INTERNET-ON-A-DISK #10, March-April 1995
Newsletter of public domain and freely available electronic texts
Circulation: direct = 6,000, indirect (estimated) = 100,000+
This newsletter is free for the asking. To be added to the distribution
list or for back issues, please send requests to [log in to unmask]
(please note new address).
Permission is granted to freely distribute this newsletter in electronic
form. All other rights reserved. (Parts of this will soon be collected in
a book -- I-Time: The Internet Era by Richard Seltzer).
We plan to produce new issues about once a month (with time off for
vacation). We welcome submissions of articles and information
relating to availability of electronic texts on the Internet and their use
(texts recently made available by ftp, gopher, www, and LISTSERV)
from the B&R Samizdat Express
We now have our own Web site (courtesy of The Internet Access
Company/TIAC). For the moment we're limited to 100 Kbytes of
space, but we provide the latest issue of Internet-on-a-Disk with
hypertext links to the sites referenced, our catalog of etexts on disk
(organized by category and including some texts that aren't yet
available on the Internet), and pointers to the best sources of
electronic texts on the Internet.
from the Gutenberg Project --
ftp mrcnext.cso.uiuc.edu /pub/etext/etext95
Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain (lmiss10.txt)
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (rubai10.txt)
U.S. Congressional Address Book, 1995 (uscon95.txt)
French Cave Paintings (cavep.eng and cavep10.zip)
The Forged Coupon and Other Stories by Leo Tolstoy (forgd09.txt)
Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (first 100 pages = wbstr11a.zip,
second 100 pages = wbstr11b.zip) -- this is an enormous undertaking.
They are just getting started. And this is in addition to their
from Project Libellus
Check out their new Web site.
from Data Text Processing Ltd.
The following texts are all in html (the hypertext markup language used
on the Web.)
Louisa May Alcott -- Little Women
Joseph Conrad -- The Secret Agent
Susan Coolidge -- What Katy Did Next
Daniel Defoe -- Robinson Crusoe
Charles Dickens -- Great Expectations
George Eliot -- The Mill on the Floss
James Joyce -- Dubliner, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses
D.H. Lawrence -- Lady Chatterly's Lover
from Project Bartleby at Columbia University
The following texts are all in html (the hypertext markeup language used
on the Web)
Chapman's translation of the Odyssey (first half)
Inaugural Addresses of US Presidents
John Keats' Poetical Works
Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville
Shelley's Poetical Works (under construction)
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (1901 edition)
Oscar Wilde's Poems
Wordworth's Complete Poetical Works
from the University of Pennsylvania, English Department
gopher gopher.english.upenn.edu, electronic texts, PEAL
Samuel Johnson -- Vanity of Human Wishes, Rasselas, Idler #60, #61
Peraldus -- Summa de vitiis (13th century, Latin)
Alexander Pope -- Essay on Criticism, Essay on Man, Moral Essay II,
Rape of the Lock
Mary Darby Robinson -- poems
Jonathan Swift -- essays and poems
Jane Taylor -- poems
from La Bibliotheque d'ABU
A wide variety of classic etexts in French, including:
Th. Moreux, La vie sur Mars
Plutarque, Des opinions des philosophes
Jules Verne, De la terre a la lune, Les forceur de blocus
Rene Descartes, Discours de la Methode
Fontenelle, Entretiens sur la pluralite des mondes habitis
Chanson de Roland
Moliere, Dom Juan, L'avare, Les fourberies de Scapin, Tartuffe
Blaise Pascal, La machine d'arithmetique
J.J. Rousseau, Les reveries du promeneur solitaire
Stendhal, Chroniques Italieenes -- Les Cenci, La duchesse de Palliano
Benjaman Constant, Adolphe
Balzac, Le Colonel Chabert
Guy de Maupassant, Le Horla, Pierre et Jean
Gustave Flaubert, Un coeur simple
from the United Nations
Resolutions of the 49th Session of the General Assembly (found
under General Assembly Documents)
Jan.-March 1995 Resolutions of the Security Council
Also, buried in General Assembly Documents, you'll find a book-length
text "Report of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
From Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
or [log in to unmask]
The Daily Digest and other materials from RFE/RL provide detailed,
up-to-date information on developments in the former Soviet Union,
as well as East-Central and Southeastern Europe. Their back issues
are a valuable historical resource.
From the Online World
This handbook of on-line resources focuses on sites outside the US.
This bi-monthly newsletter focuses on changes in the on-line world,
trends and developments around the world.
SUGGESTION -- PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD
While very few K-12 schools have good Internet connections, nearly all
have PCs or Macintoshes. And one of the best ways to introduce them
to the treasures of the Internet is by providing them with electronic texts
on disks. (That's a lot easier and cheaper than giving them printouts.)
For those who do not have the capability or the time to retrieve
electronic texts from the Internet, many are available at a nominal price
from PLEASE COPY THIS DISK, a project of The B&R Samizdat
Express. For further information, send email to
[log in to unmask] or check our Web site
GRANT MONEY AVAILABLE
from U.S. Dept. of Commerce
http://www.ntia.doc.gov, check What's New
gopher.ntia.doc.gov (login as gopher)
ftp.ntia.doc.gov (login as anonymous)
The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced $65 million funds
available to increase the use of the Internet by school districts, libraries,
community groups, universities, state and local governments, public
safety providers, and non-profit organizations. For details check the
above sites, or send email to [log in to unmask]
Please note the new address for Yahoo. This is probably the best
starting point for Internet exploration today. It's run by a couple of
students at Stanford, who are now getting their equipment and network
connection from Netscape Communications.
From the Children's Literature Web Guide
Maintained by D.K. Brown at the University of Calgary, this site
provides an enormously rich array of material related to children's
literature. If you are interested in that subject, this is the place to
From The Smithsonian Institute (SI)
This home page provides access to the following related resources:
Center for Earth and Planetary Studies
Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
SI Laboratory of Molecular Systematics
SI Museum Support Center
National Air and Space Museum
National Museum of American Art
National Museum of the American Indian
Office of Fellowships and Grants
SI Education Server (for teachers and students)
SI Photo Server
SI Research Information Systems
From James Joyce in Cyberspace
Info on James Joyce and his works and pointers to many related
resources. (Concevied and maintained by R.L. Callahan of Temple
From the Mark Twain Library
This sire is a "labor-of-love" project to collect and provide the works
of Mark Twain. Lots of good pointers to related resources
From Hillside Elementary in Minnesota
They celebrated their first anniversay on March 12, and have added
more material. Check it out.
From Mark Lottor of Network Wizards
Data on the size and growth of the Internet, based on results collected
in late Jan. 1995.
Powerpoint graphs of host growth, based on the above data and
prepared by the Internet Society.
From Proyecto Cervantes
Sergio Pou ([log in to unmask]) is asking for help/collaboration
in his effort to make Cervantes texts available on the Internet.
From the Amistad Research Center
Hosted at Tulane, this research center collects and preserves
manuscripts related to the history and culture of African-Americans
and other ethnic minorities. Major headings at this new (under
construction) Web site include: Manuscript Collections, African-
American Art Collections, African Art, Media, African-American
Historical Exhibits, Library/Periodicals, and Tours, Vists and Museum
From the Tarlton Law School at the U. of Texas
This site provides links to law-related resources around the world.
Apparently, it also plans to include the text of a variety of law journals.
From Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
More news from this project to provide Internet access for teachers in
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. "We have 1400 accounts since
Sept. We had to cut a typical modem session at 1 hour due to the
traffic We currently have 16 lines coming in and they are heavily used
after 3 PM into the evening. During the school day, we see 6-8 people
on at a time. We are setting up "direct connections to districts this
spring. We have 21 school districts in our region."
EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES TO COME
From the Latin American Institute at the U. of New Mexico
The Latin American Data Base is gathering information on
Latin American curriculum materials for grades 6-12. This
information will be made available for free to Internet users.
They are asking for help in gathering materials. Send email to
[log in to unmask] for details
To allow students a glimpse into the real world of modern
research, NASA will make two research projects availble on-line
from April through May. Both projects will provide frequent
updates about day-to-day activities as well as extensive
background information, available by Web and Gopher.
o TOPEX/Poseidon is a cooperative project between the U.S.
and France to develop and operate an advanced satellite system
dedicated to observing the Earth's oceans.
o In the F-18 SRA project, a group of engineers, test pilots and
flight crew members will hare their experiences in advancing
the state-of-the-art in aeronautics.
To stay informed, send email to [log in to unmask]
and in the message body, write one or both of the following lines:
Internet Phone for Windows PCs --
As noted in an earlier issue, this software (from VocalTec Inc. in Israel)
lets you make live voice phone calls from your PC over the Internet.
You need a sound card, speakers, and a microphone. If the person
you want to talk to has the same software, you avoid paying long-
I recently installed it myself. You can download the trial software
from their Web site. If you like it in evaluation mode (limited to one
minute of conversation), you can pay for a license that unlocks it
for unlimited use. (I did so almost immediately -- this was the first
time I bought anything by credit card over the Internet).
When you start, you connect to one of several servers that are
set up like IRC chat. That means you can readily find other people
who want to talk. I had my first chats with people in
England and in Montreal. It has the feel of ham radio, only far
simpler. It's easy to imagine how this could be used to connect
classrooms in different countries for social studies or foreign
language practice. If you have tried out educational uses of this kind,
please send us a brief description of what works well and why, and
pitfalls to avoid (email to [log in to unmask]) so we can spread the word.
For info on the product itself, send email to info @vocaltec.com
NetPhone for Macintosh (from Electric Magic Company)
From the description on the Web, this sounds like a Macintosh
version of the Internet Phone. (I don't have a Macintosh, so I
haven't been able to check it out.)
THE ASSOCIATIVE POWER --
THIS AIN'T KANSAS, MR. BROADCASTER
by Richard Seltzer, B&R Samizdat Express
A few years ago, the Internet was like the Rainman -- an autistic
idiot-savant. It contained an incredible wealth of facts in its global
"brain," but there was no built-in way to associate one
piece of information with another or to find what you wanted when
you wanted it.
With the coming of gopher and then the World Wide Web, one
site or document could link to another site or document. This
added a whole new power of association -- so long as the people
who ran the various sites knew about related material elsewhere
and went to the trouble to insert pointers. In cases, where
a community of scholars made full use of this capability, it was
possible to follow your threads of thought from one document
to another, taking advantage of these previously planted
It was that stage of technology that gave rise to the concept of
electronic "malls." The manager of a Web site could help guide the
interests of the user by constructing sets of menus. The cyber
visitor would come looking for one kind of information and see
offerings of commercial enterprises listed in the same menu.
This was association by proximity. And retailers hoped to attract
on-line customers based on old mall-type business models. Indeed,
a year ago, O'Reilly's Global Network Navigator or GNN
(http://www.ora.com) was probably the best starting point on the Web.
Today we see search tools adding to the associative power of the
Internet. Today Yahoo (http://www.yahoo.com) is probably the best
starting point -- with nowhere near as much work involved as a site like
GNN. The concept was simple -- let people who run Web sites submit
information about their pages; keep it all in a database; and use readily
available search tools to let people find what they want. The students
at Stanford who created and run that site also offer a hierarchy of
menus as an added help.
Meanwhile, the Britannica On-Line project (http://www.eb.com/eb.htm)
uses a search mechanism (WAIS) to make its full content readily
accessible. It also is designed so the reader can click on any word
in an article and immediately get the dictionary definition of that word.
And now a company called Infoseek has added a new dimension.
(http://www.infoseek.com:80/Home). They index World Wide Web
pages, usenet newsgroups (over 10,000 of them), the full text of
over 50 computer newspapers and magazines, and the major news
services (Reuters, Associated Press, Businesswire, PR Newswire, and
the Newsbytes News Network). In response to your queries, you
get a hypertext list of article titles. When you click on the one you want,
you get the full text right away. Unlike Yahoo, you have to pay for this
service. But if it saves you time, or you find an important item that
otherwise you wouldn't know about, it's well worth the money.
(In an ideal world, all information would be available on-line and free;
and we would, as in this case, pay to get less -- to get exactly what we
want when we want it.)
We expect to see even more powerful tools that will help novice users
quickly find the Web site or the particular piece of information they
need, without the need for an orderly superstructure, such as a mall
or a television-style network. Such tools will be able to interpret
content, to highlight main points, to do some basic language
translation, and to automatically generate summaries to help us
cope with the huge amounts of information available. Instead of
picking the right on-ramp with the right selection of menu choices as
signs to guide you, you'll use search and directory tools. And as a
next step, based on such tools, it will be possible to have your own
individual home page generated for you on the fly, tailored to a profile
of your interests.
So we see the Internet rapidly developing associative powers that
make metaphors from the traditional world of business seem
With these tools, users are actively in control -- seeking what they
want and getting it without intermediaries. The Internet increasingly
becomes an extension of your own mind, building on your natural
powers of association. In this kind of environment, location -- in time
or space -- means nothing. Here the user is creator, not consumer.
Today, attracted by the media hype which they themselves help to
spread, mega-infotainment companies are anxious to move into
the Internet and "own" it. Such companies presume that because of
the compelling content that they already own, they have a natural
advantage here. They anxiously anticipate ever greater video
capability. They expect that the business models that helped
them dominate elsewhere will succeed here as well.
Some have already begun to mimic their print publications on
the Web, and others are looking at the Internet as just another
broadcast medium -- another way to deliver the same content
to the same passive audience. Of course, they'll add some
"interactive" elements as an enticement, but basically they
still think that this is Kansas. They haven't woken up to the
fact that they are entering Oz.
Will they win? Anything is possible. But the Internet is the
natural home of the small and nimble, who feed on dinosaur eggs.
That's the favorite breakfast food in Oz.
PS -- Censorship, as an abridgement of freedom of expression,
is marginally acceptable in a broadcast medium, where the
choices of a few producers are imposed on many consumers.
In that case, censorship can be seen as protecting the rights
of consumers, so long as it actually reflects their desires.
But in a medium where the individual has total control, and makes
individualized choices among millions of files, and where anyone
can be a creator/producer, censorship makes no sense at all. When
the Internet becomes an extension of my mind, censoring the
Internet is like trying to censor my thoughts. And no government
should ever get into that business.
In other words, the same misunderstanding that is leading
mega-media companies to rush into the Internet business is
leading government to try to control Internet content.
When will they realize that this isn't Kansas?
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
INTERNET AND THE HUMAN SPIRIT (Internet-on-a-Disk #9)
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 1995 10:29:32 -0800 (PST)
From: Ed Langthorn <[log in to unmask]>
While I disagree that all human beings will show their "bad side" if given a
chance (Mandela and Ghandi never sought revenge though they controlled
large masses of people) I do believe the Internet will be a great
resource for the positive advancement of mankind.
"The world is one country and mankind its citizens" said Baha'u'llah, the
Prophet-Founder of the Baha'i Faith. This is truer today than ever before,
thanks in part to the instant global communications made possible by the
Internet. The trick here is to make access available to all. By Internet
exposure to other cultures we will see that unity in diversity is far
more desirable than fragmentation and separation
As we watch the decline of the institutions upon which we have relied
for so many years, it becomes apparent that we must rely instead on each
other. To do so we must communicate. The Internet provides a fast,
cheap and efficient method.
Universal education will help lift masses of humanity from utter poverty
to productive rewarding lives. The Internet is the educational tool of the
future. Separate teachers and classrooms will be replaced by central
classes and courses with worldwide Internet students.
As the new society grows and the old one crumbles, we will emerge united
to create a new world based on cooperation, rather then self-interest. It is
coming and the Internet is paving the way.
THE WEB & ACCESS FOR THE BLIND -- QUESTION
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 1995 13:35:38 -0500 (EST)
From: Lynn Zelvin <[log in to unmask]>
I would like to get onto your electronic distribution list for your
catalog and newsletter.
I would also like to ask you a question regarding the "World Wide Web"
In your newsletter, you refer to this as the begining of unrestricted for
all, or are warning of the dangers of separate organizations becoming
proprietary regarding text that should be freely available. I am sorry if
I am a little confused. What I understand is that the "Web" is basically
adding a graphic and more powerful overlay to text information to link it
together and make more easy to "point and click".
I am a computer user who is partially blind and uses a synthesizer to
access the computer. For a long time the world of GUI's has loomed large
for those of us using speech or braile to access computers because they
were not accessible. Nibbles into that problem are being made. It is far
from being solved and a lot of the technology is getting away from us.
While once the computer was beconing a leveler between and sighted it is
now becoming an obstacle.
This is where my question lies. I have thought of the Internet as a
potential source of unrestricted access to the world of information that
that has been unavailable to me. However, if accessing that material and
the internet in general is going graphic, it feels like another door
slamming. You have spoken about the glory of having this space free from
any sort of regulation, but is there any way that those of us who have
the least access to the free flow of ideas, information, knowledge won't
become second class citizens in electronic space unless there is some
sort of regulation that mandates people be considerate and write
interfaces that can also be accessed through text-based systems or that
are written in such a way as to be accessible through the programs that
are attempting to provide access to systems like Windows?
As it is now, speech access adds a substantial amount to the cost of
using a computer and braille adds a lot more. The cost is highest if you
want a synthesizer that is pleassant sounding enough to make it palatable
enough to use for reading a whole book. Every new thing we must access
adds another expense. For instance, since I now use DOS and have a
need to use Windows, I will need to spend another $500-$700 in order to
buy a program that will give me mediocre access to windows. Using
Windows will not simplify computing for me, as it is designed to do for the
sighted user, but make it more complicated. Will this "Web" mandate
another such expense for every graphic program written by every separate
individual? Of course you can't answer this question.
Maybe, just be aware that freedom of speech and press and information are
not available to all of us. Or, in other words, some of us are not as
equal as others. And money is not the only line that divides people who
have those rights from those of us who don't.
Lynn Zelvin, Philadelphia, PA
I doubt that the problem of access can be solved by mandate, because
any such regulation would simply stifle technological development,
which by nature is headed in the direction of ever more glitzy graphic
and video effects. When it comes to 3D presentation of images and
virtual reality -- at every stage of development -- the issue of access
will rise again. Only after products have become successful in the
mass market will there be an effort to provide some "equivalent" form
of the information or experience for the blind. It's natural -- only with
huge commercial success will the developers be able to afford the luxury
of considering the needs of the handicapped. (As noted in our last
issue, Microsoft is finally doing that now for Windows.)
I believe that we should put the emphasis on encouraging the
entrepreneurs who actually use this technology on their Web sites
to continue to make plain-text versions of their material available
when they upgrade to the latest and greatest graphical presentation
method. Many sites already provide a choice of graphics or text-only
on the first screen. And many design their pages with the
understanding that users may be connecting with LYNX, a
character-cell browser (see issue #6). We need to encourage more
sites to do that now,and all sites to continue that practice as graphical
Use the power of the marketplace. It's in the best interest of Web
sites to provide choice. Otherwise they lock out not just the blind,
but also the millions of folks who have slow connections or
older equipment and software or for other reasons can't download
graphics or or video or don't want to. When a site ignores that need,
simply send them email and encourage others to send them email.
Simply remind them that they should provide low-tech
plain-text versions of whatever they do, in addition to the latest
and greatest graphical technology.
Richard Seltzer, B&R Samizdat Express
Back issues are available from us by email on request, or check out our
new Web page
We're just beginning, taking advantage of an offer of 100 Kbytes of
free Web space with our SLIP account at TIAC.
Back issues are also found at the archives of the Electronic Frontier
and at Monash University in Australia:
gopher info.monash.edu.au, Monash University Information/
Library Information/Electronic Journals/
They are also found at such sites as:
gopher sjuvm.stjohns.edu /Disabilities & Rehabilitation Resources/
/EASI/EASI's list of available Internet etexts
And also at the GRIST On-Line BBS at (212)787-6562.
And also at the Paradigm BBS in San Diego, CA (619) 292-5193
You are welcome to include this publication on your bbs or ftp or
gopher or webserver. Please let us know the address, and we'll add it to
NB -- Depending on time and place, Richard Seltzer could be available
for speaking engagements.
Published by PLEASE COPY THIS DISK, B&R Samizdat Express,
PO Box 161, West Roxbury, MA 02132. [log in to unmask]