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Having used both conventional "paper" books and digital e-books, I've found that paper books lack a most convenient feature that their electronic counterparts have - search capabilities. Example - I'm looking for something in my O'reilly Perl book, a reference to changing the perl stack using C. It's
not in the table of contents, nor the index, but I do know the word "fiddle" is in the paragraph. I'm screwed.
This device would be about the same size as a tin of Altoids but thinner, with an LCD display touchscreen on the whole of the face. In input mode the LCD shows a little querty keyboard with can be tapped with something small like a pen. When you put in your search string (in my case the word "fiddle") the LCD displays all of the pages with that word on it.
The device is purchased seperately, and can hold several books worth of info. When you purchase the paper book you are given an access code to a download section of the publisher's website. From there you can download the book's data directly into the device, through your PC or MAC via a USB port.
Why not just use your Palm Pilot or an E-Book? Because the search device would be made & sold very cheaply, and is much smaller than the other two devices.
By the way - found the page after all. Page 542.
Coming soon to an Amazon.com near you...
Not obvious from the online article, but the pictures in the paper make it clear that you will get numbered .pdf page views in response to your search. An electronic index for real world books, albeit online rather than in a handheld device.
[Btw, account required to view story, but membership is free and requires no personal information.] [DrCurry, Oct 04 2004]
Amazon also started this service about the same time
[DrCurry, Aug 20 2006]
||"Why not just use your Palm Pilot or an E-Book? Because the search device would be made & sold very cheaply, and is much smaller than the other two devices."
||jutta - the whole idea is to have something that goes with the book. Good luck using the publisher's website while you're on the bus.
||phoenix - prove what? this is a theoretcal device.
||It never ceases to amaze me how frequently an idea for something is posted here, and a few days later some company announces a new initiative for that very product, or one very similar. I have never been able to decide if it is some Halfbaked form of insider trading, or a meme thing.
||Anyway, frakamazog, Amazon has heard your plaint and taken pity on you. (See link.)