Update 2: The Kindle For Mac application has been updated with the ability to search the books. I presume the same is true for the other platforms. With the ability to search, the book’s index is not needed.
Two sections are still missing from the Kindle book: “Notes” (presumably end-notes) and the Bibliography. Both of these do provide good information, clarifications and source information.
Update: Dorset House publishing responded to my email expressing all this. They offered me a refund and I accepted it. They also expressed many things and seemed to consider my suggestions very nicely. I do have good feelings about the company and feel that my purchases with them are safe. It seems both odd and reassuring to work with real people in an online purchase. I have gotten spoiled a bit by the instant gratification of buying from machines, but it is nice to get some human attention when I needed it. I hope to see more from them in future.
A few days ago, I found out that one of my favorite industry books was released as an eBook. ”Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams” (2nd edition) was a lucky find for me a long time when my wife gave me the audio version as a gift.
I’ve since bought paper copies of both editions and marked them up pretty well (with highlighters, marker tabs, etc. You can tell the book belongs to an engineer.)
I’ve looked for an eBook version for a while. Recently, when I was trying to reference the book’s principles for a discussion on employee reviews, I happened to look back on the Dorset House website. They finally released it as an eBook for $9.99. And they accept PayPal. (Credit card only by phone.) Well, that was the high-point.
As it turns out, once you make your Paypal payment, a human will eventually send you an email for the download on the next business day. (I sent my payment on a Saturday. I got my email on Monday. Very disappointing for electronic markets. Sadly ironic, given the nature of the publisher’s content.)
Once I got my PDF file, it turns out that only a few pages contain actual text. The large majority of the pages are images. The images are quite fine. You can zoom in quite a bit. However, the individual characters are some kind of screened black-and-white dots, not grey-scaled images. It may be that the scans came from the original press files. Or it may just be they rendered the book out to this format for some kind of copy-protection.
So, a great book, but delivered a bit slowly, and it is not searchable. Also annoying, the table of contents doesn’t even link to other parts of the book and the page numbers in that TOC don’t align with the PDF page numbers. (The book’s page 3 is the PDF’s page 20.) Using images for all the pages makes the file bloated too. It weighs in around 70 megabytes. An eBook on iPhone development that I purchased from O’Reilly, for comparison, was fully searchable, and only required 6.5 megabytes of space.
So, the eBook is good if you are just reading the book. I do recommend this. But for a reference, there is little advantage over the paper book. The price is lower than the paper though.
PeopleWare $9.99 purchase link: http://www.dorsethouse.com/books/PW-ebook.html
Looking for a contrast while writing this, I looked at the Kindle we use. A few moments later, I realized the book is available for Kindle. I’m kicking myself now, because I looked for a Kindle version the same day I found the PDF version at DorsetHouse.com. I thought it was NOT available as a Kindle book. And it is the same price on Kindle.
In contrast, now that I’ve purchased the Kindle version too, it seems to be a full eBook. The Kindle reader on my Mac still suffers from a lack of search, but the table of contents does link to the targeted page and the type is fully resizable. And since the Kindle device is able to search the text of the books, I will assume that the Kindle book will be fully searchable when the reader in use can search. That’s MUCH better.