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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Note 8: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Huawei Y5 (2017): Full, in depth review
- 3 LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- 4 First Look: Nikon D850
- 5 OnePlus 5: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Telstra reveals NBN payment plan amid market headwinds
- NBN hooks up 6 million homes and businesses
- Telstra says some of its NBN customers paid for unachievable speeds
- Australian broadband speed ranking drops again despite NBN rollout
- Rowland says govt supressing unflattering NBN information
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Jabra Elite Sport (2017) review
- How to download the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update right now
- Opinon: Life after KRACK
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCBlue Prism DevelopersNSW
- TPSenior Business Analyst (x2)NSW
- TPSenior Project OfficerQLD
- FTTest AnalystOther
- FTDevOps Engineer/ LeadOther
- FTSAP Lead Solution ArchitectOther
- FTTalent Acquisition Specialist - Large Blue Chip clientOther
- FTNetwork and Security EngineerOther
- CCWindows 10 Deployment TechnicianWA
- TPBusiness AnalystVIC
- FTBusiness Analyst- Data Analytics backgroundOther
- FTEmail Production SpecialistOther
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTService Desk Technical LeadNSW
- FTSenior Systems Engineer/Veeam SpecialistOther
- FTProject SchedulerSA
- FTOracle WebLogic Administrator- Banking backgroundOther
- CCSAP FICO ConsultantACT
- FTDevOps ConsultantVIC
- CCIntegration Solution ArchitectNSW
- FTDigital Marketing ExecutiveOther
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- FTService desk supportACT
- FTSenior Salesforce DeveloperOther
- FTBusiness AnalystOther