Baen Books Ebook CD-ROM Images

They’re here.

Here’s the host’s statement:

The Baen CDs hosted here are freely-distributable disks provided to promote the sale of the books contained within. Baen allows these CDs to be distributed not simply to provide free electronic copies of their books, but to generate sales for those same books. They are a medium of advertising.

These CDs are generally available bound into the first edition of the books they are titled for. A few of the CDs (those marked with the P prefix) are not bound in any book and were made available as publishing industry promotional material.

Please remember that just because these books are being provided at no cost does not mean that they are in the Public Domain. Just because Baen isn’t asking for any money for these copies doesn’t mean that they are giving up any of their copyrights. Copyright doesn’t mean that you have to pay for something, it means that someone legally owns the right to distribute something (or not) in any fashion they desire – including doing so at no charge. So all the rules that apply to an ebook you bought and paid for also apply to these titles.

If you download any of the disks, please take the time to go to the Baen Webscription site and buy a copy of at least the CD’s primary ebook. For a modest investment of about $6, you can buy the book, which gives you access to a downloadable copy of the CD, anyway. Or you can buy the entire Webscription month that the CD accompanies for $18 and/or buy the book in paper form.

Apple’s iPad Announcements

One of the slides Steve Jobs showed has this on it:

iPad: Our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price. Starting at $499.

I think that’s absolutely true. I’ve been lusting for the iPad for years.

image of an iPad
Credit: Gizmodo

I’ve tried to be funny about it, and patient, but this is exactly what I want. I mostly want it to read ebooks; I’m delighted that most iPhone applications will work well, and I’ve been assured by the developers of some of my favorite applications for reading stuff on the iPhone that they are going to support the larger screen asap. You can find Apple’s official iPad site here.

For those of you in a cave, here are the basics:

  • 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
  • 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch
  • 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB flash drive1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chipWireless and Cellular
  • Wi-Fi model
  • Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology
  • Digital compass

The Wifi Model comes out around the end of March, world wide; the G3 + WiFi about a month after that. In terms of pricing, the basic Wifi model with 16GB is $499.00. The 32 GB model is $599, and the 64 GB iPad is $699.00. When the 3G + WiFi models emerge, they’ll each be $130.00 more. There are two prepaid data plans from AT and T; 250MB/month for $14.99, or unlimited for $29.99.

Apple’s own accessories include a dockable keyboard, and a case.

As for me, I’d line up right now to buy one. I note that I’m not a “Apple released it; I gotta buy it” sort. The only Apple products I ever bought on initial release or earlier were my first generation 5 gig iPod (which still works, thank you very much) and my iPhone, which yes, I lined up to get. I’d buy the iPad now, were the cash available. I note, by the way, I wasn’t all that far off from what they released in this parody post from last year. I’d still like 180GB storage, and FireWire, but I’m awfully happy with what they’ve done. The two things that genuinely surprised me are the iBooks application and ebook store, and the iWork for iPhone. That’s sweet. I’m awfully excited, and off to learn more about ePub as an ebook file format; what I remember of it is that it’s not very good at internal links, images, or media handling. I’m still waiting for a media rich ebook that can do what Voyager did back in 1994 with MacBeth. I think this might be the best device I’ve seen for high quality media rich hypertext ebooks.

Take Control of Syncing Data in Leopard

Michael Cohen’s new edition of Take Control of Syncing Data in Leopard is out. You can buy and download the .pdf book from the Take Control site here. These are absolutely the best designed .pdfs of any sort I’ve every seen, and this particular book is a lucid easy to follow step by step guide to controling the way your synchable data moves between your Macs and other devices—including iPhones, iPods, PDAs and cell phones. This is a completely revised edition, from the ground up. You can buy the book for $10.00

You can read all about it here, and download a sample here.

Hypertext and Mackers

Wired has a review of multimedia artist dlsan’s HyperMacbeth. dlsan’s web-based piece of interactive performance art uses phrases from the play and places them against an annoying Flash annimation. He has also translated the Macbeth bits into Italian, and accompanied the production with music from Nine Inch Nails and others.

I hate it. Yeah, I know, it’s non-linear, it’s hypertext electronic literature, it’s art. I think it’s annoying and ugly and silly. I’d much rather look at and listen to the Mackers à la Eminem parody.

And for those of more scholarly bent, why then, you can’t do better than the Voyager Macbeth E-book CD-ROM.