Wednesday, May 29, 2013


The Tandy TRS 80 model 1, launched in 1977 (from: Old-Computers)

"In late 1999, Microsoft created an ad for its upcoming 'Microsoft Reader' software. The headline blared, 'This is a story about the future of reading,' and underneath the story about the company's actual product, the marketers inserted a timeline based on 'the best estimates of Microsoft researchers and developers' of what was going to happen to books in the future.
     The Microsoft Reader product was unremarkable and did not drive a revolution in the book marketplace. But the predictions! They're fascinating, particularly in how they attempt to anticipate the backlash and counterarguments to the increasing ubiquity of e-books that they forecast. It will not surprise you that they were overly optimistic, but interestingly, these are some of the few specific predictions that seem to have gotten better as they reached further into the future. Normally, the opposite is true. Let's go through them…."
— Alexis Madrigal, The Atlantic, (via Yahoo!)

Rocket-eBook (from: Lybrary)
"In 1998 an innovative startup, NuvoMedia, introduced the Rocket-eBook, the first successful true ebook reader. Before the Rocket-eBook the only option were PDAs [Personal Digital Assistants] such as the line of PalmPilots, Franklin's eBookMan (a somewhat more ebook friendly PDA), etc.
     The Rocket-eBook was overall a big success and largely responsible for the first wave of ebook enthusiasm riding along the Internet bubble. The screen was about the size of today's popular e-ink readers from Sony and Amazon. At that time E-ink was in its infancy and NuvoMedia had to resort to standard LCD screens. However, for 1998 the b/w screen was pretty nifty and very good for reading purposes. Remember the only other option were tiny PDA screens or heavy 'schlepptops'. They even had a touch screen and it worked for 10 to 20 hours on one charge."

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