Thursday, December 02, 2010

How not to install an App

I've been reading ebooks on my iPad, specifically slogging my way through 'The Idiot' by Dostoyevsky. I downloaded a bunch of free books from Project Gutenberg, which offers books whose copyright's have expired for free.

I'm still warming up to the idea of using an ereader so I'm not keen to start dishing out money for ebooks. 'The Idiot' hasn't exactly kept me up nights reading, but I was pretty sure that had more to do with the material rather than the technology.

The Vancouver Public Library has links to various free ebooks and articles, including BC' Library Online ( Seemed like a great way to access ebooks for free, all I had to do was download a compatible ereader App to my iPad and I was set!

Or maybe not.

My steps:

1) Download the Bluefire Reader App to my iPad
2) Go to to sign out a book on my iPad - yay digital library!!!
3) Download won't work. Go to App help page to figure out why.
3.1) Realize I need to download books to my PC and need Adobe Digital Editions to do so.
3.2) Get a little annoyed.
4) Download Adobe digital editions to my PC/desktop (after booting up the computer, which of course takes forever).
5) Go to the BC Library website and sign out a book and (try to) download it.
5.1) Reread the obscure instructions then realize I apparently have to use Firefox, not Explorer (not because they actually tell you, but because it's in one of the illustrations).
5.2) Download Firefox.
5.3) Get serious about being annoyed.
6) Go back to BC Library online and download the book file to my computer.
7) Open iTunes. Which prompts me to upgrade. Why not? How long could it take?
7.1) Find out how long it can take.
7.2) Grrrr.
8) Connect my iPad to my computer and be prompted to update to the latest OS. Why not, I've been at this for long enough, might as well make it truly epic.
8.1) Discover that it takes a long time. A really long time.
8.2) Get an error message that the device has gone into recovery mode.
8.3) Swear loudly.
9) Learn a great deal about recovery mode.
9.1) Learn how long it takes to for an iPad to recover.
9.2) Swear. Not quite so loudly though, I'm a bit tired and really just want to go to bed.
10) Once everything has rebooted, recovered, rehabilitated and what have you I go back online to transfer the book to iTunes then to my iPad.
10.1) Yay! That was a lot of work but worth it. I feel the satisfaction of having figured it all out.
11) The books don't show up on my iPad. Anywhere.
11.1) Swear halfheartedly.
11.2) Give up and go to bed.
12) One day later realize I'd downloaded audio books, not text.
12.1) Feel like an idiot.
12.2) Download a text version book.

Granted I messed up a few things (audio books - doh!) but the process was still a major hassle. There are some good books available at BC Library but the selection is fairly limited. Presumably this will change as the library gets more use.

I found the BC Library website unwieldy and poorly organized. Again, something I hope will improve as the site gets more use.

That said, I'm really enjoying 'Breakfast of Champions', Vonnegut is way more readable than Dostoyevsky.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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