Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

January 13th, 2008:

Odd Lots

  • Bob Halloran wrote to remind me that dual-booting Windows and Linux on a single hard drive is easy—but you have to install Windows first. When you install Linux it will see the Windows partition and configure grub so that grub will allow you to choose either OS when the hard drive's MBR gets control. If you install Linux and then Windows, Windows will overwrite the MBR with its own stuff, and grub will be gone. I'm going to try this with a couple of Linux installs alongside Windows (I want both Ubuntu and Kubuntu on that drive, at minimum) and will report back here in detail as to how it goes.
  • From Engadget comes a report of a prototype ebook reader (including handwriting recognition) shown without any explanation at the recent CES. This looks damned good to me, and is worth watching, at least in part because it's not tiny. I do not want a tiny ebook reader. I want something that shows an 8 1/2″ X 11″ page full-size. The dimensions on this gizmo are unclear, but it's sure as hell bigger than a cell phone. I'll trade a keyboard for a stylus, but I want the display to be at least letter-sized. (And I want a photovoltaic panel on the back to charge it when I'm not using it!)
  • There's nothing whatsoever preventing a piece of software from rendering a PDF ebook as reflowable text, and we're starting to get hints that Adobe may provide that ability, at least for the Sony Reader. This will allow people with big displays to read an ebook as pages, and people going crosseyed on small displays to read an ebook five words at a time. It should be the reader's choice, and I'm annoyed that that ability was not there from the beginning of PDF time.
  • Finally, I'm going in for serious gum surgery tomorrow morning, and I do not plan to be fully present intellectually for a couple of days. Do not look for a Contra entry before Thursday, but if you see one, it means I'm in better shape than I expected to be.