MacDirectory Magazine

Spring-Summer 2012

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 38 of 115

BOOK REVIEWS PROJECT GUTENBERG >READING FOR FREE REVIEW BY RIC GETTER On these pages, we usually offer suggestions about the best books on which to spend your hard-earned dollars. This time around, however, we're going to talk about how to get your hands on some of the best books ever written that are absolutely free. In 1971, Michael S. Hart, a student at the University of Illinois and an aspiring writer, was offered over $100,000,000 worth of off- hour computer time on a Xerox mainframe at the school. Nearly all the ├╝ber- geeks of the time were single-mindedly focused on writing programs or sifting through masses of data. Hart, however, looked to the machine's searching, storage and networking ability and saw it as the ultimate library. The first bit of obviously public-domain literature he had at hand was a copy of the Declaration of Independence. The system administrators nixed the idea of distributing it via email, so he decided to make it available for download to a group of mirrored computers on an early academic computer network. This was the start of Project Gutenberg, which now has more than 38,000 eBook titles available for download. The site lets you search by author, title or the date that it arrived on the site. You can also browse by subject and what the Project calls "Bookshelves," broader categories ranging from Humor to the Harvard Classics. The search pages also reveal a list of the top downloads for each search mode which, in turn, reveals the rather unique tastes of Gutenberg browsers. Edgar Rice Burroughs and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have the top spots among the authors. At the moment, Burroughs' Pri the well-entrenched leader among subjects. There are a lot of ways to browse and it can be almost as fun and serendipitous as wandering the aisles of a used bookstore. Because it's taking longer and longer for books to be released into the public domain, most of the books tend to be classics. A few contemporary authors, notably science fiction great Philip K. Dick, have allowed some of their work in the catalog. Thanks to Apple's free iBooksapp and Safarifor iOS, loading up your library is a cinch. Books on Project Gutenbergare available in a variety of formats, including HTML, text and Kindle, iOS devices are happiest with EPUBs (with or without images). Click on the download link and the iOS versions of Safari will give you the option to open the file in iBooks or any other compatible program you may have. If you're browsing on a desktop or laptop, you can easily sync the downloaded EPUB from i Tunes. As they say, some of the best things in life are free, and that's equally true for much of the best literature. Michael Hart passed away in September 2011. However, some devices he never would have anticipated have made his legacy library more useful than ever. Project Gutenbergfounded by Michael S. Hart; free, ( 1971; 38,000 titles (Project Gutenbergis a nonprofit. Donations via PayPal are gratefully accepted.) ncess of Marsis the most downloaded title and science fiction is MacDirectory 37

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of MacDirectory Magazine - Spring-Summer 2012