If you've been following my other blog, you'll be aware that I've become intrigued by the Lady of the Heather story.
Now I researched James Clark Ross's account of his visit to Campbell Island via Google Books on my Huawei mediapad.
Like many nineteenth century accounts Ross's account of his voyage is highly readable and I thought 'maybe I'll download the pdf and read the whole book later'.
Nineteenth century books can be difficult to find second hand, especially collecable books like travel books, and by the time you've bought yourself two or three print on demand copies, you might as well have bought a cheap tablet to use as a dedicated device to read the books on. After all GoogleBooks lets you download the digitised copies of out of copyright books as PDF's or EPUB's.
While my full size tablet has proved incredibly useful I find that smaller format devices are better for portability and can fit comfortably into a small backpack or briefcase, yet the screen size is about the same as a printed book. And of course if you download the content to the device, being somewhere without network access - such as a bus - is not a problem.
Now I have a couple of old 7 inch tablets, a 2014 vintage Samsung Tab Lite and a 2015 vintage Alcatel Pixi-7, both of which were stuck on different versions of Android 4, meaning that they would not support the latest versions of acrobat. However both have the same formfactor as an A5 (paper) notebook - more or less anyway - making them ideal to use as an e-reader.
The Samsung turned out to be just that critical bit older by a few point releases and the latest version of Acrobat it supported had difficulties reading the Google Books PDF.
Since the device was seven years old, and clearly limping a bit, I decided to wipe it and send it to the e-waste people. (Hardreset.info is an invaluable source of information as to which version of the Vulcan death grip is required to wipe a tablet or phone before disposal)
Amazingly, the Alacatel, despite being a bin end device bought from Telstra's disposal store turned out to be just up to date enough to cope with the downloaded PDF.
So, probably, it's good for a little bit longer.
But the lesson is that software creep does kill old Android devices sooner or later ...