I’m now electronically literate.

This past week my eBookwise 1150 e-book reader arrived and I’ve been familiarizing myself with it and finding my way through all the glitches and problems that invariably come with new equipment and software. For example I bought the eBookwise Librarian software as well so that I could upload my own writing into the reader without having to wait for release date of the novel and getting the formatted file from my publisher.

The instructions for adding ones own files to the reader are on the website as well as being downloadable, so it seemed as if it would be a simple process. However, it was only when the software failed to perform that I delved into more information to learn that the computer running the software has to also be running Word 2000 or later as well in order to convert doc and rtf files. Since I don’t use Microsoft’s contribution to world illiteracy, I had a problem. Eventually I settled for doing what my publisher does and convert the files to html, which doesn’t require any additional help to convert.

Even that presented a problem, because my replacement computer runs on Windows XP and the version of Word Perfect (12) that I needed for it is a version produced since Microsoft bought 50% of Corel. I find that the later version of the formerly superior Word Perfect software has been degraded in several areas – clearly in order to reduce its level of superiority over Word. WP 12 has no function to save WP files in html – which the earlier versions have. I had to open my WP files in Sun Microsystem’s Open Office and convert them to html there. Another reason to pray for the rapid destruction and bankruptcy of Microsoft and its evil minions.

I managed to run afoul of the Fictionwise system as well yesterday. A publisher had set up a free gift card of a title I had offered to review and my understanding of the instructions – written in the most cryptic form of Nerdese that one could imagine – seemed to tell me to download the Half VGA.IMP file and use the Librarian software to place the file into the 1150. Doesn’t work – perhaps I’m running into the need for Word again, or else some other Microsoft plot to prevent quick and simple computing. When I have another hour to waste, I’ll track down the source of this problem too and find a work-around. Fictionwise sent me a customer questionnaire later asking, among other things, how to improve their system. I told them what I thought of their awkward website with its alien designed processes. Perhaps I should have told them to have a literate human being, over the age of 50, write all their instructions in logical form in English.

So – now to go onto something that’s not bitching. I joined Blogcritics this week and my first post, a piece of satire, can be found at http://blogcritics.org/archives/2008/07/09/130843.php . After a week of frustration with software and gadgets satire seemed the appropriate way to unwind. I’ve not got around to starting my next post there, but I’ve already had two comments on the piece, a better that 100% improvement over the comment rate for this blog. I will likely post everything I write to Blogcritics first and then either link or re-post here later.

I think I will begin a new survey of e-readers, since the discussion on them I started on BLDG98 disappeared when the site folded. If you have any experiences with e-readers to impart, please add them here or send them to kwhyte2@gmail.com . Thanks.

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