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Stanza updated for iPad

June 4, 2010 1 comment

The iPhone version of eBook reader Stanza has today been joined by an iPad version with the 3.0 release. Support for PDF, DjVu, and Comic Book Archive format media has been added, expanding Stanza’s abilities to include Comic books and anything that can be saved as a PDF. The organising of media into groups is a little clunky so I still prefer using Goodreader for PDF’s, Cloudreaders for comics and Stanza for Books. Where Stanza really shines though is in its display options, offering a huge range of fonts and control over page layout. Fast access to night mode for those lights out reading sessions is also a big plus. Version 3 also adds more online sources for free and paid ebooks.

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An Englishman in New York. With an iPad.

May 8, 2010 1 comment

Several news sites are reporting the limited availability of the WiFi+3G iPad at Apple store, but in New York there’s a shortage of all models. I visited the 5th Ave store Thursday evening to be initially told at the entrance there were no iPads available at any of the New York Apple stores. Further enquiries inside revealed deliveries had been received every couple of days so I reserved a 32Gb WiFi only model. The “come get it” email arrived Friday morning, so after a visit to the Top of the Rock (awesome view) I headed to the store and got the iPad activated for immediate use.
Requests for iPads at the store are constant, and within five minutes of getting mine out of the box to set it up I had an offer of “whatever you paid plus a hundred dollars”. That was without even seeing what model it was. Setting up a US iTunes account is necessary since there is no UK iPad support until launch. A $25 iTunes gift card took care of the app store billing requirement.
Onto first impressions. It’s surprisingly heavy but more solid than cumbersome. Performance is very smooth, and there have been no lags or pauses so far. I bought the Acer Aspire One hackbook on this trip and it cannot play my holiday movies exported from iMovie at quarter HD (960×540). The iPad has no trouble and they look fantastic, no stuttering with vivid but realistic colour.
The camera connection kit is sold out as well so I haven’t been able to directly import photos. iPhoto is sluggish on the hackbook so I am only importing a select few photos for syncing to the iPad. Those viewed so far look just as good as movies.
Off to the New York public library today as Mrs Basshead loves The Day After Tomorrow film, so more thoughts to follow.

Categories: apple, computer, ebook, email, ipad Tags:

iPod Touch 1st Gen to iPhone 3GS

July 3, 2009 Leave a comment

iphone3gs_2upFor the past (almost) two years I have used my iPod Touch every day as a web browser. email client, PDA, eBook reader and even a music and video player. It’s been reliable, flexible and even better once jailbroken. As a computer user who’s experiences started with a one kilobyte ZX81 29 years ago I have never ceased to be amazed at what such a small package could do. Even after all this time I still turn it sideways and wonder how so much power can fit in such a thin case. Just like most of the iPod’s that came before it, the Touch will be remembered as a design classic.

The one thing I have missed all this time was a permanent net connection. The iPhone is an expensive proposition in the UK but I finally succumbed on Tuesday and visited the Apple store at Lakeside Thurrock intent on a 32Gb 3GS. I had initially been contemplating a pay as you go contract for an eye watering £540. This initially sounded a good deal, you put £10 a month credit on the phone and get 500 free minutes. Unfortunately these free minutes are only to other O2 phones and landlines, so it’s not quite as good as it initially sounded. Read more…

iPhones and eBooks

May 4, 2008 1 comment

eBooks have been around for several years now, and in many respects are seriously behind other forms of media. While music is making the painful transition from DRM to open formats other media such as films and books are still subject to restricted use. This often makes it awkward if not impossible to view these files on your mobile device of choice.

Until last year I used a Palm TX PDA running the palm eReader software. I could buy a fair range of pdb format ebooks from ereader.com, or use the free dropbook for Mac and eReader Pro for Palm to convert and read text files myself. I have a large collection of mainly SF and Fantasy paperbacks that I have read over the past 20 years, and set about finding electronic versions of them to read again. It’s an issue that always gets a lot of attention, but if you have purchased media in one format is it fair to have to buy it again in another? I don’t think it is, especially given the price of some of the eBooks currently available. I’ll get to iPhone options for ebooks a bit later after a look at eBook pricing. Read more…