Current Cites (Digital Library SunSITE)

Volume 5, no. 10, October 1994

Edited by Teri Andrews Rinne

The Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720
ISSN: 1060-2356  - http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/CurrentCites/1994/cc94.5.10.html

Contributors: John Ober, Margaret Phillips, David Rez, Richard Rinehart, Teri Rinne, Roy Tennant

[ Electronic Publishing ] [ Multimedia and Hypermedia ] [ Networks and Networking ][ Optical Disc Technology ]

Electronic Publishing

Cryan, Shelley. "Great Expectations" CD-ROM World 9(9) (October 1994):56-61. -- This article bills itself as "the ultimate guide to electronic literature" on CD-ROM. The three distinct approaches to electronic publishing on CD-ROM are outlined: simple text dumps, collections of related literary works, and single titles enhanced with multimedia elements. The straight text dumps of the past are no longer acceptable to multimedia saavy consumers, claims Cryan. Better publishers are adding extra source material, sound, video and illustrations to offer an experience different than one can get from the printed page alone. Pegged as a particular standout of this genre is the recently released Halderman Diaries: Inside the Nixon White House which contains 2,200 pages of complete and unedited text, home movies, 700 photographs, and 2,000 pages of additional text related to White House affairs. -- TR

Eglowstein, Howard. "Due Recognition for OCR" Byte 19(10) (October 1994):145-148. -- Eglowstein presents a product review of four Optical Character Recognition (OCR) programs for Windows: OmniPage Professional 5.0, Recognita Plus 2.0 International, TextBridge 2.0 and WordScan Plus. Each product was tested for accuracy and throughput (accuracy divided by speed) and compared with price in mind. -- DR

Silverman, David. "SGML Takes on Database Management Responsibility" ImageWorld 3(9) (September 19, 1994): 35,37. -- Imaging, by its very nature, is one-sided. Textual information is not readily searchable when simply digitally stored as an image. The result of this structure creates 'chunks' of data which require indexes and pointers to organize it into a searchable form. If one OCRs the text, it does become searchable by keyword in addition to its pointers. But what if you want to use large amounts of textual and image data in a more strenuous manner? SGML offers one way to structure data by 'tagging' text and images according to a logical set of tags. Where HTML, a subset of SGML, structures data for display (to WWW clients), other forms of SGML can similarly organize data for searching, collecting and re-purposing in a variety of ways. SGML is becoming the standard for many types of information, and agreed upon by groups from the Coalition for the Interchange of Museum Information (CIMI) to the U.S. departments of Defense, Energy, and the FDA. This article is extremely useful in that it avoids hyping SGML, and simply offers the reader a concise explanation of what it is. -- RR

Multimedia and Hypermedia

Jerram, Peter. "Who's Using Multimedia" New Media 4(10) (October 1994):48-58. -- This article examines a recent survey, conducted by Dataquest, of businesses about their use of multimedia technology. Education and other non-profit markets are not well-represented, as this is a business survey, and neither is the market that is really fueling the multimedia industry: the consumer market. However this survey can be very useful in outlining the types of use multimedia is often put to most (presentations) and by which business type (manufacturing) and by what profession (engineers). The article is more than a series of statistics though, as it cites case studies of how six businesses have put multimedia to use, as well as delving into future trends such as video-conferencing and multimedia public kiosks. This article is an informative snapshot of the current forces driving the multimedia market; forces which can eventually affect everyone who uses multimedia technology. -- RR

DeLoughry, Thomas J. "Museums Go High-Tech" Chronicle of Higher Education. 40(3) (September 14, 1994):A47,A49. -- As an introduction to the world of information technology in museums, this article offers a brief, concise guide. It touches upon some of the salient issues facing museums using new technology, from the need to garner administrative commitment to improving services with technology, to the changing nature of the traditional, quiet, museum-going experience. A variety of approaches to using technology are covered, from a WWW site at the Krannert Art Museum [http://www.art.uiuc.edu/kam/] to a kiosk at the Michael C. Carlos Museum which allows visitors to "play" an ancient flute in the museum's collection by choosing various finger positions via a multimedia kiosk and hearing the resulting sound. One of the most useful parts of the article is the sidebar listing addresses of several museum efforts on the Internet. The article ends by making the point that new developments in the 'virtual museum' will not replace the traditional museum, but will draw new types of visitors and increase interest in the museums of the future. -- RR

Networks and Networking

Cage, Mary Crystal. "The Virtual Library" The Chronicle of Higher Education 40(4) (September 21, 1994): A23, A27. -- There is a wide range of challenges faced by institutions trying to establish fully digitized libraries. Among them are the technical challenges of providing optical-character-recognition of images that are scanned from poor quality originals; the high cost of the supercomputers; and the development of a system for protecting copyrighted material. On the other hand, many digital library projects such as Chicago-Kent College of Law and Project Janus out of Columbia University are working on such innovations as natural language searching which will allow users to browse and discover texts serendipidously. They are also working cooperatively with business and industry to help offset some of the costs associated with creating digitized library collections. -- MP

DeLoughry, Thomas J. "Grant Provides $24-Million for 'Virtual Libraries' Projects" The Chronicle of Higher Education 40(6) (October 5, 1994): A26. -- The National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Defense Department will award a total of $24-million to six universities to digitize materials in their libraries so that the texts can be accessed through computer networks. The six institutions receiving funds are: Carnegie-Mellon, Stanford, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Santa Barbara, University of Illinois and the University of Michigan. -- MP

Frappaolo, Carl. "The Emerging Text Retrieval Market Caters to Client-Server Computing" ImageWorld 3(9) (September 19, 1994): 20,48. -- To deliver text to the user, this article poses three models: stand-alone computers, host-based network computing, and client-server computing. The model gaining most prominence of the three is the client-server model. Within the client-server model, three approaches are outlined. These approaches, which could also be offered for other forms of information needing organized access such as images, offer varying degrees of power, flexibility and appropriateness. The range starts from one near to the mainframe host-based model where the client merely connects the user to the monolithic host which processes all commands, searches, and displays records the mostly passive client machine. The last model is the fully distributed model, where there are several local servers dynamically linked to an institution-wide network. This article indicates yet another area of computing affected by the move away from expensive centralized mainframe-type systems to flexible, locally controlled, yet intelligently connected servers. -- RR

Hancock, Lee. "Internet Resources for Health and Medicine" College & Research Libraries News 55(9) (October 1994):564-465, 609. This article provides an overview of Internet resources for health and medicine including listservs, ftp sites, gophers and World Wide Web sites for general health issues as well as disease-specific resources. -- MP

Kantor, Andrew and Michael Neubarth. "Internet Interfaces: The Next Generation" Internet World 5(7) (October 1994):30-32. -- The authors' article is the lead piece in a series of well-written, concise (four to five page) articles discussing all-purpose Internet tools, the first of which has been the Mosaic browser. In addition to describing the history and future of Mosaic (there is an interview with Mosaic developer Marc Andreessen), articles cover NetManage's Internet Chameleon and O'Reilly's Internet in a Box products. Although Internet World may not be the first place to hear about Internet developments, their timely articles, especially the thematically grouped ones, are are well-edited and well worth perusal. -- JLO

"Making the Internet Connection" PC Magazine 13(7) (October 11, 1994) -- PC Magazine devotes the lion's share of this issue to its cover story on the Internet. Included are product and service provider reviews, introductory and how-to articles, and definitions of terms, accompanied with color graphics that enhance understanding. -- RT

Morgan, Eric Lease. "The World-Wide Web and Mosaic: An Overview for Librarians" Public Access Computer Systems Review, 5(6) (1994):5-26. [available via World-Wide Web at http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/staff/morgan/www-and-libraries.html, or Gopher at gopher://info.lib.uh.edu:70/00/articles/e-journals/ uhlibrary/pacsreview/v5/n6/morgan.5n6 or via email by sending the message "GET MORGAN PRV5N6 F-MAIL" to listserv@uhupvm1.uh.edu. -- In this excellent and easy to understand overview of the World-Wide Web, Morgan explains the basic technologies, protocols and software of the World-Wide Web. However, as Morgan is known for doing (ask him about "Mr. Serials," for example), he also gives us much more by describing imaginative and effective ways in which the technology can be used to create and manage library services. For this, and for serving the article in HTML to enhance its usefulness to his readers, Morgan gets high marks and the gratitude of this reviewer. -- RT

Morgan, Keith and Deborah Kelly-Millburn. "Internet Resources for Economics" College & Research Libraries News 55(8) (September 1994):475-478. -- Another in the regular series of articles in C&RL News that lists essential Internet resources in specific academic disciplines, this article provides a thorough yet selective list of resources in economics. It includes references to Internet collections of statistical data, private datasets, software libraries, biblio- graphies of working papers as well as a related newsgroups. In addition to a list of important sources, the article also discusses the Internet tools that researchers can use to find other relevant resources. -- MP

"Special Training Issue," Internet Business Journal 2(3) (September 1994). -- This special issue on Internet training profiles several Internet training providers, gives pointers to good online resources for trainers, lists some books specific to Internet training, offers some training tips, and highlights training in the K-12 environment. -- RT

Wilson, David L. "A Death en Route to the Data Highway" The Chronicle of Higher Education 40(6) (October 5, 1994): A21. -- Legislation that would have removed many restrictions on the telecommunications industry and would have therefore encouraged more development of the information infrastructure has been declared dead in Congress. Among the amendments added to the bill was a requirement that communications companies provide network access to schools at "preferential rates;" the bill would also have imposed price caps in order to provide "universal service" on the Internet. Analysts believe that the legislation died because the package contained too much regulation on the one hand and not enough protection for consumers on the other. -- MP

Optical Disc Technology

Sengstack, Jeff. "Fast Drives" CD-ROM World 9(9) (October 1994):39-45. -- Sengstack presents both an excellent review of the latest generation of double, triple, and quadruple-speed CD-ROM disc drives and a frank and entertaining accompanying commentary. The speed demon quad drives are not necessarily the best choice for some explains Sengstack: "Quad-speed drives can push 386 PCs and slow Macs beyond their processing limits, and putting a quad on a slow computer is like putting a turbocharger on a lawn mower." Beyond that, most of today's multimedia software is specifically designed to run on a single-speed drive and does not appear to run any faster on a quad-speed. However, the quad-speed drive definitely makes a difference if it being used for text retrieval or business applications and they are absolutely essential for achieving acceptable quality video output. Is there an end in sight? Indeed, claims an industry expert. From a technological point of view, it is thought that a six-speed is a possibility, whereas an eight-speed is only a minor possibility. Reason being, ironically enough, is that faster drives may have slower access rates. What is looming on the horizon is a new blue-light laser technology which will increase the storage capacity of a CD-ROM disc to 1.6 gigabytes compared to the 650 MB CD-ROM disc of today. -- TR


Current Cites 5(10) (October 1994) ISSN: 1060-2356 Copyright (C) 1995 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.

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