Anxious Mo-Fo

An anxious m*********** from Seattle

Reading Gibbon on an iPod

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As it turns out, it’s less unpleasant than you might think. The application I’m using to read it, Eucalyptus, has reasonably good typography, and does a number of things to fake reading an actual book–including a mesmerizing page-turning animation which, after using it for months, I can’t stop playing with. It doesn’t do a number of things it should do, like providing a mechanism for searching in the book you’re reading, or allowing you to add your own bookmarks. It costs about ten dollars, which seems like a lot until you use Stanza or the iPhone Kindle reader.

The typography isn’t perfect, but it’s miles ahead of what you get with the other readers. Unlike the other readers I mentioned (and unlike the web browser you’re using to read this with), Eucalyptus hyphenates, which, sadly, is something of a rarity with digital text. Any typesetting system for print which did not hyphenate would be considered a toy, but, for some reason, if the text is displayed onscreen it’s considered perfectly excusable to leave that out. Even twenty years later.

The iPod Touch has a reasonably high-resolution screen, it fits in my pocket, and, because I already owned it, the only cost was the ten dollars for the reader software–which, as it turns out, is cheaper than buying Gibbon in hardcover.

Written by JPP

August 17, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Posted in Books

Tagged with ,

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