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Michael Hart, Inventor of the E-book, Dead At 64 70

FeatherBoa writes "Michael Hart, the founder and long time driving force behind Project Gutenberg and 1971 inventor of the electronic book has died at his home in Urbana Ill, on Sept. 6th 2011. Project Gutenberg is recognized as one of the earliest and longest-lasting online literary projects, has spawned sister projects in Australia, Canada, Germany and other locations to transcribe public domain literature and make it available via the Internet."
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Michael Hart, Inventor of the E-book, Dead At 64

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  • by coldmist ( 154493 ) on Thursday September 08, 2011 @04:07AM (#37337244) Homepage

    Let me just say that I admire the man for all that he has done. For his vision, and efforts to push us all to bigger and better things.

    Project Gutenberg will be a lasting legacy.

  • To do it right? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Thursday September 08, 2011 @05:13AM (#37337502) Journal

    To do it right they should slashdot it forever and put a link on the slashdot footer to Project Gutenberg.

    The guy did more for the preservation of knowledge than you or I could ever hope to do. Even Richard Stallman owes him a debt that can't be repaid - for the idea that we own the knowledge that we share, and its value increases with its commonality. His ideas are the inspiration for the free software movement, Google Books, and many other things.

    The first time I downloaded an eBook from Michael Hart, his site was on The List - and The List was under a meg. I read it a dozen times, and have gotten hundreds since. My Android tablet is now configured to search for books "Project Gutenberg first." Over the years I've given back what I could, when I could, but to be honest I got more than I gave. The man had Vision, with a capital V. I'll never forget the premise: that with digital technology replication is costless so if an ebook is worth $1 and distributed to all the people of the world, that work creates billions of dollars worth of knowledge.

    Now's a good time to remember and give again what I can.

    The passing of a dear friend is seldom more painful than when you owe them something you cannot repay. Farewell, Michael Hart. If the best I can do now is to do what I can to help push your vision forward, I owe you that.

    Holy hell but it's dusty in here all of a sudden.

  • Re:E-book? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Thursday September 08, 2011 @05:36AM (#37337576) Journal

    Please, let me be the first among us to say "Fuck you, and the horse you rode in on too."

    AC's are what they are, and slashdot is engineered to accept them so that no voice is silenced. I'm OK with that. But to come in here, on this day, and piss on the memory of a man who never did harm and blessed us all with the wealth of ages because you couldn't figure out one of the simplest websites on earth? Fuck you. I mean that sincerely. Die in a fire, please.

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.