I bought the Kindle version (book isn’t shipping from amazon.fr yet) today.
Gus is the first person in the thank you list
I grabbed a sample, and will likely pick up a copy. From the Table of Contents, it looks quite nice!
I’m holdin’ out for the paper copy. Call me old fashioned… I find it hard to spend that kind of money for a digital book I can’t add to my bookshelf.
I’m over that. There are certain types of books that I agree are better on paper, but the convenience of digital is enormous. And for programming books, it is (IMO) very convenient to be able to have the book not just on my Kindle, but also on my PC using the reader software, which means I can copy code examples directly from the book, rather than having to type them in by hand.
I’d love a model where you could buy a physical book, and get a digital copy free (or at a large discount), but I’m not holding my breath for that.
I’d be all over that. Maybe it’s time I “grow up” and get a Kindle. I like paper books because they give my eyes a rest from looking at monitors but the Kindle seems to have nice soft contrast. But, what would I decorate my walls with?
Electronic books have some advantages, but I don’t like the idea of such a book being released on one proprietary “platform”. If there were a standard for electronic books that could be read on any platform, I would be more inclined to buy one.
Even though the book looks very interesting and useful, I won’t buy one until it is released in paperback.
@ Xykon - I skimmed the Kindle preview on Amazon and saw some really out of whack formatting in the first chapter. Instead of going left to right for a code example, the code went straight down in one column, thereby adding several unreadable and mostly blank pages. Can you confirm or deny this issue exists in your copy?
 - nevermind, seemed to be a factor of how my browser was sized.
@ ianlee74 - At work and at home I am surrounded by several trees worth of outdated geek books. The Kindle solves this problem. I can bring my entire geek library with me anywhere. OReilly (and maybe others) gives you lifetime free edition updates, as well. This alone has saved me (or my employer) cash. Searchable, on multiple devices (PC, etc), no overfilled bookshelves insulating the walls of my office… pretty decent ROI, IMHO. Now I just have to figure out how to reduce the eye strain. Visine is a good stopgap
Good point that I hadn’t really considered because until just recently there really only was one platform. If you’re going to pay full price for an eBook it definitely should be at least as portable as a paper book and accessible from any reader.
@ ransom - In complete honesty, I have nightmares of WW3 and all digital content being eliminated at the push of a button. I’m not a fan of paper books evolving and our history being so easily deleted or changed. Maybe it’s time I enrolled in a 12 step program… Having my entire library in one “book” would be nice.
I went Kindle specifically for technical stuff to save on trees. I’m with you on the rest. I read one sci-fi book on it and didn’t like the experience. As a certifiable conspiracy theorist, it’s only a matter of (little) time before “the big one” hits, in whatever form it takes, and I’m back to farming for a living. After a hard day in the fields, there’s nothing like reading a classic novel by candlelight I am literally only 2 (past) generations removed from that reality.
In addition to what @ ianlee and @ ransomhall are saying, there are these issues as well with electronic media:
[ulist]does not last forever (I have 10 year old CDs that no longer play, and I take good care of them).
tied to the hardware or operating system that they currently run on.
the manufacturer / producer may go out of business in the future.[/ulist]
or they may just stop supporting an old format. Many of them provide free updates now but what happens when a book is no longer being published?
On my Kindle reader the code examples are obviously crap but on the PC version it’s OK.
I might still grab the physical book though if I like it after reading through the digital copy.
I usually prefer physical books over electronic ones and I just got my very first Kindle reader today (it’s the old e-ink version, they don’t sell the fire in France yet) and might send it back after the trial period if I don’t like it.
Guys, I get what you’re saying in your “what-if” scenarios, but with respect to technical books, we’re talking about content with a highly limited shelf life. I think the trade-off is worth it.
Doesn’t mean I’ll stop buying paper books entirely, but the convenience is very hard to beat, particularly when I think about the amount of shelf space I’d need to store the books I’ve read during the time I’ve had my Kindle.
What’s more, if you go over to readability.com, and install their bookmarklets, you can reformat any article online (not 100%, but most articles come through great), and send to your Kindle for reading later. With a WiFi connection, there’s no cost, and it’s a MUCH better solution for this scenario than printing an article to read later. I’ve saved a bunch of paper and ink just from this alone. My only gripe on this front is that Amazon does not allow you to send “personal documents” (their term for stuff you send to your Kindle via a special email address) to your Kindle reader apps, only to physical devices.
One significant downside of programming e-books that hasn’t come up is code formatting. Some e-books I’ve read on the Kindle clearly didn’t put much effort into the conversion, and as a result, the code sections may end up with multiple line breaks that do not appear in the original material, making the code very difficult to read. It’s possible to alleviate this in the PC reader app by widening the reading area, but then you lose the advantages of e-ink. I’m hoping that as e-books continue to grow in popularity, publishers will put a little more effort into ensuring the e-book formatting is as good as or better than the printed book.
On this front, unfortunately, the NETMF book we’re discussing falls significantly short, which is a shame since it’s available on Kindle first. There are numerous blank pages, which make sense in a printed book, since often prefer to have all chapters start on the same page for easier reference, but it makes no sense at all in an e-book. I haven’t looked at many code examples in the book yet, but the first one I encountered had all the code deeply indented, with the result that there were loads of unneeded line breaks. Kind of a shame, but if I buy this, I’ll probably read it on my laptop while I’m cutting code, so shouldn’t be too bad.
Sorry for the rambling response. Hope some of it made sense.
Thanks devhammer for the tip about readability.com. I just installed it and like it a lot. I’ll probably sign up for premium this evening or tomorrow…
I think when you buy the book they give you a URL to download all the examples.
Speaking of my love of real paper books… Have you seen this?
Neat! I love a good stop-motion film, and that one was quite good.
Back on-topic, I just finished the sample of the NETMF book this morning, and I’m mixed on it. The stuff that I’ve read so far mostly dealt with introducing programming and C#, and some of it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. Unfortunately, I can’t read the sections on I/O (which is the part I’m really interested in) without buying the book, so I may go ahead and get it anyway.
I was hoping to be able to recommend it wholeheartedly, but I’m not sure I can based on the sample.
Unfortunately, the only other .NET MF books I can find on Amazon are either poorly-rated, or several years out of date, so this may be the best bet for up-to-date info.