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Showing posts from January, 2011

Amazon ebooks overtake paperbacks

Click here to read the full story.

"Barely six months after crowing that its Kindle e-books were outselling its selection of hardcover books, Amazon has announced that sales of Kindle titles are now outpacing paperbacks, as well.

"The news came as Amazon announced its (disappointing, for Wall Street) earnings Thursday, with online retailing giant noting that since January 1, U.S. customers have bought 115 Kindle editions for every 100 paperbacks sold."

The trend continues apace.

Minimalist writing tools

I downloaded an interesting program for my Ubuntu system today. It's called "PyRoom." Written in the Python programming language, it is like a walk back through time.

I went to the Synaptic software manager, found that PyRoom was listed as a choice, so installed it. A few moments later, it showed up in my "Office" menu. Launch it and you get...

* a mostly black screen, with a thin, outlined box for text in the middle.

* text that defaults to green (but I changed to amber).

And that's it. No menus, no control buttons. I don't even think it will print - you have to copy and paste into something else.

If you're not sure how to do something, type Ctrl-H and a help screen comes up in another black window. Ctrl-I tells you how many words you've written. Ctrl-P lets you change a few things. Ctrl-S lets you save a file. Ctrl-O lets you open more files to work with. Ctrl-Page Up or Down toggles between those files.

But basically, this cutting-edge progr…

More on ebooks

First, here's the graphic (revised):



[Click on it to get a more readable size!]

Next, here's a little more text to describe my thinking about the issues faced by libraries this year.

From left to right -- in something like chronological order -- I think there are 7 key strategic directions:

* Free content. Thanks to the amazing Valerie Horton of CLiC, it took just two months to deliver about 500 classics to virtually any library that already knew how to load a MARC file. If memory serves, over 68 countries, and some 2000+ libraries have at least looked at the file, and may well have downloaded it. Whether we use public domain or Creative Commons titles, we've proved we can quickly add them to our "holdings," and thereby demonstrate that libraries are paying attention.

* Vendors. Overdrive we know about; 3M and Baker and Taylor are now rolling out products, too. But we have to be vigilant to ensure that the content shows up in our catalogs (instead of requiring on…