The move to our new format has been in the works for some time, but last week was the first time most readers saw it. Responses have been overwhelmingly positive, and we're moving forward with the all-HTML format beginning this week. Many thanks for your comments and suggestions, some of which have been incorporated into this issue.
A couple things were broken in the test issue last week, and these should be fixed now: links in the table of contents should now work for more people, and we're doing a better job of handling special characters like single quotes and accents. -Editor]
David Palmer writes: "The new E-Sylum is great! The new format is somewhat easier on the eye, and pictures too! Thank you for all your efforts - I enjoy reading it every week."
Larry Gaye writes: "Kudos on the new format, though I will miss the old. The change seems similar to the typewriter being replaced by the computer. Thank goodness the keys are still the same and the printed word will win out. Nice Job."
Some readers couldn't resist commenting on my picture. -EditorHoward Berlin writes: "I like the new format and the mug shot. Now I know what you look like and what to aim for!"
Donn Pearlman writes: "Congratulations on the verrrrrrry impressive new format for The E-Sylum. I have to be careful now because you are using illustrations, and my mug shot might appear in a future issue."
Donn handled publicity for the sale of the "D. B. Cooper" ransom notes recently. Here's his "mug shot". -Editor
Not everyone was happy - some email clients are picky about images, or just don't handle HTML as well as others. But most of these folks are on board regardless. -EditorMichael J. Connor writes: "Apart from the fact that I prefer to read simple text, some e-mail systems (including mine) do horrible renderings of HTML."
Dan Demeo writes: "Thunderbird doesn't like any messages with images, have to click a button to see them, I can do that. The new message is 50%+ larger, 113kB vs. 69kB, couple of megabytes over the course of a year, not really of any consequence to those of us who archive our own copies of the E-Sylum.
"All in all, I guess the sexy new format outweighs the disadvantages. Who am I to stand in the way of progress?"
The messages are larger because they contain within them BOTH plain text and HTML versions. Which version you view is a function of the settings on your email reader. Typically there is an option to "View as plain text" or "View as HTML"Scott Semans writes: "I'm using Mac OS9.1 and old software, so I'll just deal with it - my cross to bear!"
To view the issue on the web, you could subscribe to The E-Sylum RSS feed. We've offered this format for a while, and several subscribers use it. It will be more prominent when we complete the upgrade of the NBS web site. The address for our XML feed is http://www.coinbooks.org/feed.xml
Granvyl Hulse writes: "At present I am working with Windows 98 and two tin cans and a piece of string for a link so your new version of The E-Sylum does not come through as it should. I'll have to stick with the older set up until the IRS sends me my rebate and I can get a new computer. Hopefully I will be in the 21st century later this summer."
Saul Teichman writes: "I prefer the original format. Lotus Notes email, at least with the settings I have really wraps the text tightly so that it wastes much of the screens available space. It is easier to read in the old format."
[We're working with the designers to see if we can better utilize the screen space. With technology sometimes things that you'd think would be easy can be hard. -Editor]
Wayne Homren, Editor
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