On September 6, Michael S. Hart died at his home in Illinois at the age of 64. You may not know the name, but if you're on this site you've almost certainly been touched his legacy. In 1971, Hart created the world's first eBook when he transcribed a copy of the Declaration of Independence and uploaded it to the University of Illinois fledgling computer network. In later interviews, he said he would have emailed it to everyone on the system, but doing so would have crashed the network. This simple act would become the foundational moment for Hart, who would go on to found Project Gutenberg -- the largest repository of free eBooks on the Internet. While his work is often eclipsed by the sleeker, sexier offerings through the Amazon and iTunes eBook stores, his aspirations were of the highest order. His mission statement for the site reads:
Encourage the Creation and Distribution of eBooks Help Break Down the Bars of Ignorance and Illiteracy Give As Many eBooks to As Many People As PossibleThank you, Michael Hart, for making bringing these books to world. (UK Guardian via @Paleofuture) Read More
Project Gutenberg is essentially an archive of over 33,000 free eBooks that users can load onto most eBook readers. Magic Catalog, from Project Gutenberg, is a free program that acts as a middleman between eBooks and eBook readers, specifically Kindle and iBooks. The app contains links to the free eBooks offered by Project Gutenberg, which when selected, will load said free eBook into one's Kindle or iBooks.
There is also a more roundabout way available to load eBooks into one's reader using the program. From the Unofficial Apple Weblog:
If, for some reason, you'd prefer to download the books to your computer and transfer them to your iOS device (or if you already have .epub, .mobi, or other e-books on your computer), you can do so using iTunes. If you have the Kindle app installed, it will appear under the "File Sharing" section in the "apps" tab, and you can add books there. You may notice that iBooks does not appear in the "File Sharing" section. To transfer books to iBooks, simply drag to the "Library" section of your iTunes library (see this page at Apple.com for more details).Kindle and iBooks: When you are on the web page to download the book, you will not see the name of the book; you'll see something like "pg23.mobi" followed by the size and a button to open the book in the Kindle app (or iBooks if you have the EPUB version). Once you open the book in the appropriate application, it will show the correct name. Though Magic Catalog seems like a quick and convenient way to load free eBooks onto one's reader, a few users claim that browsing through the many free eBooks is tedious, as Magic Catalog doesn't quite have an organizational system in place as of yet. Read More