iPad, First Look

wb4jfi wb4jfi at knology.net
Sat Apr 3 19:17:53 CDT 2010

Joseph Bento wrote:
> On Apr 3, 2010, at 2:29 PM, wb4jfi wrote:
>> I would agree for normal reading.  However, while playing with FPGAs, 
>> or working on software, I like to have several reference books 
>> available.  If I'm on travel that adds up to an additional heavy bag. 
>>  I've started trying to find pdfs of most of the reference books that 
>> I like to regularly use, and have already paid for.  Having them in a 
>> separate, thin, lightweight reader would be an advantage.
> I might agree with this if I had dual monitors to work with, having 
> the book displayed on one monitor and my work in progress on the 
> second.  I don't like to minimize or switch screens, especially when I 
> have to reference a snippet of code or look up the syntax for a 
> mnemonic.  I've recently started an online PIC microcontroller class, 
> and have found myself printing not only the 16F877A datasheet, but 
> also the various PDFs the instructor has supplied as part of the 
> class.  (FedEx / Kinkos has been a godsend for printing and binding 
> 300 page datasheets!)
Agreed.  Two of my development computers have dual-LCD screens because 
both also have flight simulator SW on them.  It is REALLY nice to bring 
up reference material on the second display, and leave it there.  Good 
luck with the PIC class, I've done some with the '877 and '84.  I've 
also done some with the 18F2455/2550.  Having the large books and other 
reference material (300+ pages) on the computer makes a huge 
difference.  Although, as you point out, not as easy to use while 
otherwise occupied (shall we say).
>> My big concern right now is that we are in a multi-pronged Betamax vs 
>> VHS war.  With Kindle, Sony, and others already in the market, having 
>> Apple add their proprietary format is too much.  I want to see the 
>> dust settle and hopefully a winner (or at most, two) come out of this 
>> first.  Meanwhile, I will find PDFs that I can view on my laptop.
>> Terry
> One really can't cozy up with a laptop in a soft chair nor in bed.  I 
> can't see myself "utilizing the facilities", if you will, with a 
> computer in hand as one might do with a magazine.
> PDFs can be copy protected, as well as requiring a password to access. 
>  Too bad the e-book publishers don't take advantage of this more 
> universal format.
> Also, one potential with the Kindle - there was some book that Amazon 
> lost the permission to distribute.  Don't assume that once you 
> download your book it belongs to you.  Whatever this title was 
> suddenly disappeared from all the users' Kindles.  I guess the device 
> needs to "phone home" to be sure you still have permission to read 
> what you downloaded. 
> Joe, N6DGY

Excellent point Joe.  That is a big worry.  I have always felt that once 
you pay for a book (or music, or movie, or...), it is yours to do with 
as you want (as long as you don't violate the copyright).  If I'm going 
to pay big bucks for a reference book (often $50-$150), I want to be 
assured that I will NEVER lose the rights to that book.  If true, the 
above is one large strike against the Kindle.  That won't happen with a 
pdf copy of a book.

Of course, leave it to Apple to come up with some way to strangle its 
customers as well.  I hear that you must buy new copies of stuff, even 
if you already own it on a different Apple device.  That company could 
have OWNED the computer market years ago, if only they weren't so stupid 
and offensive to potential customers.  "Here is a very nice computer, 
take it.  Oh, by the way it even comes with a non-optional kick in the 
head by Beckham (not Victoria, which you might actually enjoy, but her 
husband).  You don't want the kick in the head?  So sorry, that means 
you must not be an artist, and willing to suffer for your art.  Go 

And yes, I have an iPhone.  And yes, the left side of my head is smashed 
in.  Wonderful and totally frustrating at the same time.


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