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Eric Friedman, graduate student at UC-Irvine and working on a dissertation
dealing with the book arts, sent along the following teaser that had been
forwarded to him. I pass it along in the spirit of the
book-as-rediscovered-miracle. Next I expect to read of the discovery of a
cylinder press! B.


Look!  A new invention!!!

Jackie M. Dooley, Head of Special Collections and University Archives
Main Library, P.O. Box 19557, Univ. of California, Irvine, CA 92713-9557
Internet: jmdooley@xxxxxxx Phone: 714/824-4935  Fax (*new*): 714/824-2542

For your amusement ...

 A new aid to rapid--almost magical--learning has made its appearance.
Indications are that if it catches on all the electronic gadgets will  be so
much junk.

 The new device is known as Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge.  The makers
generally call it by its initials,  BOOK(tm).

 Many advantages are claimed over the old-style learning and teaching  aids on
which most people are brought up nowadays. It has no wires, no  electric
circuit to break down. No connection is needed to an  electricity power point.
It is made entirely without mechanical parts  to go wrong or need replacement.

 Anyone can use  BOOK(tm), even children, and it fits comfortably into the
hands. It can be conveniently used sitting in an armchair by the fire.

 How does this revoluntionary, unbelievably easy invention work?

Basically  BOOK(tm) consists only of a large number of paper sheets. These
may run to hundreds where  BOOK(tm) covers a lengthy program of information.
Each sheet bears a number in sequence, so that the sheets cannot be used  in
the wrong order.

 To make it even easier for the user to keep the sheets in the proper order
they are held firmly in place by a special locking device called a "binding".

 Each sheet of paper presents the user with an information sequence in the
form of symbols, which he absorbs optically for automatic registration on the
brain. When one sheet has been assimilated a flick of the finger turns it over
and further information is found on the other side.  By using both sides of
each sheet in this way a great economy is  effected, thus reducing both the
size and cost of  BOOK(tm). No buttons need  to be pressed to move from one
sheet to another, to open or close  BOOK(tm),  or to start it working.

  BOOK(tm) may be taken up at any time and used by merely opening it.
Instantly it is ready for use. Nothing has to be connected up or  switched on.
The user may turn at will to any sheet, going backwards or  forwards as he
pleases. A sheet is provided near the beginnning as a  location finder for any
required information sequence.

 A small accessory, available at trifling extra cost, is the  BOOK(tm)mark.
This enables the user to pick up his programme where he left off on the
previous learning session.  BOOK(tm)mark is versatile and may be used in any

 The initial cost varies with the size and subject matter. Already a  vast
range of  BOOK(tm)s is available, covering every conceivable subject  and
adjusted to different levels of aptitude. One  BOOK(tm), small enough to  be
held in the hands, may contain an entire learning schedule.

 Once purchased,  BOOK(tm) requires no further upkeep cost; no batteries or
wires are needed, since the motive power, thanks to an ingenious device
patented by the makers, is supplied by the brain of the user.

  BOOK(tm)s may be stored on handy shelves and for ease of reference the
 program schedule is normally indicated on the back of the binding.

 Altogether the Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge seems to have great
advantages with no drawbacks. We predict a big future for it.

 A Boss's response:

 BOOK(tm)* does not, in spite of the claims, seem "to have great advantages
with no drawbacks".  Soon, it probably won't even be legal.  Consider:

 "It can be conveniently used sitting in an armchair by the fire."  Being
paper, it might burn in the fire.  Probably fire laws in most  locations
wouldn't allow its use there.  Worse, such a device, which  encourages close
proximity of the user to fire, will be outlawed by  OSHA's request.

 "Each sheet bears a number in sequence, so that the sheets cannot be  used in
the wrong order."  How quaint; to think that the programmer  (author) would be
allowed to turn over such an important task to the  user!  "cannot" is clearly
misuse; any user could incorrectly turn to the  wrong page.  A proper user
interface might correct that, of course, such  as requiring that each sheet be
torn off to expose the next.  This is a clear conflict with "The user may turn
at will to any sheet, going  backwards or forwards as he pleases."

 " BOOK(tm)s may be stored on handy shelves and for ease of reference".  The
user interface obviously needs more work before such a system can be

 "the motive power -- is supplied by the brain of the user".  Clearly,  the
inventors have not examined recent trends.  No serious person would  suggest
even expecting a "user" to have a brain present, much less to  use it so

 I'd suggest the inventors return to their consoles and do a thorough
associative search of various data banks, like the rest of us, and forget this


     Betty Bright, alias abd = :->
     Writer   Curator   Teacher

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