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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Lineland had been archived on a ZIP cartridge.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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