You have not seen a lot of me lately, because I have been very busy. I have been planning on how to reach a wider audience with our electronic editions of classic Nordic literature and art.
After all, the Internet is dominated by and mostly restricted to an academic elite. While claims are made that the Internet reaches 50 million people world-wide, most of these only have access to e-mail, and cannot retrieve information by World Wide Web or FTP. Most public libraries do not have access to the Internet.
Traditional means of distribution are still dominating the scene. Starting out with floppy disks some 20 years ago, and magnetic tape before that, CD-ROM is now rapidly becoming the major media for distributing electronic information. CD-ROM drives will soon be a standard part of personal computers, just like a floppy and hard disk. Plus you can buy the CD-ROM disks from ordinary computer stores and by mail order.
Compressing almost a gigabyte on a small disk, that you can easily carry from your local computer store or get by international mail order, the CD-ROM means more bits for the buck than any other affordable technology. If you order a CD-ROM disk by mail order and receive it 24 hours later, the effective transmission speed is 5 gigabit per 24 hours, which is 57 kilobit per second. This is twice the amount of data that most modems can transfer in the same time.
To further the state of electronic publishing, the texts produced by Project Runeberg will soon be publised on CD-ROM. This shift in technology, however, requires certain changes. CD-ROM production does not come for free, and to be able to close a deal with major distributors, we have been forced to sell all rights to our electronic editions. This means our on-line archives will no longer be available over the Internet. This is effective today, noon. If you keep local copies of Project Runeberg texts, please delete them from your hard disks.
The CD-ROM version is expected to hit the stores in early May. The expected retail price is 120 crowns in Sweden (including sales tax) and US$ 12 abroad. A special 20 % discount will be granted to members of Project Runeberg mailing list members who place their advance orders by e-mail before May 1st.
This mailing list will remain open.
PROJECT RUNEBERG, founded in December 1992, was an open and voluntary initiative to create and collect free electronic editions of classic Nordic literature and art -- see http://www.lysator.liu.se/runeberg/
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