While you were in the shower…

19Apr05

Things happen in the shower most of them on the kinky note. For me it is different. I’m not talking about a different kind of kinky but a different kind of ‘thing’. For some strange reason I find showering a time to think. Whenever I am in the shower the rest of the world seems not there, except when I am really in a hurry to take a bath then the shower is just that, a shower.

But when I have the leisure, the time, taking a bath gives me time to think. It is as if the warm water and the soap suds settles my mind into some kind of reverie.

Tonight’s episode of the Soap Suds Ideas was borne out of an episode from CSI. A scene where Gil Grissom (played by William Petersen) was told by Sofia Curtis (Louisse Lombard) that the magazines stacked on his desk were available online. Grissom replied, “When you read from a computer screen, you have to lean in. I like to lean back. Therefore, I prefer a hard copy.”

This made me think: why isn’t there an electronic device that has posed to replace paper books? There already are Tablet PCs but these things are heavy, cumbersome and too complicated. Then I thought of several things that would make an electronic book more acceptable.

First, it should be light. The person using the e-book shouldn’t develop cramps after 10 minutes of using it. In connection to this, the e-book reader can come in two sizes: pocket book and magazine sized (perhaps the screen is in A4 size).

Second, battery should last at least 6 hours and charges quickly. This is were Toshiba’s latest lithium-ion battery would come into play. I’ve been harping about the new lithium-ion which charges 80% of its charge in one minute. I really can’t wait to see this to start going into electronic devices like PDAs, notebooks, digital cameras and others.

Third, the device and the software simple. Let’s do away with making it into a game device, digital music player, e-book reader and camera device all-in-one. Just keep it simple. The software should be able to read PDF, text or Word files. I don’t believe in proprietary formats. It takes too long to catch on. If they do have a proprietary format they should at least allow other formats to be read. After all, PDF files are all over and it would be stupid not to use them. Maybe the e-book reader can also have a diary, address book and appointment journal but those are just it. No games. No multimedia applications.

Fourth, keep the controls simple. There will just be five buttons: menu button, selection/options button, select button, forward and backward buttons. That’s it. Do away with the idea of touch screen. It will make the device more expensive.

Fifith, develop a screen that looks like paper. What I mean by this is that the screen should reflect light the way paper does. There should be a backlight option for reading in the dark. Needless to say the backlight shouldn’t cause any glare.

Sixth, it would be preferable if the memory is flash-based rather than hard-drive based. After all there already are 2GB flash memory out there. Maybe the reader can also have a slot for memory cards. Of course there’s going to be the problem of which card to support. I won’t get into that. It gives me a headache.

Lastly, the miscellaneous things. It can either be charged using its own cradle or just an AC adapter. USB 2,0 ports, and perhaps Firewire ports as well, should be provided as well. The USB port can be used to sync data from the PC, data such as appointments and contacts.

That’s my idea of an e-book reader. I’m sure something like this will be made soon, perhaps 5 to 7 years from now. But til then, I’ll be in the shower thinking and dreaming up new things.

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