Current Cites (Digital Library SunSITE)

Volume 5, no. 2, February 1994

Edited by Teri Andrews Rinne

The Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720
ISSN: 1060-2356  -

Contributors: Nathan Meyer, David Rez, Richard Rinehart, Teri Rinne, Roy Tennant

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

Electronic Publishing

Frappaolo, Carl "The Language of the Electronic Document" CD-ROM Professional 7(1) (January 1994):133-139. Frappaolo introduces an excerpt from the Electronic Publishing Glossary compiled by the Delphi Consulting Group. Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS) are a composite of many technologies, such as image processing, artificial intelligence, text retrieval, networking and multimedia. The combination has created a jargon that the newcomer to EDMS might find intimidating. A glossary of terms and acronyms for this unique EDMS vernacular has become both necessary and desirable. - DR

Hypermedia and Multimedia

Grotophorst, Clyde W. "Hypertext for Windows: Developing Databases for the Winhelp Engine" Library Software Review 12(4) (Winter 1993):14-20. Winhelp is the program Windows uses to display its online Help feature, purely as a viewer. This article describes how to use Winhelp as an authoring tool to create hypertext files. Winhelp, much like HyperCard for the Macintosh, runs on a popular platform, and features linked terms (or pictures or icons), keyword searching, the ability to retrace one's path in the non-linear hypertext environment, and more. Winhelp is free with Windows, but it is not supported as an authoring tool, making this article valuable as a source for the relevant details. - RR

"Library of Congress to Create Electronic Archives Using Bernstein Collection" Government Imaging 3(1) (January/February 1994):cover. The Library of Congress will use a gift from the estate of late composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein to create "The Bernstein Collection," a collection of multimedia resources focusing on music. This collection will form the core of LC's growing multimedia collection, and LC hopes to utilize the electronic nature of the collection by linking these resources with similar collections around the country, expanding access both ways. - RR

Mazur, F.E. "Now Appearing in the Computer Spreadsheet: Movies Finding New Multimedia Applications" CD-ROM Professional 7(1) (January 1994):44-45. When Cornell University's Interactive Multimedia Group conducted a study of collaborative problem-solving in the networked environment, they had test groups work on a project, using teleconferencing to share information to solve problems. As interesting as the study itself however is the way they chose to relate their findings via multimedia spreadsheet. The final report consists of an Excel spreadsheet in which cells hold transcribed conversations, along with analytical notes, as well as Quicktime movies of the online talks. This is an important change in that now original data in many academic studies need not be separate from the final analysis, which would normally consist of a journal article. Having the source data at hand allows peers to more accurately judge the study, and to re-use the data for further studies. The current problem of scant mechanisms for distributing multimedia academic articles dims only slightly the implications presented here. - RR

Robin, Michael "Learning Through Experience" Microtimes (119) (February 7, 1994):96-108. San Francisco's Exploratorium Museum has been doing "interactive multimedia" education for over 25 years. Most of their exhibits have been mechanical/electronic 3-D exhibits focusing on human perception, and they had to be visited on site (a pleasure well worth it). The Exploratorium sets the standard for other museums by exploiting multimedia at its best: education so engaging it removes the distance between learner and subject. Now The Exploratorium is taking its mission onto the Net with an ftp, gopher, and a World Wide Web server. One interesting item was an interactive part of an AIDS exhibit which has the visitor try to maneuver a digital 'ball' on a Mac through a maze of defenses to the center; showing how the HIV infects the human host, from the view of the virus. Note that the text of this article does not mention the ftp or gopher address, but if you look closely at the WWW picture on page 108, you can just make out the URL line. - RR

Networks and Networking

Baker, Frank M. "Navigating the Network with NCSA Mosaic" EDUCOM Review 29(1) (January/February 1994):46-51. For Internet users with directly connected Macintosh, MS Windows, or X computers, NCSA Mosaic is an essential piece of software. Mosaic uses the draft Uniform Resource Locator (URL) standard to provide access to a wealth of Internet-based information. Although Mosaic is primarily known as a World-Wide Web client, it also provides quick and easy access to Gophers, FTP archive sites, and basically anything that can be described by a URL. In addition, Mosaic is designed to handle graphic images, sounds, and moving pictures in association with additional freeware and shareware programs. This article is the best overview of Mosaic, its capabilities, what makes it work, and where to get the files that I have yet seen. - RT

Cronin, Mary J. "Internet Business Sources" DATABASE 16(6) (December 1993):47-52. Besides giving an overview of Internet business resources, Cronin throws in some good advice regarding the volatility of Internet information, the varying levels of server quality and the difficulty of being certain that one has located an up-to-date and reliable source of information. The article does not include commercial business services and only mentions a few electronic discussions and serials, but it covers some of the essential Internet-accessible business resources. For more comprehensive coverage, however, Internet users should also peruse the guides available on the University of Michigan Clearinghouse for Subject-Oriented Internet Resource Guides [URL:]. - RT

Deutsch, Peter "Preserving and Promoting the 'Internet Culture'" Internet World 5(2) (March/April 1994):52-55. A thoughtful, well- written, and entertaining muse about the culture of the Internet and how it may be endangered -- but more importantly how we can help preserve it. This article could not have appeared at a more opportune time, as network "old-timers" are bristling at an onslaught of hundreds of thousands of new users brought onto the Internet by commercial networks. We would all do well to reflect on the qualities of the Internet that we cherish the most and do what we can to preserve them, which is exactly Deutsch's point. - RT

"Electronic Communication at the White House" EDUCOM Review 29(1) (January/February 1994):16-18. [URL:] - Ever wonder who and what is behind the first Internet-connected White House? EDUCOM takes you behind the scenes with an interview of Jock Gill, the person most responsible for bringing the White House out of the electronic dark ages. - RT

"Government Information Locator Service (GILS) Draft Report to the Information Infrastructure Task Force" (January 22, 1994 Draft) [Official (not draft) version now available at: gopher://]. - An updated version of the document cited in the November 1993 issue of Current Cites, prepared by Eliot Christian of the U.S. Geological Survey and the Locator Subgroup of the Interagency Working Group on Public Access. A Microsoft Word for Windows version of the document is also available at the same site with the filename "gils.doc". GILS is to be a system to help users locate government- produced information in a networked environment. - RT

"Principles for the Development of the National Information Infrastructure," Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Policy Forum, American Library Association, [n.d., n.p.]. This slim pamphlet is short on text but long on importance. Representatives from fifteen national library and information associations met in the fall of 1993 to discuss policy issues relating to the emerging National Information Infrastructure (NII). This pamphlet outlines the consensus they reached on principles in the following areas: First Amendment, Privacy, Intellectual Property, Ubiquity, Equitable Access, and Interoperability. These various organizations will be working in the coming weeks, months, and years to inject these principles into the NII debate, and more importantly, the legislation that will bring it about. For a copy, contact the Library and Information Technology Assocation, ALA. - RT

St. Pierre, Margaret "Wide Area Information Servers (WAIS) Over Z39.50-1988 and Beyond" ConneXions 8(2) (February 1994):15-19. - St. Pierre (a consultant to WAIS, Inc. and a team member of the Government Information Locator Service (GILS) project) provides a brief history of the WAIS system, and an overview of the architecture of the system, the design goals, the protocol itself, and future directions. Pointers are provided at the end of the article for more information on both the commercial and "freeWAIS" versions. - RT

Shade, Leslie Regan "Gender Issues in Computer Networking>Gender Issues in Computer Networking" (September 8, 1993) [URL:] Regan addresses an issue that in the introduction is noted to be "the flavor of the month": gender and the Internet. The article is timely and interesting, covering a broad range of issues from women (and the lack thereof) in computer science at all levels to the electronic equivalent of cross-dressing (men posing as women in order to take advantage of the inordinate amount of attention women draw on the various resources on the net). From discussions of male and female communication styles to the way those styles play out in the special medium of the net. The serious issues of sexual harassment and pornography (and the problematic definitions of both) and women's access to the network are placed in the broader framework of equal access for all. Also included are a lengthy bibliography and an appendix of electronic conferences and lists for women's issues and participation. - NM

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, NII Task Force Working Group on Intellectual Property In the matter of: Public Hearing on Intellectual Property Issues Involved in the National Information Infrastructure Initiative, November 18, 1993. [URL: gopher://] This document is a complete transcript of the latest public hearing on issues of intellectual property rights as related to the Internet. The public hearing, chaired by the Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks Bruce Lehman, was held in Washington, D.C. in November 1993. The long (315K : approx. 250 screens) document covers several pages just listing the names of those who made appearances and those who make up the committee. Those making appearances come from many different groups including government agencies, the legal and commercial communities, education, publishing and writing, standards bodies, and private citizens. - NM

Optical Disc Technologies

Beiser, Karl "CD-ROM--Middle-Aged Crazy After All These Years" Database 16(6) (December 1993):91-95. Beiser offers a thoughtful analysis of what makes CD-ROM successful now and an overview of developments to watch that could affect its acceptance in the future. Beiser predicts that the technological mid-life crisis is about to end with the transition to drives with CD-ROM XA support, Photo CD multi-session capability, continuous read facility, 300 KB/sec or greater transfer rate and 200-300 ms average access time. Beiser also predicts that the most likely near-term successors to CD-ROM are new varieties of CD-ROM, such as CD-recordable technology which is poised to usurp magnetic media in some instances. - TR

Bowers, Richard A. "Welcome to the Second Computer Revolution: A Beginner's Guide to CD-ROM" CD-ROM Professional 7(1) (January 1994):20-32. CD-ROM technology plays a pivotal role in what Bowers refers to as the "second computer revolution." We shall never look at the computer as merely a calculator or typewriter again, thanks in large part to the emergence of CD-ROM. Bowers offers an excellent overview of CD-ROM technology with special emphasis placed upon multi-format delivery, commonly known as multimedia. This article is designed to help the consumer sort through apparently conflicting claims, contradictory standards, and ambiguously stated requirements for accessing the new multimedia CD-ROM products. Sidebars accompanying the article include a fact- filled listing of currently available CD-ROM drives, an explanation of the difference between single-session and multi-session CD-ROMs, the introduction of the "triple-speed" drive, and an explanation of CD-ROM XA and Photo CD. - TR

Parker, Dana J. "Glossary of Basic CD-ROM Terms" CD-ROM Professional 7(1) (January 1994):122-126. This very useful five-page list of glossary terms is gleaned from _Technology Edge: Guide to CD-ROM_ by Dana Parker and Robert Starrett. - TR

"Navy Makes CD-ROM Preferred Information Medium" SIGCAT Disc Course 8(2) (January/February 1994):1. The U.S. Navy has set a significant precedent by being the first military service to officially establish CD technology (including CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-I, CD-ROM XA, and other technologies as they develop) as the "preferred media for storage and dissemination of data and information." - TR

Nickerson, Gord "Mining for Gold: CD-ROM Information on the Internet" CD-ROM Professional 7(1) (January 1994):128-132. Nickerson explores the Internet in search of information on CD-ROM. He locates CD-ROM catalogs, detailed information on CD-ROM technology, email addresses of experts, vendors and manufacturers, discussion lists, electronic journals, and software distribution sites. (One of the gold nuggets featured is the Optical Disc Technology section of Current Cites!) A short bibliography of basic Internet resource materials accompanies the article. - TR

Reese, Jean "Practical Tips for CD-ROM End-User Instruction: Making the Most of Your Time" CD-ROM Professional 7(1) (January 1994):59-60. Reese offers eight tips on how a busy staff can make the most of the time spent instucting end-users. Although there is no one perfect method for teaching people how to use CD-ROM products, among the most important first steps to any instructional program is to analyse the organization's needs, staffing situation, and the user's needs. - TR

SilverPlatter Technical Support Team "Troubleshooting Tips For CD-ROM Drive Installation and Maintenance: PCs, LANs, and Macintoshes" CD-ROM Professional 7(1) (January 1994):149-152. This is an extremely useful and practical compilation of toubleshooting tips organized in a symptom/cause/solution format. Among the symptoms diagnosed: invalid drive specifications, incorrect DOS version, Read Fail, No Host Adapter Found, Disc in Drive Not High Sierra, and Disc Read Errors From CD-ROM Discs. - TR

Current Cites 5(2) (February 1994) ISSN: 1060-2356 Copyright (C) 1996 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.

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