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theosophical computer project needs help

Oct 12, 1993 08:28 AM
by eldon

There's a project where our computer training and experience
may prove helpful. Work is underway to computerize the
classic theosophical literature, including "The Secret Doctrine".
The original data entry will be in WordPerfect, and match
the exact text. Several adaptations of the material will then
be done.

1. ascii electronic texts will be made publically available
   for the free use of anyone interested,

2. WordPerfect texts will also be available, for the public, and

3. multimedia releases will eventually be built up around the
   basic materials.

After the verbatum text is computerized, a revised edition of
each will be prepared with standarized spellings and corrected
quotations, correctly transliterated Sanskrit, etc. This would
be the text used with future multimedia, hypertext, indexed,
releases of the material.

Vic Hao Chin Jr, the President of the T.S. Adyar National Section
in The Philippines, has someone working on finishing the
computerization of "The Secret Doctrine". The next meeting
to discuss future steps to be taken is tentatively set for
November in Pasadena, with interested theosophists of all
backgrounds participating (Pasadena T.S. Adyar T.S., ULT, and
independent theosophists).

The meeting will cover steps that next need to be taken, and
go over editing, proof-reading, transliteration, and other
standards. It will seek to coordinate the work that various
groups are doing so that there is not wasted effort.

The computer help most needed is not as much data entry or
proofreading, since Vic can employ someone in The Phillippines
to do computer work for perhaps $150/month, but rather in
investigating and evaluating software packages and approaches
to be used in the multimedia releases. Would Adobe Acrobat be
good? What about various hypertext programs? What programs are
on the most platforms (e.g. mac and pc etc.) What do the
programs cost? The software can require more computer resources
that the typical home PC of today, because when something is
ready in a few years, the typical home PC will have further

Ideas, input, and people to prototype and try out various computer
approaches are what is needed in the coming year, while work
proceeds on the entry of the raw text into WordPerfect.

                           Eldon Tucker

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