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However you go about it, books take up very little space when you store them in electronic format: you could easily fit 10, electronic copies of the Bible onto a single DVD. Most ebook readers can store hundreds or even thousands of titles at a time and most now have Wi-Fi Internet connections so you can download more books whenever you wish.
Photo: You can read electronic books right now, even if you don't have a handheld ebook reader. There's free electronic book software available for all the popular operating systems.
Here's the Caliber electronic book reader running on a normal computer screen, showing the first page of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and Damned.
The most important part of an ebook reader is the screen. The first ebooks used small versions of LCD laptop screens which have a resolution sharpness of about 35 pixels per cm 90 pixels per inch.
You could easily see the dots making up the letters and it was quite tiring to read for more than a few minutes at a time. The latest ebooks use an entirely different technology called electronic ink. Instead of using LCD displays, they show words and letters using tiny, black and white plastic granules that move about inside microscopic, spherical capsules under precise electronic control. Displays like this have about twice the resolution of ordinary computer screens, are clearly visible in sunlight, and use much less power.
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In fact, they're almost as sharp and easy to read as printed paper. We'll see how these screens work in a moment. The lack of books in electronic format was one of the things that used to put people off using ebook readers—and that's what made site. site already worked with virtually all the world's publishers as a bookseller, so it was able to make huge numbers of titles available for site in electronic format—over 88, books were available on the launch date.
Today, most books are available in ebook format as well as print, and many old, long-out-of-print titles have also been resurrected in ebook form. Photo: Computer screens as we knew them in the late s and early s.
At that time, the best screens could display no more than about 64, pixels and often just uppercase text or very crude "pixelated" square block graphics. Computer games like Space Invaders, shown here, were very primitive—but still highly addictive! Since electronic ink has been crucial to the success of ebooks, let's now take a detailed look at how it works.
You're probably reading these words in the same way that I am—by staring at a flat, LCD computer screen. For people over the age of about 35, who grew up with computers that used blocky green and black screens with just 40 characters across and 25 down, modern screens are wonderful and amazing. But they still have their drawbacks.
Look closely, and you can see jagged edges to the letters. Try to read an LCD screen in direct sunlight and unless the screen has a very bright backlight , you'll really struggle.
But the worse thing is that LCD screens lack the lightness, portability, and sheer user-friendliness of ink-printed paper : you can happily read a book for hours, but try the same trick with a computer screen and your eyes will quickly tire. Magnifying by about 8—10 times and zooming in on a single word, you can see why.
The E Ink display makes sharper letters with a uniformly white background. The LCD display blurs its letters with anti-aliasing to make them less jagged, though that makes them harder to read close up. The red, blue, and green colored pixels used to make up the LCD's "white" background are also much more noticeable.
Unlike the E Ink display, an LCD does not use a true white background: it relies on your eye and brain to fuse colored pixels instead. The resolution of E Ink is also far greater: typical LCD displays use around 90 pixels per inch, whereas E Ink displays use at least twice as many pixels.
Back in the early s, the Xerox Corporation that had pioneered photocopiers a decade earlier became concerned about the threat that computers might pose to its core ink-and-paper business: if everyone started using computers, and offices became paperless, what would happen to a company so utterly dependent on paper technology?
The basic idea of electronic ink and paper was and remains very simple: to produce an electronic display with all the control and convenience of a computer screen but the readability, portability, and user-friendliness of paper.
How does electronic ink and paper work? Most electronic ink and paper screens use a technology called electrophoresis, which sounds complex but simply means using electricity to move tiny particles in this case ink through a fluid in this case a liquid or gel.
Other uses of electrophoresis include DNA testing, where electricity is used to separate the parts of a DNA sample by making them move across a gel, which enables them to be compared with other samples and identified.
Each capsule is filled with a clear fluid and contains two kinds of tiny ink granules: white ones which are positively charged and black ones which are negatively charged. The capsules are suspended between electrodes switched on and off by an electronic circuit, and each one can be controlled individually. By changing the electric field between the electrodes, it's possible to make the white or black granules move to the top of a capsule the part closest to the reader's eye so it appears like a white or black pixel.
By controlling large numbers of pixels in this way, it's possible to display text or pictures. Animation: Electronic ink works through electrophoresis. Each pixel microcapsule in the display the gray circle contains black negatively charged and white positively charged ink granules.
When a positive field shown in blue is applied to the top electrode, the black capsules migrate to the top, making the pixel look black when seen from above; switching the field over makes the granules change position so the pixel appears white. Advantages and disadvantages of electronic ink If you've tried reading an electronic book, you'll know that electronic ink and paper is much easier to read from for long periods than an LCD computer screen.
Since the microcapsules stay in position indefinitely, with little or no electric current, electronic ink displays have extremely low power consumption. A typical ebook reader with an E Ink display can be used for something like 2—4 weeks of average everyday reading on a single charge—which is much less power than a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Low power consumption means low energy use and that translates into an environmental benefit ; in other words, electronic ink and paper is environmentally friendly. What about the energy needed to manufacture your reader in the first place?
According to British environmental auditor Nicola Terry , who's done the math, you've only to read 20—70 ebooks to offset that energy; the Cleantech group has estimated that a site makes savings in carbon emissions after just one year's use. That sounds great, but do bear in mind that emissions from reading and producing books are a trivial part of most people's total emissions the majority of which stem from transport, consumed goods, home heating, and so on.
The disadvantages are less obvious until you start using electronic ink in earnest. First, although the displays work excellently in bright indoor light and daylight, including direct sunlight, they have no light of their own unlike LCD displays, which have backlights shining through them from back to front so you can see them.
That makes them hard to use in poor indoor light, especially in the evenings, which is why many early ebook readers were sold with clumsy addon lamps. Fortunately, firms like site now offer readers with built-in lights like the site Paperwhite in our top photo , so the problem of straining over ebooks in the dark has now largely disappeared.
Photo: Night and day, are you the one? Here I've propped a Sony Reader against the screen of a conventional laptop and photographed it in different light conditions. Left: In bright light or daytime outdoors, electronic ink displays are much easier to read than backlit LCD displays, which become virtually invisible.
Right: In dark indoor light in the evenings, things are reversed: LCDs are much easier to read and electronic ink displays are a struggle to decipher unless you sit in strong light or use a clip-on light attachment. Electronic ink also takes much longer to build up the image of a page than an LCD screen, which means it's unsuitable for everyday computer displays using any kind of moving image and completely unsuitable for fast-moving images such as computer games and videos.
Sometimes parts of a previous page linger on as "ghosts" until you've turned another page or two. You've probably noticed that, when you "turn the page" of an electronic book, the entire screen momentarily flashes black before the new page is displayed? Another major disadvantage is that most electronic ink displays are currently black and white.
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Crude color displays do exist E Ink has produced one called Triton since , in which a layer of red, green, and blue color filters is mounted over the usual black-and-white microcapsules and better ones are in development, but they're much more expensive than their black-and-white electronic paper or LCD equivalents and only display a relatively small number of colors Triton can manage , compared to about 17 million on a decent LCD.
In time, we're bound to have color electronic books and magazines, but don't hold your breath. site's Jeff Bezos, speaking in mid, said that a color site ebook reader was "multiple years" away: "I've seen the color displays in the laboratory and I can assure you they're not ready for prime time.
Which electronic book reader should I download?
HTML Black Book: The Programmer's Complete HTML Reference Book
site, Sony Reader, Nook, Elonex—which one should you download? The decision is a little easier than it used to be now Sony has regrettably stopped making ebook readers, though I'd still recommend looking out for cheap secondhand Sonys on auction sites.
They're all broadly similar: they're all light, portable, and handheld and they all have large internal flash memories that hold hundreds or thousands of books. Some have touchscreens ; others like the older and cheaper sites have miniature keyboards. Some have wireless connections for downloading more books; others such as the Sony Readers have to be connected to a computer with a USB cable. If you connect with USB, running an ebook reader is rather like running an iPod or MP3 player: typically you maintain a library on your PC with a piece of software similar to iTunes, to which you add and remove books and other documents.
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More filters. Sort order. Apr 12, Abhishek Chatterjee rated it it was amazing. Sep 21, Agastya rated it it was amazing. Now that is a good book to learn the markup language. Not only learning, but it also motivates to learn more. A simple language, good examples, but the only thing that could have been improved is using coloured illustrations.
One of the best blackbooks out there! Nov 23, Kavya is currently reading it. Yolandie rated it it was amazing Sep 21, Uday Kiran rated it really liked it May 17, Pritam Das rated it did not like it Jul 12, Rajaram Dash rated it it was amazing Oct 21, Carlos Hernandez rated it liked it Jan 29, Sid rated it really liked it May 22, Neha Samant rated it really liked it Apr 09, Ravi rated it liked it Aug 17, Vinutha rated it did not like it Aug 02, Shashank Singh rated it it was amazing May 14, Sarvang Mehta rated it really liked it Feb 04, Com rated it liked it Mar 24, Keerthi rated it it was amazing Nov 04, Malleswari rated it it was amazing Sep 10, Kenneth Elston rated it liked it Feb 13, Saumyaranjan rated it liked it Sep 06, Kittu Priyatham rated it liked it Oct 11, Rohit Naini rated it it was ok Nov 27, Since our community serves a broad range of ages, we do not encourage content that could make a majority of our users uncomfortable.
Your hood fell in two pieces—" "And I fell like a dead man in my own blood," finished Erlik Khan.
I was saved from death by the steel cap I always wear beneath my coif. It was because of you that Ali ibn Suleyman turned against me.
Public domain classics are the easiest books to find in ebook format, largely thanks to the sterling and visionary work of Project Gutenberg and, more recently, the Open Library , which currently promises over a million free ebook titles. The E Ink display makes sharper letters with a uniformly white background. The best defense is a good offense.