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Reverence for the DP


“DP” is my abbreviation for SONY’s “Digital Paper,” an A4 page size e-ink .pdf file e-reader. It has a maximum memory chip capacity of 32G, with clear readable characters, finger zoom, file drag and drop capability from an external computer, hierarchical directories, about a third of a Kgm (0.8 lb) in weight, which allows your hand not to fatigue after holding it, reading it, for hours. It is an incredible device.

I bought eight 32G memory chips which I keep inside the black protective hard cover of the DP, which allows me the storage capacity of a reference library, i.e. “I carry around my own reference library!” It is this enormous capacity, to carry around a whole library inside a very light, very readable e-reader that makes it a magical tool for any scholar/researcher.

I have put 1000s of books and papers into mine, so I look upon it with awe, even with reverence, because it is the source of my ongoing education. I take it with me everywhere. It is my constant companion, my educator, the assuager of my constant hunger for ideas, so it is not surprising that I treat this magical device with enormous admiration and respect. It is my mentor, my parent, my source of intellectual stimulus and education. It is my DP!

I don’t understand why Sony has not pushed this device a lot more aggressively amongst scholars and researchers, etc. When I first saw it (in Oct 2015, in Shanghai at a series of talks) as demoed to me by my friend Ben Goertzel, who showed me his, I immediately wanted one. I had been dreaming of such a device for many years, i.e. easily readable, capable of storing whole libraries, and very light, for hours of reading without tiring the arm muscles.

However, from my perspective the DP has two major defects. One is its hefty price of $800, and the other is its maximum 32G memory chip capacity. When I bought mine I simultaneously bought a 128G memory chip for it, which turned out to be a waste of money, because the DP could not handle it. Its limit is 32G.

Any scholar who has or would like to have his own library, will appreciate having a DP that can store it all on a device that is less than a pound (1/3 Kgm) in weight. Scholars/researchers can download 1000s (and later 10,000s) of papers and books into it and carry it around wherever they go. Their DP becomes their “personal portable library.”

I think Sony should make a DP version that has Moore’s law built in, so that as the 1T memory chip and above come out, they can be slotted into the same machine, so that scholars can put large libraries into it, and be able to “carry around your own reference library!” Sony should market it aggressively in the universities and greatly lower the price.

Once any scholar has seen the DP in action and can sense its enormous value (its screen size, its readability, its light weight, etc, he will fall in love with it and want one, but not at $800. Sony, I hope you’re listening! You should be making a fortune with this miraculous device, but instead you’ve mismarketed it, which was not very smart of you! Once you’ve built in Moore’s law in terms of memory chip capacity and lowered the price significantly, you should see every scholar/researcher etc in the world wanting one. That’s millions of people. That’s big money for Sony.

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