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National Geographic Birds Field Guide 7th edition (1 Viewer)

fugl

Well-known member
. . .I can't imagine a life without books.

Me neither but paper is just a medium for a book, not its soul. Were you to read a properly digitized book on a modern high-end tablet like my big beautiful iPad Pro, it would take your breath away.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
Cyprus
Me neither but paper is just a medium for a book, not its soul. Were you to read a properly digitized book on a modern high-end tablet like my big beautiful iPad Pro, it would take your breath away.

And at the price, my wife may think twice about throwing it at me-! :t:


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Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
As I keep saying, it’s early days yet, the transition from paper to electronic media having just begun. Disruptive technology by its very nature is seldom without teething problems. Ten years from now threads like this one will be read with amused incredulity (except for my contributions, of course, which will be extolled as prescient ;)).

I recall all the predictions about paperless offices. From what I know, we now have the paper plus the digital version on top of it. And going from the rapid progression in the digital field, those electronic data will not be readable within just a few years, whereas the paper can still be read after many decades (or even centuries). The app problems mentioned above are thus just typical and not extraordinary (maybe with the exception that the time span is a bit all too short).
 

fugl

Well-known member
. . .And going from the rapid progression in the digital field, those electronic data will not be readable within just a few years. . .

There are easy work-arounds for that—routine backup to new formats as they appear, for example. For the nostalgic, even the smell and feel of paper books, and the clouds of dust raised when a long-shelved printed volume is snapped shut, will soon be replicable in the brave new world of AR. ;)
 
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Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
There are easy work-arounds for that—routine backup to new formats as they appear, for example. For the nostalgic, even the smell and feel of paper books, and the clouds of dust raised when a long-shelved printed volume is snapped shut, will soon be replicable in the brave new world of AR. ;)

Some of these backups would undoubtedly be done for a while. But soon enough they would not be followed up. Just thinking about the many hundreds of books I have. About 80% or more would long have been past any functioning updates if they were of the digital kind. So that brave new world would not necessarily result in a general loss of information, but definitely in a narrowing of who still has access to it. Thus just the opposite of what the digital world would theoretically allow.
 

fugl

Well-known member
Some of these backups would undoubtedly be done for a while. But soon enough they would not be followed up. Just thinking about the many hundreds of books I have. About 80% or more would long have been past any functioning updates if they were of the digital kind. So that brave new world would not necessarily result in a general loss of information, but definitely in a narrowing of who still has access to it. Thus just the opposite of what the digital world would theoretically allow.

That’s why I said “routinely” backed-up. I see no reason why digital books shouldn’t be provided with a link to a dedicated backup site as a matter of course. It’s not as if publishers, libraries, and other interested parties with the means and knowhow to deal with such problems are likely to sit by doing nothing to address them.
 
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Andy Adcock

Well-known member
Cyprus
That’s why I said “routinely” backed-up. I see no reason why digital
books shouldn’t be provided with a link to a dedicated backup site as a matter of course. It’s not as if publishers, libraries, and other interested parties with the means and know how to deal with such problems are going to sit passively by doing nothing to address them.

OK guys, explain to my feeble, non tech brain, if you have downloaded a book, then that's it, you have it but it seems that the issue is with apps, is that right? So apps depend on accessing a server with the appropriate support and if that support is withdrawn, the app is useless?

I even have issues opening certain documents on my computer so until such compatability issues and guaranteed longevity of support are guaranteed, the hard copy is here to stay?


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Swissboy

Sempach, Switzerland
Supporter
Switzerland
........I tend to regard modern field guides with their plates-opposite-texts layout more akin to visual keys than an introduction to bird taxonomy. That's certainly how many birdwatchers use them and to sacrifice functionality on the altar of scientific purity seems a mistake given that the primary task of such books is to allow users to identify birds with accuracy and minimum hassle.

I'm not sufficiently familiar with the Howell et al. sequence, but there is definitely a most sensible sequence in the new book for Australia (The Australian Bird Guide, by Peter Menkhorst et al.) The principle of that sequence can easily be used for FG all over the world. Now, if only the rest of the publishing world would adopt what seems like an intuitive way to handle the problem that allows instant insight even for new users. Sure, there have been many earlier attempts worldwide, but as far as I know, none of the modern all-encompassing FGs have the species arranged like this book does. They have always remained in the claws of the few taxonomists that feel everybody should be forced to follow what they consider the correct systematic order (that will invariably change with time anyway). Here, for once, we find a book written undoubtedly by experts, yet they managed to set the priorities where they ought to be.
 

fugl

Well-known member
I'm not sufficiently familiar with the Howell et al. sequence, but there is definitely a most sensible sequence in the new book for Australia (The Australian Bird Guide, by Peter Menkhorst et al.) The principle of that sequence can easily be used for FG all over the world. . ..

What is this principle?
 

fugl

Well-known member
OK guys, explain to my feeble, non tech brain, if you have downloaded a book, then that's it, you have it but it seems that the issue is with apps, is that right? So apps depend on accessing a server with the appropriate support and if that support is withdrawn, the app is useless?

I even have issues opening certain documents on my computer so until such compatability issues and guaranteed longevity of support are guaranteed, the hard copy is here to stay?

True (at the moment) so by all means hang onto your hard copies until all the bugs have been squashed. That’s what I’ve been doing and shall continue doing. With regard to new FGs, nowadays I usually buy the app, figuring that I can always purchase the hard copy if it fails.

With regard to birding Amazonia and other very remote areas, I would take a hard copy for insurance but rely on the app for routine use in the field. That is, for the nonce, until the transition to digital is complete and the new millennium has arrived. In ten year’s time, I would say, max.. .. (;))
 
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njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
With regard to birding Amazonia and other very remote areas, I would take a hard copy for insurance but rely on the app for routine use in the field.

That is where I have the biggest difference with what you are saying. In the field, in a place where I have poor knowledge of the bird species available, I would go for the hard copy every time. I just find that easier and faster.

If I bird US or Europe where I have already narrowed the selection down to 2-3 species for a question-mark bird, I go with an app if I have it and may not even bring the hard cover book along.

Niels
 

fugl

Well-known member
That is where I have the biggest difference with what you are saying. In the field, in a place where I have poor knowledge of the bird species available, I would go for the hard copy every time. I just find that easier and faster.

If I bird US or Europe where I have already narrowed the selection down to 2-3 species for a question-mark bird, I go with an app if I have it and may not even bring the hard cover book along.

Fair enough but you're talking about a phone, I take it, not a tablet? In my experience the app is much easier to use on a tablet than on a phone.

Saith the Preacher (as per the KJV on my iPad) "of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh".(Ecclesiastes 12). Judging from the thread so far, I think the same can be saith of wrangling over digital vs paper. ;)
 
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Jos Stratford

Eastern Exile
Europe
Who wants to lug suitcases full of paper field guides around when a whole library can fit on an iPhone or iPad?

So we want to reduce weight by simply transferring our printed book to a single small convenient phone or tablet ...

In my experience the app is much easier to use on a tablet than on a phone.

...or actually just a tablet, because the app is a bit naff on the phone

Were you to read a properly digitized book on a modern high-end tablet like my big beautiful iPad Pro.

...which should preferably be a big tablet

In the open on a sunny day, bright light can be a problem even on my big iPad Pro screen.

...so long as it is not a sunny day

Just discovered--after upgrading to iOS11.0.1--that NG is no longer available as a app. Hope and trust a replacement is in the works and that it will be free-of-cost to us "owners" of the now useless older version.

...and so long as the app still works

With regard to birding Amazonia and other very remote areas, I would take a hard copy for insurance but rely on the app for routine use in the field.

...and then, of course, don't forget to take the printed book too as a back-up in the event of device failure, lack of power, accidental breakage, etc.

...the brave new world of ...

...lugging a suitcase full of fieldguides and a nice big shiny tablet. Ah for weight-saving, and it only cost a few hundred additional dollars.
 

fugl

Well-known member
So we want to reduce weight by simply transferring our printed book to a single small convenient phone or tablet ...

...or actually just a tablet, because the app is a bit naff on the phone

...which should preferably be a big tablet

...so long as it is not a sunny day

...and so long as the app still works

...and then, of course, don't forget to take the printed book too as a back-up in the event of device failure, lack of power, accidental breakage, etc.

...lugging a suitcase full of fieldguides and a nice big shiny tablet. Ah for weight-saving, and it only cost a few hundred additional dollars.

You’re talking about the here-and-now, I, as I’ve repeatedly stated, the near future. Are you just being argumentative or do you really think that phone/tablet evolution has reached a dead end, and that the paper book will rule forever? No, I didn’t think so. . ..
 

Jos Stratford

Eastern Exile
Europe
Are you just being argumentative . ..

I fear it might be you Sir that is argumentative - repeatedly you bash those that show a preference for the printed book. there is nothing much to argue about, it is simple - whilst for you the app is convenient and the perfect accompaniment in the field, others do not share your view, end of story. It is not luddism or failure to see the future, it is just using whichever means is the best for the circumstances, and this is not just a question of reliability of device/power, but of ease. For many, for today, this is absolutely not an app on an ipad.
 
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fugl

Well-known member
I fear it might be you Sir that is argumentative - repeatedly you bash those that show a preference for the printed book. there is nothing much to argue about, it is simple - whilst for you the app is convenient and the perfect accompaniment in the field, others do not share your view, end of story. It is not luddism or failure to see the future, it is just using whichever means is the best for the circumstances, and this is not just a question of reliability of device/power, but of ease. For many, for today, this is absolutely not an app on an ipad.

Bashed, who have I bashed? I've simply been making a calm & rational case for what I see as the future of the printed book.I haven't been proselytizing (well, maybe a bit), just predicting. Certainly I've said nothing for anybody to get defensive about.

That said, weariness of the flesh is starting to set in as far as this topic is concerned, so I think I'll move on to other things. Whaddya think of that Cleveland team, huh? Gonna win it all this time?
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
Cyprus
That is, for the nonce, until the transition to digital is complete and the new millennium has arrived. In ten year’s time, I would say, max.. .. (;))

Fugl, I assume that you meant 'novice', this is a different word here and is used to describe a sex offender!


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