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September 27, 2002

If I Were an Editor 6 redux

I made a major breakthrough today in my technological evolution which made me think of your posting, "The E-book Revolution." I actually ordered a book online from Amazon, and took delivery about an hour later.

Well, actually, it was potentially ready for delivery an hour later; I had to download Microsoft "Reader" and then install and activate it. (Activating the software, by the way, involves telling lots and lots of information about yourself to Microsoft.) Anyway, after fooling around for about half an hour (and getting help from my staff computer professional) we got the Reader issue resolved, and then it only took a few minutes for the actual download.

The book when it appeared came up on my screen formatted with really little pages. I guess that makes reading it on screen easier, but the result was that there were a daunting 756 pages to this rather short screed. Trying to skim the book, I got quite tired of hitting the "forward" button which takes a few seconds to operate each flip of the page. About page 168 I thought there must be a better way to read this, but I couldn't find any way to print the book out. I grant you, that's probably just my clutziness. And anyway, not being able to print the book out was for the best because I didn't really want to go through one-and-a-half reams of paper and three toner cartridges. It was a little frustrating when I actually found one useful sentence and I tried to block and copy it; the "copy" button appeared to be disabled. They could have just had a little sign pop-up at that point: Napster this, asshole! Ha ha ha ha ha.

On top of that the book itself--"The Culture of Opera Buffa In Mozart's Vienna: A Poetics of Entertainment"--turns out to have virtually no historical information on Viennese musical culture or even on Mozart. I mean, not even one funny anecdote about an opera singer. (How hard is it to dig up funny stories about opera singers--I ask you? The whole profession is an invitation to levity.) Let me sum up the book this way: I cannot imagine Mozart, despite a very healthy ego, managing to read this book all the way through, and it discusses more than one of his operas!

I know, I know, I got what I deserve for disobeying Book Buying Rule #248--Never purchase any book with the word "poetics" in the title.

Still, I'm feeling pretty "hip" and "groovey" about my technological prowess. That is, except for the fact that once I closed the Reader dialogue box the book disappeared and I can't find it on my hard drive anyplace. But hey, it was only $14.95--and it didn't cost me anything for shipping and handling!

The Revolution Lives, My Techno-Brothers!



posted by Friedrich at September 27, 2002


there are ways to circumvent copy protection...try googling for "sklyarov"...

Posted by: godlesscapitalist on September 28, 2002 03:35 PM

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