Current Cites (Digital Library SunSITE)

Volume 6, no. 4, April 1995

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

Editor's Note: I am pleased to announce the official debut of the Current Cites World-Wide Web home page.[Since moved to, October 1995]. Point your web browser at to find and search past issues of Current Cites. You can also establish a link to our latest issue. We will strive to add as much value to our webbed version of Current Cites, such as providing links to electronic copies of articles cited, authors' web pages when we know about them or can find them, and information on items mentioned in the cites. A special thanks to Current Cites founder, Roy Tennant, for his able management of this new resource.

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

Electronic Publishing

Directory of Electronic Journals, Newsletters and Academic Discussion Lists Washington, DC : Association of Research Libraries, Office of Scientific and Academic Publishing, 1994. -- This fourth edition of the ARL directory of electronic journals has now become a standard reference source containing a comprehensive list of academically created and oriented serials on the Internet. From the 110 listings of journals and newsletters in the original 1991 edition, the newest edition has grown to include over 440 entries. The references to academic discussion lists is, understandably, more selective containing nearly 1800 listings; the editors have selected topics that are of primary interest to scholars, researchers and students. Of particular value in this volume are several reprinted articles on electronic publishing including Geoffrey Nunberg's article on "The Places of Books in the Age of Electronic Reproduction," Jean-Claude Guedon's "Why are Electronic Publications Difficult to Classify?," Birdie MacLennan's "Electronic Serial Sites: Collections, Resources, and Services on the Networks," Steve Outing's "List of Newspaper Publishers with On-line Services in Operation," and a bibliography by former Current Cites editor David F.W. Robison, "Bibliography of Articles Related to Electronic Journal Publications and Publishing." -- MP

Eaton, Flynnette. "Preservation Strategies for Electronic Records" Spectra 22(3) (Winter 1994-95):22-24. -- Eaton draws upon her experience at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration to outline strategies that will be useful for any archivist or information systems manager in ensuring the longevity of their digital legacy data. Many aspects are covered in this useful article, from data-migration and disaster planning to physical media formats and software obsolescence. Spectra is a quarterly publication of the Museum Computer Network; online information is available at gopher:// -- RR

Multimedia and Hypermedia

Burger, Jeff. "The Making of Nightclub Earth" New Media 5(4) (April 1995):84-85. -- This article covers the technical details behind producing a video CD-ROM. Of primary interest however is the use of AppleMedia Tool and the QuickTime video format for Windows and Macintosh which was used to produce this cross-platform multimedia CD-ROM. Some CD-ROMs duplicate both Mac and Windows file formats on a CD-ROM, delivering a bi-platform package, but using only half the disc for each. All the large media-objects on this CD-ROM are recorded only once, in QuickTime format, and only the retrieval tool is duplicated for each platform. -- RR

Networks and Networking

Archee, Ray. "Freenets: Community Access for All" Online Access 10(4) (April 1995):43-49. -- In all of the excitement of World-Wide Web sites and technology leaps, the importance of truly public access to locally useful information is sometimes lost. This article relates the history and current vibrancy of community-based freenets. The article is useful in large part because of its list of 26 freenets. -- JLO

Bailey, Charles W., Jr. "Network-Based Electronic Publishing of Scholarly Works: A Selective Bibliography" The Public-Access Computer Systems Review 6(1) (1995). [URL:] -- Bailey has long provided good bibliographies on electronic publishing -- first focusing on electronic serials, now on scholarly electronic publishing. The Web version is recommended, as it makes appropriate links to online sources when available. -- RT

Caruso, Denise. "Digital Commerce" The New York Times 144 (March 20, 1995):C9. -- A new biweekly feature in the New York Times business section, Caruso's column provides commentary and analysis of information technology. Her first column discusses the implications of a recent ruling by the Federal Communications Commission that could raise the cost of ISDN -- the relatively low-cost digital network service provided by local telephone companies that allows users to connect to the Internet. The recent ruling means that anyone who needs to increase the bandwidth provided through their ISDN lines in order to browse the Web more efficiently could face significantly increased rates for this service. The FCC's ruling will mean higher costs which could, in turn, make access to the Internet out-of-reach for an even greater segment of the population. -- MP

Cerf, Vinton. "Life in a New World," OnTheInternet 1(1) (March 1995):22-27. -- Cerf has been living in the "new world" of the Internet longer than just about anyone, and in this thoughtful piece he offers useful advice for keeping it a civil place. He identifies three types of behavioral constraints on Internet users: technical, legal, and moral. After a brief history of the Internet relating to behavior constraints, he deals mainly with moral constraints as "users of the Internet bear personal responsibility for their own actions." [By the way, this is the first issue of a new publication by the Internet Society] -- RT

"Digital Libraries," Communications of the ACM 38(4) (April 1995):22-96. -- Virtually the entire issue is devoted to this topic, with over 70 pages of text. Major sections include general articles, supporting technologies, projects, and initiatives. In the projects and initiatives sections, Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) are provided when appropriate. Some of the major articles include:

Dorcey, Tim. "The CU-SeeMe Desktop Videoconferencing Software" ConneXions: The Interoperability Report 9(3) (March 1995):42-45. -- Along with virtual reality, interactive video technologies promise to produce the next wave of hot Internet tools. CU-SeeMe is a tool for online videoconferencing on the Internet that is available today. This developer of CU-SeeMe describes the technology behind it, and even (briefly) the compression algorithm that allows the rapid transmission of such bandwith-intensive information. Unfortunately the article does not include a screenshot of a CU-SeeMe session. -- RT

Handley, Mark and Jon Crowcroft. "The World-Wide Web: How Servers Work," ConneXions: The Interoperability Report 9(2) (February 1995):12-24. -- For those of us who wonder exactly how the World-Wide Web works underneath what we see, this is an enlightening article. In simple yet exact language, such topics as proxy servers, the Common Gateway Interface (CGI) forms processing, and server performance are discussed. Examples and diagrams are also provided. This article is not for the beginning Web user, but if you feel ready to look under the hood you could do a lot worse than this piece. [Article based on the forthcoming book The World Wide Web: Beneath the Surf] -- RT

Kent, Peter. "Browser Shootout" Internet World 6(4) (April 1995):46-59. [URL:] -- Another contribution to this issue's focus on the World-Wide Web (a little too cutely titled "Webaganz"), Kent contributes a very useful comparison among the proliferation of Web browsers. His evaluative comparisons lead him to suggest that the stand-alone browsers InternetWorks and Netscape are front-runners. He helpfully summarizes the incorporation of browsers into suites of Internet tools as well as those incorporated into proprietary systems like Netcom's Netcruiser and The Pipelines Internaut. A sidebar explains Internet access without SLIP software, as with Slipknot and The Internet Adapter. -- JLO

Stoll, Clifford. Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway New York: Doubleday, 1995. -- The author of The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage takes on the hype and myth surrounding the Internet. Since the Internet is often over-hyped, Stoll has no problem finding targets, but he also makes up his own. While some of his criticisms are as simplistic as 'if you are in front of a computer you are not doing something else' (with the 'something else' assumed to be of more value), some are not as easy to criticize. His polemic can be redundant and ill-informed at times, but it is also funny, entertaining, and certainly controversial. This is the kind of book that has already incited arguments, sometimes heated, and will continue to do so for some time to come. Whether you agree or disagree with what he has to say, if you are going to argue about it -- read it. -- RT

Tennant, Roy. "The Virtual Library Foundation: Staff Training and Support" Information Technology and Libraries 14(1) (March 1995):46-49. [Also available at] -- Current Cites' own Roy Tennant has penned a straightforward summary of the basic strategies for staff training and support of digital library initiatives. Along the way he makes a strong case for the necessity of staff development for the kinds of imaginative innovation that all information service agencies must seek. -- JLO

Tropiano, Lenny and Dinah McNutt. "How to Implement ISDN" Byte 20(4) (April 1995):67-74 ( -- More and more Internet trainers are acknowledging that Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) access through the local phone company is close-at-hand in most of the U.S. This article explains the availability and complexity of ISDN access, including a checklist of questions to ask an ISDN provider. A side-bar compares ISDN access with the fastest modems. All in all this is a valuable read for those considering ISDN as another alternative to providing personal or organizational network access. -- JLO

Vacca, John. "The Net's Next Big Thing: Virtual Reality" Byte 20(4) (April 1995):28. -- Vacca briefly explains the philosophy behind presenting Virtual Reality through the Internet via the emerging standard called Virtual Reality Markup Language (VRML). This may well be the next logical extension of Internet functionality and complements the announcement (at the Spring Internet World conference in San Jose, California) of Silicon Graphics VRML browser development. [URL:]. -- JLO

Weiss, Aaron. "Hop, Skip, and Jump: Navigating the World- Wide Web" Internet World 6(4) (April 1995):41-44. [URL:] -- In typical Internet World style, Weiss provides a whirlwind tour of the major sources of well-organized directories of Web sites and of Web search tools. The search tools summary, which mentions the Jumpstation, the Webcrawler, LYCOS, WWW Worm, RBSE, and CUIs W3, is useful for its brief descriptions of the tool's embedded strategies and comparisons among tools. -- JLO

Wilson, David L. "Senate Bill Takes Broom to Internet" Chronicle of Higher Education 41(30) (April 7, 1995), A21. -- New legislation intended to spur growth on the National Information Infrastructure by deregulating the telecommuni- cations industry has met with criticism from many Internet users because it includes restrictions on the distribution of obscene or indecent material. Both the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association as well as the Electronic Frontier Foundation have expressed their opposition to the legislation and questioned the constitutionality of restricting free speech on the Internet. Those who otherwise support the legislation are hoping that the anti-pornography provisions will be altered by the time it comes up for vote later this year. -- MP

Optical Disc Technology

Desmarais, Norman. "How Fast is Fast?" CD-ROM Professional 8(3) (March 1995):119-121. -- Desmarais cautions librarians against throwing their older CD-ROM drives onto the trash heap. Since most library and information applications use text almost exclusively (indexes, abstracts, and full-text) rather than multimedia applications, single-speed CD-ROM drives, which are now dirt cheap, should suffice. However, since the increasingly popular multimedia titles require double-speed to quadruple-speed drives for satisfactory playback, few if any manufacturers will be producing single-speed drives. As librarians replace existing equipment with only multispeed drives to choose from, they should opt to put heavily-used and multimedia applications in the newer, faster drives while loading the text-only CD-ROM applications in the slower drives. -- TR

Hudson, Barry J. "CD-ROM Network Access: Problems, Pitfalls and Perils" CD-ROM Professional 8(3) (March 1995):98-108 ( -- Although there are often many potential benefits associated with shared access to CD-ROMs over a network, Hudson argues quite convincingly, as the title suggests, that shared access is not necessarily the best course to take for every organization. Foremost reasons are the technical and administrative obstacles associated with the successful sharing of CD-ROMs. Quite simply, many CD-ROMs are just not suited for LAN access. Hudson provides many examples and offers practical tips on how to determine the likely costs and benefits of shared access. Useful sidebars include "(14) Questions to Ask Before Establishing a CD-ROM Server" and "A Technical Compliance Checklist" which Hudson designed to assist server administrators in determining a CD-ROM's fitness for use. If a title scores more than 40 penalty points on the checklist, it should not be considered for centralized support. -- TR

Lieberman, Paula. "Multiple Disc CD-ROM Systems" CD-ROM Professional 8(3) (March 1995):60-74. -- Lieberman provides a concise overview of the plethora of multiple disc CD-ROM systems: CD-ROM towers, CD-ROM arrays, CD-ROM servers, six-disc and 18-disc changer/jukeboxes, and jukeboxes that can access anywhere from 100 to more than 1400 discs. A comprehensive multidisc vendor directory accompanies the article. -- TR

Current Cites 6(4) (April 1995) ISSN: 1060-2356 Copyright (C) 1995 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.

All product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. Mention of a product in this publication does not necessarily imply endorsement of the product.


To subscribe, send the message "sub cites [your name]" to, replacing "[your name]" with your name. Copying is permitted for noncommercial use by computerized bulletin board/conference systems, individual scholars, and libraries. Libraries are authorized to add the journal to their collections at no cost. An archive site is maintained at in directory /pub/Current.Cites [URL:]. This message must appear on copied material. All commercial use requires permission from the editor, who may be reached in the following ways: // trinne@ucblibra // (510)642-8173

Copyright © 1995. All rights reserved.
Document maintained on server: by the SunSITE Manager.
Last update 10/27/95. SunSITE Manager: