Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Improved Gutenberg

Filed under: Art,Fun — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:05 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Well, there goes my dastardly scheme to sell “improved” free books from Project Gutenberg!

Okay, I wasn’t seriously thinking of that, but I do know that there are people doing it. Seriously, if you go look at the cheap ebooks on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, you’ll see quite a few that are really just repackaged books taken from Project Gutenberg. Sometimes, those repackaged ebooks have improvements to them, like a nice cover or improved typography, but often, they don’t even have that. They’re just the same basic ebook that volunteers at Project Gutenberg have made from copyright free material with a poorly made, low-end “cover” attached to it. Usually, they’re not even worth the dollar or two these repackagers are asking. Now, though, they’re worth even less.
Now, there’s Standard Ebooks, which takes ebooks from sources that include Project Gutenberg, cleans up the editing, pretties up the typesetting and adds what look like much nicer “covers” and then offers them to you for free. Yes, for free! They’re relatively new, so their library of free, open-source, public domain ebooks is still growing, but their volunteers are hard at work adding more. Frankly, it seems like the perfect place to grab some classic reading for a free beach or pool-side read!

Give them a look and we’ll see you next week with something new and exciting.
Well, at least new and probably free.

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words.


Daily Writing Prompts

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

So far this year, I’m a little behind on my creative goals.

As you may remember, a couple of weeks ago, I posted my Creative Resolutions for the year.
I encouraged you all to do the same, but to make them goals, rather than unobtainable resolutions.  For me, one of those goals was to do more writing in general, and more fiction writing in particular.  It’s hard to get back into that habit, but I am working on it, little by little. …
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New, Improved Kindle

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,News and Current Events,Ooo, shiny...,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:57 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Right, so I’m sure a couple of my readers are waiting for me to weigh in on the new Kindle.

Yeah, yesterday, Amazon released the new, very much improved Kindle eBook reader. Lot’s of folks were talking about it; Lifehacker, the Houston Chronicle’s TechBlog and, of course, Gizmodo. The most coverage is at Gizmodo, though, as they did a liveblog through the release.
In a nutshell, what they’ve improved is the design itself, the battery life (by 25%), the memory (now two gigabytes, or about 1,500 books), the screen and graphics. So, you know, just about everything on the physical device is better. Also, there’s an experimental feature that reads the books to you, which actually sounds sort of cool. And, now, apparently, you can move books from reader to reader, though they did seem to be only in one place at a time. You know, I’m actually okay with that, if I can transfer the book to someone else’s Kindle, because then it’s no different than a physical book that can only be in one place at a time. If, and that’s a big if at this point, if that’s how it works, I may just have to get me one of these.

The one “downside” to this is that the price is staying the same. Now, I think it may just be worth paying that $359 for this device. I mean, it really seems more worth it to me. Oh, and the cover which came with the older version is now an extra $25, or so. So, that bumps the price up a bit, but, still, I’d probably be looking at a better cover anyway.

The one thing that I haven’t seen any coverage on is adding my own documents to the Kindle. I have a lot of personal documentation of one kind or another that would be really nice to have on a reader like this. PDF files and text files filled with all sorts of custom and personal manuals and instructions and the like. If they made it easier to get that onto the Kindle, then, I may just be sold.

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