Queries, short and long (164)

Fri, 10 Feb 89 22:41:09 EST

Humanist Mailing List, Vol. 2, No. 586. Friday, 10 Feb 1989.

(1) Date: Fri, 10 Feb 89 08:55:57 -0600 (21 lines)
From: janus@agnes.acc.stolaf.edu
Subject: request for OCR information on MAC

(2) Date: Fri, 10 Feb 89 12:50:25 CST (12 lines)
From: "Kevin L. Cope" <ENCOPE@LSUVM>
Subject: Elusive Identity

(3) Date: Fri, 10 Feb 89 13:20:56 PST (8 lines)
From: Walter Piovesan <USERVINO@SFU.BITNET>
Subject: Yellow Pages

(4) Date: Fri, 10 Feb 89 16:33:47 EST (37 lines)
From: connie crosby <CROSBY@UOGUELPH>

(5) Date: Fri, 10 FEB 89 12:29:52 GMT (51 lines)
Subject: Electronic Shakespeares and their use

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 89 08:55:57 -0600
From: janus@agnes.acc.stolaf.edu
Subject: request for OCR information on MAC

Does anyone have any experience with the low end graphic to text scanners
that I have seen advertized for the Mac? I am talking about READ-IT (sells
for about US $200 mail order) and I think it's called OMNIPAGE (about $600).

Is it worth buying something like this, or should I rely on the big guys
who can afford Kurzweil machines? It would be nice to be able to do my
own scanning (we do have the Apple scanner), but not if one ends up
correcting more than one would if one typed it manually.

Basically, how fast and accurate are these? I would be interested in
foreign language uses, mostly the Scandinavian languages.

Louis Janus
St. Olaf College
Northfield, MN 55057 USA
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------16----
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 89 12:50:25 CST
From: "Kevin L. Cope" <ENCOPE@LSUVM>
Subject: Elusive Identity

Does anyone know anything about a writer/guru/scholar/person by the
name of KEITH KENNEDY? He may be a journalist, or he may not; I'm not
sure about his vocation. He's reputed to have said "you've got to make
it on your own," "nobody can make it for you," and other sage advices.
He's prominent enough to have been interviewed by the media. I greatly
appreciate any help y'all can afford in identifying or locating this
elusive party. Yours, Kevin L. Cope (ENCOPE@LSUVM)
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------14----
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 89 13:20:56 PST
From: Walter Piovesan <USERVINO@SFU.BITNET>
Subject: Yellow Pages

Can someone on HUMANIST please provide me with an e-mail address to
a contact person at Dartmouth College. I would like to make contact with
someone in the the computing center there. Many thanks.
(4) --------------------------------------------------------------40----
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 89 16:33:47 EST
From: connie crosby <CROSBY@UOGUELPH>

I also have some questions about history, but these are more theoretical.
I am putting these here rather than on the HISTORY list because they
apply specifically to computer use in history, and HISTORY seems to be
discussing other areas. I am concerned today with historical simulations.

1. Are historical simulations based too much on 'sociology'? I had one
historian tell me that simulations weren't truly historical research, since
they do not deal strictly with *facts*. How would you respond to this?
2. Are simulations, in fact, not based on fact? I would think they are.
Rather, does a problem lie with the interpreting and interpolating of previous
events; and, is this a sociological rather than an historical pursuit?
3. I had always understood that one purpose of the study of history is to
understand what could happen in a similar situation in the future, to allow
for the preparation for or perhaps even control of these potential events.
One result of simulations would be to give a reasonable prediction or
extrapolation of future evetns of a system similar to the one being studied
in the simulation.
If this is correct, then is a simulations not a highly methodical way of
extrapolating future events and therefore valuable to history? Or am I wrong,
and is this skepticism against simulations justified?
4. Perhaps the answers to these questions depends on one's definition of
"history"--does historical research in some capacity overlap with sociological

I am interested to hear especially from those working on simulations.
Is there anyone who is working on a simulation that would be considered
to be a strictly "historical" simulation, even in the eyes of a purist

Connie Crosby
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario
(5) --------------------------------------------------------------54----
Date: Fri, 10 FEB 89 12:29:52 GMT
Subject: Electronic Shakespeares and their use

In response to Joe Raben's query, Oxford University Press will
shortly be publishing an electronic version of their Wells and
Taylor Shakespeare.

This leads me to a wider question. At Oxford, with a grant from the
UK Computers in Teaching Initiative, we have been developing a text
searching system which is suitable for use in the undergraduate
language and literature courses, which here consist almost entirely
of the close study of literary and literary texts. Undergraduates typically
write weekly essays on topics related to these texts. We have software,
now called the Oxford Text Searching System (OTSS), which runs on any
IBM PC connected to the university data network. OTSS provides an
easy-to-use interface to OCP and the free text retrieval program BASIS
on the central VAX cluster. It allows searches and concordances to
be performed without the user having to know anything about using the
VAX, OCP or BASIS. We have so far used OTSS in courses for classics (Latin
verse and some Homer), Italian narrative verse (Dante, Tasso, Ariosto etc)
and this term in 16th century German. These courses have used OTSS for
studies of lexis, syntax, phonology and othography. OTSS can also be used
outside the classroom environment, thus enabling undergraduates to decide
for themselves when a text search is appropriate for their essay work. It
can be used, too, during a tutorial if there is need to clarify any point
by looking at the text.

We are now beginning to look at how effective these tools are in
undergraduate teaching. Do other HUMANISTs have experience of using
OCP, Wordcruncher or other free text retrieval programs for this?
Do they improve the teaching/learning process? How can they be related
to other more traditional methods of teaching?

Any comments on this would be most welcome, particularly as Oxford has
recently received a grant in the follow-up to the Computers and Teaching
Initiative (CTI). We will shortly be setting up the CTI Centre for
Literature and Linguistic Studies which will promote and support the
use of computers in teaching these subjects. The centre's work will
include reviewing software, organising workshops and preparing a
newsletter (in paper form) to go to those less fortunate people who
have not yet discovered BITNET. It will of course collaborate with
other centres, notably with the work on the Humanities Computing
Yearbook so admirably organised at Toronto.

One final point, does anybody have any machine-readable text in Russian
which we could use in OTSS? If so please contact John Cooper
(JOHN@VAX.OX.AC.UK) who looks after the text part of OTSS.

Susan Hockey