27 Jul 2007 Ankh   » (Master)

Today we go home from vacation, or rather, star going home: Clyde and I have been staying at the Cree Village Ecolodge in Moose Factory, Ontario. Tonight we take the train, the Polar Bear Express, to Cochrane, where we will stay overnight, and then tomorrow we take a bus to Timmins, an hour and a half away, where we can take a 'plane to Toronto, and thence to Kingston, Ontario, and from there drive home.

It was nice to have network access while we were here. I admit, though, I spent some time transcribing more entries from a very cynical 1790s political dictionary, e.g.:

Corruption, “the oil which makes the wheels of Government go well.”

I'm also starting to catch up with writing captions for photographs, and thinking about writing some more articles on using GIMP and other tools to clean up digital images, both photographs and scans.

Looked at the Open Library demo site. It has more of a Web 2.0 feel than a careful librarian feel, and it seems to me it would benefit from more of a synthesis. But it's early. It turns out that there has been a lot of progress made in the past few years on transcribing texts, but the ones done carefully and well are generally kept behind academic non-commercial-use-only walls, so instead we get to see the ones that are done badly, for example by running unattended OCR over 17th century texts with errors in almost every single word. And of course engravings scanned at such a low resolution that you can hardly tell if they are engravings of photographs. As higher-resolution digital beak ends get more affordable (e.g. 500 megapixel) this will change.

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