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The View from the East End (59)

By Inspector Hopkins

February 25, 2007
 

A Sherlockian Scrapbook

 by Inspector Hopkins 

There is an old saying that there are two types of computer users out there: those who have lost data, and those who will lose data.

As many of you know, I have had some major shakeups in my life lately. Not the least of which has been the failure of not one, not two, but three different computers! All these failures occurred within the past seven months.  I had most of my Sherlockian stuff on my personal laptop at home, with some lesser amounts on my two other computers at work. (Note the keyword is “had”).

Fortunately though, I did have the good sense to have backed up quite a bit of my data including my “Just the Facts” database on rewriteable compact disks.  Now that I’ve gotten back up and running, I’m busy filling in the gaps of my missing files such as the ones that I use for these articles as well as the Sunday night Chat Room discussions with the “Scandalous Bohemians”.

And while I am at it, I think this would be a good time to start a new Sherlockian project: a large scrapbook containing data from all sixty episodes in the Canon. This could also be a good project for the newer Sherlockians out there as well. Once you read through the Canon a few times and take the plunge into more serious study, you will want to get more involved. If you join any scions or go to any regular events you may want to have notes handy for discussion.

I was doing this on my computers. (Note the keyword this time is “was”).  I would put all sorts of data and facts together in various spreadsheets, all neat and tidy and organized. All right at my fingertips.  I could use these data to make up chat room topics, write up quizzes, and yes, even study for quizzes that other Sherlockians made up. I had all my facts all sorted out and easily accessible, and was adding to the pile at a steady pace. A lot of interconnections were made using Sherlockpeoria.net and other websites, and my original idea was to have a paperless Sherlockian resource in the form of my laptop. Unfortunately, that idea went out with my hard drive.

Although this is a severe blow, I’m going to start all over again, one story at a time, and re-create my original idea.  Although it is not quite the “den” that other Sherlockians may have, I did manage to convert a closet into a work area complete with desk, shelving, and my new computer. Since I now have the dedicated space, I can be more organized than ever before!  All in one place, I can finally store all my books and notes and charts to assemble data for each story. For example, I could use Brad’s Chronology Corner and One More Read columns to include his deductions and thought provoking questions.  I could use past columns from the Hounds of the Internet for each story.  I could hunt down various articles related to each story and include them.  I could retrieve some of my past columns and quizzes and put them in as well. All in all, I’m planning to combine a number of different resources to create a complete Canonical Index of my own, which could be expanded as necessary.  Good idea for a project, right?

But this time around, I’m going to print everything out as I go.

Just in case.

(Note that the keyword here is “print”).

Until next time and encouraging you to start a new project of your own, I am as always,

Yours Faithfully,
STANLEY HOPKINS