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September 2011-Ergonomics and E-Book Readers

Presentations: Member Bayle Emlein presented ergonomics, with a focus on issues that concern computer users. (To see the details of her presentation, go to her article on ergonomics.)

After the break, member David Graham talked about wireless safety and securing one's bluetooth phone and password. He then moved on to discuss ebook readers. The three biggest sellers now are Barnes and Noble Nook, Amazon Kindle, and Kobo.

People tend to buy the bottom of the line, which doesn't necessarily have the power for good reading. There are 3 major formats: AZ (Amazon), Mobi, and ePub. Amazon has only 650,000 titles. The others have over a million. eBooks can be read on multiple platforms--tablets, phones, etc.

The main reason that batteries in eReaders last so long is that power is used only during page turns. But the page-turn buttons tend to wear out quickly. Before buying an eReader, check to be sure that its store has the authors you want to read. Also, check the connectivity and download strategy.

LED screens have some advantages over e-Ink but also some disadvantages such as overheating, poor visibility in bright light, and power demands. Tablets are multifunction devices and can download from any store.

Beware of free e-books. They often contain malware. Project Gutenberg is one safe source of free books, which are added as they go out of copyright and are scanned.

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