[owncloud-devel] Western Digital proposal: personal electronic bookshelf

Frank de Lange owncloud-f at unternet.org
Fri Dec 18 00:15:10 GMT 2015


Another WD proposal which might be of interest: a personal electronic
bookshelf, based on Owncloud, an OPDS catalog (as realised by my OPDS
catalog app), gateways to several external sources (libraries, online
archives (think archive.org et al), publishers (Baen, etc) and
others. Books (and other publications) from external sources get
archived locally so they are always around - even if the external
source gives the ghost or the network has been taken down by that tree
which fell on the phone line or the neighbour who crashed his truck
into a pole. Publications can be shared with others using the Owncloud
sharing mechanisms.

Books can be read using OPDS-compatible clients (most electronic book
reader programs), through the Owncloud web interface (eg. using my
Reader app) or by direct file access. 

As to the 'why' for such an installation, just think of the space
saved by having a little box on the (physical) bookshelf instead of
hundreds of books. Think of the ease with which this book collection
can be moved compared to the physical alternatives - no student should
be without one :-)

The fact that the Raspberry Pi is somewhat lacking in Ethernet
connectivity does not matter that much for this application as it does
not depend on raw throughput - books are generally no more than a few
megabytes, exceptions are image-heavy reference works but even those
top out at ~100 MB. The low price of the system (Raspberry Pi + drive)
makes it something which can be used next to any existing data vault
without feeling the need to overload the box with other applications
(even though that IS possible).

It would also fit with WD's 'My Book' branding...

About me: I'm Frank de Lange, I developed a few Owncloud apps related
to just these things (books, reading and cataloguing) and I use a
(bigger and heavier) version of a system like this myself.

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