Current Cites (Digital Library SunSITE)

Volume 6, no. 6, June 1995

Edited by Teri Andrews Rinne

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

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

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

Multimedia and Hypermedia

Besser, Howard. [] "Getting the Picture on Image Databases: The Basics" Database 18(2) (April/May 1995):12-19. -- This article is an indispensable resource and introduction for anyone involved in imaging and/or creating an image database. It is written so that it is accessible to the novice, but raises enough salient issues to be of interest to even the most advanced imaging project manager. The article starts with the promise of outlining some of the major considerations in developing an image database, which it does in great depth. It ends by concluding that image databases can be valuable assets for general access and scholarship, but that in order to ensure longevity of the information, the entire database from image to attached descriptive text, needs to be carefully planned according to use and adhere to the appropriate standards. The article is excerpted from a forthcoming publication from the Getty Art History Information Program, [], as part of a series of educational publications on imaging and cultural heritage organizations. Of great use as well, are the numerous cites to related articles and projects, with contact info. -- RR

Networks and Networking

Falcigno, Kathleen and Tim Green. "Home Page, Sweet Home Page" Database 18(2) (April/May 1995):20-28 ( -- A good introduction, particularly for librarians, about what is required to create your own Web presence. Although they have fallen into the trap of mis- and over-using the term "home page," as have many others, the article contains a lot of good, practical advice. An example is "Learning HTML and creating a series of Web documents is not difficult, but maintaining these documents will involve a considerable ongoing time commitment." Such gems far outweigh such problems as an apparent publication timeframe that pre-dates Netscape and makes URL's go out of date. -- RT

Lamb, Linda and Jerry Peek Using Email Effectively. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly & Associates , 1995. -- This slim volume is chock- full of down-to-earth advice that virtually all email users will find helpful. It is one of a new series of volumes from O'Reilly called "What You Need to Know" and is designed to reduce a subject to the essential information about a topic. If this volume is any indication, the series may gain as much respect with everyday computer users as O'Reilly's Nutshell Handbook series has gained with the wireheads for whom that series is aimed. Basic information, practical tips, advice, and netiquette are all presented in a format that is inviting and easy to browse. The layout includes personal vignettes in the ample whitespace of the outside margins, where real people (at least some of whom are O'Reilly staff) share email tips, personal habits, and horror stories. Highly recommended. -- RT

Lewis, Peter H. "Best Web Browsers" PC World 13(6) (June 1995) :122-141. -- The proliferation of World Wide Web client access programs, or browsers, is keeping heads spinning and electronic discussion traffic high. Combined with the dizzying speed with which alliances are forming between browser developers and Internet Access Providers (which now include the former "gateway" services of America Online, CompuServe, et al.) the sources and qualities of different browsers are impossible to keep straight. In this article, Lewis evaluates the ten most popular browsers, compares them feature by feature, and makes recommendations. NaviSoft's InternetWorks is rated highest as an all-in-one Internet package plus browser, Netscape is the choice for stand-alone commercial browsers, and winWeb for stand-alone shareware. It certainly is difficult to create a fixed point from which to assess and understand all of the access and client options for the Internet (and some of the companion articles in this issue of PC World were out of date upon publication, including Judy Heim's "Best Online Services"), but Lewis creates such a point as well as the framework by which comparisons can continue to be made. -- JLO

Mui, Linda. When You Can't Find Your UNIX System Administrator O'Reilly & Associates , 1995. -- Finally. A small, well- organized paperback that provides hints and gives context for the mid-range UNIX user. UNIX has been described as "engineer friendly, user hostile" and its power is often lost or misused by casual and mid-range users. The book declares, from the outset, that it is for "users who are not particularly interested in computers, but who just need to get their work done." It assumes that the reader knows basic UNIX commands for editing files and moving through directories. With chapters such as "What you need to know about sharing files" and "What you need to know about running programs" it uncovers, in browsable fashion, the true usefulness and necessity of file permissions, full pathnames, program resources, etc. While not particularly useful as a reference tool for individual commands or tasks, the book does fill in the conceptual gap for users who believe that something OUGHT to be possible (because, for example, it is possible on their pc or mac) and how UNIX actually makes it possible (or not). This kind of understanding is particularly useful for those Internet resource providers who find themselves in a new zone halfway between pure content management and system administration. -- JLO

"Proceedings of the Third International World-Wide Web Conference, 10-14 April, 1995, Darmstadt, Germany" Computer Networks and ISDN Systems 27(6) [available to journal subscribers, conference attendees, and those who order a print copy at] -- The proceedings of this conference have been published simultaneously on the World Wide Web and in print to a limited audience: the attendees of the conference, subscribers to the journal, and purchasers of this issue. Persons in those categories have access to a password that enables them to visit the online archive. The online archive has a number of interesting research articles on the World Wide Web, and each article includes numerous links to online information and a "printable" version of the file in Adobe Acrobat format. -- RT

Schnell, Eric. "Writing for the Web: A Primer for Librarians" ( -- Although this online article/tutorial is still in draft form, it could prove useful for those asked to teach librarians (or anyone really) how to write for the WWW. It is not an HTML tutorial, as that topic is well-covered by other resources. Rather this article leads a writer through some of the issues involved in writing for this new medium, such as the need to keep individual pages short and focused, and using links instead of additional paragraphs for new topics. So far it is a bit short on information about embedding multimedia objects in writing for the WWW, but in considering design along with technical issues, and written for a Web beginner, this tutorial can provide a useful tool for instruction. -- RR

Singleton, Andrew. "Cash on the Wirehead" Byte 20(6) (June 1995) :71-78. -- You've seen it as part of every science fiction movie made in the last decade or so - some computer verification of debit or credit replacing every trace of cash or coin. Singleton's article serves as a readable primer on digital cash and digital credit. Along the way he points out that most of the pieces and players are already in place while the remaining security, privacy, and network components are being readied. Six current systems, essentially sold as services to businesses wanting to support transactions on the Internet and other electronic venues, are compared and contrasted. The author's analysis includes predictions of slow acceptance and profitability while any rewards to be had will very likely go to the major credit card companies and their collaborations with hightech, such as the joint ventures between MasterCard/Netscape and Visa/Microsoft. -- JLO

Optical Disc Technology

Benford, Tom. "The Quad Speed Six: Fast CD-ROMs in the Fast Lane" CD-ROM Professional 8(5) (May 1995):20-38. -- When Pioneer released the first quad-speed CD-ROM drive in 1992, its 800KB/sec rotation rate was considered a huge waste of energy. Benford explains how things have changed in the intervening years. Quad-speed drives are fast becoming a necessity with multimedia applications which involve full-motion video, 3D modeling and rendering, and complex animation, especially at 24-bit color depth. Quad speed drives make it possible to render huge graphic information databases in real time - a necessity for believable virtual reality multimedia. Quad speed drives also enable faster software loading, as more publishers are providing their software on CD-ROM. "Whatever prophecies of doom the debut of quad speed drives inspired," concludes Benford, "this kind of drive is here to stay because the technology represents advances that are making things better, faster, and less expensive." The meat of the article is a comprehensive review of the six quad speed drives currently on the market. -- TR

Mortensen, Kirsten. "Technology Meets Culture at the Dawn of the Digital Museum" CD-ROM Professional 8(5) (May 1995):106-111. -- This article gives an overview of why museums (and by extension, other cultural heritage institutions) are employing digital technology. Among the reasons are improved collection management and care (through reducing the need to handle delicate objects), income generation (in actuality, the furthest goal as yet), and foremost - increased public access to collections information. Applications of CD-ROM technology are highlighted, of course, and of value is the sampling of projects cited. Of particular interest is the briefly touched-upon notion that soon an online visitor could search across collections regardless of the actual physical location of them in separate museums, by theme for instance, or artist, instead of by museum/location. Museums even more than libraries have been tied to local access to mostly unique objects, so remote and shared access implies an even greater change for these institutions. -- RR

Samuels, Geoffrey, ed. Sample CD-ROM Licensing Agreements for Museums New York: MUSE Educational Media, 1995. -- This booklet is published by the MUSE group in cooperation with the American Association of Museums and several law consultants. It contains two sample agreements between a museum and CD-ROM developer, to serve as a template for museums, and surely libraries and archives as well, in writing agreements for developing and publishing CD-ROM titles. It contains samples of the legal language, a glossary, and notes explaining in lay terms the reasoning behind each section. The field of intellectual property is just as challenging as the technical issues in creating quality educational media titles, and this booklet is a major step toward helping education and research institutions in this area. MUSE can be reached at: MUSE Educational Media, 1 East 53rd St., 10th Fl., New York City, 10022-4201. -- RR

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

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