The Schools - The Future
WHAT IS THE SOFTWARE FOR?:
IS THERE A TRACK RECORD? YES!. Development of Illumination began nearly ten years ago. Though today's features are more sophisticated, (we're now up to Version 7 and a ground-breaking announcement will be made before the end of 1999), not only today's books, but even the very earliest books ever created in Illumination can be read equally well on EITHER a vintage computer, or a brand new computer. No special software is necessary to read an Illumination book. You may either download a book from the web, receive it as an e-mail attachment, or simply pop a floppy into your computer, and that's that.
HOW AND WHY IS THIS SOFTWARE
(Windows, which is constantly changing, and the staggering array of XML and HTML add-ons and browser plug-ins, such as JAVA, Shockwave and the like, require a viewer to constantly upgrade computer software, just to be able to view websites or archived word processor files. Such is not the case here. Improvements, are simply incorporated on new e-books, without affecting viability of earlier e-books).
Illumination e-books can be read equally well by any IBM compatible computer, going as far back as a 386, and having absolutely minimal disk space. Users may expect no loss in speed. A 400 page novel with one hundred illustrations will fit on a standard floppy disk or can be transmitted by e-mail nearly instantaneously.
Would you like to see an Illumination BOOK first, and THEN learn more?
WHAT IS ILLUMINATION ?
Illumination is an electronic publishing program, designed with a very simple premise in mind--- the creation of self-reading, fully-illustrated electronic books.
The commercial reality of Illumination holds staggering import.
By way of explanation, an e-mail, with an attached heavily illustrated sample Illumination book (644038 bytes long) was electronically transmitted at almost 100k per minute between Europe and a SummerWood office computer in the U.S. (The book could just as easily have been plucked from an e-vend site, such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble, on the web).
A member of SummerWood's U.S. team clicked on the attachment, saved it to a file, double-clicked on the self-extracting .exe program and in approximately 5 SECONDS had a complete book, along with what was described as "a blue million" color graphics, animations and b/w and sepia toned photographs already fully loaded.
There was no wait for any of the graphics to appear, no requirement to go somewhere else to purchase or download a plug-in in order to read it. The book was simply there, in its entirety, ready to read. That's all there was to it.
WHY ILLUMINATION™ IS TOTALLY UNIQUE.
The specific design goals set forth by the program's creator back in 1989 were considered lofty.
The average Illumination books' content length was to be able to match books found in traditional print format, say, four hundred pages of fully formatted text, which would equate to a 90,000 word novel, with maybe fifty color illustrations. OR perhaps, a wholly-pictorial graphic novel or comic book of at least 100 pages. OR, a medium-sized, fully-illustrated textbook or technical manual. OR, an equally heavily-illustrated play by Shakespeare. (Yet, unlike traditional books, a significant number of the illustrations could also be animations.)
The entire contents of the electronic book and illustrations, along with the books own self-extracting reader software, would have to comprise no more than 1.3 megabytes. Which is to say, the whole thing would have to have such a sophisticated compression ratio that the book, the graphics, and the software to read it, must all fit comfortably on a single standard floppy diskette.
It would have to possess the capability of being distributed over a telephone line, as a simple e-mail attachment, and it would be expected to travel at 100k or better per minute.
The contents of each electronic book would have to be instantaneously viewable, without any wait for pictures to appear.
Each Illumination book was to be viewable on virtually any age PC, the same equipped with nothing more complex than DOS 2.11 or higher, 1Mb internal RAM, a 16-color VGA video card and monitor, and a hard disc of almost any capacity .
But Illumination's visionary creator also prudently planned ahead.
Should the world's operating systems ever begin to change for example, Illumination would have to possess the ability to render the change irrelevant.
The industry's response
"Sure you can do it. When pigs fly."
There is a particular breed of individual to whom you must never say, "It can't be done". They'll just do it anyway.
As might be expected, the brilliant creator of Illumination, Dr. Martin Woodhouse, cheerfully proceeded to accomplish exactly what he set out to do.
It took over 36,000 hours of programming of course, but, not only does it work, it's been working quite nicely thank you, for several years now. .
WITH THE RIGHT MINDS, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE
What happens when you put several of the "wanna bet
I can't?" breed together?
You create an environment in which frankly, there's almost nothing they can't do.
As of November 26, 1999, SummerWood is pleased to announce that
ILLUMINATION NEEDS NO EXTERNAL OPERATING SYSTEM.
Until inception of The SummerWood Partnership, which is a joint venture between Dr. Woodhouse and the creative, entrepreneurial development team comprising the U.S. based firm, The Summerland Group, the true commercial potential of Illumination had yet to be tapped.
The program had instead been employed for the most part, in a geographically controlled market, where it was used to create technical and service manuals for a handful of smart companies who were absolutely delighted to discover that Illumination both enhanced and increased productivity of their representatives and engineers. It did so by permitting those employees to access vast quantities of data and diagrams on their notebook computers, for the benefit of themselves and their customers, instead of forcing them to drag around several hundred pounds of paper in three-ring binders.
Illumination is an innovative, cutting-edge product. It offers logic, common sense, and economic advantage to business and industry professionals and telecommuters.
The 1994 version of Illumination is what first caught the the eye of Summerland. The instant the first page was on-screen, we knew this was an important adjunct to all that Summerland and Dr. Woodhouse intended to accomplish.
Once an accord was reached between Summerland and Woodhouse, members of the new venture, SummerWood, began implementing directional strategy, evaluating potential program enhancements, and drafting a procedure for practical implementation.
The SummerWood Partnership also took on the task of designing
moderately priced, user-friendly, single function reader products named
and The Reader™.
The primary imperative in the logic behind creation of The Reader™ is the realization that reading is not computing, and a book or a catalogue for that matter is not a computer database.
As pioneering experts in Virtual Officing, Telecommuting, and Home Offices, and possessed of a very great commitment to Education through computing, The Summerland Group had a highly-developed awareness of consumer habits, practices and attitudes, derived through research for its line of award-winning computer furnishings known as The OFFICE™.
Summerland had learned early on what computer users do, why they do it, and how they feel about what they are doing while they are engaged in the task.
The Reader™ will complement the practical function of Illumination. It embodies the elegance of simplicity, and possesses an intuitive nature, which, like the most basic television remote control, will permit even a five year old to just push a button and make it work.
You don't need a lengthy tutorial to pick up a book and
read "The Cat In The Hat", do you?
THE CORRECT CHOICE FOR TRADITIONAL PUBLISHERS
Electronic reading devices must be appropriately responsive to actual consumer needs, or they are likely to meet the same lack of consumer acceptance (and subsequent product demise) as the ill-fated BetaMax machines.
At the same time, traditional book publishers must be sufficiently confident that books, their intellectual capital, and hence their company's respective financial futures, will not in any way be placed in jeopardy, by embracing electronic publishing.
That most serious threat facing the traditional publishing industry today is the potential for its decision-makers to fail to heed the lessons of the music industry and the software industry.
Case in point; If you own 8-track tapes, you can no longer access the music on them. If you visit a web site and do not have the latest plug-in, you can no longer experience what lies within. HTML standards are frequently ignored in the quest for personal or corporate techno-glory. Were this type of situation to be permitted to cross over into the traditional publishing arena, the outcome would be predictable.
RECOGNIZING THE NEED FOR A COMMON GROUND
Products such as Softbook™,
Rocket e-Book™, Glassbook™, EveryBook™, and the like, are each dependent upon
software technology which by its very nature, is subjected to constant change
and prior version obsolescence.
The initial monochrome e-book offerings by NuvoMedia, for example, could only be read if one happened to own a Rocket eBook reader mechanism. NuvoMedia is now experimenting with books readable over the web, but in the style of the original hardware configuration.
Thus, Rocket eBook text is displayed within the borders
of a decorative online graphic, and occupies only a portion
of the viewers actual computer screen. Because of the vertical page configuration,
the user is typically required to either scroll downward in order to view
an entire page of a book, or rotate viewing angle of the hardware graphic,
which in turn slightly skews page layout.
In other monochrome entries, Softbook™ employs HTML and Windows compatible technology, and EveryBook™ relies upon Windows and Adobe technology.
When Windows evolves, as it must continue to do, what happens to the customer's e-book library?
The recently proposed EBX system proposes to define the way in which electronic books are distributed from publishers to booksellers and distributors, from booksellers to consumers, between consumers, and between consumers and libraries. It describes the basic requirements of electronic book readers (the hardware), electronic book reader software and the electronic books themselves (the content). It also describes how these "trusted" components interact to form a comprehensive copyright protection that both protects the intellectual property of authors and publishers, as well as describes the capabilities required by consumers. (I.e.- backward compatibility, etc.) In addition, the model describes in general how products and revenue for those products are generated and managed.
Illumination long ago addressed and has already implemented and/or devised practical solutions to issues only now being raised as possible concerns by proponents of EBX.
Unlike Rocket eBook, SoftBook, GlassBook or others, every Illumination book contains its own built-in reader software.What this means for consumers, is that Illumination is in no way dependent upon operating platforms such as Windows™, thus, it remains totally unaffected by whimsical ego-vagaries, and the downside of software developers intellectual "one-ups-manship" which continues to plague the software industry.
In their zeal to add even more complex bells and whistles, thereby dazzling their peers, software companies routinely fail to take the practical concerns of their customers into consideration. The result is near disastrous.
The majority of the business world, for example, has important files which were created in an earlier version of whatever their present operating system might be. In almost all cases, those files were automatically rendered inaccessible to them, once they upgraded to the current version of their operating system.
Yes, those two year old files could be made available to their creators again, for the moment anyway, providing of course they agree to purchase and download yet more software.
The question is, why should they have to? And more importantly, how does one today gain access to a ten year old Windows based file? What happens when the next software version is introduced. Or the one after that?
A CONSUMERS PERSPECTIVE
|Open eBook, like PDF, is not forward-compatible. Every time a document or an e-book is created in a version newer than the one the consumer has, that individual must agree to upgrade to the same software version, or the OEB content, like the PDF document on bees, will be unintelligible. For this consumer, accessing the bee document in readable form was more trouble than it was worth. The download was aborted, the published content declined.|
Right this moment, could you pop a ten year old floppy disk into your computer and expect to read a word processing document whose creation software has been superseded a half dozen times?
No, you could not.
But right this moment you could pop an Illumination book nearly a decade old into your computer, and it would still read beautifully. That's a track record that cannot be matched.
Think about it.
The Reader™, unlike sophisticated multi-tasking computers which require vast quantities of constantly upgraded software in order to function and keep pace, is simply designed to complement and enhance the electronic reading experience.
Illumination books can be viewed on a PC, on
a Notebook, or a Laptop, on an ancient PC or Laptop, even on a marginally
functioning computer.... SO old you figured you'd just give it to
the kids to play with. The book will perform superbly on each of them.
Even the poorest of schools in inner-city neighborhoods will have the ability for their students to read e-books and e-text books on donated computer equipment, regardless of the equipment's age or implied technological obsolescence.
Think about that too.
No other e-book contender can do this.
Developers of electronic publishing programs such as Adobe Acrobat™, (whose program is Windows dependent), could easily find themselves up the proverbial creek, should Microsoft do something wonderful, but commercially destructive, with Windows 2000, or Windows 2010 for that matter.
Illumination, however, would simply go right on publishing user-friendly, universally accessible, 8086-based books. As technology progresses, its capabilities will increase exponentially. But without users losing access to data created in earlier versions.
Which brings us to our point. The world cannot afford to lose creative literature, medical or science textbooks, instructional manuals and the like, simply because the platform under which the information was created, was, like Egyptian hieroglyphs, eventually superseded. To permit such a thing to happen would be tantamount to intellectual suicide.
Creators of The Gutenberg Project, begun in 1971 to translate and preserve a significant portion of the world's greatest literature in electronic format, had earlier reached a similar conclusion.
Electronic Texts (E-Texts) created by Project Gutenberg were mandated to be made available in the simplest, easiest to use forms available. They employ "Plain Vanilla ASCII," meaning the low set of the American Standard Code for Information Interchange. The reason for this is that 99% of the hardware and software a person is likely to run into can read and search these files.
Illumination follows a similar thought process. And since Illumination runs under and requires the standard ROM BIOS system, The Reader™, which is designed to run Illumination, will also be able to produce plain ASCII on screen.
While ASCII preserves text, it does so without the ability to convey or display the author's original literary emphasis, ( i.e. - italics, underlines, and bolds) By contrast, books created in Illumination, similarly accessible by the overwhelming majority of the world's computers, whatever their age or memory constraints, can replicate not only the original text, and emphasis, but the original illustrations as well.
From illuminated manuscripts, to children's literary
classics, illustrations which accompany a book's text are, and have always
been, an integral part of the book.
|The difference between reading a book in ASCII (what you see if you pull up a document in a "text" format such as Acrobat™ for example), and reading a book created in Illumination, with nicely-formatted, proportionally-spaced, easy-on-the-eyes, book-style right-justified text, designed for comfortable reading, having exceptional quality illustrations, and universally accessible, without downloading any software, patches, or upgrades, is as brilliantly evident as the difference between night and day.|
|The first screen capture displayed below is from the ebook "The Inventor", (entire book is available as a sample,and link is at the top of this page). It offers readers a different type of screen layout, different font size/styles, than shown by screen capture of the ecology book. The light hearted adventure book beneath that, displays reader-friendly page layout in a larger font..|
|BELOW: "Once Upon...." a story by Martin Woodhouse, is currently being illustrated by talented artist, Richard Hawkins. An illustrator who specializes in fantasy artwork, (dragons, assorted monsters and the like), Mr. Hawkins, as it happens, is severely paraplegic, wholly confined to a wheelchair, and had found it desperately hard to use a mouse. Until introduced to Illumination, he had been painting with a brush strapped to his wrist. Illumination numbers among its many virtues, the ability to effect precise pixel placement on a page without having to use a mouse, which in turn allows the world to benefit from a good bit more of this artist's talent. Note that even type itself has been positioned to compliment contours of the illustration.|
It should be noted that the contents of Acrobat™ documents are inaccessible without the current version of software download. The download reader itself exceeds 5 megabytes. The execute program alone is 2.1 megabytes. So, it takes the better part of THREE floppy disks just for the Acrobat™ program - and that is what's required before you can even to begin to access the text of the book or article.
The earliest books and texts created in Illumination remain as attractive, and as readable today on any PC, as they were back in the late 80's.
Software product improvements and refinements are simply incorporated on subsequent books, without in any way compromising the validity or continued usability of the initial publications. A bit like a publisher discovering and implementing a better glue for the traditional binding process or switching from offset to digital printing methods. Neither concerns the consumer in the slightest, as long as the valuable content of the book already on his shelf is unaffected.
The idea makes sense, doesn't it? We certainly thought so.
|The only people who give the tiniest bit of a damn how the picture gets onto a television screen are television engineers. The rest of us just press the little buttons, and look. Do you know how your refrigerator works? Do you care? It keeps the stuff cold. Fine. --Martin Woodhouse|
You also don't need a mouse to read an Illumination book. Why should you? You don't need a mouse to read the latest Ludlam novel, or an issue of Scientific American, or a volume of Shakespeare, right? When you read a book printed on paper, you turn the pages. You use the contents page or the index, and you either fold a corner down or stick a bookmark between the pages as a reminder of where you left off, if you are interrupted.
Now, because it makes sense, you can do all of these things on an Illumination book. No mouse is needed, you simply press a button to turn the page. You can flip through the book to any section you'd like to read, and you can slip a bookmark between the pages.
Again, the supreme Elegance of Simplicity.
CREATING AN ILLUMINATION BOOK
|An Illumination book can be written on any IBM-compatible machine with 640k of memory, a hard disk, and a 16-colour VGA screen, (which must by now cover nearly every such machine in the world). This gives us, to say the least, a large user-potential. Windows, of course, can't do quite a lot of the things which Illumination takes in its stride.||
||Illumination next offers 256 colors, but we've been doing some pretty impressive stuff with the 16 color palette for the past decade.|
The little bear? Ah yes.
Well, he was told to sit there quietly,
but of course, bears will be bears.
Animations can demonstrate blood
flow in a medical textbook, engine function in a technical textbook,
assembly instructions in product manuals. They also permit virtual
dissection of frogs in a science text.
There is also no reason why Illumination cannot eventually use any number of colors you can think of. (Our 256 color palette allows for automatic .gif conversion).
An Illumination book or other document can be written for distribution or archiving on today's standard floppy disk, a CD-ROM, an LS-120 disk, or on virtually any electronic storage device. The standard floppy disk however, is inexpensive, user-friendly, and practically every computer has a floppy-disk reader built-in.
The 3 1/2" floppy disk lends
itself particularly well to the needs of the millions upon millions of businesses
for whom creation of a CD-ROM catalog, or high-end multi-page digitally printed
product brochures, might be cost prohibitive.
The cost of a CD-ROM in large quantities exceeds a half dollar each, while the cost of a floppy disk is measured in pennies.
Because virtually every business today has a computer, and because Illumination produced books do not require acquisition of special software to read them, cost-savings for a company using Illumination can be substantial.
Companies who are currently forced to decline provision of an expensively produced catalog to what might have been a new customer, (simply because it was cost prohibitive to take a chance on what might not be a sure sale), or companies who routinely have to charge customers for their catalogs, (thereby significantly lessening the possibility of gaining that customer's business), would suddenly find not only reduced marketing costs, but new avenues for revenue.
The same holds true for the creation and distribution of educational materials and teaching tools. The popular Weekly Reader, for example.
Page Updates? New Wiring Diagrams? Can Do!
For example; Whip out the old page 234,
replace it with the revised page 234. What if Page 234 is being
replaced with 234a, 234b, and 234c?
The commercial reality of Illumination does hold staggering import.
The ability to simply click on an e-mail attachment, save it to a file, double-click on the self-extracting .exe program and in approximately 5 SECONDS have a complete book, along with "a blue million" color graphics, animations and photographs already fully loaded, is nothing short of mind-boggling.
Remember, there was no wait for any of the graphics to appear, no requirement to go somewhere else to purchase or download a plug-in in order to read it, the book was simply there, in its entirety, ready to read. That's all there was to it.
Newspapers. Magazines. Catalogs. Textbooks, Medical Reference Books, Directories, Encyclopedias, Instruction Manuals, Repair Manuals, New Novels, revival of out-of-print Novels for renewed commercial viability, Children's Books, Comic Books, ........ Jeppeson, Westlaw, PDR's, Bressers, Trade Journals, Yellow Pages, JC Penny, Grainger, etc.etc.
Illumination neatly solves a Publisher's problem of how to create a book or other revenue generating document, deliver it into the hands of its intended recipient, and get paid for it simultaneously, all without the cost of physical printing, binding, warehousing, inventorying, or maintaining a fleet of vehicles to coordinate physical delivery of the product.
The Publisher's website would provide PR and a synopsis of the company's products, but would no longer have to give data away. In the case of newspapers, magazines, judicial updates, etc., the subscribers issue would continue to arrive by mail. Only now, the entire edition would arrive by Electronic mail.
The "green" concerns for newspapers and the like, could overnight become a non-issue. No trees will have been destroyed, and the growth of the world's landfills would slow measurably.
The world already has computers, and there's no point in reinventing the wheel just to read an e-book, so The Reader™ for Illumination is single purpose. That's because it needs to be reasonably priced.
As time goes by, SummerWood not only projects, but expects the typical family to have several of these devices in the same household, perhaps with magazine-size as well as book-size viewing screens. The logic; More than one person reads at a time, and consumers are accustomed to the convenience of different sized pages. Multi-function computers are expensive. Single-function readers are not.
Picture a Sunday morning. Glonk! goes the recliner, up go Dad's feet as he makes himself comfortable to read the entire Sunday paper on his Reader™. He's got the sports section open and he's looking at the pictures from last night's game. His subscription arrived via e-mail.
Mom's stretched out on the couch with HER Reader™, finishing the last of a particularly engrossing best-seller before it's time to get the kids ready for church.
Junior's sprawled on the floor, chocolate doughnut in hand, reading the Sunday comics on his LunchBOOK™.
It's as simple a retrieval process as removing a rubberband or a plastic sleeve from the paper-based newspaper which used to land on your doorstep.
Visualize, if you will, another scenario. A traveler, between flights. In search of something to read. A novel perhaps. The traveler approaches a kiosk developed perhaps for Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Borders.
The screen displays an overhead rendering of the familiar store layout. The traveler can visit the book section of his or her choice, select from author or subject matter, view the book's color cover art and read a brief review, swipe a credit card, make a selection, and, as simply as operating a candy machine, purchase the book of choice.
Note: A second style Illumination book-vending kiosk for use in locations where online ability is unavailable, actually will make use of candy style vending machines to dispense a selection of Illumination book disks.
Blank or prerecorded disks are restocked periodically. Title popularity/customer preference and royalty information is easily tracked and computed from online download records.
The kiosk is online. The books are Illumination. There's no two or three day wait for "fast delivery". The entire book can be purchased right then and there. There is no possibility that the kiosk will be out of a particular title, because the book is downloaded on demand. A keyboard permits the traveler to request a featured title, or search, if the exact name escapes him, or the traveler can browse all titles in that category. The Illumination books can be read on a notebook or on The Reader™. Both the books and The Reader™ itself can also be available from from airport newsstands/bookstores.
Did the traveler forget someone's birthday? Not a problem. A book would make a wonderful gift. But one needs a card. Again, no problem. Just touch the screen's Hallmark card aisle, select a category, view cover art and interior text, and make a selection. A signature and short personal note can be inscribed via the keyboard.
A gift really should be packaged, so Illumination will offer the purchaser a selection of paper and ribbon in which to virtually "wrap" the book. There you are, a lovely gift wrapped present, complete with card.
Want to include a bouquet of virtual flowers with the book and card? You're in luck. It's available. Here are the bouquets. Just take your pick. Type in the e-mail address to which your selection is to be delivered, your return e-mail address, and press "send". A receipt for your purchase will be e-mailed to you.
Oh yes. Have a nice flight.
The Learning Station, Illumination and SCHOOLS
Efforts have been ongoing to make changes and develop educational standards for all Americans since the publication of A Nation at Risk which stated that if something wasn't done to change its educational system, the United States would lose its role as a world leader.
The national Educate America Act has provided individual states within the U.S. with the opportunity to further their respective reforms by funding plans for change and improvements. Specifically, Section 317 in this Act requires state planning for integrating technology into the curriculum in order to improve student achievement. The Educate America Act has been welcomed as a partial funding mechanism to continue planning and implementation of educational improvements.
Even the most educationally and financially challenged of states have recognized and seized upon this opportunity to propel their students into the future with greater opportunities for success than might ever have been envisioned without computer technology.
It's evident that paper based versions of books and newspapers are heading the way of the dinosaur. Not tomorrow, of course, but in the immediately foreseeable future.
Traditional books are beautiful things, but they squander precious resources, and they've become enormously expensive to produce. And to own, for that matter.
For example, in 1974, (not so long ago....perhaps you were in school?, or you were raising a family? ) a paperback copy of Mary Stewart's Arthurian tale, The Crystal Cave, sold for $3.50. In June of 1999 however, that same book (with a 20% discount from a popular online bookseller's site), sold for a whopping $10.36 plus shipping costs of $3.95!! for a standard delivery!. That was $14.31 for a single paperback!
Used-book exchanges have become enormously popular as a result, but neither the author nor the publisher currently benefit from those subsequent sales.
Could there be even a moment's doubt in anyone's mind that electronic publishing will rocket to the forefront of technology in the publishing industry?
Textbook and other traditional style publishers have been simply biding their time, waiting for exactly the right technology to come along. These groups will begin to make the transition in earnest to electronic publishing, when they discover that;
Which is to say, that to be considered "something better", the product to be adopted must demonstrate a high degree of consumer acceptability, it must save the company money over their present mode of operation, it must offer new avenues to make money, and it must be viewed by their stockholders as the virtual equivalent of having just struck gold.
Something better has just arrived. That something is Illumination.
This ALSO means that cutting edge learning materials are about to become available to all students, at a fraction of their former cost. Gone will be heavy, bulky paper volumes, torn pages, and age-old problem of not enough books to go around.
Because in the process of providing The Learning Station ergonomic computer workstations, SummerWood, in cooperation with major educational publishers, can also help make certain that schools are furnished with the best possible learning materials.
Illumination electronic versions of textbooks and literature coupled with Donated* computers, can bridge the gap between "have" and "have-not" school districts, until there is sufficient funding available for each and every student to have access to a new computer. When that happens, the exact same Illumination library can simply be transferred to new machines. In the meantime, the limited number of new computers in a classroom, can be augmented with older, but perfectly usable computers, equipped with Illumination based learning materials. *Computer donations originating from Corporate replacement of older machines with new, cutting-edge technology models.
becomes the take-it-with-you part of The Learning
Station™, Summerland's popular height-adjustable, grow-with-me styled,
wired convertible computer desk.
The LEARNING STATION™ is;
Fully wired. Fully cabled. A single 110 volt electrical outlet is all that's needed for full operation.
Ideally suited for wireless network classroom computing, thereby eliminating costly classroom rewiring.
It's mobile on demand, permitting students to be grouped.
The ultimate Double-duty unit. The only one of its kind.
The Learning Station is usable by;
Any size, any age user. That's because the desktop and
keyboard may be raised or lowered in demand to adjust to a comfortable desk
and keyboard working height for literally anyone, from a kindergarten
student to a 6'4" college student. This allows the desk to grow WITH the
child. Remember how fast kids grow during a school year? In some instances up
to six full inches. This unit provides ergonomic working conditions no matter
what grade, what size.
When desired, at the touch of a switch, the computer compartment can be made to disappear altogether, completely freeing the work surface for non-computing tasks. Thus, the former "computer-lab" room can now function as a regular classroom, and the regular classroom can become instantly computer-enabled.
The height-adjustable, leg-room adjustable, handicapped accessible
desktop can be used for notebook computing as well as to provide a comfortable,
height-adjustable reading WIRED reading platform upon which to rest (and
at which to dock) The Reader™ or
a laptop, for in-class reading assignments.
INTRODUCING ILLUMINATION TO SCHOOLS:
A CONTROLLED TEST MARKET
& ONLINE VENDING: BOOK DELIVERY "BEDTIME-STORY"
A CONTROLLED TEST MARKET
|The Summerland Group sponsors "Bedtime-Story, For Busy Business Parents". The site, named by YAHOO's Internet Life Magazine as the Number One Children's Story Site on the Web, has been featured on MSNBC, is a featured link from M.I.T., the BBC, and a host of other prominent institutions. The popular Bedtime-Story also named by Germany's teNeues Publishing's Internet Cool Guide - Best 1000 Web Sites, will be used as the online test site for downloadable Children's Literature, published in Illumination.|
LunchBOOK™ styled for
kids & young adults
& The READER™ for the busy business professional.
CHANGING THE WAY THE WORLD READS
A CONTROLLED TEST MARKET
LunchBOOK™, lightweight, book-shaped, and user-friendly, in a familiar-looking, brightly colored rugged plastic case, will initially be introduced in conjunction with The Learning Station™. We will have the opportunity to monitor use and consumer reception/acceptance of the units by not only students, but their parents as well, and within a tightly controlled environment.
It's important to reiterate the fact that access to Illumination books is not limited to current model desktop PC's, Laptops, LunchBOOK™ and The Reader™.
Instead, Illumination books actually have the ability to restore value to products widely assumed to have been rendered worthless by virtue of technological advancements.
There are a multitude of older Laptop and notebook computers gathering dust on closet shelves all over the world, simply because they are no longer considered powerful enough to function adequately in Windows 95 (and onward) computing environments.
They are, however, perfectly usable for reading anything created in Illumination, and can provide an immediately available piece of hardware on which an Illumination book may be read in comfort, while sitting at a desk, on a couch, an easy-chair, or reclining in a hammock, for that matter.
Since an out of date laptop on the top shelf of a closet is relatively valueless to a business professional who requires Windows 98 or beyond, it provides an ideal electronic library for a child.
A parent can go online with his or her own machine, select an assortment of appropriate reading material, save it to a floppy, and add it to the child's ever growing e-library. Since Illumination e-books can be read off-line, this also negates a parents concern that a young child might inadvertently wander into an inappropriate online location in search of reading material.
Once color display prices eventually drop to a more manageable level, LunchBOOK™ and The Reader™ will simply introduce a lighter weight, more familiar feeling reading tool for Illumination books.
The Best Protection For Traditional Publishers
COMMON SENSE INITIATIVES IN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
Over the past few decades, electronics manufacturers, as a whole, have collectively rather failed to appreciate the fact that planned obsolescence of a particular piece of equipment, has the tendency to infuriate, as opposed to motivate the overwhelming majority of their customers.
How old is the oldest television in your house? How old is your VCR? How old is your microwave oven? Your refrigerator? Suppose you found yourself forced to keep upgrading these appliances every few months, simply to be able to continue to use them?
Suppose you couldn't read a book unless you had the latest version of the hardware and the software?
Literacy would plummet.
A case in point, relates to hardware for the music industry. Somewhere along the way, records, which advanced from 78 to 45 to 33 1/3 RPM (all of which were logically playable on the same machine), gave way to what is arguably a manufacturers shift in common-sense, which, with blatant disregard for the world at large, effectively destroyed the public's access to nearly a century's worth of music.
The subsequent rapid switch from 8-track tapes, to mutually exclusive cassettes, then CD's and now DVD, was made without the slightest regard for the consumer, who, while certainly willing to upgrade to new equipment for better quality, had absolutely no desire to have a painstakingly accumulated, and much-loved library of music, suddenly rendered both inaccessible and valueless.
It was the intellectual equivalent of setting fire to a library. Technological progress, yes, by all means, but surely not at the expense of cultural history.
Additionally, from a stockholders point of view, music and electronics profits could, and perhaps should have been markedly higher. Millions of adult consumers have simply quit buying new equipment and music recordings altogether, because, as they quite reasonably point out, "Why should I spend a lot of money on music or a new sound system when the electronics manufacturers are just going to make the whole thing obsolete in 6 months?".
How many billions of dollars in lost revenue per year does this represent? Let's just say it's a lot. The same degree of consumer annoyance and resentment is now being focused on the software industry.
Hence the logic inherent in the development of both the universally accessible software, and a universally compatible piece of electronics----LunchBOOK™ and The Reader™.
The goal is that any Illumination book, in any language, anywhere will be able to be played on any computer, any LunchBOOK™ any model of The Reader™ or its private label counterparts.
The intent is not to in any way compete with or inhibit the technological advancements of Microsoft, Adobe or the many other fine software companies whose products are appreciated, but whose business success depends upon continually adding layer upon layer of bells and whistles in order to force customers to continually upgrade to their next version.
The purpose is simply to keep both the traditional publishing industry, and their book-reading customers, from being held for ransom by those same software giants (who quite logically have their own best interests at heart).
The SummerWood Partnership offers traditional publishers the means by which to seize control over their own destiny.
Over the years, both The Reader™, as well as Illumination itself, will receive upgrades. None, however, will be permitted to destroy the viability or accessibility of preexisting books.
The book reading public, and Library professionals, reassured by the guarantee of "E-Books You Can Read Today AND Tomorrow" will be reassured as to the logic in making the transition to electronic versions, and thus will continue to add to their extensive book collections.
Common sense. We make use of it in everything we do.
Reading is the transmission of ideas from one mind
Dr. Martin Woodhouse:
Studied medicine and experimental psychology at Cambridge and St. Mary's Hospital, and became a Scholar at the Medical Research Council Applied Psychology Unit, Cambridge studying artificial intelligence.
During National Service Dr. Woodhouse worked at the Institute of Aviation Medicine and the Radar Research Establishment on, among other projects, the computerized target and guidance system for the Bloodhound ground-to-air missile.
On leaving the Royal Air Force he became a novelist and scriptwriter in the UK and Hollywood.
Dr. Woodhouse has published eleven novels, several of them best sellers, and written some 70 screenplays for film and television, including the popular series, "The Avengers" and "Supercar".
In 1980 he returned to computing, as a freelance programmer and system designer. A sophisticated investor himself, Dr. Woodhouse has designed and written commodity trading simulations, currency and financial futures trading systems and the electronic publishing suite "Illumination". In addition to being a principal of The SummerWood Partnership, he is also a Director of Illumination Publishing Ltd. In 1996 he jointly edited "Environmental Management Websites" (Eco-Innovations Publishing: 1996).
The Summerland Group, Inc. - Dr. Robert Gurin, CEO
Studies in Mechanical Engineering and Economics at Universities of Pennsylvania and California (Los Angeles); instructed in vector analysis and energy system economics. For thirty years, Dr. Gurin has provided management and engineering consulting to industry, the U.S. and Caribbean Nation governments. He has served as Chief Engineer, General Manager, Vice President of Operations and President of manufacturing and service organizations operating within the U.S., Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Dr. Gurin served as Managing Director of ITH AG, $200MM European-based Swiss Holding Company. He re-engineered, cost-cut, developed new products, and established integrated management in subsidiaries in four industries on two continents - - projects on four continents including program development and implementation in Industrial residue management, Security Systems, Wood Products Manufacturing, Rubber Component Fabrication, and industry privatization within a former eastern bloc nation.
He has been directly responsible for formation, development and management of Scientific Baits Inc. (manufacturers of Gatorbait) and of General Noisecontrol Corp. which, prior to its sale, was the nation's largest industrial noise control organization. He holds multiple patents, has conducted national and international seminars on Gasification (Sweden), hazardous residue disposal and cogeneration (Hungary and Brazil), and Chemoreception in marine animals (Norway and Denmark). He was formally cited by Booz-Allen and Hamilton and Babcock and Wilcox for his performance as a "superior developmental leader".
CEO of The Summerland Group, Inc., Dr. Gurin is a highly-qualified, business manager, experienced chief executive/ board member with superb manufacturing, technical, communication and organizational skill sets. He is considered an expert in cost control, new-business building, professional organization developer/teacher, and leader.
Listed Who's Who 1980, Dr. Gurin also has high-level PC computer-literacy with limited RISC, systems engineering, IBM main frame systems experience, excellent comprehension of e-commerce and related strategies.
Ronald Milner -- BSEE and MSEE/CS:
U.C. Berkeley Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi.
President of Applied-Design Laboratories, Inc., Ron leads the SummerWood LunchBOOK™ and The Reader™ development project. Ron co-invented Atari's 2600 Video Computer System, and invented A.G. Bear for Nolan Bushnell's Axlon. He also counts among his fifteen patents the Nike Monitor Ultrasonic Distance Measuring System, KLIXX®, the "Autotalk" Traffic Information Systems, numerous games and new technology products. He excels at reducing the complexity of product concepts, and at generating cost effective products. Ron's group has individually developed electronic and computer related products that have sold over $1 billion at retail, including Atari's big winner, the 2600 Video Computer.
Working with Ron Milner is ADL's Robert Brown, Engineer BSEE/CS: U.C. Davis. Robert designs and develops new products. His background ranges from power plant operations to computer programming and electrical engineering. At IBM he designed and developed 386 and 486 based embedded control systems. He actively designs and programs embedded microprocessor systems.
Several members of SummerWood's combined development team are former NASA engineers. One was instrumental in developing the Atlas and Titan Missiles. Another was Chief Manufacturing Engineer for the Hubble Space Telescope, whose credits also include Gravity Probe B, (proving Einstein's Theory of the Time Motion Continuum ). Yet another (we're not even sure we should tell you about this one) has intimate knowledge of the infamous Linear Chicken Accelerator.
Among other highly talented individuals, and specifically for The OFFICE™ and The Learning Station™ products, we're joined by top-notch woodworking specialists, electrical and mechanical wizards, and specialists in the use of alternative materials for product construction.
Bottom line, we've assembled a team which knows what it's doing, and we do all of it rather well.
|If you'd like to be a part of our group's future, now's the time to talk to us. Come on aboard. We think it's going to be quite a ride.||