January 2, 2012

Of Android, e-readers and tablets

The pretty nuns decided to loosen up a little

I have decided to loosen up a little and do more of spontaneous think-a-loud on my blog. Since I started blogging I have always had the feeling that I should stick to facts and facts only and skip personal opinions and thoughts. After all, my readers - mostly emergency physicians I believe - are constantly short of time. What I have found out is that this format makes me nervous and stiffens my fingers, leaving a dozen of unfinished or drafted blogposts because I feel 'they don't meet the right format'. From now on, I will never again force my self to separate the left and right side of my brain!


Therefor, you will in the future see more of personal thoughts from my daily life of information technology and emergency medicine. With a dash of uninhibited ideas from the right hemisphere and without the expectations of a scientifically correct format, they will be the perfect IT-EM-rants. Phew... I feel unrestrained already!!

I love my Android and have found lots of use for it in my daily EM work, most importantly easy access to Google docs where I have all my notes and books in a electronic book-shelf. I thought I would never need a tablet computer but now that I am reading almost everything electronically (see my post about Crocodoc, the perfect tool for your PDF/article collection) I really feel the need for a bigger screen. For highlighting and annotating my books or documents the small-screen Android keyboard just doesn't do it. Although I have very small 10" netbook, speedy and snappy with Linux installed, it feels clumsy and noisy and so the urge to try a tablet has grown. And it won't fit into my pockets at work.

Today I stumbled upon an Android e-reader which also has a highlight feature - something that has been missing until now and kept me away from the e-reader buzz. It's the Mantano reader and judging from the online reviews I've found it seems to be welcomed by the market. In the same review you will see the Moon+ reader also providing highlighting/annotating features but it doesn't support PDF files which in my opinion makes it unusable.

However, being a minimalist, I suspect I will continue to use the online Crocodoc (and patiently wait for Google to implement highlighting feature to Google Docs), after all it's free, incredibly featured and has the same look and feel wether accessed from a mobile or tablet device or a computer. Besides, all notes and highlights will be saved in the cloud so that they are still there when I login next time from somewhere else.

So once again, I prefer the power of web applications instead of local applications. Running Crocodoc on a tablet has thus become a dream, let's see if we can find a juicy plate to try out,BRB!

Addendum:
The Moon+ reader is for me a fail since it doesn't read (and highlight) PDF files, that's 99% of my electronic book shelf! That leaves Mantano as the winner.