Current Cites (Digital Library SunSITE)

Volume 5, no. 5, May 1994

Edited by Teri Andrews Rinne

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

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

[ Multimedia and Hypermedia ] [ Networks and Networking ][ Optical Disc Technology ][ Emerging Technologies ]

Multimedia and Hypermedia

Lamont, Judith. "Career Corner: Multimedia Training Opportunities" Sigcat DISCourse 8(3) (March/April 1994):1,8-10. -- Multimedia once belonged to a rarefied world limited by exotic and expensive hardware, a dearth of real-world uses, and few experts. This has been changing, and as it does, so do the opportunities for growth in this field of the computing industry. In the private sector, workers are needed in the field of creating and marketing commercial multimedia titles on CD-ROM and in the entertainment industry. In the public sphere, expertise is needed in evaluation, implementation, and support for multimedia endeavors, often in an educational setting. This article gives useful hints on what to look for in multimedia training, such as selecting a program with connections to industry and government to develop professional contacts as well as gain technical skills. Just as useful is the guide to 12 multimedia training programs across the country with brief descriptions of the programs, and addresses. -- RR

Millison, Doug. "The 800-Pound Gorilla" Computer Currents 11(24):80-82. -- They've been called IBM-clones, until IBM was the one doing the cloning. They've been called DOS machines, until Windows. Now Intel is hoping you'll just call them Intel PC's. One strategy Intel is taking to position themselves centrally to PC architecture is to begin designing more than chips; in fact they are now creating some very useful hardware-independent multimedia standards, some of them free. Intel Architecture Labs (IAL) has teams around the world trying to make the PC more user-friendly by creating standards for multimedia, and in doing so also hopes to make PC's painless enough to become the consumer electronic device of choice in the wired home of the future, contrary to predictions of set top boxes and powered-up game boys. Intel has made progress in speeding up the bottleneck of old ISA architecture, and much easier addition of peripherals and add-ons via Plug and Play. Specifically, Intel's contributions to multimedia include Indeo, a system-level video compression/decompression technology, parallel to Quicktime, that would come free with every PC. This software-only solution will be able to access color conversion and graphics acceleration found even on cheap Super VGA cards, and will also allow 3-D graphics capabilities. One of the main hindrances to adoption of multimedia software and content has been lack of standards, so if Intel's multimedia architectures are well-conceived everyone stands to benefit. -- RR

Networks and Networking

Dearth, Jeffrey L. and Paul J. Vizza. "Browser's Paradise: How the Electronic Newsstand is Redefining the Art of Magazine Marketing" EDUCOM Review 29(3) (May/June 1994):12-15. -- Two key staffers at The New Republic recount how they created the Electronic Newsstand -- the Internet equivalent of the corner magazine and newspaper hut. Originally created to attract new subscribers to The New Republic, it has since grown to include the tables of contents, selected articles, and general information about more than eighty magazines, including the New Yorker, Discover, National Review, Outside, American Demographics, Yoga Journal and others. This article is a brief and interesting case history of a commercial use of the Internet that avoids mass-distributed advertising. -- RT

Hahn, Harley and Rick Stout. The Internet Yellow Pages. Berkeley: Osborne McGraw-Hill, 1994. -- Harley and Stout have created what is already becoming one of the most popular references to Internet resources. Their Yellow Pages has a comprehensive table of contents and index and follows the general model of yellow pages with alphabetic subject entries. In addition to lists of Newsgroups and Discussion lists, which are available in many other resource guides, the authors have made this guide enjoyable to browse. There are sample images with their ftp sites, excerpts from discussion lists, Frequently Asked Question documents, and other tidbits scattered throughout. Though no guide can be truly comprehensive, this one comes close and will work as a starting point for some time. Note that there is virtually no instructional information here, only pointers to resources. -- JLO

Hawkins, Brian L. "Planning for the National Electronic Library." EDUCOM Review 29(3) (May/June 1994):19-29. -- Hawkins' well-written analysis points out that the Library and Academic Communities at large have no well-articulated plan to create the global electronic library of the future. The historical and organizational reasons for this are described but the focus of the article is on examining the range of possible structural and organizational models that could be adopted to move toward the large-scale electronic library. While not everyone may agree with the author's endorsement of a nonprofit corporation model, his call for careful thinking of the constraints and opportunities facing academic and library use of new technology is worth the time. -- JLO

Jaffe, Lee David. Introducing the Internet: A Trainer's Workshop. Berkeley: Library Solutions Press, 1994. The first in the new Library Solutions Press "Internet Workshop Series," this work will be particularly useful for those already familiar with the Internet who must now teach what they know to others. The book provides a textual overview of what a trainer might want to cover in an introductory Internet class in addition to guidelines on how to structure the class and advice on how to deal with tricky segments. The book also provides supporting material in the form of sample handouts including a glossary, a bibliography, e-mail guidelines, and a list of selected telnet and FTP sites. Among the more valuable aspect of this workbook are the sample presentation slides that are included. Users are encouraged to make overheads from these simple, graphically effective slides; the PLUS edition of Introducing the Internet, includes diskettes (viewable on either Mac or DOS-based computers) containing a PowerPoint presentation of the slides which users can adapt to their own personal style or to a specific teaching situation. The instructional infrastructure provided by Jaffe's book will save anyone new to teaching the Internet hours of time and stress. -- MP

Kelley, Brian. Publishing Information Globally: Becoming an Information Provider on the World Wide Web. Available via World Wide Web at [] in postscript and rich text (RTF) format. -- Kelley has taken his experience from the University of Leeds and produced a paper that not only describes their experiences in mounting World Wide Web information, but also provides an overview of the technology and of the issues involved. With figures and reasonable section headings, this material could be adapted to help explain the Web to others or to plan the development of a Web server. -- JLO

King, Kenneth M. "BITNET III: The Spirit of Cooperation Continues," EDUCOM Review 29(3) (May/June 1994):41-43. -- In this brief piece, the executive director of the Corporation for Research and Educational Networking (CREN) outlines plans for the third major stage of BITNET development. Included is a project to build a "global dial-up networking infrastructure" that will enable traveling faculty, students, staff, and alumni to dial into their home institution with full Internet connectivity through a local phone call. -- RT

Krol, Ed. The Whole Internet: User's Guide & Catalog. 2nd ed. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly & Associates, 1994. The second edition of Krol's very popular book continues to be a valuable Internet reference tool for the beginning or intermediate user. This edition is more substantial (a third larger) and even more useful than his first. In it Krol has answered one of the only criticisms of his first edition by including an appendix called "UNIX Primer" designed to be used as a tutorial for those not familiar with the UNIX operating system. Krol has also added a section in the chapter on electronic mail about Multi-purpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) which enable one to attach non-text files to e-mail messages. The MIME example given uses the popular e-mail program pine. The entries in the catalog have been updated and have almost doubled in number and include telnet, ftp and www sites for everything from aeronautics to the Internet white pages. -- DR

Robison, David F.W. All About Internet FTP: Learning and Teaching to Transfer Files on the Internet. Berkeley, Library Solutions Press, 1994. Another in the "Internet Workshop Series," this volume, designed as both a textbook for students as well as a manual for teachers, offers a lucid overview of Internet FTP. As a tool for students, the workbook includes a description of FTP, a series of exercises, sample FTP sessions as well as a glossary, a list of commands, and a list to archie sites. For the instructor, the text of the book can serve as a guide for what to cover in a classroom lecture and the glossary and other lists can be used as handouts. The section of sample presentation slides are designed to be copied onto transparencies and presented during the lecture; the PLUS edition of the book includes a PowerPoint version of the slide presentation on disk (for either Mac or DOS-based computers) and instructors are encouraged to adapt the slides. Also valuable is a section that provides tips for trainers and a lesson plan, divided into modules that allow instructors to pick and choose according to their own needs. Robison notes that FTP tends to be one of the more difficult aspects of the Internet for students to understand; his book, however, provides a clear and accessible explanation of this sometimes overwhelming topic. - MP

Optical Disc Technologies

Breeding, Marshall. "The Lay of the LAN" CD-ROM World 9(5) (May 1994): 54-57. -- CD-ROM networking expert Breeding discusses the plethora of networking options for CD-ROMs, seeking to match capabilities and features with performance expectations, organizational requirements, existing networks and budget considerations. Included is a fact-filled sidebar outlining 'notable networking products.' -- TR

Hyon, Jason. "A Standard for Writing Recordable CDs" Sigcat DISCourse 8(3) (March/April 1994):1, 3-7. -- Typical of nearly any discussion of standards, this article is a fairly technical description of the international standard which allows updates to recordable CDs while maintaining cross-platform data exchange. The existing standard for CD-ROM (ISO 9660) does not support the feature to incrementally add information to a CD-ROM disc, generally known as multisession capa- bility. This limitation has been a major problem since the advent of Kodak Photo CDs, which allows one to add a new set of images to an existing disc. CD-R systems only would allow companies to produce limited-run CDs of specialized information. The desirability to simply update existing CDs with new information, rather than having to scrap the lot each and every time, provided the impetus for this new standard. -- TR

Sengstack, Jeff. "On a Roll" CD-ROM World 9(5) (May 1994):42-47. -- Sengstack sings the praises of CD-Recordable capabilities, encouraging readers to become electronic publishers with CD-R systems retailing for less than $4000. This article provides six reasons why CD-Recorder systems make sense: for archiving purposes, recording music, multimedia training, storing photographs, software testing, and replication service purposes. -- TR

Emerging Technologies

Gibbs, W. Wayt. "Gray Matter" Scientific American 270(5) (May 1994):114. -- With the progress of the digital age, paper is seen as still important for its ease of use and portability (all the hard- and software needed for decoding is kept tidily in the human head); but paper is also seen as merely the messy debris left in the trails blazed by digital authoring tools. Paper is given form by digital media, but can give nothing back....or so it seemed until Xerox PARC looked into the issue. Xerox PARC has introduced "self-clocking glyph code". Glyph code is a way of printing tiny slashes so that they encode data in a binary fashion, just as digital electronic media. The pattern of forward slashes, back slashes, and spaces form a fine gray patch and can encode any dat recordable on a diskette, even in encrypted or compressed form. With error correction written in, a paper's information could be reconstructed even after shredding. Scanners are used to get the information back into digital form. Proffered uses for glyph coding range from new shipping dockets and invoices rich in information, and sparse in errors, to chart printouts that retain all detail of numerical data in gray shades. Xerox and Microsoft are working to see if glyph codes may help to integrate fax, printer, computer, and copying technology. -- RR

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

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