25 June 2008

Flippable e-books

I found a video about a dual-display e-book reader, which sounded like an interesting idea. And then I watched it:

...huh? They apparently seriously believe that pressing buttons to switch pages is a lot of work for users, and it's much easier to either manually simulate a page flip, or to actually flip the entire device over. I think they must be joking or intentionally lying, because anybody that actually used that device for more than 5 minutes would be so tired of either one of those actions they'd be begging for navigation buttons.

Worse is the "thumbnail" technology used for searching the entire text. The thing I hate most about physical books is it's hard to find a phrase I remember reading if I don't remember where it was. Never in my life have I needed to search through an e-book and thought "well, I can just use the find feature, but I sure miss being able to riffle through the pages hoping to stumble across what I want instead". The thumbnails are so absurdly small as to be useless, especially in a document with no pictures. Next they'll be telling us we should organize our photos on a giant digital table. I don't know how the trend of making digital devices that simulate analog devices and their flaws got started, but it should probably stop soon

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