Jared's blog

Outlaws Project Log

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The project is now mostly complete. The ibooks version is done except for the last chapter and the epub version is all ready minus the meta data. Once these two aspects of the project are done, then Medieval Outlaws will have a new epub and ibooks version. There are still a lot of tweaks left before its ready for publication though, so I will have to spend some time outlining these problem areas in my submission notes. Overall, this has been a rewarding but challenging project, but I think the end results will be good.

Project Log 4

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Today I'm going to assemble as much of the videos and text as possible into the final version. I'd also like to try and streamline design a little bit, which could help the overall appeal of the book. One issue is that the you be the judge rating system is not as far along as I would have liked. After testing numerous different models for this implementation I have decided that the best way to accomplish this goal is with html forms, mysql tables, javascript go between, and an html table for final display.

You Get What You Pay For

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The phrase, You get what you pay for, is normally used in regards to the consumer and the quality of the item they are purchasing. It infers that to get quality you must pay a higher cost for it, but the idea of free media releases like O'Reilly's book about ibooks author throws a slight wrinkle into this line of thinking. If the phrase is turned around and concentrated toward the producer or manufacturer instead of the consumer, how does its meaning change? In this case, O'Reilly certainly is paying for something.

Medieval Outlaws Project Log

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The Medieval Outlaws project is in full swing. The google maps are in development with many of the landmarks already selected and some base icons chosen to make the maps uniform. Dr. Blakesley suggested that we focus on the larger stories so that they were as detailed as possible since they are the main highlights of the book, so we're concentrating on Robin Hood and William Wallace at the moment. I've got a couple 3D images from Google's sketch up warehouse and I may try to incorporate those as well.

iBooks Author has its limitations

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Girard does a fairly decent job of reviewing the iBooks author application, but there were a few things that he neglected to mention. I was glad to see that he mentioned the slow nature of Apple's review process for newly produced ibooks and this has been an often mentioned downside to the ibooks creation experience. I wonder what that review process consists of? I can only imagine that Apple gets bombarded with hundreds of new books to review every day, and this makes me think that this process will remain a slow one for quite some time.

What's The Big Deal?

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I honestly don't understand why print should be fetishized. Really, what's the big deal. This is especially so when it comes to textbooks. I mean, who wants to lug around multiple, thick, and heavy volumes to classes when they could compress all that information into a file and carry it on one compact device. Not only this, but the digital brings the days of dog-earing pages and relentlessly shuffling through pages to find that one important passage to a close.

Project Log 3

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Spoken word poets are an odd group. When I asked them to send me a typewritten copy of their piece they all looked at me as though I was giving them homework. One guy even asked, "So what? You want us to do your job for you?" I explained that without a typewritten copy that I'd be left to structure their work to my own liking, which didn't seem like such a bad prospect to them. Needless to say, I received no typewritten copies and was left to transcribe each piece from the audio. The positive side of this is that I can structure their poems any way I want, but it does add to my workload.

Mod's Modding

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What is platforming a book? Quite simply, this involves making a book compatible across the various platforms available to it. This would include the web, e-readers, and print. Of course the defining of the term is a lot simpler than the practice of it. Each device has its own formatting standards and marketplace. When creating a digital book, it is best to consider all of the various platforms available so as to optimize your publication for the greatest possible market.

E-books Clumsy?

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There are a couple of interesting points to raise in relation to Angela Chen’s article “Students Find ‘E-Textbooks Clumsy and Don’t Use their Interactive Features;” For one, the title is a bit misleading. After reading the article I noticed that while she does cite student’s responses to surveys as repeatedly mentioning poor navigation features as a con of the e-texts they were using, she gives very little context for this response. How was the survey set up for instance? Were the students specifically asked to say what they didn’t like?

Project Log 2

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The filming is complete, and after much anxiety over recording live the end result looks fairly decent. The footage is going to now require some serious editing and compression though before it is ready to insert into the e-book. The slam was great, a good showing that I think captures the essence of what spoken word is about, and I can't wait to get into the programming of the interactive elements now. I think I may even move that phase up in the process by editing and compressing only one or two preliminary videos and then focusing on the code.

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