Sunday, May 21, 2006

Guilt-Free Pleasures

I don't read nearly as many books as I used to read (though I am really looking forward to reading Darryl Tippens' Pilgrim Heart very soon). But I do read, pretty voraciously - through copies of old Wineskins.

So I won't be misunderstood, I'm talking about the magazine in its first incarnation before the good folks at The ZOE Group became its caretakers.

On and off for about three years, I've been keying in the articles from these archive editions so that they could be added to the New Wineskins Web site, and it has become one of my few guilt-free pleasures. The articles are like a trip on Mr. Peabody's Not-Too-Wayback Machine ... though many of the topics and thoughts are just as fresh as if they had been written for the current issue.

I've had to key in these articles because the VERY expensive OCR (optical character recognition) software I bought for my old Mac worked only a few times when I purchased it some years ago, then it refused to re-install, and then the software company's name disappeared from the web.

A few weeks ago, the renamed company made the mistake of sending me an e-mail to offer me the same software at a discounted price. After discovering that the discounted software was only the Windows version, I began the process of trying to file a service request online ... long story short: The serial number they sent me with the paid version years ago was apparently good only for the trial version, and it expired. The permanent one was never sent, but still available on a site called "www.findmyorder.com" - and if you've ever ordered software online through Digital River, yours is probably still there, too!

Today I was able to reactivate my OCR software, and breezed through more than half of one issue in one afternoon, rather than a couple of hours a night for a couple of weeks. Though I'm not laboriously keying in each word anymore, I still enjoy getting to (proof)read every article to correct the 0.1 or 0.2% error rate - and that's much faster.

So I'm hoping to accelerate the posting of archive issues for those of you who subscribe - I just added the July-August 1998 issue "A Life Beautiful" on Saturday. Look forward to the May-June 1998 issue very soon.

Feel free to indulge your own guilt-free pleasure!

1 comment:

Greg Taylor said...

Thank you, Keith! Hey, let's hear it for Wineskins archives. For years I've heard people sing Wineskins praises, seemingly all over the United States. But for others who've never heard of Wineskins and some who are experiencing Wineskins online for the first time and could take advantage of this WEALTH of articles in archive form, let's hear from you!

Let's cheer Keith on toward Love and Good Deeds (and guilt pleasures)!

Greg Taylor
managing editor