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The Ockham Initiative

Organization devoted to increasing online reading materials.

“The OCKHAM Initiative seeks to promote the development of digital libraries via collaboration between librarians and digital library researchers. By promoting simple, open approaches and standards for digital library tools, services, and content, the gap between digital library development and the adoption of digital library systems by the traditional library community will be bridged.

To this end, the OCKHAM Initiative received a $425K grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a network of services that will improve the deployability of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) in traditional libraries. This grant will produce the initial OCKHAM Network – a suite of interoperable digital library services for use by traditional libraries.” (From The Ockham Initiative.)

Starter Links: Information from D-Lib | The Ockham Initiative

Thermo Rewrite

Rewritable thermal recording material developed by Mitsubishi Paper Mills Limited.

“Unlike other rewritable systems, e.g., transparent-opaque types, Thermo Rewrite uses Leuco dye in a coloring/decoloring process for its imaging (Thermo Rewrite is therefore classified as a Leuco type rewritable material). This primary difference from other rewritable materials allows a high-contrast and high-resolution image. Toughness is also a big advantage of Thermo Rewrite. With the use of an adequate printer set, a print/erase durability of more than one thousand times would be possible. Thanks to these great advantages, Thermo Rewrite is expected to be used not only for card applications but also for various other fields.” (From Mitsubishi Paper Mills Ltd.)

Starter Links: Mitsubishi Paper Mill’s Thermo Rewrite | Wikipedia entry on Leuco Dye

Processing

Processing is a java-based image programming language and development environment that strives to be easy for non-programmers to learn, yet powerful enough to utilize the range of java libraries.

“Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and sound. It is used by students, artists, designers, architects, researchers, and hobbyists for learning, prototyping, and production. It is created to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context and to serve as a software sketchbook and professional production tool. Processing is developed by artists and designers as an alternative to proprietary software tools in the same domain.” (from Processing.org)

Starter Links: Processing.org | Processing Blogs | ProcessingHacks.com

Edubuntu

Edubuntu is a Linux-based operating system that specifically targets young adults and families in an educational context.

”’Ubuntu’ is an ancient African word, meaning ‘humanity to others’. Ubuntu also means ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. The Edubuntu Linux distribution brings the spirit of Ubuntu to schools, through its customised school environment.

Edubuntu is a complete Linux-based operating system, freely available with community based support. The Edubuntu community is built on the ideas enshrined in the Edubuntu Manifesto: that software should be available free of charge, that software tools should be usable by people in their local language and despite any disabilities, and that people should have the freedom to customise and alter their software in whatever way they see fit. These freedoms make Edubuntu fundamentally different from traditional proprietary software: not only are the tools you need available free of charge, you have the right to modify your software until it works the way you want it to.” (from Edubuntu.org)

Starter Links: Edubuntu.org | Ubuntu.org (the parent project) | Jay Allen’s review: “Is Edubuntu Truly the Operating System for Families?” on BloggingBaby.com

Medieval Reading

  • scriptorium

  • psalters

  • stylus
  • Medieval Reading

    Description here?

    Invisibililty of Reading

    How can one study that which is invisible?

  • find the traces left by reading

  • document what people said or wrote about reading

  • track changes in the interfaces for reading
  • Inform.com Transliteracies Research Report

    News portal site from Inform Technologies LLC that uses advanced algorithms to sift news, blogs, audio, and video; analyzes them according to structure and relationships through “polytope” mathematical/geometrical relations; and then “channels” the results adaptively (according to evolving “discovery paths”) for particular readers:

    “Inform is creating a free online tool that we believe will revolutionize how people read news on the web. We not only provide thousands of news sources, including blogs, video, and audio, in a convenient single interface, we process the news for you, allowing you to get at what you’re interested in more quickly, intelligently, and comprehensively.

    Inform’s differentiating technology uses a series of information structuring techniques and natural-language interpretation to auto-categorize and group news stories into thousands of categories, and then shreds the text of the stories to isolate the important elements of each. Once the elements have been identified, you can easily connect and read news on any person, place, organization, topic, industry or product quickly, successfully, and easily right from the article you’re reading, or by utilizing a custom news channel you create, all for free.” (from “About Us” on Inform.com site)

    Starter Links: Inform.com | Business Week article discussing Inform.com and related, math-driven information and business technologies (.pdf)

    Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Lisa Swanstrom

    MoveOn.org

    Online organization devoted to enabling political action and mobilization through Internet activity and communication.

    “The MoveOn family of organizations brings real Americans back into the political process. With over 3.3 million members across America — from carpenters to stay-at-home moms to business leaders — we work together to realize the progressive vision of our country’s founders. MoveOn is a service — a way for busy but concerned citizens to find their political voice in a system dominated by big money and big media.

    The MoveOn family of organizations is made up of a couple of different pieces. MoveOn.org Civic Action, a 501©(4) nonprofit organization, formerly known just as MoveOn.org, primarily focuses on education and advocacy on important national issues. MoveOn.org Political Action, a federal PAC, formerly known as MoveOn PAC, mobilizes people across the country to fight important battles in Congress and help elect candidates who reflect our values. Both organizations are entirely funded by individuals. ” (from MoveOn.org)

    Starter Links: MoveOn.org | “MoveOn Moves Up,” Michelle Goldberg’s article on Salon.com

    Mechanics’ InstituteTransliteracies Research Report

    History and Description of the Mechanics’ Institute

    “The Mechanics’ Institute sprang up in 19th century England for the ostensible purpose of imparting upon the working class mechanic knowledge of the sciences, literature, and arts. In actuality, a myriad of purposes shrouded the creation of these institutes, which were ultimately appropriated by the middle class when it became apparent that the working class was not as receptive as had been anticipated. Some scholars conjecture that they were really formed as a means of control and indoctrination of the working class, allowing only as little real knowledge as needed for them to improve as workers, but little else. As the middle class began to move in, the working class retreated to the Institute’s libraries and reading rooms, where they were free to discuss topics that interested them.”

    Starter Links or References: “Funding communal culture: opportunism and standardisation of funding for mechanics’ institutes in colonial Victoria,” Donald Barker’s article in The Australian Library Journal | “Culture and Wealth Creation: Mechanics’ Institutes and the Emergence of Political Economy in Early Nineteenth-Century Britain,â€? Ann Firth’s article in the History of Intellectual Culture

    Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By David Roh

    The Mechanics’ Institute

    Research Report by David Roh
    (created 2/2/06; version 1.0)

    Related Categories: History of Reading, Literacy Studies
    Original Object for Study description

    Summary:
    The Mechanics’ Institute sprang up in 19th century England for the ostensible purpose of imparting upon the working class mechanic knowledge of the sciences, literature, and arts. In actuality, a myriad of purposes shrouded the creation of these institutes, which were ultimately appropriated by the middle class when it became apparent that the working class was not as receptive as had been anticipated. Some scholars conjecture that they were really formed as a means of control and indoctrination of the working class, allowing only as little real knowledge as needed for them to improve as workers, but little else. As the middle class began to move in, the working class retreated to the Institute’s libraries and reading rooms, where they were free to discuss topics that interested them. One of the unintended consequences of the failed Mechanics’ Institutes was the aiding in the creation of a democratic infrastructure for working class access to printed materials, and despite the Institute’s discouragement, a predilection for popular fiction. In short, despite being borne from a desire to regulate, they were an important precursor to the establishment of public libraries and a liberated mass reading public. (more…)

    David Roh

    Graduate Student, English Department, UC Santa Barbara (more…)

    Hornbook

    15th-18th century chidren’s primers made of paper, a transparent sheet of animal horn, and a wood base.

    “It may not look like one, but a hornbook is really a book. Paper was pretty expensive once and hornbooks were made so children could learn to read without using a lot of paper. A hornbook was usually a small, wooden paddle with just one sheet of paper glued to it. But because that paper was so expensive, parents and teachers wanted to protect it. So they covered the paper with a very thin piece of cow’s horn. The piece of cow’s horn was so thin, you could see right through it. That’s why these odd books were called ‘hornbooks.’” (From Blackwell’s History of Education Web Site.)

    Starter Links: Blackwell’s About the Hornbook | Definition of the Hornbook on Bartleby.com

    Synapsen

    Reading “generator” that makes use of mySQL and associative linking.

    Synapsen, a mySQL-based card system for notes and quotes and biblio-references, automagically connects and thus “generates” readings (once a certain critical mass of entries is achieved). Aristotle already recommended excerpts to serious readers…Here, the old card index that served scholars from Locke and Hegel to Levi-Strauss, Barthes, and Luhmann transitions into the computer. In a simple way, this system attempts to implement the vision articulated by HG Wells, Paul Otlet, Vannevar Bush, Ted Nelson, and Apple Hypercard: it runs a SQL database, it can access data from OPACs, and its main strength is automatic associative linking—something no biblio-software offers yet. It allows manual and automatic cross-referencing; of course it also outputs bibliographies, footnotes, etc. It’s available for Windows, Unix, Mac OS X, and Linux, and contains a comfortable interface for LaTeX users via BiBTeX. To install, you need to have a Java Virtual Machine and mySQL 4.1+ The English version will be available in a few weeks. (from Peter Krapp’s description of the project.)


    Starter Links:
    Synspsen

    Stanford University’s Medieval and Modern Thought Text Digitization Project

    Extensive project that aims to provide researchers with primary and secondary material in the broad category of medieval and modern thought. This project uses a book-scanning robot to help digitize its material.

    “To strengthen Stanford University Library holdings in the field of Western Medieval thought and its influence on modern times. The goal is to digitize on an ongoing basis printed reference works, source collections, and primary and secondary books in the broad area of medieval and modern thought.” (From the project’s web site.)

    Starter Links: Medieval and Modern Thought Text Digitization Project | “Robots Digitizing Libraries,” San Francisco Chronicle article about robots used to scan books | “SULAIR Has Robot for Digitizing Books,” SULAIR e-newsletter about scanning robots

    ISI Web of Knowledge

    Online service that manages access to archives of hundreds of academic journals, across disciplines.

    “Coverage of 22,000 journals, 23 million patents, 12,000 conference proceedings, 5,500 Web sites, 5,000 books, 2 million chemical structures, and now scholarly Web content via the Web Citation Index.â€? (from About ISI Web of Knowledge.)

    Starter Links: ISI Web of Knowledge

    The Scholarly Journal Archive

    Online resource manages access to archives of hundreds of academic journals, across disciplines.

    “JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization with a dual mission to create and maintain a trusted archive of important scholarly journals, and to provide access to these journals as widely as possible. JSTOR offers researchers the ability to retrieve high-resolution, scanned images of journal issues and pages as they were originally designed, printed, and illustrated. Content in JSTOR spans many disciplines. ” (from JSTOR.)

    Starter Links: JSTOR

    RefViz

    Software program that organizes large lists of citations to help researchers sort the terrain of the literature.

    “With this powerful text analysis and visualization software program, you get an intuitive framework for exploring reference collections based on content. RefViz provides an at-a-glance overview and reveals trends and associations in references–now you can retain important references otherwise lost when narrowing a search or skimming a list.â€? (from the Product Info page.)

    Starter Links: Refviz

    Posting FAQ


    Roundtable 3 Onliine Audience Experiment
    General Discussion Forum
    Conference 2005 Seed Questions
    Conference 2005: Project  Planning Session discussion


    Writing Posts and Comments:

    The Transliteracies Web site runs on WordPress, an open-source content management system and blog engine. The site is designed not only to publicize information about the project but to facilitate collaborative discussion among project participants and with the public. In the WordPress system as implemented on this site, there are basically three kinds of contributions that users can make depending on their permission level:


    • Categories: “Categories” for postings such as Discussion Forum or Research Project can be established by users with higher-level permissions (project leaders and administrators). Categories are like bulletin boards for postings; and may be created for particular topics, working groups, and so on.
    • Posts: “Posts,” or postings, in particular categories can be contributed only by project members, conference participants, or other member of the Transliteracies community. After logging in, go to “Write” on the site administration console, write a post, and then “publish” it (or save it as a “draft” until you are ready to publish). By default, posts are published in the Discussion Forum category, organized chronologically with the the most recent at the top. (Please do not post to such categories on the site intended to remain static as “Research Project” unless there is a specific reason to do so.) You can later edit their own postings, but not other users’ postings (unless you have a higher-level permission), by navigating to it on the site and choosing the “edit” option (or by searching for it under “manage” within the site administration console). You can enable or disable “comments” to your posting.
    • Comments: “Comments,” when enabled for a particular posting, allow other project participants as well as members of the public who register with the site to add comments/replies to a posting, though the first such comment by a member of the general public needs to be approved by a site administrator. (Site administrators also have the option of removing or editing inappropriate comments.) Only site administrators can edit or delete comments.

    If you are a member of the Transliteracies community, you can thus log in and contribute to the site in a number of ways: write a post or write a comment/reply to a post. If you are a member of the general public, you can register on the site for a login that allows you to write comments/replies to posts.

    Managing Posts:

    Transliteracies project members and participants can edit their own posts (as well as posts of anyone with a lower level of permission). After logging in, there are two ways to navigate to a post and edit it:


    • View the site and navigate to the post you wish to edit. Then click the “edit” link to the right of the post.
    • Choose “Site Admin” to open the site management console. Then choose the “Manage” option and locate (or search for) the post you wish to edit. Posts that you have permission to edit are labeled as such; other posts are view-only.


    Entries in the “Objects for Study” section of the project research clearinghouse are formatted as follows:

    Cut-And-Paste Source Code (from “Edit” view)

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