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The View from the East End (9)

By Inspector Hopkins

March 27, 2005

"The Many Facets of Sherlockiana"

Part 6b: Electronic Sherlockiana

Persistence does indeed pay off, but at a price. Since my love of Sherlockiana knows no bounds, I felt compelled to continue wading through that ice-cold stream I mentioned last time. I finally gave up and ordered the all the rest of my Jeremy Brett CD’s directly from MPI video. At work, we call that an "alternate source" solution.

Next, I purchased and installed a dictionary from Random House, which I use a lot whenever I read through the Canon.

Most recently, I purchased The Baker Street Journal (BSJ) on CD-ROM for $100 and installed it onto my hard drive. What an absolutely incredible resource this is! It has all the issues of the BSJ from 1946 through 2000, some 10,000 pages of pure Sherlockian scholarship on four disks, in Adobe Acrobat format. With a few mouse clicks, you can look up almost anything you want. The next skill to master, of course, is exactly how to do this (*ahem*). Then, how to interpret their Index files. But these are Sherlockian challenges, and not ones to be shirked. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

There is also available The Sherlock Holmes Journal on CD-ROM, which should be much like the BSJ except that it originates in England.

Another noteworthy Sherlockian, Randall Stock, has great reviews on these items on his website, as well as tips on how to install these files onto your computer. E-mail me if you would like more particulars. Once you get the hang of using Adobe Acrobat, you can scan through documents, lookup words, even copy and paste into other documents.

Just think . . . I still have some 30 Gigabytes to go before I need a larger hard drive!

Now, as an insatiable electronic Sherlockian monster, (with some success under my belt at least), I am beginning to install/download everything and anything related to Sherlock Holmes onto my "cool" new laptop. My mother-in-law knows that I am a devoted Sherlockian, so she went and bought me a Sherlock Holmes game called "Secret of the Silver Earring" by Ubisoft. To tell you the truth, I am not skillful at any computer games other than Solitaire! But to be a dutiful son-in-law, (and not one to be critical of gifts that people give me), I did give it a go. I installed it on my hard drive, and played it a few times. I noted that Dr. Watson does resemble Edward Hardwicke, but Mr. Holmes does not resemble Jeremy Brett. Ah, well. That’s about all I can do for now. Don’t ask me any questions about my actual performance in the game. I am thinking about another "Inspector Hopkins giveaway" on the Hounds List in the near future.

Amazing things, these laptops are. I can keep all of my Sherlockian stuff, all together, all in one place, all nice and neat. All my Hounds List files, my e-mail correspondence, Sherlock Holmes game, chat room files, my "Just the Facts" Canonical Database, even these very words I am typing out to you right now, all reside on my hard drive. I can boot it up in about one minute, find a telephone wire, and upload this file to send to our editor in less than two minutes more, via e-mail. Pretty cool, eh?

Of course, there’s always the specter of computer failure looming in the darkness just ahead.But I’d rather not think about that.Until next time then, when we will look at another facet of our absorbing pastime known as "Scion Societies", I remain,

Yours faithfully,