[Coco] Re: Rainbow on Disc

farna at att.net farna at att.net
Thu Jun 9 07:24:20 EDT 2005

Well, having some experience in scanned and archived magazines (my own - "the world of 68' micros" and "American Independent Magazine") I can make some comments.

1. JPG is a definite no-no! Quality won't be good enough unless the file is large. The best format for quality vs. size is PDF. I sent PDF files to my wife from Korea for printing AIM via e-mail. Size of a 28-32 page magazine with lots of photos averaged 4,500 KB. Include a copy of the free Adobe reader on each CD if there is room and concern about reading the files. You won't be able to read them on a CoCo, but JPG files won't be readable at CoCo resolutions either. Shoot for the least common denominator. there are PDF readers for Windows, Linux, and Macs. 

2. I commonly work with 200 dpi photos. Anything over 150 dpi won't print or display on screen any better than 150. The original type setting for Rainbow (and most magazines even today) is 120 LPI (lines per inch) for greyscale abd color photos. 150 dpi mimics this nicely on a laser printer. 

3. Scanning software sill be an issue. Previously scanned photos sometimes have a pattern on them called a "moire pattern". If the scanner lines up exactly with the LPI of the original scan it won't show up or won't show up much. This can't be done on a practical level with a computer scanner, it will be coincidence. I come across moire patterns on old auto ads a lot -- maybe 1 in 10 don['t need correction. You have to have a photo editing software that will remove/correct this pattern. Photoshop should -- I use Corel PhotoPaint (version 8). Low end editors won't have this feature, some high end ones don't. 

4. There is no need to OCR the magazines. That would take a LOT of time and require proof reading and editing. The only reason OCR would be useful is to change the content or lift articles for other publications, something the project doesn't want anyway. OCR the program listings if desired and save as separate ASCII files for tranferring to a computer, but not the rest of the magazines. I do believe the project would be best served by preserving the original magazine format even though none of the ads will be of any use other than historical information. But that may be the only info available on some items in the future, so I think the ads deserve preservation as well. 

5. Cost needs to cover accounting expenses as well as reproduction and license fee. I'm assuming that's the only expenses and time to scan will be by donation. No one wants to pay more than they have to, but if the full set will run $36 to license, $40 isn't reasonable and won't cover costs unless on a single disc. If the person doing the copying/accounting isn't getting a little for their time they will quickly tire of keeping this up. The suggestion that distribution be accomplished by someone who already has a vested interest in the CoCo is a very good one! I'd suggest Cloud-9 (assuming Mark is interested) at least for distribution/accounting, and allow them to send a current ad flyer with the product. That gives them the added incentive of advertising to current CoCo users (or at least with CoCo interest) along with a token sum for accounting/reproduction.

6. CD would be the preferred format as every modern computer has a CD drive, but not everyone has DVD. I have five issues of AIM on a CD that reports 12.2MB used (4,500 KB average size comes to 22,500 KB, and directly added files are just over 20,000 KB, so why XP reports 12.2MB used baffles me at the moment...). A CD is 600 MB, so 133 issues could be on a single CD. DVD may not be necessary. Since there are 144 issues a two CD set would be required, and "Rainbow on Disk" or ASCII scans of the program listings could easily be added. 

7. If the collection is to be broken up do it by volume, not by year or single issues. It will be easier to track that way. Rainbow also printed an index aftr the first several years. I'd put a complete index on each CD as the first file on each volume CD. That would make 12 CDs, one for each year. I'd suggest a four CD set with four volumes (16 issues, est. 10 MB each, 160 MB + listings) on each CD. That would be $4 of license fees @ $0.25 each, and I'd suggest $4 for the distributor -- $8 per disc total. That would make a complete set $96. Considering what it would cost to get a full set now that's more than reasonable. I doubt you could get a single volume (12 issues) for that price inculding shipping! If cost for the entire set is a bigger factor (it is for some of you I know) then figure $50 for a two CD or single DVD set -- $36 in license fees and $14 for distributor (assuming they take care of accounting, duplication, and mailing). Again, I suggest CDs over DVDs. 

On a side note -- who has the site with the scanned CoCo magazines now? I gave permission for "268'm" to be scanned some time ago and remember someone doing it and putting them up on a website. Can't find anything with a Google search though. 

Frank Swygert
Publisher, "American Independent 
Magazine" (AIM)
For all AMC enthusiasts
(free download available!)


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