CS and the real world (seen on slash)

quote from http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2054932&cid=35621288 :

"This is a CS program we are talking about. Much like economics, in these disciplines the real world is often considered a special case."



of winks and nooks...

So I finally got myself an ebook reader.  I'd been thinking about it for a while, but when my brother got a "wink" reader, I jumped.  In short order, I'd asked my other brother (currently temporarily in the land of the un-free) to get me a Barnes and Noble Nook.

My only reason was that it has a real browser.  Turns out the browser is more than somewhat crippled -- it can't even manage the redirection from chamarty.net to sitaramc.blogspot.com!

Getting stuff onto the device

It won't let you download anything using the browser either -- the only way to get PDFs and EPUBs on the box is either from B&N or via USB.

The wink, on the other hand, doesn't have a browser, for all practical purposes anyway.  What it does have is an email client, which -- surprise -- lets you download stuff to the device.  So you have two ways to get stuff onto the device, which is nice.

Deleting stuff you already read

The Nook will let you delete content from the device's interface.  The wink won't; you have to do it from a host computer via USB.

Reading oddball stuff

The biggest thing the wink has is that the reader software is much better than on the Nook (gasp!)  Firstly, it actually supports rotated reading for wide text if you want to do that, which is quite useful for some comics and cartoons.  Secondly, it does not force everything into "reflow" mode.  Of course, zooming while not in reflow mode makes a document wider than the screen and you have to pan left to right for every sentence, but at least it allows you to do that (this is important for figures in PDFs, for instance).

The Nook forces reflow on everything so it is crap at PDFs with bulleted lists, indents, tables, and such.


Now that i realise the browser isn't that great, about the only thing the Nook has going for it is the hardware quality.  It feels a little better built, and the buttons (there are only 4 by the way) have an "embedded" feel to them.  The wink's keyboard is bad -- sometimes you have to hit twice for a button to register, and sometimes you hit once and it registers twice.  (I guess a statistician would say that on the average the keyboard works fine then!)

I didn't get much of a chance to compare battery life but I suspect the Nook is crap.  I'm getting far, far, less than what the ads and even reviews led me to believe.  I'll have to wait till my usage stabilises somewhat, because the color LCD at the bottom is definitely a huge drain!


Oh yeah -- the other reason I like the nook is it actually has a device password.  There may be ways to get around it, but at least it'll keep out casual snooping...


Nook: if you absolutely need a password protected device.  And/or you absolutely need a browser, even if it can't do most sites.
Wink: if you want to be able to receive content via email while on the road without your own laptop.  And/or you want a better reader software in general (subjective opinion)


Indian English strikes again

Just saw a very detailed account of a wedding.  There was lavish
description of dress, decorations, and food, and the narration of the
ceremony included this:

"And the chanting of Mantras became louder, the sound of Shennai [sic]
became shriller and on dot [sic] at [elided] each of them placed the
Jeela Karra Bellam on the other's heads and the marriage was

I want to say to him: I do not think it means what you think it means.

Would have been *totally* appropriate too, since he also said the
bride looked like a princess ;-)