Mr. Burrill and fellow subscribers:
While reading your E-mail regarding a universal means of sharing
information related to the list�s mutual interests and hobby I was
struck by two things. The first of course is that I find it to be a
good idea and one that I support. The other is that of the file formats
you suggest for the broadcast of this information (*.doc and *.txt) you
have overlooked the most obvious format for all subscribers to this list
to already be using is *.html. The HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
file system is already the default internet tool and a requirement for
your having been able to even read this document. Therefore, I would
conclude that HTML should be the format used in the distribution of
documents to a large and diverse group.
What you go on to suggest further in your letter regarding topics
exactly mirror the past discussions of this group and the hobby.
Everyone seems to agree with the idea of a centralized universal archive
containing data representing the many facets of the re-enacting world.
Then anyone who has a need/desire for that information can access it
freely and use it to their best advantage. Although I am loathed to say
it, this is the perfect definition of a web page.
While the entire concept of a web page devoted to 1812, NABB, NA-NA, or
whatever is something that many people will want to jump at faster than
shit through a goose, I make this suggestion with the warning that this
is something that we must approach cautiously. With rampant internet
hysteria in the media (usually in favour), a simple fact often
overlooked is the intenet is rarely more than the biggest vanity press
in the whole history of the human species. Unlike the book publishing
industry where at its most perverse you at lest need profitability as a
qualifying factor, the internet has no controls over content or quality
beyond the person who put the information there. If handled improperly,
this hypothetical web page could only result in the birthing of more
�farbs� than we know what to do with (and rumour has it that we are
already one over our quota).
Please do not misunderstand, as an engineering student I am in strong
support of technical growth and with judicious use the internet can be
the tool utopians claim. In our case this would mean in addition to the
clear idea we share about what should be contained within this archive,
we must also pay attention to how to best represent these precious ideas
and information. This would also include (gasp) the possibility of
making our information available to outsiders. Should we decide that a
web page is a good idea and want to implement one, who should or could
have access? Do we want to have an exclusive page that requires a
password provided only to the senior members of a unit, or is it
preferable to have unrestricted access where school children with
history projects and bleary-eyed cotton mouths searching for porn can
If we can begin to agree that an umbrella organization for 1812 is
appropriate, then it should be much easier for us to set aside the �mine
mine� attitudes that our individual units have survived on until now. I
believe it to be in our best interests to collaborate in order to create
the master list of rules, drill, patterns, etc., we have all been
dreaming of. Without �sanitizing� the material, we can create an
invaluable reference to the 1812 period without sacrificing unit
prestige or sovereignty. This way the archive can not only be made
available to anyone with access to an internet ready computer, but
anything found to be inaccurate or inauthentic can be changed instantly
(and said errors possibly even brought to our attention by someone
outside of our circles). As we already have the components, the most
important thing that we must consider is how we will determine what gets
on and who we trust (that is willing) to make those decisions. Then it
will be simple by comparison to add the resulting web page to the
quivering mass we regard to be the world wide web.
As a low ranking member in the 41st Regiment of Foot. (Not to be
confused with the 41st Regiment of NORM. Lt. Coy. Shame on you
Pudwell for even imagining any similarity between us and Drouillard�s
Legion of the Dammed) I will not formally offer to construct and manage
such a web page without first consulting with my unit�s president James
Yawarsky. But as most of you already know how reasonable Jim is, I
cannot see any problem from him. Personally I have never attempted to
construct a web page of my own before, but I am very familiar with
what�s necessary to do so and I have provided minor assistance with
other people�s pages in the past. Unless anyone else better qualified
or more eager to tackle this assignment (should it ever happen) comes
forward, let me state my willingness to do the work needed to make it a
reality. In the meantime I look forward to your reactions.
>Date: 27 Nov 1998 08:21:08 -0600
>From: James Burrill <jburrill@...>
>To: WarOf1812@onelist.com, NINETY3RD@...
>Subject: [WarOf1812] Re: Set agenda (was Umbrellas)
>From: James Burrill <jburrill@...>
> Ok Benton and the rest...
> Lets' put our money where our mouth is...(you dentists just hush!)
> I think we should write up into an electronic document whatever
> policies, procedures, safety rules, unit points of contacts,
> guidelines ...what have you, so that we can get a copy, sort it
> and get a 'buy in" from the List, NA-NA, NABB, whoever, and get
> something we can show prospective members, sites, units, the
> etc. etc.
> Here goes...
> 1) Lets pick a format that our respective computers can
> handle...Word (.doc) text (.txt) or ???? then we can send the
> documents around as an attachment.
> 2) Lets divide these documents into categories:
> Command structure
> Sources of material/patterns/kit/castings etc.
> Whatever YOU ALL agree on..
> Let's agree to work from this post, add or delete catagories by
> the catagory, but type (delete) with your name beside the item
> Safety (delete) Joe Shmoe Why: I am a lawyer looking for work".
> each look at the list of categories and make changes we feel
> stand with it for now.
> 3) Pick category "owners" who will collate the various bits and
> pieces under their topic and present a coherent summary to the
> They will maintain the master file documents for their area.
> 4) Establish a set of milestone dates for us to more or less
> track. Does anyone on the list have MS Project beside myself?
> 5) If anyone (Benton, here is where I can try to pay you back
> your previous efforts: Send me whatever paper documentation you
> together those 3 years ago and I will type them into a Word doc
> this project...anything from the NA you have that you and Tim want
> use here etc.) Has any thing on paper instead of on disk that
> applicable, I will type it onto disk if you will send it to me.
> Jim Burrill
> 124 Park Ave
> Quakertown PA 118951
> I think we are at a point where we need something in writing, on
> document, that we can at least say " here is what we are all
> to abide by when we meet on "the field of dreams" (Jesse, I love
> Our units may do more, but we will all at least agree to do no
> what we put together in this document.
> All right me lads....there is the task. Are ye up to it?
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>The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over the fate of hundreds
of square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of
THOUSANDS of square miles...