Mutual Failure

Into two day now. The gym was happily sparse, except for a couple of egregiously nosily grunting weight bouncers and the podcast episodes were absent of any glaring errors. Hopefully this does not portend a noisy but otherwise gritsish day.

Reviews are coming in of Winders Ate One and they are not encouraging. [Link] Evidence seems to be mounting that trying for a single interface for boxes and slabs and communicators is on a par with getting into a knife fight with a grizzly bear when the knife is a Swiss Army folder. Now I have a couple of Swiss Army folders: a tinker and a super-tinker; and they are both nice knives for opening packages and jars and envelopes, but I don’t try to prune tree limbs or combat predators with them. Nor did McGyver.

It occurs that one of the measures of what we do is the ratio of input to output. For entertainment this ratio is about zero while for composition it’s greater than one. So perhaps a good question might be what does that ratio need to be for the switch from a classical GUI to a tiled GUI? I would wager a soda pop that none of the developers know this value. I would even wager they haven’t thought of the matter at all?

In a related thing, I see that Barn and Ignoble is abandoning the slab business. Not a big surprise, in fact, when they got in the business it reeked of failure desperation. If you’re going into the volcano, any rope (or rope-like thingie) is worth grabbing. I bought a Nook once and after playing with it for a week, gave it away. It was neither a good tablet nor a good eReader. For that I bought a Kobo  for its readability. I am told by colleagues that the Nook HD models are excellent and a bargain but that drastic surgery is needed to make them useful. I have to ask why? I also have no colleagues who use Nooks for reading eBooks. I have to ask why?

A big part of the problem is that eBook file formats, and thereby eBook readers, don’t do nerd books. And what nerd books they do are even more hideously overpriced than bog trash. That I suspect, and definitely in my case, is the two factors that define the problem. The book industry is making the same mistake that MegaHard is making. MegaHard is turning its back on the box users; the book industry is turning its back on the nerds who, after frustrated women, buy the most books. Both are abandoning a dedicated marketplace for an uncertain and so far, failing future.

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