October 22, 2003

little ebooks

I just read in TidBITS that they're trying a new format. Adam Engst and the staff write the weekly email newsletter for Macheads essentially as a labor of love. They also write how-to-be-a-computer-geek books for (presumably) more money. They've now combined the two, or rather, invented something in between: Take Control ebooks. The idea is that we often need more information on a piece of software than the manual provides (or in the case of OS X, the nonexistent manual) but that we don't want to fork over a twenty for some big clunky book that takes up too much space on our shelves and will be obsolete within the year. Thus, short techie ebooks in PDF format. Easily updatable, right where you need them (with your computer at all times) and cheaper too, at five bucks a pop.

It's interesting. The web has changed the way I search out information, especially pertaining to computers. My first resource is always Google, my second is to search forums, and only then if I run dry do I go out and find a book on the subject. But of course random web pages and forum denizens aren't always as expert as one would like and you probably won't find what you want -- everything you want -- in one place. An ebook does seem easier all around while still fitting into the new paradigm of finding everything at your fingertips. You even download the things, after all. But I'm not sure five dollars is the sweet spot for this convenience. Two or three, absolutely. Five I have to think about for a minute longer. I'm sure I'll buy a few of these new books, though, if only to support the concept and the authors. I like this group and what they stand for. And I'd like to see them succeed in this.

Posted by Tamar at October 22, 2003 11:36 PM