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Carvings on cave walls, clay tablets, wood blocks, palm leafs, silk, scrolls, papyrus and paper - the written word has traversed through a myriad of platforms over the course of civilization. The world witnessed a radical uplift with the introduction of books and a similar breakthrough with the creation of the revolutionary eBook (or electronic book). Massive volumes of literature and art took on virtual avatars and were made available on our palm tops, thanks to the pioneering efforts of one man, Michael S Hart.
Michael S Hart was the man whose revolutionary invention redefined the experience of reading. Hart was at the University of Illinois, when he received a user account in their computer system. He realized a deep potential in inter connected computers; although at that point of time the computer systems at the university were mainly used for data processing. After his account was created on July 4, 1971, Hart kept wondering what to do with it. He found an answer when he seized upon a copy of the United States Declaration of Independence, which he received at a grocery store on his way home from watching fireworks that evening.
He typed the entire copy of the declaration into the computer, but he wasn’t allowed to distribute to numerous users via internet. Thus, to avoid crashing the system, he made the text available for people to download instead. That was how Hart founded the Project Gutenberg in 1971. The project was a voluntary effort by Hart to digitize and archive cultural works and to encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks. He began posting digital copies of classics such as works of Homer, Shakespeare, Mark Twain and even Bible. Hart typed most of early postings himself and completed typing a total 313 ebooks by 1987. The mission statements for the project were:
"Encourage the Creation and Distribution of eBooks"
"Help Break Down the Bars of Ignorance and Illiteracy"
"Give As Many eBooks to As Many People As Possible"
Hart engaged in odd jobs and did an unpaid appointment at the Illinois Benediectine College to solicit donations for the project. Soon, he collaborated with programmer Mark Zinziw to set up an infrastructure of mirror sites and mailing lists, and recruited volunteers who were willing to take the project ahead. This led to an ascending curve in the success of Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg is considered the oldest digital library and as of 2011 has claimed over 36000 items as a part of its extensive collection.
Apart from Project Gutenber, Hart was also a member of the RepRap Project that aims at creating a self-replicating machine. An author himself, Hart’s passion for books pedaled the experience of reading books to a new level, making big volumes available in portable formats. His works are available free of charge on the Project Gutenberg server.
Michael S Hart passed away on September 6, 2011 of a heart attack at his home in Urbana, Illinois. He was 64.
— compiled by Debjani Hazarika Northeast India is known as the land of festivals and culture. From the beginning, people of this part of the world have been indulging in merriment and diversion. Hence, the music, dance and other forms of art are the integral parts of everyday life. Apart from traditional festivals, since the commencement of television and social media, many young enthusiasts came up with the idea of organising different music events and festivals where local and acclaimed musicians can showcase their talents. Some of the festivals are funded by the state governments while the rest organised with the help of private sponsorship. Here is a list of some of the music and cultural fests we thought you would love to attend if you are into music and adventure. Hornbill Festival (Nagaland) Hornbill Festival 2012, Nagaland (photo: Sudeepta Barua) WHAT? Hornbill Festival WHEN? December WHERE? Naga Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland The Hornbill Festival is a celebra
North-East India is very rich in music, dance, tradition and culture. All the eight states of North-East India have something to offer for rock music lovers. Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, is also known as 'Rock Capital of India'. Some of the festivals promoting rock music of the region like Hornbill Festival of Nagaland and Ziro Festival of Music in Arunachal Pradesh are quite famous among music lovers. The region gave birth to many well known and respected Rock bands since the 60's. We have compiled a list of 16 (sixteen) comparatively new bands we love listening to all the time. Of course, there are various other bands apart from these sixteen bands who have made their mark on the Rock music scenario of India. We will post about those bands in our next segment. The Vinyl Records (Arunachal Pradesh) | photo: Facebook The Vinyl Records (Arunachal Pradesh) - Formed in February 2010, The Vinyl Records is an All-girl Rock band. They have performed in well
A cough is a common reflex action that clears the throat of mucus or foreign irritants. A cough that lasts between 3 and 8 weeks, improving by the end of that period, is a subacute cough. A persistent cough that lasts more than eight weeks is a chronic cough. There are various ways to treat cough and other lungs and throat problems. From allopathy to homeopathy, from ayurvedic treatment to alternate medicines. Today, we are going to discuss about another unique way to treat the general irritation of the throat. Please note, prescribed medications from a doctor needs to be continued while taking this treatment. We are going to talk about sound waves which can give relief to a patient who is undergoing treatment for cough. People who have general cough and cold problem due to change of weather can get rid of cough and irritation in no time. We will be using binaural beats therapy to treat our cough problem. If you are having a sore throat or a regular throat irritation, plea