Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Here's something interesting--while I was on the road last week, I took along my old G4 Powerbook (my designated traveling computer) which still works extremely well (I bought it in 2004), though the battery is a bit dodgy (unplugged, it will last less than 20 minutes). Anyway, it's not the computer I normally use to sync my iPhone, or, more to the point, buy iPhone apps and e-books. So while on the road, I took a couple of pictures on my iPhone and needed to download them. Unfortunately, when my iPhone synced (sunk?), it removed my iPhone apps (despite the fact that I told it to not sync anything but iPhoto) and my e-books, including ones I had paid for. Anything I had bought from Fictionwise could be easily restored from my bookshelf, but it seems that anything I had bought through my Kindle iPhone App was gone for good. Doh! Fortunately, there weren't that many, and as it turns out, I have found that I much prefer reading e-books via eReader than the Kindle app anyway.

The ephemeral nature of digital data is, to my mind, one of the downsides of e-books. (Not that I haven't lost printed books before.) Like any data, it can be easily destroyed or erased unless meticulously backed up. And who does that?

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