* Posts by Richard Cassidy

12 posts • joined 4 Mar 2008

Use iBooks Author, only Apple can ever publish the result

Richard Cassidy

No secret

The restriction of book sales to Apple's store is not hidden from users - the description of the iBook Author software in the Apple App Store, which presumably you read before you download it, states:

Submit your book to the iBookstore for sale or free download with a few simple steps*

* Books may only be sold through the iBookstore; additional terms and conditions apply.

Which seems like fair warning in advance of downloading, let alone using.

Domesday Book put on touchscreen at Bletchley Park

Richard Cassidy
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Vellum = old boots

Having spent yesterday at the National Archives, looking at 13th century documents, I can confirm that they are amazingly tough. Which tends to make medievalists remarkably casual about handling them - none of that nonsense about white gloves which you see on TV. Parchment is not only more durable than computer technology, it also beats most paper - some of the cheap paper used in 19th century books is turning brown and crumbling, while parchment marches on.

History's first papal tweet launches Vatican website

Richard Cassidy


(Ridet clara voce.)

The Bayeux Tapestry archiving model

Richard Cassidy

Arrow or sword?

The illustration in the article shows the crucial scene, with the caption "Hic Harold rex interfectus est" positioned above both a figure with an arrow in the face, and a figure on the ground, who is being slashed with a sword to the thigh by a mounted knight.

R. Allen Brown, in his article 'The Battle of Hastings', in Anglo-Norman Warfare, adopts the view that the tapestry shows consecutive scenes - the figure with the arrow and the figure on the ground are both Harold. This interpretation has Harold mortally wounded by a chance arrow, then slashed as he lay prostrate.

Interwebs stunned by musical atrocity

Richard Cassidy


No - the Easybeats, surely.

Australia's greatest contribution to pop music.

Office for Mac steps closer to Windows version of software

Richard Cassidy

Office for students

Like it or not, MS Word file format seems to have become the standard for documents in academic life. Historical journals (for instance) all require articles to be submitted as .doc files.

Apple's Pages program will save files in .doc format, but I suspect most people would rather stick to Word rather than experiment.

Apple's Numbers spreadsheet has an enormous advantage over Excel 2008 (I don't know about the new version) - Excel doesn't understand dates before 1900/1904, while Numbers handles them properly, gives the correct weekday, etc.

Brooke Shields pic exposes real/online rift

Richard Cassidy
Big Brother

Blind Faith

Time to arrest all the elderly hippies with a copy of the Blind Faith LP. Partly just for being elderly hippies, but also because of the cover image (as seen at Amazon, for any youngsters who don't remember all this).

What if computers went back to the '70s too?

Richard Cassidy
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Exchange rates

A pedant writes: I think the fixed exchange rate, in the days before currencies floated, was $2.40 to the pound. It had been $2.80 before the Wilson devaluation.

But that does not detract from a really interesting article.

Knights Templar to Vatican: Give us back our assets

Richard Cassidy

An historical pedant writes:

"our very own Simon de Montfort" - no, the Simon who crushed the Cathars was the father of Simon, earl of Leicester, leader of the baronial rebellion (who expelled the Jews from Leicester).

Microsoft codes leap year bug into Exchange 2007

Richard Cassidy
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Numbers is using the Old Style (Julian) calendar for the thirteenth century - as it should, since New Style did not begin until October 1582, for those who followed Gregory XIII's bull, and much later for Protestant countries. I haven't bothered to check when the program makes the transition to New Style, as I'm not interested in stuff as recent as the sixteenth century.

And indeed it gets 28 Feb 1360 right.

Richard Cassidy

Getting medieval

As a student of medieval history, I couldn't use Excel (Office X for Mac), as it thinks the world began in 1900, and does not recognise earlier dates as dates.

Numbers (part of iWork on the Mac) lacks many features of Excel, but if I type 28 Feb 1260, it correctly tells me that this was a Saturday, and that the next day was 29 Feb. It can't be that difficult to get it right.


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