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Old 03-06-2009, 01:55 AM   #1
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I am a voracious reader especially while cruising. My long suffering wife who whenever in the past we travelled from out home in Washington, DC to our boat in Greece was confronted by me packing a suitcase full of books to be taken to an overflowing boat finally gave me an Amazon Kindle e-book reader last year.

While skeptical at first, I do not like reading on computer screen, I was finally won over. The screen quality is much better than a computer, it lis ight, and one can read it while lounging in the cockpit or on a rock ashore. But what was compelling for me is the fact that it can carry about 200 books in the space of one paperback. Amazon does sell new books at lower prices than they ask for new books but for me the treasure trove has been the large number of books with expired copyright i.e. the classics, which are available free for downloading.

Now I see in this forum Free Nautical Books that many sailing reference books are also available. This is great! One can have them all on the boat without taking valuable space. For instance I plan to load my Kindle with the Bowditch Practical Navigator and retire the bulky volume from the boat.

The newer Kindle, launched last week, can hold 600 books, it is even easier to use, and cost less than the first model. Their main drawback is that they are marketed only the in US. Also, I am not sure how well it can handle non-latin character sets.

Does any one of you use an e-book on-board? What are your thoughts on the subject?
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Old 03-06-2009, 06:48 AM   #2
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Yes, eBooks are the bomb for saving space.

I have a simple solution -- a newish model Nokia mobile phone with a large screen (for a phone that is) and ebook reading software on the phone. Works great.
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:48 PM   #3
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I was in MediaMarkt, a pan-European electrnics chain, here in Vigo the other day and saw an electronic book reader. I am not sure by whom it was manufactured but I will check on it on my way home after work. I will be flying out this evening and so I will probably get back to this topic tomorrow or on Sunday.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:29 PM   #4
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I've had a free book reader on my Palm PDA since I've owned a Palm (1998). The free books from Gideon Press include many classics and one of the treasures for me was reading several Jack London books that I'd not read before, e.g. Burning Daylight. I found myself pulling out the Palm and reading on the metro, etc. Now, since I have internet access on my Palm, I find myself web surfing and reading there instead though...

One can read PDF files on a PDA, too. The restricted screen of a PDA works better with the e-book readers for the PDA rather than PDF files though. One can get a 2GB (or larger capacity) SD card for the Palm that has a USB interface on the other end for quick loading of files, e-books, even nautical charts to the Palm.

Regarding books, magazines, and reference materials onboard, we've taken to getting anything and everything we can via electronic form that can be downloaded. We find that owners and parts manuals for most equipment onboard is available in .pdf version to keep on the computer and on a DVD rather than hard copy. Same goes for lots of books.

I also own an old Phillips monitor w/touch screen that operates like a tablet PC. You can take it (wireless) around the boat and sit and read a book pretty easily. It is battery operated and has a 15" screen w/1024x768 resolution. This sort of thing is very nice for onboard use. I don't know if there is a newer version of these roaming monitors/tablet PC or not. The wireless aspect of it makes it too slow for it to be used for viewing real-time chart plotter, etc, but works great for just looking at an electronic chart, book, etc.
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Istioploos View Post
I am a voracious reader especially while cruising.

Now I see in this forum Free Nautical Books that many sailing reference books are also available. This is great! One can have them all on the boat without taking valuable space. For instance I plan to load my Kindle with the Bowditch Practical Navigator and retire the bulky volume from the boat.

The newer Kindle, launched last week, can hold 600 books, it is even easier to use, and cost less than the first model. Their main drawback is that they are marketed only the in US. Also, I am not sure how well it can handle non-latin character sets.

Does any one of you use an e-book on-board? What are your thoughts on the subject?
Thanks for the link. Also www.projectgutenberg.org has loads of free out of print books, nautical and otherwise. I have a Sony ereader that I take on trips it's great but I have yet to read war and peace which came preloaded!
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:16 PM   #6
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I promised to come back to this topic and, even though I am a bit late, then I do have some info.

I found an electric book the other day in Barcelona airport. It cost €380. Another was for sale for €50 but that was also loaded with 50 classic books such as Pride and Prejudice, War and Peace, Little Women etc. At first sight that seemed like a god deal except those 50 books are out of copyright and so the extra €120 would be going directly into the producers pocket.

The idea is good. The reader was in book size but it just did not feel like a book. I don't think I will be getting one.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 03-21-2009, 04:35 PM   #7
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I, too, have a Palm phone/PDA with eReader software, and I love it. Though the print is small, it is so clear that it's pretty easy to read, even for these eyes. Because it's also my cell phone it goes everywhere with me, and for riding on trains or planes or sitting in Customs and Immigration offices waiting for someone to finally acknowledge us, it is a great way to pass that waiting... and waiting... and waiting time.

I just found another use for it. We had a power failure here a week or so ago, and I set the Palm screen up to maximum brightness and used it as a flashlight to find the real emergency light. I understand that people probably wouldn't want a Day-Glo yellow emergency light in their living room, but the dark gray and black cases of these lights makes them almost impossible to see in the dark. I'll have to dig out my phosphorescent varnish and paint all those dark dreary cases with it. Of course then we insomniacs will be walking around dodging "ghosts" many nights.
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Old 04-19-2009, 11:07 AM   #8
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Did I say I would not be getting an e-book reader? I did? Well, I changed my mind!

Flying from Copenhagen to Madrid the other day I found myself sitting next to a very affable American gentleman currently living in Spain. After take off, when the seat belt sign had been switched off, he pulls out an iRex iLiad ebook reader and settled down for the flight. Of course, he did not get the chance to remain comfortable for long as I started questioning him about the device. "The easiest way to answer your questions" said he, "is to lend it to you for 10 minutes."

So, to cut to the chase, I thought it was great and bought myself one this week. It is fantastic. No glossy screen, daylight readable (even in sunshine) and a ship load of free books as well as new books cheaper than buying them at the bookstore without having to go into town, instant download, books backed up on your hard disc, in short - fantastic. The only downside is that the iLiad is an expensive bit of kit but the choice is limited as the Kindle is not available on this side of the Atlantic.

I am sure anyone who tries the iLiad (and probably the Kindle too) will fall for the concept.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:52 AM   #9
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ok,

im a complete newbie to the "sailing/living aboard/cruising" thing and probably cudnt tell u what a tack or a jib sheet is ( i think the line holding the jib) but this topic goes directly into my area of expertise.

i currently own an IBM X40 12" mini laptop that i purchased used for $400 dollars. ive downloaded every work of fiction that i could find free online and i also have purchased (but not installed)

a usb gps device, a chartplotter and auto-navigational software for the laptop (still waiting for autonavi in the mail). i dont know about feasability, but i figure i can use my one laptop (with an upgraded hard disk, ram and processor) to successfully work with my external 2 terabyte hard disk full of diital copies of my dvd's and about 45000 MP3's to provide a fast and portablesolution to all entertainment and computation requirements.

im also told that there are add on electronic and softwares that can be added to act as a vhf radio transmitter, depth sounder, knotmeter and fluid level meter ( a little too much - ill look at my holding tank to see if i need to pump out)

obviously, im not saying everyone shud resort to this alone with no backups (that wud be idiotic . we shud respect the oceans) but its nice as an accessory to work for you.

so...basically,

1) book reader

2) chartplotter

3)gps

4)Radio

5) entertainment centre

6) auto-navi

and so much more for a current cost of $490

who's a bigger nerd than me
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