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\"My own time line runs a little differently: By 2002, e-books are being sharply discounted in bins near the door of Best Buy. By 2003, e-book enthusiasts join DiscoVision, Commodore, and Pixelvision fans in trading their relics on eBay. By 2004, several books have analyzed the e-book debacle. By 2020, they\'re all out of print.\"
Lately, the people behind Microsoft Reader and other e-books have been promising a utopia where we can download books from the Net and read them on portable screens with ClearType technology so that the page looks -- well, as good as paper, they say. Ads for the Reader, for example, bravely show the first page of Moby Dick, with \"Call me Ishmael\" thundering from the page.
Well, not thundering. I had to squint. The Reader\'s type in the ad is too small for me to read easily, and though I KNOW I CAN MAKE IT AS BIG AS I WANT, I still feel like Dave Barry when the type on a restaurant menu is so small that he just points to something, and the waiter asks, \"You\'ll have the No Cigar or Pipe Smoking for dinner?\"