Monday, March 06, 2006 10:41 PM rporter

I Love Ebooks!

I just bought my 150th book in the Microsoft Reader format from Simon Says Shop. I love reading books on my Pocket PC as it is always with me and I get a well lit, easy to read typeface, and a good book where ever I go.

I do have a complaint about Simon Says Shop, though. They changed their entire user interface last October. Since then:

  1. It is extremely hard to find older books. I am working my way through the Starfleet Corps of Engineers series and to get to where I am (#41 June 2004) I had to search on the title of the book I just finished, then work my way to the next book. (FYI I think this is fixed now, I was finally able to search for Starfleet Corps of Engineers and find the whole series in reverse order again).
  2. Instant gratification has been removed. I used to be able to load up my cart with several books, go to the checkout, log in, pay, then download. Now they have inserted a processing step between the purchase and the download. It is as if the book haulers union said, "Hey, you can't deliver books without us handling them first! We'll have none of that!" As such I have to wait several minutes to an half an hour before I can download my purchase.
  3. The download process is onerous. Once the books are available to be downloaded, I get this screen with pretty download buttons. Click the button of the book you want, up pops a page contains secure and unsecure info warning, then click yes to allow, another secure unsecure warning pops up, then another and you finally get your download. Have another book to download? No problem, you just have to work your way back through the secure/unsecure maze and select another. I finally started right-click new windowing it to reduce it to just three affirmations per download.

That said, I heartily recommend the Starfleet Corps of Engineers series. It reminds me a lot of what it is like to be a Systems Engineer on today's computers!

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