Get Loaded with the iLiad E-Reader

I don’t think I can do what Michael did and swear off the printed page for such an extended period of time, but I have to say I am starting to fall in love with the iLiad. Perhaps for reasons unrelated to reading, but it is love nevertheless.

Last night while I was on train 87 heading back to my nest, I hauled out the iLiad. I had material on there for work that I wanted to read and make notes on. I had my copy of Vanity Fair (the one by Thackeray). I had a power-point to peruse and oh so much more.

I’ll stay away from all the techie hell details about setting up an account on the iDS server, connecting wirelessly to the web, installing the software upgrades, setting up the backup directory structure on my PC, and figuring out what all of those strange little icons in the ui represent. Suffice it to say that it took some doing, but here I was riding the rails, a few texts lighter than a load in my backpack, the sun beaming through the train window.

“What”, you say, “sunlight? you can’t read a computer screen in sunlight!”

And sure enough I look at my neighbour, who is taking up more than his share of space with his Toshiba Tecra M7-S7331 tablet laid out, shifting every which way to get visibility on his screen. Then I look across the aisle. Two seats up is a man wearing earphones and squinting at his blackberry, reading about a 25 word paragraph of text that has filled the screen with a very small font. Then I look at the iLiad, a ray of sun streaking across the screen, and you know what? There is not a bit of reflective glare. There is no need to contort like a cirque de soleil contortionist. I just read, push the strange little bar that advances the page, and am content learning about the finer details of metadata and how ONIX maps to the OeBF elements.

Wait, what is this? (Hit the zoom icon, circle text with stylus, zoom in). There are OeBF elements that have no corresponding ONIX elements! I better make a note of that, hit the pen icon and start writing on the screen with the stylus. The natural handwriting is amazing! I close the document, switch the power off and sit back to listen to the sound of the train as it announces the coming of the future.