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'Fast Tracks' book in digital format


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#1 Terry Walker

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 01:28

Now that my book "Fast Tracks, an Atlas of Australian Motor Racing Circuits 1904-1994," is out of print, I am preparing an E-Book edition.

I plan to have it available in either Mobi (Kindle) format and generic Epub format.

I am about halfway through scanning the text and maps, and I have built a pilot epub to see if it will work--and it does. I started doing it mainly for my own entertainment and as an exercise is learning how to build an ebook. (I have a Kindle). If there is enough interest, I'll probably put it up on my website www.terrywalkersplace.com as a free download.

What do you guys think?

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#2 E1pix

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 02:48

I'm about to research that myself with my books, Terry. (I do lots of pdfs and am trying to find a page-turning app for Mac that'll work, and is affordable)

Regardless, I agree it's a great [and perhaps a now necessary] idea. :up:


#3 Catalina Park

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 02:50

I think it is a great idea Terry, I don't actually use E books yet, I am still a ink and paper type of person but I know I will get there eventually.

So will the book be updated and enhanced?
Off the top of my head I can think of one entry that needs a word or two added, I always thought it might be handy to stick the word Katoomba on the Catalina page. :D


#4 Terry Walker

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 04:33

On updates--with the long-dead tracks, I am occasionally adding footnotes giving current status as opposed to status in 1995. Barjarg for instance has complete vanished now, and Hume Weir is almost entirely gone.

On fully updating to 2012--no, I no longer have the software I used for drawing the maps (Intellidraw); or rather I still have it, but I need a very old PC and Windows 3.1 to run it on, as it doesn't work under anything later. So no neew maps, no new tracks (and I have tried other vector drawing programmes eg Corel Draw etc, and they are bloody prickly compared with the amazing ease and simplicity of Intellidraw).

I intend correcting one or two glaring errors: wrong track layout of Woody Point, and an error in the Carey Park text caused by a misreading of a race report. The final Carey Park (Bunbury) meeting, 1963, was described as being on the "inner circuit" which I misread to mean the old, inner-city circuit. In fact, it was a much-shortened Carey Park public road circuit track inside the old spacious one.

I also discovered, many years later, that the official map in the early Northam race programmes was of a circuit never actually used; a heavy crash in practice for the inaugural event forced a last-minute change to the route.

Apart from that, my initial intention is to keep the text the same.

The screen resolution of the Kindle is 500 pixels by about 750, and at that resolution the maps come up quite readably. I simply resize the map scans to 30 percent.

On track names, eg Katoomba, ebook readers have search functions, and searching for Katoomba will bring up Catalina Park. I tried at the time to use the "official" circuit names, rather than colloquial ones-- eg Mt Panorama, not Bathurst; Catalina Park, not Katoomba, and so on, as headers.

Opinions and suggestions gladly sought!

Edited by Terry Walker, 01 July 2012 - 04:37.


#5 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 07:21

I have your excellent book, but certainly wouldn't mind a digital copy with a few updates !

Words like Mobi, Kindle or Epub don't mean anything to me, however - how about a pdf-version ?

#6 E1pix

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 07:29

Terry, do you have track maps but need line art from them?

#7 Catalina Park

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 07:40

On track names, eg Katoomba, ebook readers have search functions, and searching for Katoomba will bring up Catalina Park. I tried at the time to use the "official" circuit names, rather than colloquial ones-- eg Mt Panorama, not Bathurst; Catalina Park, not Katoomba, and so on, as headers.

I wasn't suggesting calling the track Katoomba, I was just mentioning that nowhere in the profile did it mention in what town the track actually was located.

#8 Terry Walker

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 08:29

My maps are grayscale scans from original vector graphics.

Posted Image


On Katoomba--jusr re-read it--yes, definitely add Katoomba into the article! Can't imagine how I missed it in the first place. Oh well.

Edited by Terry Walker, 01 July 2012 - 08:30.


#9 Terry Walker

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 06:03

I have completed the Mobi format ebook and am test-driving it on my own Kindle looking for problems. It is 3.8 megabytes, largish for an ebook but there are around 100 greyscale illustrations. So far it works fine. Ideally it would be an ebook for a pad to give the maps more elbow room but they are perfectly readable on the kindle.

#10 Terry Walker

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 03:58

Probably the optimum choice for any ebook with lots of pics and colour is the pad size-- an ipad or others. Kindles etc are quite small, not much bigger than a small paperback physeically, and with a slightly smaller screen size than the text on a typical small paperback page. The ipad page is nearly A4 and of course in full colour. I believe there is software around which allows you to build an e-book into Apple's proprietary ebook format, but I haven't found it or tried it. I have an ipad myself but its main limitations are lack of physical input/output slots, ie, no USB data slots. You have to do it all by wireless network. When Apple get around to fitting a USB port and you can run external hard drives and thumb drives on it, it will be a complete unit independent of any other computer. As it is, I have to email things to myself from my pc to put on the ipad.

I haven't done a .pdf format yet, but I think I'll give it a try and see what happens.

My present system is to build a document in Word, using rich text format, then save as filtered html, an option in Word. Then use my ancient Dreamweaver website building software to finish the document, making all the links etc. I then upload this into some software called Calibre, freeware widely used by the ebook world, and then convert it to epub, mobi or other formats. Then, at last, load the final mobi version onto the Kindle. Ebooks are basically html docs (websites) with top and tail to suit the specific reader.

Edited by Terry Walker, 06 July 2012 - 03:59.


#11 E1pix

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 04:07

Terry, I have no idea of your pdf expertise... make sure to UNCHECK the "Compress Text and Line Art" box in the "Compression" field. This will allow any and all "raw and typed" text to be read at any enlargement size... otherwise, the text will bitmap like the rest of the document.

I've done gobs and gobs of pdf conversions, typically from InDesign. If I can help, just ask or PM.