Books24x7: Not Impressed

That’s right, you read it correctly: I’m not impressed with Books24x7.

It’s not their collection (plenty of stuff for various fields of interest) and it’s not their price (I’m using it under a campus subscription so what’s to complain about?). It’s their interface.

Could it be anymore annoying to read a book than the Books24x7 experience? Was this website designed in the 90s?

What frustrates me the most is that you cannot usefully navigate/read a book on Books24x7 without the use of a mouse. Sure, I can use Spacebar, the arrow keys or Page Up/Page Down to navigate on a single page, but because each “page” is just a small chunk of text, you need to constantly be clicking the “Next” link. Tab key link navigation, you say? There are so many links at the top of the page that tabbing through all of them to reach the “Next” link takes longer than grabbing for the mouse.

This is just a terrible book reading experience. Perhaps I’ve just been spoiled by… I dunno? PDF files and Preview.app or Stanza? I want to read some of these books but Books24x7 just makes it so unpleasant that I’d rather just find the hardcopies at the library or pay for a decent ebook version that I can read on whatever device or with whatever software that might actually be designed with some thought regarding the reading experience.

The New and Improved techslaves.org…

Here it is: The new and improved techslaves.org. Well, I don’t actually know if it’s improved but sure is new. In a rash decision, I’ve decided to drop any fantasy of supporting a community of tech-minded people through techslaves.org. The site was previous an SMF forum with a nice mod called TinyPortal that I used to publish articles and coax friends and acquaintances into submitting their own content for publishing.

Community building is hard and I’m lazy. What more can I say?

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