Friday, March 28, 2008

Either my immune system has decided we're no longer friends or Houston has become a swirling cesspool of allergens. Both are possible and, potentially, self-reinforcing. Especially in the adipose-connected, PCB-rich, ozonated swamp that I love to call Houston.

So far as items directly related to the Virginia Edition:
There was a problem--now resolved--with the resolution and detail of the icons. It's no longer an issue, but that ended up pushing the final date back by about two weeks.
Blue lines have been reviewed and returned.

As I promised a week or so ago, here is the status report on the Heinlein Archives as prepared by Deb Rule:

We're pushing forward very hard toward completion with the online
Archives currently 90.4% complete and online.

There are 182,091 pages of documents and photos online. 19,228 pages
remain to be added, of which 5789 are photographs. The remaining page
total may vary as Geo just discovered a duplicated file of over 2000
pages. He's working to reconcile those two files now. You can see Recent
Additions at:

The online Heinlein Archives has 151 registered users from at least 10
different countries. While the majority are from the US, we have 8 users
from Canada, 3 from France, 2 from Japan, plus others from Italy,
Brazil, Ireland, the Netherlands, the UK, and Bosina & Herzegovinia.
These are registered users--the site stats show visitors from numerous
other countries around the world.

We also have several users at the US Naval Academy from Herb Gilliland's

The most popular item to order is Heinlein's First Scrapbook and Photo
Album, with Opus 52: A Spaceship Navy second. Destination Moon files,
and Blassingame Correspondence are also popular. There are a number of
academics regularly and thoroughly using the Archives (as paying

Most frequent searches are done on Stranger in a Strange Land, Moon is a
Harsh Mistress, Starship Troopers, To Sail Beyond the Sunset.

Since the Archives launched there have been 103,000 visits with almost 2
million individual page hits. February had 8857 visits. January had
12923 visits.

In the last month we have updated/upgraded the DORA document processing
interface in several regards--it now supports multiple source document
directories to better balance disk space distribution in a large
collection, plus a watermarking failure of a single page will no longer
halt the entire process; it now 'fails gracefully', substituting the
single (very rare) troublesome image yet completing the order. We're
also exploring a shopping cart upgrade that would include features such
as gift certificates and coupons.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It isn't really within the scope of this blog, but, nonetheless, I'd like to wish safe passage to Arthur C. Clarke. The world is poorer for his absence.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Grade 19! The 19th highest grade there is!

Transcontinental is shipping me fabric swatches so I can decide what color the ribbon/bookmark should be. I feel strangely like I'm married. In addition, the printer proofs are, for lack of a better word and love of alliteration, being printed and shipped to us so we can review and sign off on them to avoid any end-game errors.

As near as I can tell, the website is fully functional and when people order, they should be receiving automatic notification of success. I've also got recurring payments set up so I can just go in and turn them on for everybody who needs them.

That's all I've got at the moment that's really related to the production of the books. In a couple of days, I plan on posting the report Deb Rule sent us about the Heinlein Archives.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sing to me, O Muse

Perhaps I'm an oddity, but two of my favorite moments in literature are the introductory lines to the Odyssey and the Illiad, Sing to me of the Man of Twists and Turns, sing of the Rage of Achilles. The confluence of the history divined from the muse, the confluence of story and mythos, always made me shiver.

In any event...

Our files for the first volumes were uploaded last week, but it looks like the icons we had done were *too* detailed so we're scrambling to...unrefine...them. It's a shame, but we'll still be able to use the full versions, so it should all still work out.

Having spoken with Transcontinental, international shipping will come to two hundred fifty dollars (as opposed to the, apparently, one thousand Meisha-Merlin was charging).

As always,


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I was about to walk out the door when I realized that I hadn't updated on Monday.

(I apologize for my brevity, but there's something rather pressing to which I must attend)

In terms of wonderful news for all, the first set of volumes have been successfully uploaded to the Transcontinental Mass Transit servers. What ho! Also, as of today, counting drafts, we have spine art for each of the volumes completed.

Also, we've got recurring payments working on the website so anybody who had a Meisha-Merlin account and still owed money after the change-over can sign up for the "Returning Subscribers" option to get into the system and I'll adjust it to charge the appropriate amount. This seems like a far more sensible solution than setting up a unique option for each person.

To make up for the death of information, on Monday, I will update again and include some of the neat statistics Deb Rule has supplied us with about Heinlein Archives usage.