Posts tagged ‘ipod’

How to Tell Which Printing a Book is From

By Chad Upton | Editor

Books were once a luxury.

That changed with the printing press, making duplication of books faster and cheaper, which made books more accessible to common people. Eventually, public libraries made books available to everyone in a community.

The way we access books is changing again, by eReaders like the Kindle and iPad.

If you browse the Kindle forums on Amazon.com, you may notice that eBook snobs refer to normal books as DTBs (Dead Tree Books). While eBooks are a status symbol now, they may eventually be the way common people access books, making paper books a luxury once again, reserved for expensive hardcovers and collector editions.

For some people, the only books they have ever read were the ones they had to read in school. This year, many high schools and colleges are using iPads and Kindles to distribute reading materials. It’s not because they’re fancy, it’s actually quite practical.

Although the initial cost of the device is high, the cost to create and distribute electronic books is almost negligible. The cost of a Kindle ($139) is about the price of two or three large college textbooks. At that rate, the device could pay for itself in the first semester.

Because it is much cheaper, faster and easier to download books, eBooks may eventually replace paper books as the primary way we read. Like I said, the reading devices are expensive, but even if people don’t want to buy a dedicated device, chances are good they already own one that is compatible. Amazon has already made software that allows Kindle books to be downloaded and read on Windows and Mac computers, iPads and iPods, along with all of the major smartphone platforms (iPhone, Blackberry and Android).

The future of books may be eBooks. In the meantime, it’s hard to know how popular paper books are, unless you know this secret.

When a book is printed for the first time, the publisher doesn’t know how well it will sell. They print a limited number of books to minimize the risk of their investment. If the book sells well, they can always print more.

Most publishers list the number of the printing in an ambiguous format on the publishers copyright page near the front of the book. They put the numbers 1 through 10 on their own line near the bottom of the copyright page. Sometimes, they’re in left to right order from 1 to 10. Other times, the numbers alternate from left side to right side, with 10 in the center.

The lowest number you can see on this line is the printing that the book is from. When a book goes into its second printing, the number 1 is removed. On the third printing, the number 2 is removed and so on.

1st Printing

9th Printing

12th Printing

You can see that the numbers alternate from left to right. They sometimes do that so the remaining numbers stay centered without adjusting the printing of the remaining numbers. If you see them in a book and they are not alternated, the remaining numbers will be off to one side instead of being centered (they don’t normally adjust the type to re-center it).

Sometimes, printings are confused with editions. A book may go through many printings and still be considering the “First Edition.” Generally, the edition doesn’t change unless the content in the book or the publisher changes.

The images above are from one of my favorite books, The Book of Awesome. As you can see, this book has been extremely successful — it’s in its 12th printing! Frankly, it is an awesome book and I’m not just saying that because I’m trying to be funny or because I’m in the book — the sales speak for themselves, it is a great book.

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Sources: Travelin Librarian, Between the Covers, Wikipedia (Books), Kotaku

September 24, 2010 at 2:00 am 3 comments

Free Text Messaging on iPhone and iPod Touch

By Chad Upton | Editor

Update: After many problems with PingChat!, I’d be hesitant to recommend it any longer. WhatsApp seems to be the best alternative at this time. It’s available for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Nokia (Symbian).

I know this is pretty specific to iPhone and iPod touch users, but with 50 million iPhones sold and 35 million iPod touches, there are 85 million of you out there.

Ever since the introduction of the iPhone 3GS and the 3.0 Operating System last year, push notifications have been available to iPhone users. Basically, these are real time messages that can be sent to your phone from Apple’s notification server.

The best part about these messages is that they’re free and your iPhone or iPod touch can be on standby or in any application when you receive them.

There are lots of applications (“apps”) that use this feature. For example, the facebook app (free) will buzz your phone with a notification when someone sends you a message or comments on a photo…etc.

The associated press (free) app will give you push notifications when breaking news is happening, allowing you to tune in and catch the car chase live or see the story as it’s unfolding.

One of the most practical uses for this feature is instant messaging. My favorite text messaging application for iPhone is PingChat! (Ping! Lite is also available for free). This app is great if you text a lot but don’t want to pay for it.

PingChat! works just like the native text messaging application on iPhone, except all your messages are free. With the paid version, which only costs $0.99, you can send pictures too. This app also works for iPod Touch users, so you can text message them when they are on a wifi network.

PingChat! is like Blackberry Messenger for iPhone — users within the blackberry network can message each other for free with Blackberry Messenger.

Since I have a lot of friends outside the US, this is a great way for us to keep each other up-to-date with the little things and avoid the $0.50/message SMS cost for international texts.

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May 20, 2010 at 5:00 am 43 comments

iPhone and iPod Tricks

Apple has sold 50 million iPhones and 35 million iPod touch devices, so there are a lot of people who can benefit from these secrets.

This is by no means a complete list, but I wanted to provide some of the most useful and least well known iPhone tricks. Most of this list also applies to the iPod touch; if you know someone with one of these, be sure to send them a link to this article.

Double Click the Home Button

The button on the front of the phone is called the “home” button. You can choose what happens when you double click it. Mine is set to go to my phone favorites, making it quicker to dial my people. You can get to this screen by going to Settings > General > Home.

As you can see on the option screen above, there is an option for “iPod Controls.” When those are on and the phone is in standby mode (blank screen), you can double click the home button to see the current song/artist/album cover and show audio controls (volume/forward/back/play/pause) — see below for example. If you want to fast forward or rewind, hold the forward/back buttons respectively.

(more…)

May 3, 2010 at 12:11 am 19 comments

Keeping Headphones Untangled

Walking, flying, train and bus riding — these are some of the most inane, meaningless and repetitive activities that you may do. Many people do them everyday, even twice or more. Headphones, and the devices they’re connected to, make these activities more enjoyable, memorable and sometimes even meaningful.

I’ve spent my fair share of time commuting in planes, trains and automobiles, but few of these experiences were memorable. Even fewer were memorable in a good way. But, I’ll never forget the bus ride when I first listened to the song, “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie. I had played the song dozens of times before, but this was the first time I really listened to it. (more…)

April 7, 2010 at 11:32 pm 2 comments


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