Monday, September 17, 2012

programmer's appreciation day for nook

Programmer's Appreciation Day is a fantasy of mine where they line up all of the programmers and we get to go down the line and slap those that have made stupid decisions that made our lives more difficult than they had to be.

There is some prime slapping to be done for those who made the Nook --the Barnes and Noble e-book reader. Actually, blaming the programmers isn't always entirely fair since a lot of my complaints are against content providers.

Here's some of the problems:

When you are in "Shop" mode, you can click on a title and get a summary that has a tab that takes you to other works by the same author. Nice feature --after you have already looked up the book or author by typing into that annoying search screen. It would be lot nicer if you could get to that summary from the "Library" mode where you have the books listed that you have already read --you know, the place where you actually know whether you want to see more books by that particular author. But you can't do that from there.

In some places where they show you a list of books (I think it was in "Shop" mode) there is no way to list the title as text. All they will give you is a picture of the front cover --a black-and-white 1-inch picture of a cover that was originally designed to be in color and at least five inches. Needless to say, it is often impossible to read the covers. For this one, the slap goes to the managers. Minimal product testing should have warned them that this was a stupid idea.

Then there are the book series where there is no way to figure out what books are in the series and in what order. You have to go on-line on another computer and then come back to the Nook and search for the book that you already found found on the other computer.

Finally, there are a lot of books that are huge collections of out-of-print stuff for a few dollars. That's really cool and I've bought several, but I've really lost my enthusiasm because of the very poor quality control. The people who create this stuff don't bother to break it up into sections so that you can use the index feature of the Nook to get to the book or short story you want. Even worse, they sometimes don't bother to even put series material in order so you end up reading them out of order.

Over all, e-book readers are a really great idea, but the Nook and it's content leave a lot to be desired.

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