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The Scariest Phrase Frank Has Ever Heard

Published on July 26, 2019

Frank bemoans the loss of ebook access by Microsoft users who were told that “The books will stop working.”

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By Laurens Leurs on Jul 26, 2019

I went through the same experience when Palm closed their ereader store many years ago. That's why all the ebooks I buy get their DRM stripped off and then they are saved in the open ePub format. That way I can still enjoy reading books I bought over a decade ago. Installing the conversion software, adding the decoders and doing all that work is admittedly not for everyone. Printed books are more convenient but if my house ever burns down, all the printed books will be gone while the two offsite backups of all my ebooks will still be there.


By William Ray on Jul 26, 2019

Get everything into ePub. Free tools are available to do a drag and drop conversion into open formats.

I keep everything on two NAS drives, a private cloud and a UNIX server.

This is not a "library of Alexandria" problem as tagging formats -- XML derivatives -- are easily converted to different tags via lookup tables.

BTW, never buy PDF books as they are a digital rock in the stream.

Tying content to a proprietary device is illogical -- from the user point of view -- and represents a business decision on the part of the vendor that should be punished economically. You don't buy printing or paper but, rather, content.


By Hal Hinderliter on Jul 26, 2019

Love ya Uncle Frank, but you're wrong to say that "e-books are the problem." DRM is the problem here, just as you've identified. People who have a broad range of disabilities (blindness, low vision, dyslexia, etc.) are best served by EPUB books, which is based on a format first developed by advocates for the blind. PDFs are not the answer, due to a long list of accessibility issues. On the bright side, it's nice to know that Bill Ray continues to always be right :)


By greg Patt on Jul 26, 2019

Soon "reading" will be outdated.

Direct download to your brain.

I look forward to it.


By William Ray on Jul 29, 2019

Ironically, Hal, Microsoft pushed an XML variant years ago. Not just for ebooks but something else -- Word.

Using a tagged data file makes user data more robust to the software version changes that plagued Microsoft at the time.


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