3.262 the ideal lab and bibliographic software (127)

Tue, 18 Jul 89 19:26:00 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 262. Tuesday, 18 Jul 1989.

(1) Date: 17 July 1989, 21:27:47 EDT (24 lines)

(2) Date: 18 July 1989 09:39:03 CDT (40 lines)
From: "M. R. Sperberg-McQueen " <U15440@UICVM>
Subject: Bibliographic database software

(3) Date: Tue, 18 Jul 89 15:01 CDT (23 lines)
Subject: (Humanist) the Ideal Lab

(4) Date: Tue, 18 Jul 89 13:18:03 EDT (12 lines)
From: David.A.Bantz@mac.Dartmouth.EDU
Subject: Re: 3.256 bibliographic and textbase managers?

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: 17 July 1989, 21:27:47 EDT

>From a fairly limited perspective but from having played around with
Readablity, Grammatik III and RightWriter, I think I would recommend
RightWriter as the most thorough grammar- and style-checking program for
an ideal language lab. What little I saw of Critique, the IBM mainframe
program, was impressive. A bibliography-generator, such as the MLA
program by that name, would be helpful, but sophisticated
word-processors such as WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, and Wordstar
2000can generate "automatic" footnotes, quickly port notes to List of
Works Cited, can alphabetize any lists, and can even create indices. A
scanner, at least a hand-scanner, would be useful, as would a heavy-duty
laser printer, but everything that goes into a lab has to be selected
for durability over all. Labs often succeed in being well behindtimes
because it is so difficult for techies to administer new copies of
programs or maintain the old equipment. Dream hardware might include a
NeXT computer, and the most sophisticated 386 machines with enormous
memory banks, as well as Macs with hypercards, CD-ROM drives and at
least a small collection of some of the standard disks. I have some
notion about what interactive video, etc., is available for the language
professors, and I have also helped write a grant for a complete video
collection for Ohio University, but those subjects are for others more
expert than I. Roy Flannagan
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------43----
Date: 18 July 1989 09:39:03 CDT
From: "M. R. Sperberg-McQueen " <U15440@UICVM>
Subject: Bibliographic database software

In selecting a bibliographic software package for humanities
users, I would recommend taking a look at DataPerfect (which
is a newer version of SSI Data), put out by the Word Perfect people.
I am only familiar with SSI Data, but I assume that Data Perfect
will have retained the nice features and overcome the bugs.

SSI Data is fairly user friendly and not over-intimidating
for the person who knows (only) word processing; it's nicely
compatible with Word Perfect--while also having facilities for
ex/importing material in formats besides WP. I particularly liked
its so-called "look-up" facility: the upper half of the screen
could be set up to scroll past you in alpha or numeric order
a selected key field with other fields attached, i.e., there
was immediate and automatic sorting. You could, thus, immediately
sort through a bibliography arranged according to date, or to
publisher, or to language, or whatever else, once you'd set it up.

Caveats: SSI Data was not forgiving of (my) mistakes. It crashed on me
numerous times when I hit a wrong key and when I did things I
thought I should have been able to do but it didn't. And the
manual was a problem: it was ok for walking through your first
time putting together a database, but was not much help for
reference or for answering moderately demanding questions.
Finally, I believe some sites will want a data base system that's
more powerful and comes with its own programming language, which
SSI Data didn't; I don't know about Data Perfect. But I think
that a lot of humanists will be able to do all they want with
what SSI Data offered and what I presume DP offers.

My hope is that SSI Data's reincarnation as Data Perfect is more
stable and that its manual is better. WP people have promised
me the latter on the phone. The former would have to come out in
testing. In any case: I think it would be worth looking at.

Marian Sperberg-McQueen
U15440 at UICVM
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------27----
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 89 15:01 CDT
Subject: (Humanist) the Ideal Lab

Being a language lab director I attended a workshop in Boston
last week sponsored by the International Association of Learning
Laboratories. I was floored by the wonders possible already. At
MIT (the Athena project) and Iowa (PICS) there are some very inter-
esting adaptations of technology already in place. The projects,
sponsored by Annenberg and the Corp. for Public Broadcasting (USA),
make very good use of Macintosh computers, videodisc players, and
carefully tailored software. Thus my answer to the question of the
ideal lab would have to include numerous student workstations
which had monitors and computers hooked into videodisc players as
well as a centralized controlling facility. Then truly interactive
lab would be a reality. I would also be sure that the facility, as
a whole, remained flexible. The furniture would be set up in a way
to allow for varying sizes of group interaction. There would be
places for group video use as well as the more private one-to-one
student to video equipment. If any of the membership wants to know
more details about any of the above they can contact me at
(4) --------------------------------------------------------------25----
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 89 13:18:03 EDT
From: David.A.Bantz@mac.Dartmouth.EDU
Subject: Re: 3.256 bibliographic and textbase managers?

At Dartmouth, we are making EndNote a part of the Freshman computing package:
that is, all entering students are advised to purchase EndNote with their
Macintoshes (in a package which also includes Microsoft Word, SuperPaint, True
Basic, and local communications software). Though EndNote is more of a bare
bones package than ProCite, and has some quirks that make it slightly awkward,
it's a modest cost solution to maintaining bibliographies and producing papers
with acceptably formatted reference list.