Monday, December 12, 2005

Digital vs paper

I was delighted when I discovered that I could update my Diffusion of Innovations copy with a digital copy of the fifth edition through So now I am cursing at the system which will not let me copy it. I have tried to activate the account which should let me make back-ups of the book to other computers, but does that mean other computers by way of fetching it from amazon? It certainly does not let me copy it to a CD for backup. I could however move the whole "my ebooks" archive from the computer hard-disk to the college server, which gives me much better backup and a chance to get at books even if I change computers (which I tend to do frequently). That means, however, that I only have access to any digital books I put there for as long as I work at this college.

I tried to activate the system (an unholy alliance between Adobe and msn) which is supposed to let me copy the books from one machine to another, but when I tried to figure out how to download the whole thing to another machine, I started a new download. I have no idea if I have to pay for that or not. Most likely I now have two digital copies of the book, billed twice. Fun.

Anyway - this is an innovation, and it will take time before slow old ladies like me feel safe using the new technology. I may be a fairly early user of certain things, but the adaption process is not as quick as my practice...

Update: putting the book on the college server does not make it easier to share the book with my colleagues, for such things as for instance planning the reading lists for students or making exam questions. Installing my adobe DRM activator at another machine, which supposedly should let me move the document between machines, did not work. This makes digital editions pretty useless for professors except as last desperate call when it is impossible to find the book anywhere and we really need that citation. In that case 13$ (which this cost me) is way too much. The way digital books apparently are organised through Amazon at present they make books only consumer goods, not tools to work with. Not good enough.

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