Sunday, 1 June 2008

Free eBook: Zittrain "The Future of the Internet - And How to Stop It"

I previous blogged about Prof Jonathan Zittrain's very interesting and witty talk at the launch of his book "The Future of the Internet - And How to Stop It", which is available to buy in hard copy, or you can get it as a free PDF download under a Creative Commons licence (see my previous post on Zittrain's The Future of the Internet for links).

I've now managed to convert the PDF to an ebook for reading on my Nokia N95 smartphone, as I didn't want to carry the book around with me - it's heavy (hardcover) and it also has some value of the non-monetary kind to me (he signed it with a personal message).

Please feel free to download the eBook (PRC format) of Zittrain's "The Future of the Internet - And How to Stop It" (for those not familiar with electronic books, try downloading and using the free e-book reader software from Mobipocket which is available in many formats e.g. Blackberry, Windows Mobile / PocketPC, Symbian i.e. many Nokia or Sony Ericsson phones, and Palm PDA, you can install it through your computer or over the air - there's even a Windows XP / Vista version and you can manually install it on Mac or Linux too. Tip: on my phone, after launching the MobiPocket Reader, I couldn't figure out how to open the PRC file that I'd stored on my microSD card - where's the File Open menu? Answer: you don't need one. Just find and select the PRC file via your File Manager and it'll automatically open in MobiPocket Reader. I also tried QReader but it didn't work, with this particular file anyway).

It is of course also licensed on the same Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike 3.0 terms - free for personal use, basically.

However, it took me the best part of a day to convert and correct it including the images (no kidding - some characters just didn't translate properly so there was a lot of search & replace, otherwise it would have taken 2 days) and I just didn't have the time to do all the fixes, so please note that it's a rough & ready adaptation - while the main substance is there the formatting isn't perfect, and in relation to the footnotes note that:
  • Some of the footnote links are weird - the link text should just be the superscript number for the footnote, but sometimes it extends to other text before or after the footnote number. I fixed the first few, then realised it would take forever to do the rest so I stopped. They're still clickable though, obviously.

  • Some of the footnote numbers, when clicked, don't take you to the right footnote. I suspect this is because links were based on the location of the footnotes in the original PDF and on conversion it kept that, so they take you to the page the footnote was on in the PDF version. Given how many footnotes there are, it would have taken me another week to fix all those. So I didn't. Just bear in mind you may have to scroll down further, even a few pages, when you try to read a footnote - at least you know the number so you can find it.
I still haven't finished reading it (obviously!) so no review from me yet, but I'll put one up as soon as I can. Looking very good so far, which isn't surprising judging by his talk (recording available, see my previous post).

Here's the download link again: eBook (PRC format) of Zittrain's "The Future of the Internet - And How to Stop It".



When a review will be available?

Improbulus said...

Not for a couple of weeks at least, I'm still reading it...

mores said...

Thank you for sharing the PRC formatted version. Hope you could get rid of the useless line breaks ... something PDF-conversions usually suffer from.
And even if not ... thanks for sharing.

Josh Bancroft said...

This format (Mobipocket PRC) will also work perfectly, without conversion, on the Amazon Kindle. You might add that to the list of supported devices, so more people can find it via Google. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

"Just find and select the PRC file via your File Manager and it'll automatically open in MobiPocket Reader."

I could not open my books that way. My N95 had always complained about bad format. If you want your books to appear in Mobipocket reader you should create a directory named "eBooks" (case senstive I think) in the root of phone's memory or external memory and move your books there.

Thanks for the book!

Kevin T. Neely said...

This is great, I downloaded it to my Nokia n800 Internet Tablet and it loaded in FBreader without a problem.

What did you use to convert it? I have a couple pdf books I would like to convert to a format FBreader understands but have never found suitable software to do it.

Thank you for your hard work on this!

thankful said...

Thank you very much!

Luckie said...

For what reason it is called PRC format ? In the outset I thought you have translated the whole book into Chinese.

P.S I'm from PRC.