Monthly Archives: September 2011

Thought for Friday

Kindle 3

Kindle 3

Library books via the Kindle in the US, will the service arrive in the UK any time soon?

Over on Wired is a report on Amazon’s April announcement that US owners of the Kindle will be able to borrow e-books from their local libraries.

Wired goes on to say:

It’s a good thing for readers, because they’ve got access to more free content. It’s a good thing (I hope) for libraries, who can reach or reconnect with a wide range of patrons in different media. (Let’s hope whatever deal they struck with Amazon doesn’t prove ruinous, or gets slashed back by budget-busting administrative and government crusaders.)

Over in The Guardian was a quote from the American Libraries Association:

A recent report revealed research showing that 72% of public libraries offer ebooks and 5% of American adults own an ebook reader. The ALA said that ebooks account for only a small percentage of borrowed items from most libraries, but they are the fastest-growing segment: the Chicago Public Library, it said, doubled its circulation of ebooks from 17,000 in 2009 to more than 36,000 in 2010.

I don’t know if Amazon has plans to introduce this facility via UK libraries and I wonder whether it would be a good thing for our libraries or not, particularly the way local libraries are currently facing such severe cuts. Maybe this is a way to provide libraries with much-needed revenue.

… and the BBC had this to say:

Nevertheless, the dominant position of Kindle in the e-book market is likely to raise the profile of library lending.

“I am in favour of anything that gives readers an opportunity to read more books via a library system,” said Phil Bradley, vice president of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

If any librarians reading this post have an opinion on this topic, perhaps you could respond to this post.

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Iconic Photographs Recreated with Legos

If you like Lego and famous photographs this one is for you. Brilliant!

lego pic


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Apple of my eye. Part 2

What Micro Magazine April 1989

What Micro Magazine April 1989

In my last post I wrote about how the Macintosh SE/30 was to become my first personal computer. A good friend who was a computer enthusiast and an article in What Micro magazine (see above) had helped me ‘see the light’ and now my mind was made up.

Back in 1989 the price for this model was a staggering £3,420.00 for the basic SE/30 4/20. I knew even back then that I would need more RAM for graphic work and so the 4/40 version was going to be the dream machine for me. (by the way that’s 40 megabytes and not gigabytes).

Macintosh SE/30

Macintosh SE series

Although the Macintosh shipped with an elegant operating system (version 6.0.3) and with the wonderful Hypercard software, see my earlier post.  I needed far more if I was to begin to use this kit professionally  for graphic design work.

My Hypercard software disk

My Hypercard software disk

Aldus PageMaker was the software for the digital page layout at the time and early versions of Illustrator and Freehand existed but the costs were mounting and besides, a new player had emerged – QuarkXpress.

I took a long look at Quark and decided this was the package for me and along with SuperPaint and WriteNow this became my first computer-based electronic studio. A few extra Postscipt Type 1 fonts and a laser printer for proofing and that was it.

I could undoubtably buy a top spec Mac and throw in all the industry standard design software and peripherals for the same price that I parted with back in ’89 but nothing will replace the thrill of working with this kit back in those days. After producing graphic work with conventional equipment for years this really was akin to magic.

In case anyone thinks that all this expense and time spent teaching myself new techniques and mastering software was just for fun, it wasn’t anything of the sort. It was survival.

At the time there was talk of the end of graphic designers and that compositors would end up doing all our work. In the end the reverse was true. Choosing the right kit in the late eighties and early nineties was a matter of survival and I personally know of companies who went to wall after choosing the wrong equipment.

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