DB Techies Newsletter No 6

The DB Techies Newsletter.

7th April 2000

The Deafblind Techies Newsletter Number. 6


++ 1, Editorial.
++ 2, Nupedia, A new Free encyclopedia on the net.
++ 3, Oxford English Dictionary (OED).
++ 4, A Web of On-line Dictionaries.
++ 5, Stephen Kings new E-Book Riding the Bullet.
++ 6, The Helen Keller Eye Research Foundation.
++ 7, DB Women chat
++ 8, The Archives of the DB Techies Newsletter.
++ 9, To subscribe and unsubscribe from DB Techies.

++ 1. Editorial.
By James Gallagher

Hello to all, hope that you all are very well and in good health. So we are all together again this being the sixth DB Techies, who would have thought that I would be still doing this little newsletter, not me anyway.

Thank goodness that spring has started to show it's little head, it's been a long winter and a cold one.

I have been a bit busy over the past weeks trying to get things ready for the little Seminar/Conference that I have been ask to do. I do not think that they know what they are letting themselves into by asking me to take part in this. I still think that they have mistaken me for someone else.

The Seminar/Conference is called Access Denied? it is trying to open the net a lot more for us to use.

Well less of the boring information and on to the real reason you are reading this. We have some nice sites for us to go together on the net.

So without a further a do here we go.

++ 2. Nupedia, A new Free encyclopedia on the net.

I really enjoy searching through Encyclopedias, I have a number of them on CD ROM and use them all the time.

The Nupedia is a new online encyclopedia which is quite good, this is what Nupedia say about themselves.

Nupedia is a new online encyclopedia. It will be searchable, and also organized hierarchically and alphabetically. Nupedia is "open content"; they want the contents of the encyclopedia to receive the widest possible distribution.

There goal is to grow Nupedia indefinitely, to set a new standard for breadth, depth, timeliness, and lack of bias, and in the fullness of time to become the most comprehensive encyclopedia in the history of humankind. Obviously, they are ambitious, but they also smart, innovative, and hard-working. And they have serious, committed, long-term financial backing from there parent company and the help of several full-time, paid employees.

Nupedia is open content, this means that you will be able to use any part of the contents of Nupedia.com in any way you see fit, with there compliments. There are just two conditions: (1) you must give Nupedia.com prominent mention as the source of your material, and (2) you must not attempt to stop anyone else from using the material.

For now, there search function simply returns pages from other online encyclopedias and from online magazines, since Nupedia is still under construction.
In the future, you will be able to restrict and fine-tune your search of Nupedia articles in various ways.

There is a little great service which Nupedia offers that I think One or Two of you may be interested in.

An encyclopedia article a day.

Each morning they will e-mail you a different Nupedia article. They will choose articles that they think are interesting, noteworthy, or timely. The articles will not be too long.  This feature will begin soon after the first Nupedia articles are posted.

If you sign up, all that you'll receive is the article each morning. They won't sell your address and you won't be added to any other mailing lists, unless you specifically request it.  And of course you can unsubscribe at any time. In the future, They will try and make it possible to receive daily articles about particular subjects of your choice.

Here is the URL to this page on there site http://www.nupedia.com/dailyinfo.html

Please note that by signing up you will not be made a Nupedia member.  To become a member of Nupedia, go here.

In the future, we will make it possible to receive daily articles about particular subjects of your choice.

To sign up for this service, simply enter your e-mail address in the form at the upper right. Receive an encyclopedia article in your mailbox every morning!  Just enter your e-mail address.
You can use Nupedia right away after going to the site but they seam to like one to join it. I do not know why but they give you enough information on how to do this.

This is the information on the Nupedia Registration Form page. It will give you a good idea on what you will need to do to join Nupedia.

-- Start of Nupedia Info --

Please pick a user identification word (e.g., jdoe59), choose a password (one that's not easy to guess), and specify your e-mail address:
User ID:  (Suggestions: Your first name or a handle of some sort.)
Password:  Make sure to choose something that's not easy to guess.
Re-type Password:  (Just to make sure...)
E-mail address
In case you forget your password; also, we will (only occasionally) keep you apprised of new developments. We will not sell or otherwise misuse your e-mail address.

-- End of Nupedia Info --

This is the URL of the Nupedia Registration Form Page:

The Nupedia.com Encyclopedia is a nice site with a lot to offer, and it is not too bad when it comes to accessing it on a Braille display, and I think that we should be able to use this site.

I liked it myself, but I did not find the time to go through it as fine as I would another site.

You can find Nupedia Encyclopedia at: http://www.nupedia.com

++3. Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a masterpiece of lexicography. The decades of study and research that went into it, the amount of scholarly material used and the sheer brain power involved must make it the richest reference work ever published.  As the elephant appeared differently to each of the six blind men, the OED may appear differently to each reviewer, depending on how they approach it.

But what is so different about the OED?  Well for a start, it is a scholarly, historical dictionary.  It is not a desk dictionary, such as the Encarta World English Dictionary, or the New Oxford Dictionary of English, the type we might all use on a day to day basis.  It takes quite a while to become familiar with all the things the OED can do and it is of most value to people carrying out scholarly research. However it is also of great use to anyone who wishes to find out more about the history of a word.

It lists words and senses of words no longer used and words and senses of words used in limited contexts, obscure words, common words, foreign words, slang and possibly even some words which never existed anywhere outside of dictionaries. It follows their history from the earliest forms to the latest, going through all recorded changes in meaning and use. It draws distinctions so fine one may never have noticed them, distinctions made on a number of grounds, including syntax, semantics, register and subject area, depending on what evidence there is.

I have the second edition of the OED on CD-ROM and think it is great. but it is a little bit hard to use with braille but i do get info from it.

There is only one big thing wrong well two things wrong with OED, Number One is that individuals have to pay 350 pounds a year to use it and that a lot to use a Dictionary. Number two is that I think that people using speech software would find it hard to access this site. I not that sure about this yet.

I know that there are a lot of people out there who like me love to use on line Dictionaries and Encyclopedias so I thought that just maybe one or two of you would be interested in this.

This is the site of the Oxford English Dictionary Online. Here you will find all the prefatory material to the OED, which is very well worth reading. You will also find a history of the OED project, a guide to using the dictionary, and lots of other interesting things. This material is freely available and requires no subscription.

The Oxford English Dictionary Online is at: http://www.oed.com

++ 4. A Web of Online Dictionaries.

Web of Online Dictionaries, The Web's most comprehensive index of on-line dictionaries with about 1,200 dictionaries in more than 220 different languages. This conveniently organized index includes glossaries of specialized terminology and other vocabulary aids. It includes an index of on-line grammars and several pages of linguistic fun. The site is maintained by Robert Beard of Lewisburg, PA."

Here is the URL of the A Web of Online Dictionaries: http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/rbeard/diction.html
and the same site can be found at: http://www.yourdictionary.com/

I haven't had the time yet to go through this site to learn what it offers us, but I hope to do it soon.

Just thought maybe some of you would be interested in it.

++ 5. Stephen Kings new E-Book Riding the Bullet.

Many of you may have heard that Amazon was offering a free download copy of  Stephen Kings new E-Book "Riding the Bullet". This was great news to me until I learnt that it was only available on a PDF Acrobat Reader format that could not be made into a Text format even trying this with the Acrobat Reader add on which lets us make a text copy of a PDF file.

I believe that this new E-Book was locked so that this could not be done. But I really not know if this was true or not.

But on Amazon.com The Stephen King E-Book "Riding the Bullet" is only available in a format that I have never come across before. it is called "asp" for the Glassbook Reader, But this is not much use to us

I have been able to get a copy in "PDF" format and have made a text version of the E-Book
which I will put on a web site for one month. Until the next DB Techies when I will delete it from my web server.

This Book is a free download from Amazon so I think that I should not get into trouble for doing this. Well one hopes...

I believe that this book should be available for all not just for the sighted hearing so here it is..

The book is available in txt format and on a brl format, Just in case one or two of you not know what is a brl format file, brl format is for people who use a Braille display or a Braille notetaker like the Blazie Braille Lite.

To download Stephen King E-Book "Riding the Bullet" go to: http://www.wilma.co.uk/book.html

And Yes I am a sad person I bought this domain name for Wilma my Guide dog a good time ago.

If any of you have any trouble downloading these files just send an e-mail letter to me and I will send it to you, But let me know what version you would like txt or brl.

++ 6. The Helen Keller Eye Research Foundation.

This is a new web site that I was told about from the webmaster of it a couple of days ago.

Here is there Mission Statement
Based on the legacy of Helen Keller and her request "help me to hasten the day when there shall be no blindness," the Helen Keller Eye Research Foundation strives to prevent blindness by advancing vision research and education. The Foundation aspires to be a leader in integrating vision research with the greater biomedical research community, by creating and coordinating a peer-reviewed, worldwide network of investigators and institutions.

I had to enter it into the DB Techies because if it has been given permission to use the great Ladies name then it must be worthy of it.

The Helen Keller Eye Research Foundation Web site is at: http://www.hkerf.org/

++ 7. DB Women chat.

This is another new mailing list for deafblind Women, This list aims to support Women who lives with the daily challenges of Deafness and Blindness. Issues discussed may include Fashion, Relationships and communication needs. This list is for all Deafblind Women to support each other in any way you see fit.

Subscribe:  dbwomenchat-subscribe@onelist.com
Unsubscribe:  dbwomenchat-unsubscribe@onelist.com
List owner:  dbwomenchat-owner@onelist.com
Post message: dbwomenchat@onelist.com
DB Women chat Web site: http://www.onelist.com/group/dbwomenchat
For help and further information e-mail Michelle Stevens at:

++ 8. The Archives of the DB Techies Newsletter.

I have included a page on my site which will archive this copy of the DB Techies Newsletter,
and the last issue of the DB Techies has already been put on to my site, so if you missed the other Editions of DB Techies Newsletter you can get them at

++ 9. To subscribe, send a message to dbtechies-subscribe@egroups.com or go to the e-groups's home page at http://www.egroups.com/group/dbtechies/

To unsubscribe from DB Techies send e-mail to: dbtechies-unsubscribe@egroups.com You must send the e-mail letter from the same e-mail address that you used to subscribed from.

Please remember that any suggestions about any equipment that would Be useful to Deafblind and blind people, or any information, which would be useful to the readers will be welcome.

Until the next issue which will be on the 5th May 2000.

"DB Techies" newsletter will be published monthly on the first Friday of each Month. And will be e-mail to the Subscribers.

I wish all the very best to all of you, And Thank you for taken the time to read this little newsletter.

All the very best to you all.


James Gallagher
E-mail James@deafblind.com

End of DB Techies.

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