Friday, January 29, 2010

Haiti; the Unicorn; Librarians

Catching up on the events of the past week, I need to mention that Third Place Press (along with the University of Washington Bookstore, Harvard Bookstore, and Schuler Books and Music) was commissioned by On Demand Books to contribute a unique piece of humanitarian aid:

Each of us was asked by a medical organization to contribute this book "Haitan Creole (Kreyol)-English Pocket medical dictionary" to redistribute to all the aid-workers and medical professionals helping save lives.The whole process to less that 5 days from the initial email requests!
It's and odd project; one that 5 years ago you wouldn't be able to wrap your mind around, but exciting nevertheless. To be able to print books through the EBM is a joy; to do so and help (in a small way) save the lives of others is astounding. I'm hoping the books get into the right hands. And I know that if they need more, we're ready.

The Apple iPad (heretofore dubbed 'the Unicorn' by me) caused quite a tizzy throughout the internet mid-week with Steve Jobs' presentation. I've been thinking about this device since the first rumors surfaced several years ago (relating to an order placed for 10 inch touch-screens from the Chinese manufacturer). When I saw the Unicorn unveiled, I wasn't surprised, wasn't disappointed, but was rather, quietly pleased. It's exactly as I'd imagined. No more, no less. And I know it'll evolve; all Apple products do. I know the main thing Apple did with its release was to force its competitors to rethink their concept of a netbook, much like they caused a philosophical shift in the evolution of smart phones. 
The haters pounced immediately, whining about lack oh multi-tasking, this, and double-dipping wireless that-- which just made me roll my eyes. I remember the reactions when the iphone came out, I remember the reactions when the macbook Air debuted. Words were flowing viciously back and forth on the web, but I found Stephen Fry's post about seeing the Unicorn up close and personal, with his criticism of the knee-jerkers and haing a healthy skepticism as an Apple fan, to be the most rounded analysis. And best written. I can't wait to use the Brushes App on it... mmmm.

Hosted a small group of Librarians from Bainbridge Island, and it was fun. They watched Ginger go through her paces and thoroughly grilled me on the EBM's promise to books, retailing, and libraries. Unfortunately they ran out of time (it was quite a long way to travel!), and I could tell they had more to ask. They all have my card, so they know they can pepper me with questions whenever they like.

The week ends, with the promise of rest, and some mindless diversions. 
Perhaps some sketching. 
I hope it's a placid weekend for us all, a moment to recharge as we face the constantly mutating future beneath our every step...

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