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Tech books - physical or digital?

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Dranex

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Post Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:34 pm

Tech books - physical or digital?

For an IT professional, how do you personally prefer to keep your cookbooks/pocket references? On a shelf you can pick up and flick through.. Or in ebook format that you can keep on a tablet that you can take on site?
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dynamik

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Post Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:14 pm

Re: Tech books - physical or digital?

I'm on the road the vast majority of the time, so having my entire library accessible via my iPad, iPhone, or Kindle Cloud Reader is immensely useful. That said, I hate the ebook reader format. It's fine for reading cover-to-cover, but it's a pain to search through. Footnotes, tables, graphics, etc. can get messed up too. My favorite option, which publishers like No Starch Press are great about, is buying a physical copy of the book and getting the PDF, mobi, and epub formats for free. I'd almost always opt for a PDF on the iPad if given the option.
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Triban

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Post Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:49 pm

Re: Tech books - physical or digital?

I have a good amount on the Kindle/iPad.  But sometimes I prefer the hard copy, like ajohnson sited, it is much easier to search through.  I tend to throw stickies in my books for areas of note.  I've tried using the bookmarks and notes on the kindle, but those only work with the ebook format.  They don't work with pdfs.  I too am also a fan of No Starch for the same reason.  Another thing is sometimes the content of the book.  If there are a lot of images or pages of code, it doesn't translate well to ebook format.  I do find some books like better in the Kindle iPad app than on the Kindle (regular).  So I mix it up.
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Eleven

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Post Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:44 pm

Re: Tech books - physical or digital?

I have a Kindle, and also don't like searching with it.  It's kind of odd because there are times when searching for that one phrase or something specific is easier done with an ebook, but more often than not I'd just rather have the physical book.

Not to mention the formatting or figures in technical books are often messed up on the Kindle due to the small screen size.  I really like Nostarch for their common sense approach to ebooks...  Buy a book, and get the ebook in all formats for free, and they even say you can give it to a friend or so just like you would a physical book; just don't give it out to everyone.
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azmatt

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Post Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:22 am

Re: Tech books - physical or digital?

Horrible on an older kindle, dream come true on an ipad.
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Ketchup

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Post Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:02 pm

Re: Tech books - physical or digital?

I am definitely more a fan of ebooks.  I have a Kindle and it works well for reading the books cover to cover, like others have said.  I also make use of Calibre and convert the books to PDF.  I can then search them for what I need.  It's just not practical to carry print books anymore.
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