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The Reader is moving!

October 6, 2011

While this blog has been pretty quiet for a while, it’s not quite dead! I’ve now moved it to

www.manacsadesign.com/reader

See you there!

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Visualizing Comics on the iPad

January 27, 2010

Steve Jobs didn’t specifically talk about comics and other visually-intensive ebooks on the iPad, but it does fix many of the graphics and usability issues that severely limited the comics-reading utility of the monochrome e-readers and bulky tablet PCs that came before.

With its large color screen, slim form factor and long battery life, it may well be the reading device that comics fans have been waiting for.

While we await the iPad’s arrival, I wanted to visualize just how the iPad might work as a comics-reading machine. I fired up Photoshop and plugged in a couple of screens from the Witchblade books on WOWIO. What do you think?

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Sony Readers, Library Software for Mac — Soon

July 7, 2009

Mac and Sony Reader — Flying BooksIf you’re a Mac user using a Sony Reader, you’ve been compelled to use various workarounds to get content onto your device. While the third-party software allows the addition of ebooks from other sources, Sony’s own ebook store can only be accessed using the official Windows-based eBook Library software.

With surging Mac mind (and market) share — along with competition from cross-platform ebook readers like the Kindle — it looks like Sony is finally going to provide official Mac support by “the end of Summer 2009” (see the announcement reproduced below). The original PRS500 Reader is conspicuously absent from the announcement — perhaps it’s unsupported but still compatible as a discontinued model?

Sony Announcement, July 7, 2009

Attention Mac users!

We’ve received many requests to make the eBook Store work with Apple® Macintosh® computers, and we wanted to share with you our progress on this front.

An updated version of the eBook Library Software compatible with Mac OS X operating systems will be available by the end of Summer 2009 for download to your computer to enable you to purchase, organize and download content to your PRS505 and PRS700.

Send us your email address, and we will notify you when the update is available.

Thank you,

Your Friends at The eBook Store

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Closing the Book: Anathem

May 4, 2009

Book Cover: Neal Stephenson's AnathemWith the mixed feelings of sadness and accomplishment that typically comes with finishing an engrossing (and challenging) novel, I closed the back cover this weekend on Neal Stephenson’s Anathem. I’m astonished still by how well Stephenson was able to weave extended discussions of philosophy, theology and even geometry into a narrative that gains an unstoppable head of steam — all within a world textured with the rhythms of thousands of years civilization and inhabited by real people I came to care about.

Highly recommended.

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Reading Room at the British Museum

May 4, 2009

I spent some time at my local library branch the other day, and it reminds me of how these spaces foster curiosity, questions and, at times, even a dazzling sense of wonder. That was how I felt when I walked into the Reading Room at the British Museum a few years ago (below, drawn from a blog post I posted at the time)…

london-readingroom_01london-readingroom_02

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iTablet / iPad / iSlate Dreams

April 30, 2009


MacFormat posted some feature ideas and lovely mockups of the long-awaited, still-hypothetical Apple device known variously as the iTablet, iSlate, and, most recently, iPad in its various rumor mill incarnations.

This iPhone OS-based configuration makes total sense to me, though the design for an on-screen keyboard for a device of this size seems like a tricky (though certainly not insurmountable) UI challenge.

Be sure to check the original post for more…

(via 9 to 5 Mac)

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XO-2: A Second-Generation OLPC Laptop/Reader

May 20, 2008

A Second-Generation OLPC Laptop

One Laptop per Child (OLPC) designer Yves Behar highlights some of the interesting concepts behind the second-generation XO machine envisioned for the 2010 timeframe on the TEDBlog.

Despite OLPC’s oft-discussed organizational problems and the usability issues of the current incarnation of the XO, the hardware designs of the current and future machines exhibit undeniably fresh thinking. The future unit’s software-configurable dual screen/touch input opens up a range of possibilities, from a proper display of two-page book spreads to task-specific input buttons configured for specific age groups and languages. Even collaboration and play by two simultaneous users becomes possible.

I’ll post a link to the full TED talk by Behar when it becomes available. Meanwhile, see more photos and additional details on TEDBlog.

Update: Here’s an excerpt from Nicholas Negroponte’s preview of the XO-2 at the OLPC Global Country Workshop:

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