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Humanist Archives: Nov. 24, 2018, 5:17 a.m. Humanist 32.219 - limitations of devices

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 219.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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        Date: 2018-11-23 16:07:02+00:00
        From: Jim Rovira 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.213: limitations of devices

I wanted to jump in on the "limitations on devices" thread with a few last
thoughts. . .

There are real limitations on a variety of devices, and there are
limitations we impose on ourselves by our work habits. In other words, the
device doesn't always have these limitations (unable to perform the
function); it just requires us to learn to do the same thing a different
way. The question then is if the device is worth the learning curve, and
the answer to that question is always related to one's specific
circumstances. I found myself in a position where I couldn't do a lot of
reading effectively at home or in the office, so I found that using a table
to read books and articles was very helpful. I could carry around tens of
thousands of pages of searchable reading on one device and go read
anywhere. It was worth the small investment in time to use the right app
once I found it.

The next distinction I think we need to make is between the limitations of
the device and the limitations of specific apps. Many times, it's not that
the device can't perform the function, but that we haven't found the right
app for it, or worse, the right app doesn't exist yet or is very expensive.
Sometimes all of the functions we want are spread out across a variety of
apps, or the few apps that have them all are very expensive. But, again,
this is a matter of investing a bit of time to figure out what we really
want/need and which apps provide it.

Finally, until last summer, I've never liked reading on either tablets or
eReaders. But then I started doing my reading for a book chapter using
iAnnotate on my iPad Air, and I want to do all my work on it now. I can
highlight, underline, type notes in little bubbles right there on the
document, bookmark, stamp, web search, outline, draw a line down the side
margin by selected text, do all the usual other searches, but more than
that, there are 18 different functions to choose from in my sidebar,
including the ability to email to myself (or anyone else) all of my notes
on any given document. And those are just the ones I've chosen -- there are
probably two or three dozen functions to choose from. I haven't seen an
eReader that can do quite that much.

If you're in a position that reading large quantities on a tablet would be
a convenience, I highly recommend iAnnotate. It works best with a pencil or
stylus, costs a little bit, and takes a little time to learn, but it was
worth it to me.

Jim R

Dr. James Rovira 
Bright Futures Educational Consulting

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