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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    Tuesday
    Apr142009

    Tech Tuesday: At Last... Reading on a Netbook

    Wouldn't it be great if a mini-notebook, or netbook, could do duty as a Kindle-like book reader? This feature would add even more value to the already tiny but full-featured computer. I knew I could use my new HP Mini for email, Internet, and my geneaology software, but I didn't realize the high frustration of reading an ebook on the horizontal 9 x 5.5-inch screen. All that scrolling just to read a paperback-size page of text is no fun at all. Wouldn't it be nice if I could just turn the netbook on end and read in portrait-view?

    My library subscribes to a popular lending library program for ebooks. By accessing their Digital Library, I can check out both audio and ebook content. Audio programs are available in a variety of formats, but ebooks are available only as Digital Rights Managment (DRM) copy protected files that can only be viewed on Adobe Digital Editions reader. This is a nice little reader with severe limitations... The netbook screen is oriented in "landscape" mode, but if I turn the little netbook on its end holding the mouse/keypad side in my right hand, I could easily read a book in the more natural "portrait" mode and access the touchpad mouse to "turn" the pages. Alas, it was not to be.

    While the full Adobe Reader will allow page rotation, this capability has not yet come to Digital Editions, and Adobe Reader cannot access the DRM files. (Reader 7 will allow both rotation and DRM, but as it is no longer supported, a user must be using an original version.)

    Dan Ackerman at Kindle City must have felt my pain. "Kindle, schmindle...I've got your $350 e-book reader right here" he writes, with a free application called EeeRotate, designed for the Acus Eee PC, but that also works on amy PC.

    I tried it out first on my laptop computer and hit the magic key combination -- Ctrl, Alt, Rt Arrow. The entire screen, not just the active window, rotated on its side. Hey, couldn't you use it to view an entire document in a more natural format? Wouldn't this be useful if you were transcribing and wanted to see a full page? I think I like this!

    On the HP Mini, I am now reading a DRM library book -- sideways. Life is good.

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    Reader Comments (1)

    May 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThomas MacEntee

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