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Electronic Media Reporting

Archaeology of e-reading
Jak Boumans BA, MDiv.

Nov. 5, 2014

Presentation
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Archaeology of digital media


The book and the e-book
The search for e-book concepts
The slate
Future concepts
Conclusions

Archaeology of digital media


Race to the future and history (Wendy Hui
Kyong Chun

2014

1977

Archaeology of digital media


Dig out secret pathsto find our way into a
future (Zielinski)
The past is brought to the present and the present
to the past; both inform and explain each other,
raising questions and pointing to futures that may or
may not be (Erkki Huhtamo and Jussi Parikka)

Archaeology of digital media


A threefold approach:
a. untimely machines and products;
b. conceptual machines and products;
c. impossible machines and products.
(Eric Kluitenberg)

The book

The e-book

Cover
Pages
Content
Print
Analogue
Passive

e-Reader
File(s)
Content
Electronic
Digital
Can be activated
(links, dictionary,
annotations, sharing
fragments)

Threefold approach to the


archaeology of e-book
1. The search for e-book concepts
2. Slate concept
3. Future concept

1. The search for e-book concepts


a. Memex by Vannevar Bush (1945)
b. Gutenberg Project by Michael Hart (1971)
c. Coining the term e-book by Andries van Dam
(1976)

1. The search for e-book concepts


Internal memory
a. Mainframe (1950 1980)
b. Mini-computer (1970 1990)
c. PC (1975 - )

1. The search for e-book concepts


External memory
a. Chips
b. Floppy discs
c. CD-ROM

1. The search for e-book concepts


a. Following the technical development of
computers (downsizing of the machines)
b. Based consecutively on internal and
external memory
c. Content was text in ASCII (and capitals)

1. The search for e-book concepts


2. The slate
In 1968 Alan Kay designed Dynabook.
It was a computer device intended for children,
but turned out to be the prototype for an ereader , notebook and tablet.

1. The search for e-book concepts


2. The slate (screen, keyboard, stylus)
a. Sony EGB (1990)
b. e-Rocket (1997)
c. iLiad (2006)/Kindle (2007)

1. The search for e-book concepts


2. The slate (screen, keyboard, stylus)
- Audiobooks

- Variations on the book: book2book

1. The search for e-book concepts


2. The slate
E-reader
screen (b/w)
text
graphics, pics
audio
wifi

Tablet
screen (colour)
text
graphics, pics
audio
movie
wifi

1. The search for e-book concepts


2. The Slate
3. Future concepts
Technical
- Improvement of e-Ink displays into colour displays
- From glass screen to plastic screen
- Tablet

1. The search for e-book concepts


2. Slate concept
3. Future concept
- Interactive (childrens books and textbooks only?)
- Gamification of the e-book
- E-Book movie hybrid
- Personalisation (text, pics/movie)

1. The search for e-book concepts


2. The slate
3. Future concepts
- Immersive (tactile, where has Smell-O-Vision gone)
- Transmedia

Conclusions
a. The developement of the e-book has initially
followed the state of the art technology
b. The slate was a breach with the past technology
and became a steady design
c. e-Ink screen helped the break through of e-book
for Kindle
d. Content started out with text and is now
multimedia and interactive
e. Next step will be transmedia and immersive