[Coco] RE: Rainbow magazines]

John R. Hogerhuis jhoger at pobox.com
Thu Jun 9 01:52:05 EDT 2005

On Thu, 2005-06-09 at 00:41 -0400, John Murphy wrote:
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "John Hogerhuis" <jhoger at gmail.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 5:43 PM
> > Whatever the format I think it has to work on Windows, OSX and Linux
> > (Linux for me to be interested). But if you put it in something else I
> > would just have to convert it for my own use under Linux.
> >
> > Whatever you do *do not* lock it up in some dastardly DRMed format.
> > Please, open, standard, unencrypted, no passwords or keys to lose.
> >
> > The only document format I know that permits that and has good readers is 
> > PDF.
> >
> > In any event, we're basically just using the format as a container for
> > scanned pages. No matter what format we use it ain't gonna be tiny.
> > Also we should separate the issue of how to scan and what will be in
> > the final product. If you scan at 600dpi B&W, we can down convert it
> > to 150dpi later, automatically. But if we want color we have to decide
> > that early on since it can't really be added later.
> >
> > For Thinking Forth we actually re-typeset the book, so that's why it
> > is so small. There's no graphics there except for the illustrations.
> > Everything else is one character approx equals one byte.
> >
> > I think it would be a lifetime project to re-typeset Rainbow. Just
> > scan it and package it up as PDF, that's feasible.
> >
> > -- John.
> >
> For re-typesetting,
> http://dproofreaders.sourceforge.net/
> is an app that would be a valuable resource...
> <quote>
> Distributed Proofreaders provides a web-based method of easing the 
> proofreading work associated with the creation of Project Gutenberg E-Texts. 
> By breaking the work into individual pages many proofreaders can be working 
> on the same book at the same time. This significantly speeds up the 
> proofreading/E-Text creation process.
> When a proofer elects to proofread a page for a particular project, the text 
> and image file are displayed on a single webpage. This allows the text file 
> to be easily reviewed and compared to the image file, thus assisting the 
> proofreading of the text file. The edited text file is then submitted back 
> to the site via the same webpage that it was edited on.
> </quote>
> "All" that would be needed would be a site willing to host the app.
> And many, many of the problems around scanning and re-purposing magazines 
> are solved problems: another good resource is those evil, 
> copyright-infringing ebook-scanning scofflaws at
> alt.binaries.e-book.d
> Many of them are quite knowledgeable, and don't mind sharing "trade 
> secrets", as it were.
> John 

I agree these are solved problems, but there are issues: I think these
open collaboration tools are designed for use with out-of-copyright
works. What we're dealing with here can't be available widely without
good controls.

Anyway, believe me, retypesetting the Rainbow is possible, but not a
good use of anyone's time. It's a lot of work, and if anyone has that
kind of time and energy available, I have a whole list of great retro
computing projects to offload to them ;-)

I think the best compromise is to OCR and just provide the proofread,
raw ascii cross referenced on the DVDs with everything else as text
files. Compared to the size of the magazine PDFs, the space taken will
be totally negligible.

Of course that assumes Lonnie would allow that. I'm not sure what the
objection would be but there might be one especially considering his
comments about needing to include the ads. The OCRed text would be more
of a derivative work of the original, and may create issues with
whatever contracts he has with the advertisers or authors. Dunno.

-- John.

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