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Post Laureate
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: jedimasterk]
      #4080989 - 09/29/10 03:55 PM

Quote:

A Kindle edition would be really nice.




That was in fact the very first thing I looked for when I got my Kindle a couple of weeks ago.


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rdandrea
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: mtnmedic]
      #4107629 - 10/11/10 01:35 PM

I'm late to the party, I know. I just got through reading Tony Ortega's 1997 article about Burnham in the Phoenix New Times News.

I'm not going to say anything negative about the publisher, but had Burnham not been cremated, I'm sure he would be turning over in his grave at the thought of you dealing with them.

The executor of his estate is his sister Viola Burnham of Phoenix. You can find her in 411.com. According to Ortega's article, she's gone round and round with Dover over the Handbook and might be a better place to start.

Just a suggestion.

I've had the Handbook since 1979 or so, dusted it off recently, and committed to reading it cover to cover again. What a remarkable work it was and still is. I found this thread by doing a CN search for threads about it.

Start with his family. They are the ones who have an interest in his memory.


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rmollise
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: rdandrea]
      #4108199 - 10/11/10 05:17 PM

Quote:

I'm late to the party, I know. I just got through reading Tony Ortega's 1997 article about Burnham in the Phoenix New Times News.

I'm not going to say anything negative about the publisher, but had Burnham not been cremated, I'm sure he would be turning over in his grave at the thought of you dealing with them.






If there is any 'blame' to be assigned, there's enough for both parties.


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rdandrea
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: rmollise]
      #4108669 - 10/11/10 08:35 PM

I knew neither Burnham nor the publisher. I have no blame for anyone.

Just suggesting a different tack for the OP.

Did you have a beef with Burnham?


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Traveler
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: rdandrea]
      #4109257 - 10/12/10 01:35 AM

Does anyone get response from Dover pub.? I wrote them 6 weeks agoo and don't get anything from them...

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rmollise
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: rdandrea]
      #4109498 - 10/12/10 07:46 AM

Quote:

I knew neither Burnham nor the publisher. I have no blame for anyone.

Just suggesting a different tack for the OP.

Did you have a beef with Burnham?




I don't have a "beef" with anybody...well...maybe Five Guys...

Burnham was a remarkable individual, but there are two sides to every story, and there was more to this one than was in the newspaper story you read.


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Rick Woods
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: rmollise]
      #4110003 - 10/12/10 12:16 PM

Quote:

I don't have a "beef" with anybody...well...maybe Five Guys...




Tsk! And they speak so highly of you!

Quote:

Burnham was a remarkable individual, but there are two sides to every story, and there was more to this one than was in the newspaper story you read.




Yup, there always is.


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Charles B.
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: rmollise]
      #4110114 - 10/12/10 12:52 PM

Quote:

Burnham was a remarkable individual, but there are two sides to every story, and there was more to this one than was in the newspaper story you read.




I know this is somewhat off-topic, but the last few posts got me thinking about the Celestial Handbook. I love Burnham's Celestial Handbook and can't imagine any amateur astronomer not wearing out multiple copies with continual reading and re-reading. I think this is a pretty commonly shared sentiment.

Sometimes, when we love a book, we build a picture of the author based solely on our feelings about his book. Needless to say this picture is always wildly different from the real, complicated, flesh and blood person who was the author. This seems particularly true of my own constructed picture of Robert Burnham.

There's no doubt that Burnham lead a difficult, troubled, tragic life and at the same time produced a remarkable work in the Celestial Handbook. I think the strength of his work is seen in the passions it evokes in any discussion about it. (Like those in the last few posts.)

I have no idea how Burnham's personal life might have influenced him in writing the Celestial Handbook, but as a reader I am continually thankful to his talent and dedication. It's a rare thing for any author to create a work so closely read with both heart and mind by so many and so diverse a group of readers.


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Rick Woods
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: Charles B.]
      #4110381 - 10/12/10 02:33 PM

Yes. The Handbook is his testament and legacy. He should be remembered and revered for what he did, not for any personal tragedies or failings he may have had.

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burb scope
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #4110425 - 10/12/10 02:51 PM

My desire is to get Burnham's work into the hands of as many people as possible, and a digital version would help to do that.
I will GIVE Dover my digitized copy. I just need to know what proper channels to go through. i would just hope that they would/could distribute it at a reasonable price.
If it is OK for us to make digital backup copies of the books that we bought, then maybe I will have to do that for those who want it.


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desertstars

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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: burb scope]
      #4110486 - 10/12/10 03:20 PM

Making a copy isn't what will get you into trouble. Distributing copies, on the other hand (in any format), could put you into a deep hole very quickly. Unless Dover actually responds favorably to the idea, any reproduction and distribution of Burnham's (even given away for free) could land you in court over a copyright violation.

And stating an interest in doing so on an open forum... thats really not a good idea at all.


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mtnmedic
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: desertstars]
      #4110672 - 10/12/10 04:41 PM

As the OP of this thread, I need to say a few things.

1) Let's put aside all of this banter about what happened between Robert, Dover, and other astronomers, etc. None of us were actually there when things went down so none of us are qualified to speak about it in any real measure. There are disagreements here in that vein and that's not what I wanted to happen here in this thread. So I'm asking everyone to refrain from further debate about Mr. Burnham and his faults vs. Dover vs. other astronoers, etc. There is no longer any "blame" or "fault". All of that stuff happend a LONG time ago, so it's water under the bridge, where it should remain. That discussion does not serve the original purpose of this thread: discussion about moving forward with a digital edition in a LEGAL and permitted fashion and with regard to features of the intended finished product.

2) In answer to everyone's question: No, I haven't heard anything back from Dover's Legal and Permissions Department for a while. They said they were considering my request and the points I made for going forward with the project. They also said they were backlogged but that may also be another way of brushing me off. I don't know.

3) I'm sure that nobody would have anything against someone making a digital copy of the book for THEIR OWN PERSONAL USE. It's more or less along the same line of legality as making a photocopy of pages for a research project or making a backup copy of computer software, both of which you purchased legally. Tom is right, it's DISTRIBUTING the copies without proper permission that would lead to legal issues. SO...I do not condone the practice and would urge anyone thinking of doing it to reconsider. The last thing I want is for someone to bring about bad news and legal problems that would put a cloud over our celebration of Robert and his works and-even worse-further prevent us from our goal of getting it distributed in electronic format for everyone to enjoy. I started my project to HONOR the man and, hopefully, expose the Handbook to a new generation of readers so more people could appreciate the devotion and work he put into it.

4) I am pursuing other avenues to see if my digital workup of this book can be legally processed. I will keep everyone informed of my progress.


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Glassthrower
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: mtnmedic]
      #4163125 - 11/04/10 01:26 PM

2018 will be the 40th anniversary of the Handbook. (We just missed the 30th)

It would be nice to see an anniversary edition with biographical notes, anecdotes from his contemporaries, corrections and updates to the coordinates/data, and some bonus extras (perhaps some of his astrophotos).

In the meantime, the old hardcovers stand up well and better convey a feel for the man (and his times) than a digitized version would do. I am an old school bibliophile and I love a good book, but I also can see the attraction of a digital version with updated data that could be used in the field on an iPad-type device with red screen.


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okieav8r
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: mtnmedic]
      #4163898 - 11/04/10 07:01 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I scanned my 3-volume set of BCH into 3 PDF files. They total 1.9 + Gigabytes.
Each PDF is searchable, but some of the typesetting was a little crude, and the OCR routines didn't pick up everything.
I do not consider this a copyright violation because It is a digital backup copy of the volumes that I purchased, and I have never sold a copy of it.
I toyed with the idea of charging someone to do the same service on their volumes. Since I have to cut the pages apart to get the best scanning results, I didn't think that anyone would want to do that. However, the resulting digital media is searchable, is nice to work with, and you can look at the maps, diagrams, and text at the telescope with your laptop.
I bookmarked each constellation, and their lists of double and variable stars, as well as the lists of clusters, galaxies, nebula and descriptive notes. See an example screen of a search for M 8:




Ah! Very nice! As I mentioned in my original and earlier posts, I considered making a PDF version as well as the ePub version I'm working on now. Guess I don't need to worry about that now. I figured for certain someone would've already done that, but only because he/she was brave enough to tear a copy of the book apart to do it.

The goal behind my project is to make it as beautiful and versatile as any eBook or iBook (as my primary thought was to get it onto the iPad) out there. The commitment requires that I at least make the minor corrections needed, such as for type spacing issues, spelling and punctuation, make some graphs/charts bigger as well as update some photos with sharper, color images except for those that really need to be black-and-white with respect to their historical significance. Obviously, indexing and searching are a must in any ePub document. THe big part is the formatting. Updating the information itself is a daunting task and I would preface the volume with a note for the reader to defer to more recent publications to get accurate data.

Again, very nicely done!




Burnham's Celestial Handbook is a true gem that has given me a lot of enjoyment. I would love to see the print version of BCH updated with new illustrations, layout, and corrections. In a similar vein, George Kepple and Glen Sanner have updated the photos in their Night Sky Observer's Guide (yet another jewel!) with digital astrophotos and it is really nice.

On edit, I've read a lot of posts in this thread that speak of Burnham's troubled life. I really don't much about Robert Burnham from a biographical standpoint and would like to know more if someone can point me in the right direction.

Again, I would love to see this book brought up to date for the new millenium. I would also like to see biographical information. Digital is great for those who like digital books, but I'm old school and they just don't do it for me. I would love to see a print version also.

Edited by okieav8r (11/04/10 10:16 PM)


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Ira
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: okieav8r]
      #4164338 - 11/04/10 10:19 PM

You can just bet that the last thing Dover Publishing wants is someone mucking around with the digital publishing of one of their properties (assuming it is...and if it isn't they don't want you to know that.) With the beating that traditional media compnies are taking from the Internet, piracy, etc., they just want you to go away. You will never hear back from them.

/Ira


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burb scope
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: Ira]
      #4275980 - 12/28/10 10:05 AM Attachment (67 downloads)

As a test, I had a friend load my PDF version of BCH volume 1 onto his Kindle.


Edited by burb scope (12/28/10 10:07 AM)


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burb scope
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: burb scope]
      #4275985 - 12/28/10 10:09 AM Attachment (55 downloads)

Kindle pic 2

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burb scope
sage
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: burb scope]
      #4275988 - 12/28/10 10:10 AM Attachment (59 downloads)

Kindle pic 3

The three pictures were taken by a cellphone. Sorry.

I was impressed at how well the Kindle displayed the PDFs, and how well the astrophotos looked.

Edited by burb scope (12/28/10 11:01 AM)


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Spaced
Post Laureate
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: burb scope]
      #4276636 - 12/28/10 04:19 PM

Lovely, indeed; also vewy, vewy tiny.

A user can set up the Kindle to view sideways, then enlarge the font, but that results in the need to scroll around to see everything on a page, which is a bother.

I've never tried to view anything on one of the larger format Kindles. I think that would work OK.


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Daniel Mounsey
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Re: Burnham's Celestial Handbook - Digital new [Re: Spaced]
      #4333317 - 01/22/11 11:47 PM

I went back and read through this thread and got to thinking it has some of the most incredibly smart and well thought responses. I am going to go through it some more but the reason burnham came up is I am currently unable to acquire any astronomy related books at the moment and im about losing my mind. i wish i had at least brought one volume of burnham's. I attempted to download it onto a computer but am having trouble opening it from ebooks. what software will open it?

Edited by Daniel Mounsey (01/22/11 11:49 PM)


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