Photos of Larryblakeley
(Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley dot com)
Important Note: You will need to click this icon to download the free needed to view most of the images on this Web site - just a couple of clicks and you're "good to go."
Question: What do I need to know at the "creation" stage of a digital text document?
My answer: When you put down your pen and paper, type a letter in this case using a computer and keyboard to enter the digital (or possibly more accurate, electronic) world to do the same thing.
Answer: Nothing that you probably want to know about.
Question: What about if I print it out - what then?
Answer: Still the same.
Now, you probably think that's not funny, so you ask -
Question: What if I want to save this letter in digital format for later use?
Answer: How long do you want to keep it? How important is it to you? I mean, what if it just disappeared into "thin air"?
You see - if you don't really care if it should somehow disappear between computer restarts, then all you need to do is to use a word processing software program that does what you need (or want) for it to do at a price you're willing to pay.
Simple. You don't need to be at this website for the most part.
For anything else, you at least need to read this article before going any further:
"Digital Information Will Never Survive by Accident”, Interview by SAF Info (http://www.sap.info) of Neil Beagrie, British Library and Joint Information Systems Committee Partnership Manager at the British Library, February 8, 2004 http://www.sap.info/public/en/printout.php4/article/Article-3089140c577c931a92/en
Before going any further with your pursuit to learn what I have presented so far make sure that you think about the above article from 2 perspectives - technical, of course, but from a humanitarian lens of understanding as well.
In particular, what was the driving force of Tim Berners-Lee? What was his vision? What did he want in return from all of his efforts to make his vision a reality?
Why is this so important for you and me? Because, I think most of us can agree on one point here - contribution to society and mankind is a much higher calling than the self. And, there are many amongst our society that are in a position to give much more to humankind. Why do they not realize this until just before their final destination, or "greater reward." So far, you will not find this calling in Bill Gates/Microsoft and many other companies that are focused only on profits. Sure, they contribute a lot of money to charities, etc., but have they made their products available to the less fortunate, to third-world countries? Ok, so what's the problem with profit-making? Absolutely, nothing. But, when the weapon of choice to maintain this position requires you to convince people that they need something of yours when actually they don't - in my book of code of conduct, this is without question to me, the blatant use of deceit and lies in order to dupe you and me. And, quite frankly I don't appreciate being treated as a second-class citizen that doesn't have the sense of mind to figure this out.
And, most importantly we should learn at least just enough to be capable to recognize motives of others that are not in our best interests.
Besides, it was us who created Bill Gates' empire of wealth. We all were convinced to believe that we could not do without their products in order to be productive.
So, this article belongs on both sides - this website and my father's website. I hope you understand why I have created each of them for you and what is stressed in each.
Notepad - comes free with Windows. Basic text creation.
NoteTab Pro http://www.notetab.com
This is the version that I use, but they have free versions that I have not used. In fact - the Notepad contained in Windows in the "Accessories" folder is a text software program.
What text creation program can I use that can be read by most every computer and will give me some comfort that my digital information saved to a file can be opened by computers 10 years from now?
One that assigns those numeric values to letters, numbers, punctuation marks and other codes, such as a control code, as represented in the "American Standard Code for Information Interchange" (ASCII). This was invented by Robert W. Bemer and approved by the American National Standards Institute in 1963. http://www.larryblakeley.com/some_computer_history.htm
For a demonstration of creating a "comma-delimited" text file, go here. http://www.larryblakeley.com/products/text_creation/comma_delimited_text.htm
Without this standardization there would be no common denominator for computers to understand the "computer language of '0's and 1's'" that deviate from this table of values. This is why "standardization" is so important. Without it, you may possibly not be able to view this webpage, or view the text in emails.
In fact - try this. With your mouse cursor in the box for the Web page display, click your right mouse key, then go down to select "View Source."
Several things here - it opened up in "Notepad" text editor that comes with Windows and you will see all the text I wrote to create this page, plus (among other markup language) the following that I want to bring to your attention:
- some bracketing that I have used, such as <p align="left" class="style1" style="line-height: 150%"> at the beginning of each sentence and then ended it with a </p> in order to separate the lines using 1-1/2 spacing for better viewing by those of us with deteriorating eyesight; and
- some other bracketing used for creating the underlined "hyperlinks" that you click on with your mouse key to surf the web <a href="http://www.larryblakeley.com/Articles/interviews/neil_beagrie20040208.htm>"
The bracketing is markup of the document in "HTML" language and outside the bracketing is nothing more that typed text, encoded in the standard ASCII coding (remember from reading the article about the internet and the world wide web that I recommended you read? And, noted that it was important - Ok, maybe some of you fudged a little and need to go back. To "teach" I have to have a plan of presentation. This plan, I believe will enable you to "learn" in an order that I believe is understandable to most (yes, even those that say "I just don't know anything about this contraption?" And, ... 'can't learn this!' " - I say "You are fully capable of learning just enough that 'you need to know' in order to keep you out of trouble in the digital age. And, besides - I will make it as painless as I possibly can for you."
Ok, now close out of Notepad and do this - right click the mouse button, go to "Select All." The entire page should be highlighted. Now, click the right mouse key again and select "copy" from the menu that opened; go to "Start," then "All Programs," up to "Accessories," down to "Notepad," then "right click" and select "Pin to Start menu." Now, you can find your "Notepad" much easier by "Start" and up to "Notepad." So, select "Notepad" to open a blank file, then use the "right click mouse button," and select "paste" from the drop-down menu.
Now, look at the results on the page. All of the coding within the brackets did not copy over. Why? Because the text editor "Notepad" is only ASCII- based and does not recognize "HTML" coding. However, all of the text outside the bracketing remained - and, some of this text is where I typed the URL's again outside of the brackets so it would not disappear. I can retain a record of the URL's, use it for this demonstration, and for some other purposes on my agenda for future teaching.
Now, try this. Highlight one of my URL's typed (starting with the "http:" and ending with the "htm," or sometimes you will see "html"), and right click to select "copy," then go to the address bar of your browser, hightlight the URL already in the address bar, then right-click and select "Paste." Then either hit your Enter key, or the "Go" arrow to the right of the address bar. It will take you to the webpage.
By going through the above several times the article about the internet and world wide web should make more sense to you. If it does not then go back and read it. Then come back here and go through the process several times to get it down.
Why do I need to know this? Because the internet and the web will become more and more the channel of communication than it already has become. We have only seen the tip of the iceberg. In fact, every time you typed an email message and send it to someone - it's being typed in ASCII for the most part and transmitted across the internet to its destination. In fact, you could type you message in Notepad, save it, and send it as an attachment. By doing so, your file is kept outside of another problem area - managing the massive amount of email.
Information about folders and files that are accessed over the internet and the world wide web. http://www.larryblakeley.com/products/text_creation/folders_files_internet_web.htm
How to convert PDF to HTML and Text.
File Name: pdf_to_txt_html
Free Office Suites
Mission Statement: To create, as a community, the leading international office suite that will run on all major platforms and provide access to all functionality and data through open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format.
Inexpensive Office Suites
StarOffice Office Suite http://wwws.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/
StarOffice software is affordable, easy to use, and based on open standards. It offers word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, and database capabilities. Its familiar interface enables quick productivity and results for the business user, and elegant output for the consumer.
Moderate Priced Office Suites
Corel's WordPerfect Office Suite http://www.larryblakeley.com/products/text_creation/corel_office_suite.htm
Expensive Office Suites
Microsoft Office Suite http://www.larryblakeley.com/products/text_creation/microsoft_office_suite.htm
"Open-source office suites such as the OpenOffice.org project's OpenOffice.org have the best chance of eroding Microsoft's stronghold in small and mid-size businesses, where paying licensing fees for Office may not make financial sense" - "Open Source a Better Fit in Small Shops," by Anne Chen of Eweek, April 26, 2004. http://www.larryblakeley.com/Articles/open_source_better_fit.htm
In recent years, open-source alternatives to Office have matured to the point where IT managers are beginning to investigate the viability of moving from the Microsoft Corp. suite to a license-free alternative. So when eWEEK Corporate Partner Ed Benincasa shared his desire to perform a user-based comparison between the OpenOffice.org project's OpenOffice.org suite and Microsoft's Office 2003, we saw a perfect opportunity to compare the suites under real-world conditions. - "Office 2003 vs. OpenOffice.Org," by Jason Brooks, Senior Analyst of eWeek, April 26, 2004. http://www.larryblakeley.com/Articles/office2003_vs_open_office_org.htm
Here are my results of file size of the same file (http://www.larryblakeley.com/products/text_creation/ - look for file name dan_baum... to see the file size numbers for yourself) saved in the following programs using the same font (Arial), size (12 point), and with no noticeable difference to me upon printout of each. I moved the text directly from the basic text editors to the others: Microsoft's NotePad, NoteTab Pro, WordPerfect, Word, and StarOffice 7:
StarOffice 7 - 20KB
NoteTab Pro, Microsoft's NotePad (and HTML) - 34KB
WordPerfect 12 - 48KB
Word 2003 - 67KB
Another item that seemed odd to me - the word count for the same document was 5,770 in WordPerfect and 5,766 in Word. I did not look for an answer to this.
What does this mean? Well, when I look at these numbers from the perspective of storage issues, a couple of items of interest to make you aware of: a Microsoft Word file will require 3-1/2 times more storage space than StarOffice 7 and twice as much as the text editors (including HTML).
But, storage is much cheaper today, right? Well, it is, and it isn't. How's that? Well, if you are going to maintain documents in a environment that provides ready access, then you have to start adding additional storage devices, increasing your costs and complexity, along with the technical expertise required to handle it. You are going from simple to complex.
There's several other problems that need to be considered - proprietary software coding that stands a good chance of becoming obsolete over the years - regardless of whether it is due to hardware or software related issues.
And, furthermore I don't believe there is anyone that can predict what is going to happen in the area of bandwidth usage over the internet. As multi-media becomes more centered around the computer there will be much more demand (and need) for increased bandwidth traveling to your home and your neighbor's home. Today, most ISP's figure you are not going to be continuously using bandwidth throughout the 24-hour day - just periodically throughout this period of time - a little bit of surfing and checking email. What does that mean for them? Well, it means one of two things - this is bandwidth they do not have to pay for themselves, or it's bandwidth they have already paid for and they use it for other purposes in order to cover their cost. If they don't, then they have to shut their doors - and, you are left looking for another ISP. So, in a way they are counting on this "unused" bandwidth as part of their business plan. That's a significant reason why ISP's don't like heavy usage of peer-to-peer file sharing. It really eats into this "unused" bandwidth estimate of theirs. Will they starting gauging your bandwidth usage and charge you for it? Will they go up on their pricing? I don't know, but I do know that ultimately every business must make a profit in order to continue to provide a product or service.
So, file size is important, in particular when viewed from the perspective of communicating over the internet. And, wait until you start storing and sharing your digital images! These files can get really large! In fact, this is why I use the DjVu format for imaging - the resolution quality is very good, with 1/10th the file size of JPEG. Smaller file size equates to faster access, less storage space, and less bandwidth.
Don't believe me?
OK, I'll show you - go to this directory:
and look at the image file:
(updated from website_comparison_bytes20040912.jpg)
- a visual representation of usage in "total bytes" over the 24-hour period stated. The websites that I want you to look at are www.royblakeley.name and www.larryblakeley.com.
Now, compare that image with the "total hits" image file:
(updated from website_comparison_hits20040912.jpg)
for the same time period.
The total hits are virtually the same, but my father's website served up approximately 20x more bytes per hit.
Why is that? Because his website is predominately scanned images right now. So, if they had been in JPEG you can anticipate 10 times more bandwidth required for the same image. And, the larger the file the slower the download - which to you means you are left staring at your computer monitor - just waiting, and we all hate waiting! Don't we? So, with the assumption on my part that others hate to wait too, I have purposely designed both of these websites with "high speed" and "reduced storage usage" as an objective for measuring these projects of mine.
Oh, one other thing - if you would spread the word about these websites both of these numbers will go up. And, the Zeus web server will just keep humming away on top of the Linux server. Don't believe me? Well, just go ahead and try and "make my day."
OK, you are now making my days. I have updated the image files above to reflect your interest. And, what I am most pleased with is that you are using DjVu to view the photographs and see how outstanding DjVu really is for web viewing.
Note: details on scanning is not a part of text creation - and, will be covered for you, as I take you around the information management process - one step at a time.