and Losses

Welcome to another installment of “State of the eBook”. A few quick news-y items, and then onto the major heart of today’s discussion, where we’ll be tackling the greatest debate in the book world today. Interested? Read on… First, in the “cut up your nose to spite your face” department, we have the news that both Sarah Palin’s book “Rogue” and Ted Kennedy’s book “True Compass” will not be released…


An eBook Introduction

Welcome to a new series we are starting here at Gear Diary called “State of the eBook”. Every two weeks or so (more if the news warrants it) I’ll be bringing you the latest news in ebooks, publishing, and the general digitization of our reading lives.


Flatworld Knowledge offers open source textbooks you can listen to or print

Flat World Knowledge is combating the insane price of college textbooks by making open source textbooks an easier solution for colleges. The catalog for now is limited to a few titles per school but eventually they’d like to have more colleges adopt open source online distribution of textbooks. The company sells affordable alternative formats such as print-on-demand full color and black and white print versions, PDF versions, podcast and .mp3…


Only read this book if you are interested in your universe!

Ever tried to understand Einstein’s Theory of Relativity?   Or even just wondered if time travel was possible?  How about if the ever wonderful warp speed in Star Trek was feasible? These and many other questions have a serious grounding in the new book Why Does E=MC2? by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw


Book review: Big Ideas by Alex Hutchinson

One of my favorite parts of the movie “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” is how the historical characters are both fascinated and frightened by the modern world. I’m a sucker for a good “Joan of Arc leads an aerobics class” gag. In all seriousness, we surround ourselves every day with inventions and innovations that we take for granted. The computer you are reading this review on, the clothes you are…


Dan Brown’s new book: The Lost Symbol

Doubleday is now promoting Dan Brown’s new book The Lost Symbol. If you didn’t already realize it, Dan Brown is the author of the insanely popular bestseller The Da Vinci Code. Mention this book in polite company, and 10 people will give you 25 opinions. Or just ask the Gear Diary contributors and watch your inbox get flooded with responses. So why is this big news for Gear Diary?


Email Etiquette

As a communication medium – email has  had rapid adoption has become a communication standard.  Statistics, extrapolations and counting by Radicati Group from August 2008 estimate the number of emails sent per day (in 2008) to be around 210 billion.  183 billion messages per day means more than 2 million emails are sent every second. About 70% to 72% of them might be spam and viruses. The genuine emails are…


Review: The Amazon Kindle 2

[Note: This is a joint review by Doug Goldring, Judie Lipsett, Dan Cohen, and Kerry Woo.  It is being simultaneously posted on Just Another Mobile Monday and Gear Diary. If you haven’t already, then take a look at Doug’s The Kindle 2: First Look and Unboxing and Judie’s Unboxing the Amazon Kindle 2.] Doug: One thing about sites like Gear Diary and Just Another Mobile Monday, we love our gadgets…


The Ectaco jetBook Universal Portable Reading Device Review

With all of the hullabaloo over the Amazon Kindle 2‘s recent release, one might think that there were no other eBook readers on the market; not so! Those who eschew DRM protection and who can do without the convenience of an online content store (I’m thinking of Amazon‘s and Sony‘s, specifically) should pay particular attention to the Ectaco jetBook, a reading device capable of handling .txt, .pdf, .fb2, .jpg, .gif,…


Unboxing the Amazon Kindle 2

I was starting to feel like I was one of the last people to get theirs, especially after enviously reading Dan’s emails and Doug‘s post about their Kindle 2s, but today my Amazon Kindle 2 finally showed up. I also got the Cole Haan Brown pebbly leather cover to go with it, since Amazon neglected to include even a cheap plastic one. The big box is the leather cover, and…


The Amazon Kindle Review

I love reading; always have. I remember the joy of checking out books from the library when I was a child: the thrill of finding a book that could transport me to other worlds and situations…and the sorrow when the time eventually came to return “my” book. It was as if I had separation anxiety when it was time to return a title I had really enjoyed. What if I…


GearChat: The Demise of Print Media and a Possible Reason for the Amazon Kindle

Once again, we invite you to eavesdrop on our email conversations… Wayne: R.I.P. … the Internet slays another print publication… Mitchell: I was a subscriber to PC World for about 5 years, and then I realised that I was paying for a magazine with content that I had read weeks earlier on the internet. It really is inevitable I suppose, tech magazines just can’t stay ahead of the game with…


The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Microsoft Windows Vista Book Review

Dear Frustrated Windows User, Want to make my blood boil? Just tell me that someday, in the not-too-distant future, my refrigerator will include a computer that alerts me when I’m low on milk. Just tell me that someday my microwave oven will feature a computer that “senses” what’s inside and cooks it accordingly. Just tell me that someday my car will include a computer that lets it repair itself by…


The Sony Reader Review

If you read my intro to eBooks, you’ll know that I’m a big eBook fan. So I was really excited to get a look at the new Sony Reader, a dedicated eBook reader that uses the (new! revolutionary!) e-ink technology. Look, I don’t know how revolutionary the e-ink technology is, honestly. I’ve been in the online doc game for a long time, and I’ve heard proselytizers try to sell me…


eBooks and eReaders–a Short Overview

Soon I will be lucky enough to review Sony’s Reader, an eBook reader by Sony. But before I do and give y’all a review, I thought it might be nice to give folks a brief overview of eBooks, both on devoted devices and PDAs. I’ve been in the online documentation game for a long time.? A long time.? I was writing online doc back in 1991, before the Web even…