Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

Related Topics

Computers, Digital Cameras, and Cellphones
Much of the early development of the electronic computer took place in Philadelphia. We lost the lead, but it might return.

Right Angle Club 2009
The 2009 proceedings of the Right Angle Club of Philadelphia, beginning with the farewell address of the outgoing president, John W. Nixon, and sadly concluding with memorials to two departed members, Fred Etherington and Harry Bishop.

Printed Books v. Websites

Since this book was written as a web site, then printed as a website from the book, the reader is invited to take a look at both forms of communication, and judge the advantages both ways. On the front cover is printed the web address of the whole book, and what you read here in book form will flow seamlessly forth if you enter the address ("URL") in the box provided on every browser.

PAGINATION. So that's one difference already. The book comes out in single pages, while the website scrolls down the pages without stopping for individual page breaks. Mostly, that doesn't make any difference to the reader, but if pagination is desired, the Adobe company provides a way of converting into pages in a format they describe as ".pdf format", and then provides Adobe reader as a program to read such paginated copy. Depending on the version, it is possible to make notations on the pages and send them onward to others, thus enabling a conference mode for committees and editors, etc. Extra-charge features include the ability to add material, only, thus leaving a permanent trail for legal purposes. If you press the "print" button on this particular website, you will be offered the options of converting the material to .pdf format, or others depending on your computer, and printing from the .pdf on your computer's printer. Home printing is thus a two-step process.

LINKS (footnotes). If you look at the screen version of this book on your home computer, you will find many passages within sentences appear in blue type. This is a signal you are looking at a link, and links are not exclusively confined to blue color. You can detect linking by running the computer cursor over the screen, with the effect that other passages "light up" and change color in some way, a signal that quickly double-clicking on that spot will be taken as an order to open up another site on the web. In effect, you are able to look at footnotes which display the entire reference, meanwhile providing the ability to keep on linking in other directions if the footnote provides footnotes of itself.

LINKS (related topics). In the website but not the printed version, pages which seem to relate to the same topic are grouped together in the margins, for browsing purposes. We have provided these suggested relationships within the 2500 pages of the site; to go outside the site, the reader will have to go to a Search engine, such as Google or Yahoo, but that ability is part of almost every browser.

VIDEOS. At several pages in this book, an image includes an arrow within a circle. This is the indicator which YouTube employs, and is rapidly becoming an industry standard. If you are looking at the page on a computer screen, click on the arrow to cause the downloading of an audio-visual platform, and in a moment the video will appear. If your computer does not have iTunes or similar, it may be necessary to download a copy before this feature becomes operative.

MAPS and SATELLITE VIEWS. Like the YouTube features, it will be necessary first to download a copy of Google Earth before proceeding. If Google Earth is resident, you can click the small button on the first page of the website and be taken on a guided tour. Just about every page on this website is labeled with its GPS markings, so you can read articles about topics which are geographically located near the one you started with.

Roaming around these features with this book as a starting point, you can quickly gather a general idea of the power of the computer and surmise how much more power is going to be available in a year or two. Too complicated? Naw, just a little complicated. The thing to worry about is how addictive it tends to be.

Originally published: Tuesday, December 15, 2009; most-recently modified: Monday, June 03, 2019