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The Internet is undeniably the biggest resource of information in our times. Traditionally, web pages and emails are the main mediums of information transfer on the Internet. However, as we develop technologies that make information transfer more robust we begin to see more information transfer mediums being used.

Two of the most popular methods of information transfer on the Internet are electronic books (often referred to as ebooks) and audiobooks (an online spin of traditional cassette and CD audiobooks). In this article, I will describe the advantages of both ebooks and audiobooks.

Advantages of ebooks

Ebooks are popular not by accident. Some of its most significant advantages are as follows:

  1. Lots of reader applications

    The huge majority of ebooks are in PDF format; therefore regardless of computing platform, there will definitely be an application on it that can read this format. For those on Windows, I highly recommend Foxit Reader.

  2. Can be read at your own pace

    This is the beautiful thing about information presented in text, you can read as slow or as fast as you want. Navigating forward and back between sections can be done very easily.

  3. Simple to bookmark

    Most reader applications can bookmark pages of an ebook very easily. In fact you can read a few ebooks within the same period and have the reader application remember where exactly you stopped at. The next time you read the ebook, you can resume precisely at that point.

  4. Small download size

    Eventhough most of us connect to the Internet via broadband, it’s helpful that you can access your desired information quickly and easily. Due to the compact file size of common ebook formats, downloads are usually very quick. I’m sure that you’ll agree that spending time reading an ebook is more beneficial than waiting for it to download.

  5. Can be printed and read without a computer

    There are times when an ebook is more useful when it’s no longer an ebook. Printing your ebook would be useful for reading it in those long commutes in the train or bus.

Advantages of audiobooks

Now we understand why ebooks are so popular. What about audiobooks then? Glad you asked!

  1. Can be listened to while doing something else

    Listening is mostly a passive activity where you can absorb what you’re listening to even when you’re cooking or working on a creative project. Those who can multi-task effectively can benefit from audiobooks more than others.

  2. Can be listened to on portable audio players

    Whether you have an iPod, mobile phone or even your car’s CD player; chances are you can download your audiobook to these devices or burn the contents as an audio CD. These methods of listening to an audiobook can make your otherwise boring commutes more beneficial.

  3. Easy to produce

    If you’re an audiobook publisher, you’ll nevertheless find that audiobooks are easier to produce as compared to ebooks. All the required software for recording, editing and converting your recordings are already pre-installed on your computer or can be downloaded for free. You’ll also need not worry about fonts, graphics and other supporting media for your audiobooks.

I’m very sure there are more advantages to these two educational media. Maybe you know of a few that I missed. Why don’t you share your thoughts in the comments?

Did you also know that you can make a lot of money selling ebooks and audiobooks online? Even if you don’t have your own material to sell, you can always become an affiliate and sell third party ebooks and audiobooks for a handsome commission. Interested? I suggest you check out PayDotCom, one of the biggest resource for information product vendors and sellers.

I’ll be straight to the point; I need help! Specifically, I need some advice on the ideal writing environment. I have a couple of ideas that I want to put into writing but every time I’m at the keyboard, the words just won’t flow from the idea to my head and ultimately onto the keyboard. I’m stumped.

I’m sure that if you’re a blogger, you’d surely have fallen into this trap a few times. More importantly, I’m very sure that you’ve overcome this problem. Would you help a fellow blogger out of this trap? I hope you would and I would be grateful if you share some pointers by commenting below.

Here’s a few experiments in blogging environment that I’ve tried:

  • Writing in the middle of the night, when everyone else is asleep
  • Writing during lunch breaks, when most colleagues are out
  • Waking up very early in the morning and start writing

All of the above work some of the time, but not consistent enough. What’s your ideal environment?

I started my working life being a support/sysadmin guy with a computing giant in Singapore. Needless to say, spending over three years in such an industry made me learn a few unconventional tips and tricks to rectify common computing problems. One tip I’d like to share here is on reviving a seemingly dead notebook battery.

Before I proceed let me just lay down a few disclaimers here:

  1. If your notebook computer is still under warranty, then by all means get the battery replaced!
  2. There’s no guarantee that this tip will work with your notebook battery; but so far this tip has never failed me
  3. If you have the money and there’s still available stock for your notebook battery, then just buy a replacement unit you cheapskate
  4. I won’t be held responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from following this tip. You have been warned!

OK, now that the above has been made clear, here’s the tip: freeze the battery! Yup, that’s the concept. However, here’s the proper way to do it in easy to read steps:

  1. Remove the battery from the notebook computer
  2. Wrap the battery with old newspaper, making sure that it envelops the battery tightly
  3. Repeat step 2 above with at least three pieces of large sheet newspaper (if you’re using tabloid sized newspaper, then use at least five pieces)
  4. Place the wrapped battery in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator
  5. Let it stay in that cryogenic state for three to seven days

Once your battery has been given the frozen treatment, do not directly plug it into your notebook! Let the battery thaw to normal room temperature within the newspaper wrapping by leaving it in the open for at least half a day (overnight is recommended).

Tear off the newspaper wrapping and touch the battery. Does it feel cool to the touch? If so, then leave it at room temperature for a few more hours. Once it feels just about room temperature, take a piece of tissue and wipe the contact points of the battery just in case there’s some traces of moisture there.

Once this is done, plug it in your notebook computer, plug in the power adapter and leave your notebook in “charging” state. Do not power on the notebook!

Give your battery time to fully charge (this depends on your notebook/battery model). Once you’re 100% confident that the battery is fully charged, say your prayers, cross your fingers and power on your notebook. If all goes well, your battery should be working just fine.

Although I won’t promise that this notebook battery revival method will work for your particular notebook model, it has yet to fail me on a HP, Compaq, Dell and an old IBM ThinkPad… why not just give it a try, what have you got to lose?

If you find the steps above too complicated or risky, why not look for bargain prices for your particular notebook at batteries.com (FREE shipping on select laptop/notebook batteries):

Batteries.com: Free Shipping on Select Laptop Batteries