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I managed to "downgrade" to Acrobat 7.0 and, with a couple of tweaks, do a new "proper" PDF for this issue. It's still bigger than it should be (590K, but that's better than 622K--I think it should be around 400K), but the first page now seems to show up after five or ten seconds, not 20 or 30 seconds.
So I've replaced the ugly-but-fast PDF with a pretty-but-not-so-fast version. Some time over the next month, and with some useful info from Seth Finkelstein, I'll try to figure out the problem so as to solve it for future issues. For now...well, I'm neither Irish nor a beer-drinker, so I guess usual weekend stuff will have to suffice.
Update: A minor tweak to the document template (cutting the banner out of the running page header and adding it as the first element in the document itself, if you care) seems to have solved the problem: The PDF is now down to the size it should be, and the first page seems to load in a second or two.
It's the seventyfifth day of 2006, and C&I 6:5 is the seventyfifth issue of Cites & Insights. The special Diamond Anniversary edition is now available for downloading.
The 28-page issue, PDF as always (but also available as one big HTML file) consists of a tiny little Bibs & Blather and a 28-page
Perspectives: Seventyfive Facets--75 brief essays (average 290 words each), mostly new, some old (but most of you haven't seen them), covering a range of topics.
The PDF is unusually large (about 50% larger than it should be), and I'm not sure why. If the problem continues next month (when a more normal issue should appear), I'll rebuild the journal template to try to correct the anomaly. For now, well, expect a slow download and slow printing for Page 1; it should be fine after that.
NOTE on the above: It's clear that the PDF for C&I 6.5 is unacceptably large and slow, with at least one user saying that page 1 never appears. I credit my stupid agreement to accept a 36MB "upgrade" to Acrobat 7.0.7 for this wonderful state of affairs.
For now, I've replaced the typographically accurate but uselessly slow version with a very fast, very small, and unfortunately very Ariel (or "whatever") version (the PDFWriter output from Word); it's certainly readable, if certainly not what I want.
I'll replace it with a proper version if and when I can get Acrobat downgraded to 7.0 and get it working properly again..
But for now, you can either download the HTML version (lots more pages, Book Antiqua) or the PDF version (ugly typeface, 28 pages).
I knew it was going to be a special issue. I just didn't know how special!
I appreciate the fact that Blake approved this story for posting. (I submitted a comment on Archivegrid.org to LITA-L, and it seems to have dropped into the bit bucket...)
As for the headline Blake gave it...well, sure, free information is wonderful, and I take pride in being a contributor to the gift economy. And I hope RLG (my employer) does find additional grant funding to keep ArchiveGrid free beyond the end of May. (We get pretty much zero operational grant funding, which goes along with our zero government subsidy.)
If that doesn't happen...well, note the subject line on this post. I support what RLG does, but I'm not ready to donate my 30 hours a week (cut back from 40 because of funding issues)--and I don't think Sun or our disk farm vendors or our landlord are ready to donate their goods and services either. I believe ArchiveGrid.org adds significant value to the raw data, in addition to the value added by harvesting finding aids and, over the past 25+ years, making it possible for libraries and archives to catalog the sometimes very large and complex records (up to 30K in length, although now there's no upper limit) that characterize archival materials.
But we certainly all hope that ways to keep it free (while keeping RLG viable) will be found, and I know people are doing what they can to make that happen. Funny thing: Those people expect to be paid, also.
I sent Blake some email today. In some ways I wish I hadn't. It was a brief note on why I haven't really commented on his "10 blogs" story (other than starting a kerfuffle over whether it's plausible to make distinctions about types of online writing).
Those who know me well enough know exactly what the problem was. Those who don't, well, don't need to know. It has to do with interpersonal relations and personal attacks.
But the incidents involved mostly happened a few months back. Blake didn't encounter them. I sent the mail this late because the story's made it to so many places (and the list is on LISWiki). Unfortunately, memories of the whole set of incidents resulted in email that was snarkier than it needed to be.
When you write a lot and don't always make an idiot of yourself, you establish a profile of some sort. When you have a profile, you're a target. And there are some who will look for quotes to take out of context and misinterpret for their own purposes. I know that. I should be used to it. Mostly, I am.
This time, at the end of a tough work week, I vented. Blake caught the heat. My bad.
Consider this a public apology to match the semi-apology I sent to Blake a little while ago. An apology to Blake, that is; not bloodly likely you'll see me apologizing to or recognizing the existence of the other party involved.
Oh, and GregS, if you're reading this: Why can't Bloglines find a feed for Shush?
Cites & Insights 6:4 (March 2006) is now available for downloading.
The 24-page issue is PDF as usual; you can also reach the first five essays as HTML separates from the home page.
This issue includes:
I'm a ways from doing the March Cites & Insights, but I just finished (I hope) writing the first draft of what's likely to be the longest chunk of the issue, a "Library Stuff" set that cites and comments on several separate articles as well as some of the articles in the tenth anniversary issues of D-Lib Magazine and Ariadne.
(Yes, the "four cancellations" post at Walt at Random was procrastination: the first article in Ariadne requiring comment was a 13,000-word landmark by Lorcan Dempsey, and I had to work up to writing about it...)
There was one more article that I'd printed out and that survived an initial winnowing: "Crying wolf: An examination and reconsideration of the perception of crisis in LIS education," by Andrew Dillon and April Norris, which appeared in the Fall 2005 Journal of Education for Library and Information Science. As the title suggests, Dillon (dean at U. Texas Austin's School of Information) and Norris (a master's student in that school) take issue with the cries of Michael Gorman and others regarding a crisis in today's library/information science schools.
I've just reread the article. I'm not going to add it to the "Library Stuff" section (which is 5,900 words already).
Not because it's not well done: It's very well done.
Not because I'm automatically in agreement with Gorman: By now, after "blog people" and several other issues, it should be clear that having coauthored a book with Michael Gorman 11 years ago does not mean I agree with him on any given issue today.
Nope. What finally dissuaded me was the sense that I just don't know enough to comment intelligently on either side of this issue. Not that that always stops me, but this time it did.
I haven't been to library school. I'm increasingly unlikely to do so. If I did, it would probably be a "library school"--the one at San Jose State University, which still does include the L-word and is, I believe, well respected for educating would-be librarians. And, frankly, I don't read so much of the formal refereed library literature that I have a strong opinion as to its strengths and weaknesses.
Thanks to blogs, I'm aware of a lot more newly-graduated and not-yet-graduated library school/information school students than I was, say, a decade ago. Among that group, I don't see some blind allegiance to technology at the expense of library values and the traditional aspects of librarianship--at least not very often. I see a lot of thoughtful and interesting people.
I think Dillon and Norris do a pretty good job of undermining some claims of crisis. So maybe this is a sub-citation: Not quite part of C&I, but a mild comment on what seems to be a good article, from one who's really not in a position to make coherent judgments in the area.
I'm one of those touch typists (80wpm adjusting for errors: Thank you, junior high school) who loves the Microsoft Natural Keyboard, and will swear that it's saved me from RSI. I've used the same one at home for maybe five years now (I'm not sure how long); it's a little grungy, but what the hey. And my "new" (now 38 month old) home PC came with a Logitech-built optical mouse, back when that was still a $20 upgrade, and of course I've loved that. Even if the mouse wire can be somewhat of a hassle.
I looked at wireless keyboards and mice, if only to cut back on the rat's nest of wires. With my sleek new Sony LCD display (good industrial design is always a pleasure, particularly when combined with first-rate engineering), cleaning up the desk seems even more worthwhile.
But the mice were expensive on their own--and the mouse/keyboard wireless combos, relatively economical by comparison, had one fatal drawback. There's no way I'd go back to a standard keyboard unless a very sizable bribe was involved. Very sizable.
Times change, and special situations provide special incentives. Thanks to a recent visit to Redmond, I'm typing this on a sleek black Microsoft Natural Multimedia keyboard, black and silver to match my old/new Gateway and the Sony, and wireless. It's the newer "elite" Natural, a little narrower than the original. And moving the cursor with a Wireless IntelliMouse, which seemed like it might be blocky (it's taller than my old mouse) but turns out to be a perfect hand-fit. The two extra buttons are OK too (well, three if you include the scroll wheel); I kept the "magnify" feature assigned by default to one (a fairly slick 5x-magnification window I didn't know Windows XP had),and assigned double-click to one that's hard to hit accidentally.
Then there's the scroll wheel itself. I don't use scrolling that much, partly because the wheels have been a little clunky. This one is...smooth is the word that comes to mind. I can see using it a lot more. As an extra whistle, it's a sideways wheel as well, for apps where that makes sense: you can noodge the wheel left or right.
Color me happy. As to the web service? See my W.a.r. post about Pandora. This just might sucker me into listening to more music and a broader range of music. Which might or might not be a good thing.
Cites & Insights 6:3, February 2006, is now available for downloading.
The PDF issue is 22 pages long. Each section except "My Back Pages" is also available in HTML, with links on the C&I home page.
This issue includes the following essays:
OK, I have to say it somewhere. I wrote it as a comment on a blog posting, then deleted it. I included it as an offtopic paragraph in the final pre-Midwinter post at Walt at Random--then deleted it.
I was noting a post that said the person making the post welcomed discussion of a particular set of notions and a controversial name for that set of notions, with two exceptions: The person didn't welcome any objections to the controversial name, and the person didn't welcome key doubts about the notions.
In other words, it's a great discussion as long as it's entirely one-sided.
Glad we got that cleared up.
Anyone trying to connect the dots will be told that they're wrong, no matter how right they may be. After all, consider the title of this nonexistent post.
I love this country. Really I do. On the other hand:
The Chilean election makes me wonder when someone like that would ever be elected President or even Vice President in the U.S.--or, for that matter, even to the Senate.
By "like that" I don't mean a woman (both of "my" senators have that distinction, and I think we'll see a female U.S. president before I die).
I don't even mean a free-market socialist, although that's wildly unlikely.
Nope. What I mean is: She's an avowed agnostic.
Are there even any "unbelievers" in the House of Representatives?
Can you imagine? Here I spent more than two weeks assembling, editing, revising, re-revising, re-editing, and finally preparing an oversize C&I about Library 2.0 and "Library 2.0"--and never once thought about Teleread.
Which, of course, didn't stop the inimitable David Rothman from assuming that my remark about national public library systems (based on Talis' white paper) must be an attack on Teleread, and proceeding to lambaste me not only on Teleread's blog but here as well--and somehow have me attacking ebooks, audiobooks, assistive technology, and who knows what else?
I've objected, of course, but I doubt that it will do much good. Geez, Rochelle, you drop by here: Could you maybe tell DR that some of us really don't think about Teleread 24 hours a day and don't find ways to insinuate opinions as coded messages?
I have not used any foul language in this post. That has been an effort.
Cites & Insights 6:2, Midwinter 2006 is now available for downloading.
This is a special issue, 32 pages long in PDF form, consisting of one essay:
Library 2.0 and "Library 2.0"
Included are quotes and comments from some three dozen sources, some of them new to the discussion.
While the essay is also available in HTML form from the home page, please don't use the HTML if you plan to print the issue--which, at 26,000 words, seems like a reasonable thing to do. The HTML version will take 42 pages to print (at least that's what I see in Firefox "print preview"), as compared to the 32-page PDF. (Since there's only one essay--albeit in five parts--there's only one HTML file.)
A more typical (and shorter!) February Cites & Insights should be available near the end of January (not before January 27) or early in February.
I just noticed that last night's announcement of the new C&I was the 100th entry in this journal.
And my followup on a C&I get-together at ALA Midwinter was the 200th entry at Walt at Random.
Although that might not be quite accurate: There may have been one or two posts that never got posted, and they'd still get numbers.
Cosmic significance? None...except that, given my goal of "two posts a week" at W.a.R., I could stop posting altogether for the next 50 weeks or so. Not that it'll happen...
Cites & Insights 6:1, January 2006, is now available for downloading.
The 24-page issue is PDF as usual. Except for "My Back Pages"--a new section that's exclusively part of the complete issue--all sections are also available as HTML separates from the home page.
This issue includes:
A special Mid-Fall 2005 issue of Cites & Insights (5:13) is now available. (Well, Fall begins September 22 and ends December 20; November 1 is about as "mid" as you can get.)
This 20-page issue consists of two Perspectives:
I have a formatting question about this issue, specifically the monster essay. In order to make it fit, I used 9.5-on-11.5 point Berkeley Book for quoted excerpts instead of the 10-on-12 point that I usually use (body text is 11 on 13). Is this too small for comfortable readability? If people generally say it's OK, I may leave it that way...
[Yes, you can pick up either Perspective as an HTML separate from the home page--but if you plan to print at all, please use the PDF. The second Perspective in HTML form requires more paper all by itself than the whole issue in PDF, and it's nowhere near as readable, in my opinion. Hey, I paid good money for Berkeley Book...]
Predicted arrival date for what should be a slightly more "normal" December issue: No earlier than November 17, no later than December 1. How's that for precision?
By now you've heard about the Time 100 Novels list and probably seen lots of blog entries noting which novels the blogger has read.
I can swear to 16. I think I've read 19, but there are three cases where it was so long ago that I might have just seen the movie...
No list. Surprisingly, my list doesn't include all of the (few) SF novels...e.g., I should get around to Snowcrash in about 10 years at the rate I'm catching up with SF novels.
Also no comment on the overall quality of the list. I just don't have a broad enough "quality literature" reading background to comment.
Cites & Insights 5:12, November 2005 is now available for downloading.
This 22-page issue (PDF, but HTML versions of each essay are available from the home page) includes:
I noticed something odd in my Bloglines scan this morning: Seems like one out of three updated library blogs had updates consisting of either:
"I'm giving up on blogging for awhile, until real life settles down a bit"
"I'm out of here for X days; blogging will return upon my return."
Since this journal is reduced to pitiful leftovers anyway, neither such message would make any sense--and I haven't given up on blogging (at Walt at Random), since the frequency there has always been unpredictable.
On the other hand, the second statement is true. I'm delighted that so many people are going on trips and just not thinking about blogging while they're gone; breaking the everyday routine is part of taking a break.
So the same here: Don't expect to hear much from me, at any venue, until about a week from now. Or longer: That "real life" thing has been crazy for a few months, and isn't quite ready to let up just yet.
Cites & Insights 5:11, October 2005 is now available for downloading.
I like to think of this as a nice short 20-page issue accompanied by feedback and followups on "Investigating the Biblioblogosphere," but that brings the actual issue up to 26 pages.
Here's what's there--and those who detest PDF can reach each essay separately, in HTML form, from the C&I home page.
I wrote a whole entry here about why I just unsubbed from one of the many excess Bloglines subs I've had recently--mostly because the blogger claimed a societal bias against religion, and used as evidence an article that said not one word about religion, but did discuss efforts to fight homophobia. Given the seeming equation of religion and homophobia (and the absurd idea that America is somehow anti-religious, I guess because non-believers still aren't burned at the stake or "deported" immediately), I just gave up on the blog.
This is what's left of it. Oh, and Mdoneil, if you're reading, I don't have appropriate skills to volunteer directly in what's left of NOLA, but we did send total amount at this point not relevant and our business to the only non-religious charity that seemed to be accepting web donations, the American Red Cross. And will probably send more later.