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A new look and feel for e-books

The Sherborne Missal is a 15th century manuscript at the British Library (for which they paid $24 million). In the Boston Globe yesterday there was an article about reading it via a new computer display system called Turning the Pages that allows a user to touch the screen to turn pages or to magnify a section, It is apparently quite realistic in that the finger motions have to be appropriate speed and direction to actually turn the page or else the page just flops back just as in a real book. On a PC without a touch screen, the mouse will replace the fingertip, though it's much less fun. Clive Izard, the library's creative projects manager recalls a demonstration for Queen Elizabeth II. "She put her finger down to turn the pages," he says, "but it didn't work. I had to say to her, 'Your Majesty, it's your gloves.'" For some reason, the bare fingers have to make contact. But that is too realistic; she probably couldn't turn the real pages with gloves on, either. Did he tell to take them off? He didn't, and she didn't.

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That is so cool! Just what technology is supposed to do.

BTW, the value of the missal is $24M. Due to inheritance taxes, the British Library will only pay ~$9M (5.5M Pounds Sterling) for it. They've received a grant for about 90% of that and will begin accepting donations for the remainder here soon.

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