Thursday, August 31, 2006

Reading Online Books With Google Book Search

With Google Book Search, readers who are focused on research or who are looking for serious reading materials may be pleasantly thrilled that this facility enables one to read relevant pages of a book (some only with limited previews). For example, I typed the word "education" into Google Book Search and saw that there were more than 12 million pages worth of reading materials! This is wonderful for college students who may need to reference academic resources to support their essays.

I read online from TIMESONLINE : http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2335906,00.html the article called "Online Books are coming free, forgetting the extras". The paragraph that caught my eyes was paragraph 8 which stated, " [...] the market is in its infancy and nobody has managed to come up with a satisfactory electronic book-reader" ("Marion De Lorme: drame By Victor Hugo" from my notebook, I saw that I could choose to read it online or download the entire book in PDF format which is only 2.4MB. It was not something cumbersome - in fact I see it as a wonderful initiative from Google in promoting reading. I never read the Classics because I thought my time is better spent reading the non-fictions ... but since all these classics are now available on a click of the screen, I began to feel interested! After my Cybook's battery is fully charged, I'll try accessing these books to see if I can read them as well as I did on my notebook.

Putting commercial thoughts aside, being able to access books or pages of text online is good for promoting reading.

Classics for download - go to Google Book Search

Very good news for those who love to read classics! I read on the online news today that full copies of out-of-copyright books could be downloaded and read from a collection of public domain titles.

Read this news from "Official Google Blog: Download the Classics"
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2006/08/download-classics.html

This is such an exciting news because it means that if I want to read classics like Dante's Inferno, I can simply point my Cybook browser to http://books.google.it/books?vid=OCLC13779284&id=iQ5Glx7BGZkC&printsec=titlepage and start reading it! But of course if I want to read it where I have no access to internet connections, I have a choice to download it and read it at my own pace.

Bookmark Google Book Search!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Marketing Resources Articles: Bookmark This In Your Cybook!

Today I while I was looking for some good articles related to marketing, I came across an excellent web site called "The Marketing Resource Center". I started browsing their online article library and was pleasantly surprised by the quality and quantity of reading materials they have. I immediately bookmarked the site on my notebook as well as my Cybook reader. This is the sort of web site that will draw my repeated visits because it offers value and is educational. I do not need to sign-up nor give my email address in return to read an article -- and the reading materials are all in HTML format. So if you can read web pages with your computer or PDA, you can read the articles!

Here is a link to that web page:  http://www.marketingsource.com/articles

Friday, August 25, 2006

Bookmark Google's Blog Search on Your Google Toolbar / Cybook

eBooks are "books" or "documents" in digital form. In the past those who wanted to write could do so in print form or in digital form. For digital formats there are a variety to choose from ... with a majority in the form of PDF. Presently, those who have something to share with the world can do so in the form of BLOGS because with Blogger, any layman can "publish" a web site free of charge. Thus, blogs have become very popular and writings can be found on any imaginable topics under the sun.

For casual reading with a Wi-Fi enabled Cybook, going on a Blog Search is like an adventure! From food to technical issues, there are lots of readings to choose from. Like ebooks, some blogs are really good and informative, while others are not. So be selective.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

My Cybook Reading Device: Product Review (2)

What is cool about the product:
  • I love the idea of being able to read documents in .PDF, in .Doc, .Html, and .Txt comfortably everywhere I go. A few months ago, I was still a university student and had so much writing to do that I had to do it at time slots that were awkward (like when riding in a train). Cybook was excellent for the task because it turned instantly on and switched off with a flick. It was light and portable. It goes into my carry on bag and does not look bulky like a notebook computer - it is suitable for ladies!
  • For professional, personal or recreational use, Cybook is very versatile.
  • Because the design of this device is rather plain, I see much room for me to personalize the look of it (e.g. have the cover engraved, decorate the sides with lovely stickers etc.)
  • With Wi-Fi, I can write BLOGS straight from my webmail with Cybook!!
What can be done to make it better:
  • I have brought my Cybook to all the computer stores in Hong Kong and was NOT able to find a plastic screencover with a size that fits the screen. I hope the manufacturer includes that with its product.
  • Many a times, I wish to print directly from the Cybook to my printer but I'm not sure how to get this done (or can it be done).
  • Although a 3 hours battery life is fine as an ebook reader, using compact flash and Wi-Fi reduce the power to less than that when used continuously.
  • I feel that the packaging can be improved a little more and written manual included with the packaging (if it hasn't already).
What I think about Cybook:
  • Personally, I think it is unique! I'm gadget crazy and I own 3 notebooks, 1 desktop, 4 printers and several PDAs - but Cybook stands out because of its functionality and ease of use.
  • But be careful that you do not let it run out of power totally or you may lose your files. I have to reset the device several times because it was a bit slow when I tried to do several things at one time and it hung. Cybook excels as an ebook device which is its primary function and the rest of the features are secondary.
The above are some of my feelings about the Cybook device. I believe I have not explored all the features of this device (e.g. I've not used it to listen to music). But it has been serving me well since the time I bought it and is very happy with the product.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My Cybook Reading Device: Product Review

Last year I bought the Cybook reading device (ebook reader) and was really impressed with it. Just recently, I bought the Wi-Fi Compact Flash Card and the NE2000 Ethernet Card to go with it.

My first impressions:
I was very excited when I first received my Cybook. But it took me quite a while to figure out that I needed to install the battery before it would work. I was even more surprised at the simple design of the device and the look of the battery. I wondered at the lack of a written manual but later discovered that the manual was stored in the ebook device itself. The "brand" Cybook (on the front center lower frame) was not too obvious either. I felt comfortable holding the ebook device because it was not as heavy as a notebook computer.

What I like about Cybook:
  • I really like the virtual keyboard! I could type on it just like any ordinary keyboard or use the stylus to tap out the letters. I could hide it when I do not need it.
  • I read .pdf files a lot and it is comfortable to read them from Cybook. In my job, I need to bring along catalogues of products and since they are available in .pdf format, all I need is my Cybook and not big folders (which are cumbersome)!
  • Being able to read ebooks which come in different formats means I have more choice in my reading material.
  • The Boo Reader Vision offers a pleasant alternative to those who have difficulty reading small prints because it renders text at a larger size and in black and white which provides good contrast. I would recommend this to kids as well as they could read at quite a distance away from the screen and still be able to see the texts clearly.
  • Even though I use Cybook more as an ebook reader, I discovered that the Pocket Word and Spreadsheet program comes in handy when I need to take down minutes and do some calculations.
  • After the ebook device was Wi-Fi enabled, I was able to surf the internet easily. However, I tend to just use it sparingly and set my favorites to point to ebook sites. Since my kids also use the Cybook, I bookmark kid's ebook sites too!
  • Nobody I knew has ever seen a Cybook and I believe the gadget shops at my place (in Hong Kong) have never seen one too! I may be one of the very few people in my country who own one and everytime I use it in a public place, I get inquisitive looks from others. It feels special.
  • The screen is big enough and the backlighting can be adjusted. In the past, I used to read from my Jornada 720 and it was not as comfortable.
  • The operation of this device is quite intuitive because there are only a few buttons to use.
More sharing tomorrow ..... (to be continued)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Tips On Getting Your FREE eBook Listed

The "category" listing in eBook88 Free ebook directory is only a few months old because the alphabetical order listing was too tedious for me to manage. When ebook authors submit their works, I visit each site, browse the site content, and also skim through the ebooks individually if time permits. But sad to say, some authors had not followed guidelines and submitted ebooks that were not suitable for this site.

Here's a statistics of the number of sites submitted, and listings deleted because they were partially or totally unsuitable. So what gets your ebooks listed?
--- TIPS ---
  • Submit ebooks that contains absolutely NO adult, violence, or hate content. ebooks that contain only affiliate links or teaching questionable practices would not make it.
  • Make sure the link to your ebooks work - some times, when I was reviewing the submissions, I reached links that were dead. So check your links to make sure they work.
  • If you are NOT the author of the ebook - please show evidence that you have the permission of the author to list the ebook.
  • Make sure that your descriptions accurately depict what your ebook is about. Write in short sentences and with no grammatical or spelling errors.
  • DO NOT submit a non-free ebook. This directory is only for FREE ebooks.
A directory loses its objective if it's just a collection of titles most people would not benefit from. eBook88 directory would grow slowly but it would be one where quality is the hallmark.

Friday, August 18, 2006

My Philosophy

Firstly, a little introduction about myself. I grew up in a rural area in Singapore and is one of the millions of Baby Boomers worldwide now! I love nature and animals. Nature has plenty to teach us and give us. I cultivated a sense of inquisitiveness by observing nature and wanting to know all about it. From a very young age, I sought out books and is an avid reader, even now.

Besides nature, I love classical music too. I first learned the piano at age 19 and then took up the violin at age 36. I embrace livelong learning.

I was a trained teacher specializing in Science and Music teaching. More than a decade ago, I left Singapore to teach in Hong Kong, and has been here since then. As a family-oriented person, I feel a commitment to make my site family friendly ... my many nieces, nephews, students, and children visit this ebook site regularly.

I worked, pursued several hobbies and studied for 4 years to get a business degree. It was very tough and expensive - but a necessity. Textbooks are costly and that is why I have a page catered to "College eBooks/textbooks" on my site. I've just graduated from a US university, with honors (GPA 3.99). Now that I have more time on hand, I thought I should "catch up" with my web sites a little more :-) I'm currently in a finance/insurance related career, although I'm still pursuing my passion in the creative line such as writing, web designing etc. Honestly, I felt the happiest when dabbling with codes and writing.

eBook88 ebook site is like a "child"I hope to mould and help develop so that it would grow into something useful/wholesome for the community - and I do wish that my readers understand and respect that aspect.

eBook88.com Webmaster Speaks

Sopranino Teaching ebookhttp://www.eBook88.com was the second web site developed by me. It had been several years since then - and continues to be doing very well (getting good positioning on Google and more than 20% of my visitors bookmarked the site every month). We also get a constant stream of ebook submits.

I started getting interested in ebooks in the early 2000 when I wrote my first ebook for music teachers. I saw a need for sopranino recorder ebooks because it was close to impossible to find even a print copy! Yes, I was a music teacher at school then and had been in the education field for 20 years. I decided not to charge anything for something I worked day and night for 3 months in addition to paying for the software and hosting to distribute the book. Promoting the teaching of recorder music seems to me more important than anything else and I really didn't want any teachers to pass the book by just because they have to pay for it!

But the effort pays off in other ways ... in the sense that it got me so interested in ebooks that I have decided to design a web site (now ebook88.com site) and learn html coding in the process. Before that, I was "computer phobic" and had zero knowledge in programming - but developing this web site became an obsession and my bookshelves are now filled with programming books (on Javascripts, HTML, CSS, C++), and computer magazines. My interests have widened greatly and so have my skills in IT. I could say it's a "freedom" and it's a blessing because this new found "interest" suddenly opened many opportunities for my career.

I was a silent "behind the scene" manager of this site and had observed so many things that I thought I'll start this blog to communicate my thoughts!