The Usual Tech Ramblings

Linux Journal, Digital Editions, and Apple

I’ve been a long time subscriber to Linux Journal, my closest has a box filled with old editions, and my bookshelf no longer has space, so I was glad to see they were going fully digital. I know they had a digital edition before, but it was one format. I was hoping the switch would mean they would expand the formats.

I was excited to see them finally publish formats in PDF, Mobi, and ePub. I was more interested in the latter because I have a Sony reader that handles ePub nicely. I get a nice email once a month with links to each of the formats. Quite handy.

Before I left on a trip to the corporate office in New York, I discovered there was an iPad app for Linux Journal, which allowed you to read the digital editions, so I decided to check it out. Installed easily, pretty easy to use, and looked good too. I opened the app, skimmed a few pages in the latest edition, it seemed a little slow at first, I assumed because it was still downloading some of the content. Once I’d visited a page, it loaded pretty quick afterwards. It displayed nicely, looked just like the old print magazine did. So I was happy.

I was happy until I was about 10k feet in the air, and was granted permission to use air-safe electronics. I opened up the edition I quickly skimmed at home, swipe past the first few pages, then get a pop-up telling me that I couldn’t read any more because it wasn’t online.

This is quite frustrating, fortunately I had planned the trip, and had several forms of entertainment planned out. I could pay the $25 for the flight to use the in-flight wifi, but that seems stupid, and expensive.

I’m not sure if the issue is with the app itself, or with Apple’s restrictions on publishers, but this limitation makes the iPad app rather useless, especially as I have the wifi only edition. Maybe I’m just not using it right. Does anybody else have any experience with it? Have you tried using it with Airplane mode?