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Books, Games

Origins 2007: The E-book Angle

07.18.07 | 2 Comments

This year’s Origins has come and gone, and I’ve recovered from post-convention let-down. As you know, this was my first national Con and it was quite an experience. I learned a lot about how to get my out of my con experience next time, but one thing still lacking is an e-book solution.

My gaming rig is not only a backpack, but a backpack with luggage wheels. This feature was a lifesaver during Origins, since I carried around probably 15 pounds of stuff in the form of the d20 Modern hardback, the Savage Worlds hardback , a 3-ring binder full of games I was scheduled to run, various supplies, and purchases from the dealer’s room. More than once, I wished for a single, lightweight, tablet-sized e-book reader that would hold both rulebooks and all the material in my binder. That easily would have cut the weight of my backpack in half. It also would have allowed me to bring even more references and resources to keep at my fingertips.

On the other hand, in the dealer’s room I bought Deadlands Reloaded and Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition and got Shane to sign them both, plus the SW hardback rulebook I’d packed for the trip. On top of that, Clint signed my copy of SWex as well. If I’d had e-books, then I couldn’t have walked away with those personalized mementos from the authors. I suppose I might have had them sign a piece of paper, scanned it in, and somehow attached it to the e-book. I shouldn’t have to say that this is a pretty clunky solution at best.

However, as far as I’m concerned this is still moot. I still haven’t found an e-book reader that meets my standards. The Sony Reader is edging there, but it’s still a couple of generations away. (Incidentally, the 1st generation is was on sale for $99, most likely to clear the warehouses for the 2nd generation.) When it comes to e-readers, I don’t want an all-in-one device like the iphone. I’ve decided I’d rather have a dedicated reader device that does that job well. I want a screen the size of a paper tablet, with no more than double the weight. Needless to say it needs to render text and illustrations crisply. It needs to read the new e-pub format as well as text files and PDF without a lot of hassles with conversion. It needs wifi so I don’t have to physically connect to my desktop to transfer books. That means it needs a file manager. It also needs to support USB so I can attach a thumb drive and transfer books. It needs to have respectable battery life–certainly much better than a laptop.

Once someone makes this device–and makes it affordable–then I might just be tempted to forgo those autographed books in favor of a library at my fingertips. How about you?

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2 Comments

Comment by Jerry
2007-07-18 15:56:52

We could have gor pdfs of both rule books and all of our mods are on pdf. The only qustion would be battery power for our laptops.

I sure did hate lugging those books. I need a smaller camera with a longer lens too.

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Comment by Prest0
2007-07-18 16:01:43

That’s basically what Ed did, but the weight was such that he gave up carrying it by Friday. That’s why a laptop isn’t really the ideal solution. I want a slender, lightweight e-ink device the size of a notepad.

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