Michael S Hart and the eBook
Not too long ago the eBook was the stuff of science fiction books, much like we now talk about how we will read newspapers on sliver-thin screens we fold up and keep in our top pockets. A type of electronic book was first mentioned in 1948 by Robert Heinlein in his book Space Cadet, according to Dr Scavanaugh.
When the Internet was introduced in 1969 it would soon become the electronic library of the world instead of just a military communication system, meaning the creation of eBooks were obvious. In 1971, Michael Stern Hart (b 1947, Tacoma, Washington, USA), looking for a way to distribute the United States Deceleration of Independence over this new system in that way basically invented the Internet eBook – at the same time, in doing so, he founded the brilliant Project Gutenberg.
With the help of computer programmer Mark Zinzow and volunteers, Hart would grow Project Gutenberg into the world’s leading destination for eBook versions of classic works, making more than 30,000 of these valuable titles available for free.
There is as yet no standard electronic format for the eBook but there is no shortage of free software with which they can be read, including any modern web browser. A host of gadgets are also available to access and read the eBooks, the most popular of which are the Amazon Kindle and Sony eReader. You can even read eBooks on your TV or cell phone.
And when you do, whisper a big thanks to Michael Hart.