brni (brni) wrote,

In Defense of Mr. Ludd

I am often suspicious of new technologies. This has saved my ass on many occasions. I read my email with a program called Pine, which, when the Internet involved dialing in to a terminal server, and then telnetting to a unix machine, was one of the ways to read mail. Another mailer was called Elm, and another (bloated) one was called Emacs. And of course, if you were on a 1200 baud modem, you could just use the unix default mailer ('mail') or cat your mail spool and read your mail as it scrolled across the screen.

This has saved me from all the MS Outlook vulnerabilities, especially the ones where the mailer cleverly auto-ran visual BASIC scripts that installed viruses on your computer.

I also tend to use my phone more as a phone than an always-present internet app device.

I don't have a kindle. Or a nook. Or an iPad. (Or even an iPod - though my sony walkman still plays cassettes).

So, here I am, trying to put together an e-reader friendly version of the magazine. I actually managed to put together a reasonably decent design, exported it to pdf. It looks good. People I'm not related to have said so. But when I exported to ePub format, it got all screwed up. It put titles and by-lines at the end of stories. It clustered the images used as section dividers at the end of the story (but before the authors' names).

It is, frankly, weird.

And kindle? From what I can see, they recommend exporting everything to a word doc, and then saving as html. That sounds almost guaranteed to lose layout.

Anyone have any experience formatting ebooks? It looks like it'd work out okay for things that are basically text only, but less so for anything where layout is actually meaningful.
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