We read, in a previous exciting paradigm, that the medium is the message. Yes! And the software is the information.

The text and the data and the presentation and delivery system are all one unity. If you wonder about the meaning of this statement,you could go play in the taxonomy sandbox for a while; but in the meantime we need to talk about software for electronic books.

First of all, topmost if you will, there is the data--the information. It's in storage somewhere, and you can't understand it directly. so it has to be translated into a text of some sort. We consider the text to be a primary constituent of the software.

Then there is the presentation style. What does the font look like? How are the paragraphs set off? Pictures? Color or monochrome?

Next there is some, um, software, that wraps the data up into the text in accordance with the presentation style, and presents it to you.

Below that is some hardware that supports all of this software. By no surprising chance are we looking at something resembling ethernet's 7-layer OSI cake--it's a handy model for separating the strands.

The Main Chance

We can sell software to the end user. The software can be operating systems (part of dedicated hardware systems); application software; or information files.

There are already companies doing all three.