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!
Why virtualise your NAS environment?
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- 2 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Kogan makes NBN play
- Bill Morrow to step down as NBN Co chief
- Leaked document details Rudd govt strategy for Telstra NBN negotiations
- A Third of NBN Users Would Change Back if They Could
- TPG to stop selling 25Mbps NBN plans
PCW Evaluation Team
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
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.
- ASUS ROG Zephyrus M review: Leaner and meaner
- Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- Picture Perfect: OPPO prepare their boldest smartphone yet
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCDrupal DeveloperNSW
- FTProject Manager - ERP implementationOther
- TPSupport OfficerQLD
- CCProject CoordinatorNSW
- FTIT Project ManagerOther
- FTSenior Salesforce DeveloperOther
- TPSenior Technical Analyst - Oracle PeopleSoftQLD
- FTPeoplesoft HCM Application DeveloperACT
- FTFull Stack DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Sitecore DeveloperOther
- TPProject CoordinatorVIC
- FTSAP Test AnalystsOther
- FTAutomation Test AnalystOther
- FTSignalling Project ManagerWA
- FTData Analyst/DeveloperNSW
- TPChange and Training Manager - TRIMQLD
- FTService Desk Engineer/IT Help desk SupportVIC
- CCXamarin DeveloperNSW
- FTCyber Security Solution ArchitectOther
- FTFull Stack Developer - (Mid Level)Other
- FTService Delivery CoordinatorVIC
- CCTalend Integration DeveloperNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCFull Stack Mobile/Java DeveloperVIC
- FTSalesforce DeveloperVIC