Today I’ve updated my Kurt Vonnegut page, which now has on one page my whole dissertation on him from 1994. I’ve also added downloads of the essay in PDF and ePub format, which meant I could download it to my new iPad. Something very satisfying about being able to read my own work on there. I’m hoping in future to re-edit and add more to it.
Whilst I may have a bit of a wait for a digital version of Pluto or 20th Century Boys (the Manga I am reading voraciously at the moment), there are options available already to access some Manga on the iPad. NTT Solmare have been publishing individual mangas as apps on the iPhone for some time, and have now brought out their first iPad HD release, Always By Your Side/Solaruru. Their books are translated into English for the UK/US market, and anglicised so that the books read left to right, rather than the traditional right to left.
I’ve tried out this first release (it was only 50p, their usual price seems to have been about £1.79), and having read it, it’s a very simple tale of a ghost appearing in a school, and befriending a girl. There isn’t much to the story, I wouldn’t recommend it. And the translation is a little clunky, the text seems to have been placed in rather large font onto the page with little care. However as they’ve published 120 iPhone mangas, there is the potential they could publish something interesting to the English-speaking market in future. So I would suggest having a look at the iPhone/iPad stores, and searching for “NTT Solmare” to see if anything takes your fancy there, if like me you’re looking out for digital manga.
Thought I’d ponder this a little while, give the product and the chatter a little chance to sink in. The iPad looks gorgeous. Pretty much a few weeks after I’d bought my iPhone, I knew I wanted the same thing, but somewhat bigger. I’m not a genius on this front, I know many people felt exactly the same. And now it exists, it looks right, and as one would expect from Apple, there are a few little twists that make it better than I imagined. Getting properly into the ebook reader market is one, an Amazon that works like the iPhone store is perfect. Price is another, if as it seems it comes in around the £400 mark, that’s a lot cheaper than I’d have guessed.
So why not buy one? Well, for me, the iPad is going to be a device I’d use sat in front of the TV. I’ve got an iMac for doing my own work, and for serious surfing. I’ve got a proper laptop for work. For the sofa surfing, I’ve got my trusty Acer Aspire One netbook. Now, the netbook isn’t the iPad, isn’t as lovely. But it does fulfill the same task very adequately, and I just don’t think I can justify it to myself on the basis of loveliness. If it breaks, and can’t be fixed, then I’ll happily buy it as a replacement, but there isn’t any other reason to get it yet. It doesn’t doing anything else over and above a netbook to me, so I’ll happily wait. By the time I need an iPad, it may be in a second generation. It may be cheaper. Most importantly of all, I’ll have the need for it.