On my way to O’Reilly TOC 2009

I’m writing this post on flight LH412 to Newark. It’s the first post I’m actually writing on the iPhone (with the WordPress app) so bear with the typos.

The next three days I’m going to attend the O’Reilly tools of change for publishing conference in order to learn more about the technical and business aspects of ebook publishing.

I’m glad I’m going to be there on time because arriving at Hamburg airport I recognized that my actual flight booking was for yesterday. Thankfully a very nice lady at the lufthansa ticketing desk changed the ticket although it wasn’t 100% eligible :-)

so hopefully I will still have my hotel room reservation. I gave them notice (via email) from Hamburg airport so it should name available (fingers crossed)

So from Monday to Wednesday I’m going to be at the Marriott Marquis at Times Square. Monday is the tutorial day, Tuesday and wednesday are the actual comference days.

I’m very much looking forward to it. Right now I don’t know too much about the book and ebook industry. I’ll definitely learn a lot about it in the coming days. Since I’m working for a news agency obviously I’m most interested in news and newspaper related aspects of all this.

Although not very knowledgefulabout the industry, i have a fairly long history with ereading devices. Back in 2000 (or was it 2001?) as part of my job at the Bertelsmann technology think tank I had access to a RocketBook AFAIR it was the first eReading device that tried to attract to the masses. It didn’t and rightfully so.

I also had/have access to one of first iLiad devices (as part of dpa’s membership in IFRA’s enews programme). Longtime readers of this blog know that I’m not enthused about this device (and eink based ereaders in general)

My basic objections to these devices are that they are mainly monofunctional devices that in addition have the problem that the economies of scale make them expensive compared e.g to smartphones and netbooks

Hence my favorite ereading devices right now are the iphone / iPod touch. ( with my dream device being a iphone
Is based device with a screen diagonal of 8 – 10 inches weighting around a pound. Alternatively I’ll take am Android based one.

In order to evaluate book reading on tv iPhone further (I already read a couple) I decided to take it to the extreme. I started to read the original 18th century version of Kant’s Kritik der reinen Vernunft. The rational was that if I’m able to read this I should be able to read pretty much everything. Right now
I’m into chapter 3 (of 26) and I guess that my reading experience is about 70-80% of the book reading experience.

The main problem arises from the length of the 18th century german sentences which are very often longer than a screenful.

My assessment of the ereader market is very much in line with John Syracusa’s recent article at ArsTechnica. I’ll definitely recommend it to everybody interested in the subject. He can definitely put it better into words than I can do it. I’m looking forward to hear his talk at the conference.

Of all wink based devices the kindle is definitely the best one on the market right now. It is not purely monofunctional and brings the whole
Whole ecosystem including store and wireless connection with it. But right now it is restricted to the states because of it’s use of the EVDO network and is dead ugly.

At least the latter should be remedied with the new kindle. With some luck I might be able to attend the Amazon press conference on Monday evening which is rumored to take the wraps off.

PS.: if somebody is interested in meeting me while in NY, just send me a tweet at gkamp