Laptop Story Board Musings

Earlier this week, I completed the laptop version of ESB2: a PDF with thumbnails of all 35 items on the first page, each linked to its own story board fully populated with links to material elsewhere on the laptop.

Bear in mind that my following observations on this construction represent just a single point of view, and that of a builder rather than a viewer:

  • The main practical difference between the laptop version and the iPad version is that the size of a target file is immaterial in the laptop version, but impacts the overall size of the self-contained iPad PDF. For example, one link was to a 200+ page file of letters from a friend. For the iPad version I may only select a subset of the pages to include in the PDF. For the laptop version, I have defined the link to open on a particular page, but the rest of the file is available to browse through if the reader so desires.
  • In the laptop version only one single file can be linked to, whereas, in the self-contained PDF version, several different items (photos, for example) can be included at the destination of a link in the PDF either together on a single page or on multiple pages.
  • As I constructed the laptop version, I became aware that for both the laptop and the iPad versions, any story I create is only one of many possible stories that could be constructed for a particular Story Board. If another person had created it, or if I had created it a few years earlier or later, the Story Board would almost certainly be different. However, in as much as these Story Boards now physically exist, they will have a far more powerful influence in the future than those stories that didn’t get created, or than the stories that may be generated when people in the future recount their memories of these or related topics.
  • I find the main Index page both satisfying and flat. It is satisfying because I know that everything is accessible from that one single page; but it inspires no excitement because somehow there is no coherence among the 35 separate items represented on it. Somehow the 7 different types of material (pre-marriage mementos, post-marriage mementos, letters, loft items, music, photos, music and books) just produce a muddled interference with each other.
  • I set out to ensure that there were a few links between each of the 35 Story Boards; and have ended up with at least five such inter-relationships. However, I have no thoughts as to whether this is useful or not – I just feel instinctively that there would probably be many such relationships in a large collection of personal items, just as the many links between internet web sites enable almost endless web surfing. However, I am only able to explore this capability in the laptop version because the application within which the self-contained PDFs will be held on the iPad (SideBooks) does not enable links between PDFs.

I’m now proceeding with the final stage of this exercise – to construct the self-contained PDFs, and the associated physical story boards to hang on the side of my bookside.

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