Whether you love it or hate it, Wikipedia is immensely useful and WikiReader lets you carry it with you
- Inexpensive, very portable
- No graphics
I love the WikiReader, and it is what I want in my rucksack if I'm ever stuck in the Kenyan rain forest with a primate identification problem.
Price$ 99.00 (AUD)
Note: The $99 price listed for the WikiReader is in US dollars.
Many people are dismissive of Wikipedia. For example, back in 2005, as quoted in the Ideas in Action blog, Robert McHenry, a former editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia Britannica, argued: "Many revisions, corrections, and updates are badly done or false. There is a simple reason for this: Not everyone who believes he knows something about Topic X actually does; and not everyone who believes he can explain Topic X clearly, can."
Even so, from various comparative content reviews such as the one that was conducted by Nature.com in 2005 (as reported on Arstechnica, it would seem that the error rates of Wikipedia and Britannica were remarkably close, with Britannica only slightly in the lead: "Working from a statistically small sample of 42 randomly chosen science articles ... Wikipedia had 33 percent more errors, with 162 'factual errors, omissions or misleading statements,' as compared to 123 for Britannica. In terms of egregious errors involving inaccurately explained concepts or misinterpretations of data, the experts found four instances in each of the two encyclopedias."
The takeaway from all this wrangling is that no matter what 'pedia you use, you always have to cross check your sources.
Even so, whether you love it or hate it, Wikipedia is immensely useful and its scope, currently some 3,322,838 articles, makes it about 15 times larger than Britannica. It is also a crucial resource when it comes to answering trivia questions.
Better yet, it is convenient. For example, sometimes going online to resolve a crucial issue such as the birthday of Led Zepplin's Jimmy Page (Jan. 9, 1944) or what is the more usual name for the West African primate called the "softly-softly" (the "potto") is just too much aggravation or impossible if you happen to be in the middle of the Kenyan rain forest. This is where the WikiReader from Openmoko might be extremely useful.
At just 4 inches square and 3/4 inch thick and weighing next to nothing, this dedicated device is tiny. Its two AAA batteries will last for months and its monochrome, touch-sensitive screen is not bad at all even in daylight.
What's interesting is that the WikiReader has just four buttons: Power, search, history and random (I could live without the "random" button).
When you press "search" you get an on-screen keyboard to enter your search text (this is a little on the small side so those of us with fat finger syndrome have to be careful) and as you enter each letter a list of matches appears giving you a clue about possible hits ... nice. When you see a result that looks like it fits your query, you just press the on-screen entry with your finger to display the related content. Dragging up and down with your finger scrolls the content -- completely intuitive.
Priced at just US$99 the WikiReader can be updated, at no charge, by copying the latest content release to the micro SD card or, for the low price of just $29, you can receive two updates per year pre-loaded onto micro SD cards.
What would improve the WikiReader? The next level up would be graphics, after which it would be audio then video ... all of which is asking for a lot of additional technology that would push up the price considerably.
I love this device as it is and this is what I want in my rucksack if I'm ever stuck in the Kenyan rain forest with a primate identification problem. As unlikely as that may be, I'll give the WikiReader a rating of 4.5
Gibbs lives near the desert in Ventura, Calif. Send your jungle drums to email@example.com.
Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.
Join the newsletter!
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Apple iMac Pro
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Ballistix Sport AT
Toys for Boys
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
ESET Smart Security Premium
ESET Internet Security
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Tivoli PAL BT
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
There are countless trends competing for attention in the gaming notebook and laptop space but not all of them are either useful or benefit the core gaming experience.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Tab S4 review: Freestyle
- 2 Sony WF-SP900 review: One step forward, two steps back
- 3 Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 review: Safety first
- 4 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 5 Lenovo Smart Display review: The bigger, better buy
Latest News Articles
- Boost founder slams Oz carriers over 5G
- Telstra announces refreshed fixed-broadband plans
- Optus and Amaysim lead in first WhistleOut Awards
- Kogan joins NBN price war
- ALDImobile brings new data pack and dumps up its data offering
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20, and we only have one question
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?