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    • Coda
      Posting these cat-cartoons-without-the-cartoon was a long journey that I don’t know if I’ll repeat soon again. A daily blog is tough … even when you have your material handed to you! But, I couldn’t have done it without the artwork … Continue reading →
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      Father Time is riding out his last few minutes of being the temporal keeper for 2011; he sits in an easy chair with a calendar showing “Dec 31” behind him and a grandfather clock pointing to the time of 11:53. … Continue reading →
    • December 30, 2011
      A happy young lady shares a table at a tony restaurant with her cat; they both wear festive, cone-shaped party hats. The woman gaily says to the tuxedoed server, “One martini and one glass of milk.” The cat does not … Continue reading →

British Library Turns the Pages

Posted by joeabbott on April 13, 2010

image002 I’ve had my Hotmail account for a very long time. Long enough that I forget when I started getting mail there but it’s been a while. When my niece first told me she had a Hotmail account, I thought the name very inappropriate for a young girl … then I learned it was a Microsoft venture, probably pretty tame, and I got my own account there. Guess I’ve been old for a long time.

But, I save a bunch of mail and decided that I’ll start tossing it out. Before housecleaning, though, I figure I’d do a little reporting on the cool items. The vast majority of old mail that I’ve saved are woodworking hints, tips, videos, and the like, but there are a few non sequiturs in there that are the kind of prize that beachcombers look for in the flotsam after a good storm.

One such gem was a promotional account sent out in 2007 by Microsoft that I believe coincided with the release of Windows Vista and was titled, THANK YOU – British Library Windows Vista “Turning the Pages 2.0”. The press pass speech announcing it can be found here.

image001 In the mail it detailed a program underwritten by Microsoft that allowed the British Library the financial (I assume) and technical wherewithal to scan and present several valuable texts. The public, through special software, would be able to enjoy the book as if they were manipulating the pages and turning through the masterpieces.

While the “magic” here requires a surprising number of software plug-ins and tools, the impact is impressive. Not only can you leaf through many religious texts, but you can look through Capt. Scott’s diary (he led an ill-fated expedition to the South Pole … he was second and didn’t survive the trip back), view a draft score of Handel’s Messiah, leaf through some of Leonardo da Vinci’s notes, or, my favorite, enjoy a copy of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground written and illustrated by Lewis Carroll.

In addition to seeing the texts, you can magnify areas of interest, expand the text portion for easier reading, or have the material read to you via professional readers!

The works are marvels to enjoy and can be found from the British Library web site … or, more directly, from their Virtual Books Online Gallery page.



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