Computer ◆ Conservation ◆ Society

Exchanging Documents Within the Computer Conservation Society

CCS members are, as you would expect, keen users of office-based information technology. However, problems sometimes arise because each CCS member has his/her own preferred technology and this can cause difficulties when documents are exchanged between members. Finding a common protocol for information exchange has, in the past given rise to compatability problems particularly when exchanging information between members variously using Microsoft, Apple and Unix-based systems. This web page seeks to provide some guidance on protocols and formats likely to be common to most, if not all CCS members.

Email

The first thing to say is that almost all CCS members are email users. Although other protocols such as X.400 exist and are in use within closed communities, the SMTP protocol dominates the public email sphere to such an extent that it is unlikely to provide CCS members with any difficulty. Many day to day business exchanges between members are accomplished using SMTP without the need for attachments.

Text Documents

Longer documents tend to be exchanged using email attachments and it is here that difficulties commonly arise. Three “lowest common denominator” formats have been identified which we believe will gain widespread acceptance within the CCS community -

  1. Adobe Acrobat format (.pdf) is perhaps the most commonly accepted format for exchange of formatted documents. It is safe to assume that most CCS members will be able to read .pdf files. Although few members have use of Adobe Acrobat writer, some word processor software such as Microsoft Word has an option to save a document as a .pdf file without any loss of format.
  2. For documents which the recipient may wish to amend, however, .pdf cannot be relied upon. Here we should fall back to Microsoft Word 97 format (.doc). Most CCS users either have copies of Word, of other word processing software which accepts the format. Note, however, that the later .docx format is not encouraged because not all CCS members will have the ability to read such documents.
  3. If all else fails, plain text files (.txt) are very much the lowest lowest common denominator with all members having access. Note, however, that plain text files have only the very crudest formatting capability which can sometimes make them difficult to read so that if formatting and readability are important .txt is not encouraged.

Spreadsheets

We suggest the use of Excel.97 format (.xls) but not the later .xlsx format for reasons given above. For exchange of plain data not involving spreadsheet calculations, the use of tab separated text files (but not comma separated) is acceptable.

Pictures

JPEG format (.jpg) is pretty much universally acceptable.

Submissions for Articles in Resurrection

Some additional notes concerning information for inclusion in Resurrection may also be helpful.

Following the guidance above will always be acceptable, but note that the editor also has the ability to accept .pdf files and translate them for further processing so .pdf is OK. Rich text files (.rtf) are also acceptable as are .docx files. Finally, text in email message bodies is acceptable for the smallest of articles (e.g. short news reports) but is discouraged because it needs manual editing which may introduce errors.

Resurrection Style Notes

Articles in Resurrection are subject to a 10-page limit which is only rarely exceeded. You should reckon on around 320 words per page. Photographs and diagrams are strongly encouraged although this will impact the amount of text allowable. If you are asked to acknowledge copyright, please let the editor know, though there is no need to do so unless you have been explicitly asked.

Although the web version of Resurrection is in colour, it is of course, printed in monochrome. It may seem obvious, but diagrams which depend on colour to convey meaning do not reproduce well in greyscale. Using a pattern (such as area hatching) is generally more successful. Colour photographs are usually acceptable and the editor is able to enhance them after converting them to greyscale to produce an acceptable rendering. It is helpful to aim for a photograph width of 400 pixels or more. Photographs of documents can be problematic. Scans are preferred if possible.

It is usual to provide a short opening paragraph giving an overview of the article and a closing paragraph of one or two sentences about the author and contact details.

Resurrection is emphatically not an academic journal. We do not need to know where authors obtained their information and thus the referencing which is common to academic journals will not be accepted. If you really need to refer to other publications, please do so in the text.

The editor will apply “house style” to your text including changes to font and layout. If there is an important relationship (for example between pictures and text) which must be maintained,please let the editor know.

The attention of the many authors who prepare articles in MS Word is drawn to the little-known alt-x facility in Word. If (for example) you type 215c followed by alt-x you get ⅜ because hexadecimal 215c is Unicode for ⅜. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unicode_characters is a useful list.

The editor can be contacted at .