Bond Street & 64th Street, Southwest Corner

Monday, July 26, 2010

Beethoven, iPad, HTML, Avery Library ....

Sometimes only music will do, and then sometimes only Beethoven. After a month-long — well, month-and-a-half long — funk, a daily regimen of listening to the Beethoven symphonies, starting last week, accompanied — or is it vice-versa? — by reading the BĂ€renreiter Urtext edition of the scores, seems to have done the trick, and I'm feeling considerably refreshed from the experience. Next: the string quartets, followed, I think, by the piano sonatas — that should carry me through to September.

Pinehurst Avenue & 181st Street, Southwest Corner

About the same time as the "Beethoven therapy" started, my friend Alan got an iPad. He had been a real scoffer but said he changed his mind after about one minute of actually using the device. And so I — an equally vehement scoffer — was pretty curious when he offered to show it to me over lunch at our favorite midtown diner, or one of them — the Palace, on 57th Street, between Park and Lexington.

I was convinced in less than a minute myself, though I'll probably wait for version two to get one, but in the meantime I must say, it's the greatest display for photographs I've ever seen, save only the big — and very expensive — Eizo displays.

By the time lunch was over I'd decided that I simply had to convert all the Flash galleries on New York in Plain Sight to HTML gallery format so that the site would be accessible to iPad users (as well as to anyone using any other non-Flash enabled, i.e., Apple, mobile device).

So I did, and that's done now. Go have a look.

There are advantages (iPad etc. accessibility, better thumbnail overviews) and disadvantages (no slide show capability, no background loading of entire gallery, no automatic resizing of the images to the window size). But with the iPad selling upwards of a million units a month, I'm convinced that the iPad advantage far outweighs the disadvantages.

Of course, I could have kept both versions on-line, but there's a limit to how much I want to burden my nephew Ben Benedetti's generosity in hosting the site for me.

And then, just as I was finishing up the conversions, I got an email from Columbia University's Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library requesting permission to create — and maintain! — an archival copy of New York in Plain Sight under their new (2009) Andrew W. Mellon Foundation sponsored Web Resources Collection Program. This is great news for New York in Plain Sight, and I am very grateful to have the project receive this kind of institutional care and attention.


So I'm back to blogging, though as long as this endless heatwave continues unabated the posting may be rather intermittent (where I live, the average daily high so far this July has been just a tad under 93Âș).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Still "on vacation"

Still "on vacation," at least from the blog. May be back in another few weeks, let's just wait and see how it goes.