The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Thursday, 04 December 2003]

Reading books on the Palm

A Hymn Before Battle is the first novel I’ve read entirely on a Palm Pilot, thanks to the foresight and hipness of Baen Books. A Hymn Before Battle is part of the Aldenata ISO–a compilation of 20 Baen books given away completely for free. As a reader who has already put quite a bit of lucre in Baen’s coffers, I couldn’t applaud this move more. In this age of media companies attempting more and more draconian measures to protect their profits, it’s so nice to see a company trust its customers.

Since military SF and fantasy as genres lend themselves to book series, it adds a lot of value to me as a customer to get the first book in a series for free to sample it. Which, when you think about it, is the clichéd drug dealer strategy for obtaining customers. The first one’s free.

Baen doesn’t employ any kind of harebrained digital resource management (DRM) schemes. You can do whatever you want with the material on the Aldenata ISO, except sell it. Very cool.

To my surprise, reading a novel on the Palm Pilot actually worked out really well. The small screen size really doesn’t encumber the experience very much, and it’s infinitely handier to pack a bunch of novels on the Palm than to carry them in physical form.

As the father of an 18-month-old, the Palm format actually rocks. I can bring the Palm with me to various rooms as my offspring goes through her peregrinations, then take it with me for a quick hit of prose when standing in line. Couldn’t I do the same with a paperback? Sure. But the Palm has one killer feature the paperback lacks: Backlighting. Dimly lit rooms are no longer an impediment. Behold! I make fire!

UPDATE: For those too lazy to google, the Baen Free Library is found here.

Music: “Hymn” by Ultravox

« Review: A Hymn Before Battle


Enjoy the ten latest posts!

Book roundup, part 27

Includes Hollywood Dead, Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood, The Court of Broken Knives, and Port of Shadows.

To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle

“Cancel everything. You’re going into emergency surgery today”

Nic has a retinal tear and has his vision is saved by a laser.

Book roundup, part 26

Includes The Storm Before the Storm, White Trash, Calypso, Tell the Machine Goodnight, Prince of Fools, and Provenance.

Renewing the nerd card: Installing Ubiquiti UniFi in the house

The Internet tells Nic to install Ubiquiti gear in his house, so he does, and now he has thoughts.

The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism

Working in the pod mines

What I wish I’d known when I started podcasting.

It is impossible for a person to begin to learn what he already thinks he knows

Smell the Foam Finger

Nic starts a new podcast about—gasp!—American sports.

Book roundup, part 25

Mostly excellent non-fiction in this installment. Includes Fantasyland, The Miracle of Dunkirk, Das Reich, The Undoing Project, Waiting for the Punch, Vacationland and Points of Impact.