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derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5872537 - 05/19/13 09:31 PM

I have had a little time to look at the epub BCH volumes. I assume the Kindle format ones are basically the same. They are, by far, the 3 largest epubs I have, including "The Entire Works of..." by several authors. They are each around 70 MB, and typical epub size is 0.3 to 2 MB or so, although some exceed 10 MB.

There are of course a lot of images (that are photos in the printed version), but there are also images of all the tables and diagrams, and they take up about as much space as the photos do, particularly the tables at the beginning of each constellation. Also there are a lot of images of the finder drawings for the variable stars.

As for the photos themselves, they are scanned from a print edition of the book. The contrast is low, there are visible artifacts from the printing process in a number of the images, and they are low in detail. I don't know if the original photos are still available to the publisher. I do know that one day's work by someone with any modicum of Photoshop experience could get more out of what is there from all the images, and IMHO this is the least Dover could have done. Simply setting the black point and the white point based on the content of each image, I would say on average stretches the tonal range by 25% or more. In most images, midtones are almost completely absent.

However, even after you are through editing, the photos will remain unimpressive. More recent digital images would be a great improvement for those images that could be replaced in that way (a few cannot).

The tables simply need to be re-created in text form - as should have been done to begin with. This would improve the set's readability at different sizes and reduce each book by 20-25 MB.

The epub table of contents does not include each constellation as a chapter. You have to find what page the constellation starts on, and go to that page. A by-constellation epub TOC would be an improvement in navigation.

If anyone has questions about the epub (Nook, Sony, Kobo...) version of BCH, I'll try to answer.


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gmartin02
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #5874534 - 05/20/13 07:57 PM

Quote:

The epub table of contents does not include each constellation as a chapter. You have to find what page the constellation starts on, and go to that page. A by-constellation epub TOC would be an improvement in navigation.




I just purchased the Nook versions of the books. Volume 1 does not have the constellations listed as chapters, but both Volume 2 & Volume 3 do have the constellations listed as chapters.

To get around the lack of constellation chapters in Volume 1, I added a note to each chapter heading in the book & saved it. Now, to get to the constellations, I just go to the note for the constellation I want.

I noticed a couple of things for chapter headings in Volume 1: The chapter heading for Apus is missing, so I just added a note to the first word of text - not perfect, but it gets me there.
2: The chapter heading for Aquila is incorrectly spelled as "Aouila" (probably an OCR issue).

Yes, these probably have a lot more problems, but I'm not going back. I'm already finding that using the Nook edition is a lot more convenient for me than the paper editions.

Another thing is it does take a little while to switch between books - these large file sizes take a little while to load. I also notice some lagginess sometimes when using the Nook books on my Samsung Galaxy Tab II 7.0 tablet (with the B&N Nook app) when moving to a completely different section on the book, but it eventually catches up. It loads & navigates much faster on my PC when using the B&N Nook application for PC.

Important note: B&N does not allow returns on Nook books, so cavat emptor.

Greg


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desertstars

*****

Reged: 11/05/03

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: gmartin02]
      #5874767 - 05/20/13 09:47 PM

Doesn't sound like this one is quite ready for prime time.

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core
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/23/08

Loc: Mostly in Norman, OK
Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital @Lowell new [Re: core]
      #5901041 - 06/04/13 02:08 AM Attachment (19 downloads)

Just came back from my first visit to Lowell Observatory, the least I could do was to pay a small digital tribute to the man himself, Robert Burnham, Jr. In just under 2 week's time, he would have been 82.

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Rick Woods
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/27/05

Loc: Inner Solar System
Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital @Lowell new [Re: core]
      #5901069 - 06/04/13 02:29 AM

It's a beautiful monument, isn't it?

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StephAdministrator
Texas Wildflower
*****

Reged: 06/11/05

Loc: North Texas
Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital @Lowell new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5901388 - 06/04/13 09:58 AM

Very nice, Peter, I love the phone w/digital Burnham's at the bottom!

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CelestronDaddy
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 08/22/09

Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital @Lowell new [Re: core]
      #5902004 - 06/04/13 03:14 PM

Great picture Peter and very fitting with the digital version pulled up on the screen!

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core
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/23/08

Loc: Mostly in Norman, OK
Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital @Lowell new [Re: CelestronDaddy]
      #5905246 - 06/06/13 04:17 AM Attachment (8 downloads)

Thanks all for the kind words; fwiw I'd thot a post/article about the memorial stated that it was situated between Jupiter and Saturn on the Pluto Walk (path up to the Pluto Discovery Telescope, where RBJ is pictured with) - turns out it's tucked between Uranus and Neptune.

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Daniel Mounsey
Vendor (Woodland Hills)
*****

Reged: 06/12/02

Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital @Lowell new [Re: core]
      #5910091 - 06/08/13 04:53 PM

Thank you for sharing Peter.

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derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital @Lowell new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5920975 - 06/14/13 05:29 PM

Seeing this plaque makes me both angry and sad. Here was a man who loved astronomy as few have before or since. The management at Lowell fired him, offering him only a janitor's position, the year after Dover published his Handbook. Dover never allowed any new editions to be printed. He discovered 6 comets; I've never seen a reference to him doing poor work during his 21 years at Lowell. He made an invaluable contribution to amateur astronomy in his Celestial Handbook. And he struggled to maintain himself as a member of society after he was out of a job.

Maybe he became a problem employee at Lowell, and they have never wanted to make that public. For Dover, I see no excuse, only a reason: that they thought they could make more money doing what they did.

I believe if he was allowed to continue to work in any role at Lowell that gave him some recognition as an astronomer, and continued access to the astronomical research materials that he absorbed like a sponge, and Dover had let him update his handbook and publish a new edition every several years, he could have lived exactly the full life he wanted, and was so wonderfully suited for. The result of that life would have been an even greater contribution to all astronomy. Here was an exceptional human being who needed a little help - and he didn't get it.

It's understandable, of course, if he was a problem at Lowell, although even then attempts to help him should have been made. I don't know if he was, or if there were.

Otherwise, if I was a manager at Lowell I would be embarrassed - shamed - by that plaque.

I hope that if anyone today becomes aware of someone who has made a special contribution to amateur astronomy and is in need, they will bring that need to the attention of the community. May we respond well.


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core
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/23/08

Loc: Mostly in Norman, OK
Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital @Lowell new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #5921681 - 06/15/13 03:32 AM

I know there's at least another thread dealing with RBJr, so I'll keep this short - here's the excellent investigative article that Tony Ortega did "Sky Writer" that covers alot of the back story to the man's life - iirc Tony was one of the speaker's at the RBJr memorial ceremony.

To the right of the plaque, along a row of plants there is a series of small metal staked signs with the names/positions of various Lowell employees throughout the years, no indication of their actual dates at Lowell though. Did not take a pic of that though.

On a side note (and I'll be posting it somewhere else on CN) - if you can make it to Lowell this summer, PLEASE DO! The 24" Clark will be taken "off-line" for public use starting sometime in Aug/Sept for its first restoration project. On paper it's suppose to take ~9months, but I was told expect much longer than that.


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Daniel Mounsey
Vendor (Woodland Hills)
*****

Reged: 06/12/02

Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital @Lowell new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #5922541 - 06/15/13 04:55 PM

Quote:

Seeing this plaque makes me both angry and sad. Here was a man who loved astronomy as few have before or since. The management at Lowell fired him, offering him only a janitor's position, the year after Dover published his Handbook. Dover never allowed any new editions to be printed. He discovered 6 comets; I've never seen a reference to him doing poor work during his 21 years at Lowell. He made an invaluable contribution to amateur astronomy in his Celestial Handbook. And he struggled to maintain himself as a member of society after he was out of a job.

Maybe he became a problem employee at Lowell, and they have never wanted to make that public. For Dover, I see no excuse, only a reason: that they thought they could make more money doing what they did.

I believe if he was allowed to continue to work in any role at Lowell that gave him some recognition as an astronomer, and continued access to the astronomical research materials that he absorbed like a sponge, and Dover had let him update his handbook and publish a new edition every several years, he could have lived exactly the full life he wanted, and was so wonderfully suited for. The result of that life would have been an even greater contribution to all astronomy. Here was an exceptional human being who needed a little help - and he didn't get it.

It's understandable, of course, if he was a problem at Lowell, although even then attempts to help him should have been made. I don't know if he was, or if there were.

Otherwise, if I was a manager at Lowell I would be embarrassed - shamed - by that plaque.

I hope that if anyone today becomes aware of someone who has made a special contribution to amateur astronomy and is in need, they will bring that need to the attention of the community. May we respond well.






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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital @Lowell new [Re: derangedhermit]
      #5922916 - 06/15/13 09:56 PM

Quote:

Seeing this plaque makes me both angry and sad.




My feelings, as well.


Quote:

Here was an exceptional human being who needed a little help - and he didn't get it.




One can only wonder as to what has been lost to the world in general, for lack of but a relative pittance of nurture.


A few months ago, posts seeking alms for restoration of the 26" refractor at Lowell were posted in the Classic Telescopes forum, and I had (at least according to certain members of CN) the audacity to suggest making any charitable giving contingent upon Mr. Burnham's memory being prioritized by the organization. One can follow the exchange of pleasantries here and here.

Fred


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: mtnmedic]
      #5930252 - 06/19/13 10:46 PM

Question: I don't "Kindle" though I have the Kindle reader app on my iPad and my Galaxy Tab. If I purchase the Kindle edition of BCH, is it stored in the cloud so that I can DL it to any Kindle-equipped device I own, or is it tied to a specific Kindle-apped device?

Thanks in advance for your guidance,

Jim


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital @Lowell new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5930264 - 06/19/13 10:51 PM

Fred, I surprised they need to beg funds from we great unwashed. Discovery Network paid for their last big telescope and observatory project, and I believe they have multiple wealthy donors in tow.

Personally I feel a tribute/monument to Burnham someplace other than Lowell might be more...respectful.

- Jim


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stevecoe
"Astronomical Tourist"
*****

Reged: 04/24/04

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital @Lowell new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5930546 - 06/20/13 02:38 AM

Jim;

Maybe the tribute to Burnham is the large number of his books that are read and enjoyed by many viewers of the sky. Even when they are read electronically;-)

Clear skies;
Steve Coe


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BoriSpider
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/10/04

Loc: S.W.FLA
Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital @Lowell new [Re: stevecoe]
      #5930616 - 06/20/13 05:02 AM

Jim, I believe the ebooks are account specific not device specific. So it should show up in all apps. You might not be able to read the same book at the same time on 2 different devices.

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rockethead26
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/21/09

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital @Lowell new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5930719 - 06/20/13 07:40 AM

Quote:

Discovery Network paid for their last big telescope and observatory project, and I believe they have multiple wealthy donors in tow.

- Jim




Actually, John Hendricks and Discovery Communications only contributed $16 million of the $53 M cost. The rest came from the Lowell trust, private donors and smaller amounts from the 3 partnership universities.

I think it's pretty incredible that they built it without any government funding. Looking forward to some real results from the DCT.

Edited by rockethead26 (06/20/13 12:31 PM)


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital @Lowell new [Re: BoriSpider]
      #5931078 - 06/20/13 11:01 AM

In my case it may even be a little more complicated since I'm cross platform (both Android and iOS devices). Thanks for the tip. I think I'll first try it on the Samsung tablet since that is a mount-dedicated Sky Safari device now (i.e., it gets used only in the field for directing GOTO mounts via bluetooth).

Regards,

Jim


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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital @Lowell new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5931256 - 06/20/13 01:04 PM

Quote:

Fred, I surprised they need to beg funds from we great unwashed. Discovery Network paid for their last big telescope and observatory project, and I believe they have multiple wealthy donors in tow.

Personally I feel a tribute/monument to Burnham someplace other than Lowell might be more...respectful.

- Jim




I was a bit taken aback by the solicitation, as well; not only did I feel that it was a completely inappropriate use the forum, but knowing the deep pockets which that institution has historically has access to also gave me pause.

As for a tribute to Burnham at another location, I'm in complete agreement with you, Jim... a modest marker at his birthplace, or perhaps the ocean walk where he spent some of his last days, would be in order. For that matter, why limit any such remembrance to one place? Every club observatory that I've visited (a considerable number) contains the three volumes of the Handbook in their library; at one time it was the premier reference in such establishments, as well as a steady observing companion. There would surely be enough wall space to place something similar to that on the Lowell walk in every such observatory. It needn't be bronze; a small framed printout would do.

Burnham's work played a considerable role in the career of many amateurs, and his writings still echo today; however, the current ever-increasing rapidity of progress (if one chooses to call it that) in amateur astronomy threatens to leave such works in the dusts of time. While a modest tribute to Burnham in every astronomical location in the country is unlikely, we should remember that we dispense with the past at our peril.

Fred


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