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The View from the East End (8)

By Inspector Hopkins

March 13, 2005

"The Many Facets of Sherlockiana"

Part 6a: Electronic Sherlockiana

After immersing myself in a complete re-reading of the Canon, and re-discovering my love of Sherlock Holmes, I turned my attention to what the web had to offer in the way of Sherlockiana.

But first, I had to learn how to do that.

Although I had plenty of familiarity with computers, and used them at work as not much more than giant calculators, I was pretty much a neophyte when it came to the Internet. Even such a thing as signing up for an Internet forum or a chat room was daunting to me! I can imagine the smiling and tittering at that, especially amongst the younger readers. To them, computers, e-mail, message boards, and websites are as natural and easy as falling off a cliff. Alright then, how many of you out there know how to use Agilent Technologies "Chemstation" software to operate GC/MS systems?

"What’s that, Inspector?" you might ask. I thus rest my case. No one of us can know everything, and we all have special knowledge and experience which makes each of us unique.

The point of this article is to demonstrate that Sherlockiana has forced me to learn new and essential skills that many people already had before they became Sherlockians. If I wanted to continue to learn and grow as a follower of Sherlock Holmes, I had to kick off my shoes, roll up my pant legs, and wade into the ice cold stream of the unfamiliar.

Through a lot of embarrassing moments, I joined the Hounds of the Internet, and made a few posts. I joined a great chat room on AOL, hosted by the good Sherlockians, David Richardson and Regina Stinson. Through this chat room, I met other Sherlockians.

Through taking more chances, and e-mailing these other Sherlockians, I got to know where events and activities were being held, and then went and attended them. And, of course, through this website I got to meet our editor, and am privileged to be writing these very words to you now.

I went out and purchased a basic laptop computer, figured out how to start it up and load software onto it, then transferred all the Sherlockian files that I had on Missus Hopkins’s desktop computer onto it. This wasn’t as easy as it sounds, because the first laptop that I bought was defective, and I didn’t know it. Also, the $439 worth of Microsoft Office 2003 software that I purchased for it would not load. I practically needed Bill Gates’s personal fingerprints and permission to do this, but I eventually succeeded. I next purchased and installed an inexpensive and searchable version of the Canon from my friend William S. Dorn out in Colorado. The first two disks he sent me were defective, but to his credit, he was persistent, and through great customer service, I am finally now a happy customer of his.

Next, I started to purchase the Jeremy Brett CD’s in boxed sets from to play on my "cool" new laptop. One of the disks in the first set was defective and I had to return the entire boxed set to them. The same disk in the replacement set was defective also.

Is anyone out there starting to see a pattern in all this?Stay tuned until next time, when I reveal the solution to this last problem, and finish this article up properly.

Yours faithfully,