Monthly Archives: June 2008

ebrary Reader in Linux

Here’s a frustrating aspect about ebook technology that is a clear example of technology that does not work and will not be embraced.  Ebrary has a scheme that basically takes the open pdf format and locks it to the browser.  S.R. Ranganathan’s Five Laws of Libraries begins with books are for use, meaning that they shouldn’t be chained to the shelves or kept behind the counter.  ebrary content is chained to the browser and not just any browser.  It is chained to the Windows operating system.  I do give them kudos for finally making FireFox an option, but if you try to use their service on a Linux system here’s what you see:

Linux Plugin Not Available

We have detected that you are attempting to access this book from a Linux-based browser, which is not yet supported by the ebrary Reader.   However this technology is currently under development and is exptected to be made available in the near future.   Please keep checking back on our site on the download page for updates.

Here’s the weird part – on their own website they have instructions for using wine to run the ebrary plugin under Linux.

RUN ebrary Reader in Linux

The short directions

  1. Download and install WINE:sudo apt-get install wine
  2. Download and locally save Firefox for Windows from this location.
  3. Run the Firefox installer under WINE:wine <Firefox_setup.exe>

    This will create an icon on your Linux desktop.

  4. Run Firefox from the new desktop icon.
  5. Download and install the ebrary Reader as prompted on your ebrary channel.




outside the box

Image courtesy of Box.netI’m quite excited to share a new service called which allows storage of files on the web along with many other features.  This idea is not new, but the exectution by is quite easy to use (including a drag-and-drop function).  I became interested in the service when I read that gOS and the Evergreen computer were now integrated with to allow storage on the net instead of on a local harddrive.