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Just Shoot Me

Bala, 28, Gordon Gekko in the making, pseudo-intellectual, cynic, bibliophile, obsessive compulsive ranter...

reducing the burden

December 08, 2006

commuting to work in a bus full of school kids is a revelation - one remembers how much weight one lugged to school every day. I used to carry atleast 5 kilos and some of the bags i have seen the students carrying now are easily double that. Most of our schools dont offer any locker facilities and worse, there are multiple volumes for a single subject. The bulk of the weight carried lies in the text books. Now why not have e-books in the place of hardcopies?. With the advent of the first popular, mass produced ebook reader and advancing ebook technology it is possible to replace hardcopy books with softcopies.

The costs involved come in two parts -1) the cost of producing soft copy text books, which should be minimal since the copyrights are with state owned text book corporations. It is definitely going to cost much less than printing hardcover books 2) The cost of the PDA/reader. This is the tricky part. The sony reader comes with a price tag of 350$. Now this is the price for first launch, this is bound to get lower (like mobile phone and ipod prices). If the cost gets to around 100$, then the concept will become viable (especially since, the purchase of the PDA/reader in one time and is expected to last for years).

If our Govt can subsidize transport (free bus passes, free bycycles etc..) and textbooks then it can easily subsidize (atleast partly) the cost of the readers.
posted by Bala, 10:40 PM

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