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Re: [BKARTS] relevance of the book in the internet age + word rap
Richard Minsky wrote:
That is correct, but not what I was talking about. The digital file
does not change.
I missed some of this thread, so I don't know if the issue of obsolete
technology has been addressed. I wrote a little about this in my book,
"Mortality and Mercy on the Internet’s Pynchon-L@xxxxxxxxx Discussion
List," published by Intangible Assets Manufacturing in 1997. Electronic
media depend on reading devices that have changed with bewildering
speed. Try accessing a wire recording, or even a document saved on a
5.25" floppy. I have a complete book that I translated in 1989 on a
5.25" floppy. I will need to pay to have it restored if I should need it
again. The disk itself may not even be good any more.
We live on an island in the lagoon formed by the main island of Cancun,
to which it is attached by a causeway. We have the day-to-day effects of
salt air and humidity to deal with. We've been through a few hurricanes.
Wilma blew out our front and back windows and the door. It looked as if
we'd been through a car wash. Very fortunately, one room was spared, and
that's where we had stored everything before being evacuated to the
mainland. Almost everything in that room survived, but the computers had
to be pretty much rebuilt. The hard drives made it through fine, but the
unsealed surfaces inside the cases were covered with a fine layer of
dried condensation that couldn't be cleaned off.
Lineland had been archived on a ZIP cartridge. Remember ZIP cartridges?
Um. I no longer had a ZIP drive. Then when I found someone who did, the
cartridge was dead. Fortunately, I had for once in my life prudently
backed up my ZIP cartridges to CDs. A couple of years ago, Lineland went
out of print and the rights reverted to me. Oh, goody! I decided to
re-publish it myself in a Lulu.com edition. Wait a minute. It was set in
PageMaker 6.5. InDesign opens those files. Easy, right? Wrong. It was
set in Bembo with Bembo SC and Bembo Expert Set. I don't use those faces
any more. I use Minion for all my book work. Well, you know what
happened. All the line endings and other stuff changed.
Ok. Get Bembo Std, an OpenType face that has replaced Bembo whatever.
Good try. Less naughty changes, but enough to make problems. Except the
ligatures that were painstakingly formatted in Bembo Expert have
reverted to plain text. Try search and replace. Seems I have to learn
GREP to get them all because of the different variations caused by
problems to complex to explain here. Maybe I don't have to learn GREP. I
just have to write a set of search times and execute find and replace
correction by correction so that I can fix any bad hits manually. Bad
language ensues. Reinstall Bembo whatevers. No joy. The line endings are
still bad because ID justifies differently from PM 6.5
Find old PM 6.5 installation CDs. Whew. They are still functional.
Install PM 6.5, but now guess what? The links to the images are broken.
Find images, update all links. Hmm. Some images are missing, principally
the cover, and a couple inside. Scan cover image. Give up on inside
images and just use embedded previews, which turn out to print well
enough, if not with the quality to which I am accustomed. Still one
minor problem. The last six pages and the index are gone. Gone. Grr.
Scan and OCR last six pages and Index. Redo pages. Voilá! We have a
second edition of "Mortality and Mercy on the Internet’s
Pynchon-L@xxxxxxxxx Discussion List" for sale at
<http://www.lulu.com/content/548705>. It's a pretty close match with the
first edition, but not exact. There are spelling errors in the OCRd text
that slipped all the way through multiple proofreadings...
The hell with it. That's the book that is. Maybe some day I will fix
everything and make it perfect again. Maybe not.
As a reward for getting this far, here's the last six pages of Lineland,
"The Future of the Book of the Future," which deals with the issues that
have been discussed so well in this thread
<http://madlaughter.com/future_book.pdf>. Seeing ahead ten years isn't
much of a feat of futurology, but I think you'll agree that I got it all
right (except the spelling).
While I have your attention, allow me to point you at
<http://madlaughter.com/ff> where you can see some pictures of the work
that I exhibited at Franklin Furnace in 1978. These books have had a lot
of life during the past thirty years and they show it, but the scars and
stains of age are beautiful, I think.
Thanks for reading this far. If not, go to the top and begin again. My
beloved bride, the beauteous Anita Brown is a bit impatient to be out
watching the sun set over the lagoon, so I will say goodbye without
checking any of this for errors. I'm sure you will understand.
JULES SIEGEL Apdo. 1764, 77501-Cancun, Q. Roo, Mexico
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