The Cyc
Updated 20170102

What is The Cyc?

The Cyc is delivered on the CaDD PC99 Suite DVD+R. It contains the following material relating to the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A Home Computer:

What happened to the CD?

During November 2010 the number of files delivered with The Cyc CD-ROM would no longer fit on a 700 Mb CD-R. From December 1, 2010 The Cyc is delivered on DVD+R media. From November 1, 2016 The Cyc is bundled with CaDD PC99 Suite. You must have at least a DVD-ROM to read files on The Cyc.

How do The Cyc's pdf files differ from a scan?

If you take a page from a publication and scan it, the result is a bitmap file, usually in .tif format. You can display the original text, but the quality of the display depends greatly on the quality of the original, and the quality of the scanner. Since the file is a bitmap, there is no concept of text. If the scan is enlarged, the "text" becomes jagged.

An alternative is to "Scan to PDF". Depending on the scanner software this can still be a bitmap in a pdf wrapper, or it can be text using built-in OCR software. The latter result is highly dependent on the quality of the original, and the generated text is not usually edited.

CaDD takes each scanned page and uses Caere Omnipage to convert the image to editable text. This text can be corrected, and additions can be made to it. Example: Bruce Harrison wrote a program called Scud Busters. What is the origin of the name "Scud"? In the review of Harrison's product in The Cyc is a footnote showing the derivation of the name.

The editable text is reformatted using a standard style and output as Adobe .pdf files using scalable fonts. This means you can take any .pdf document in The Cyc and zoom it to the maximum size that a .pdf viewer, such as Adobe Reader, can display, wihout loss of text quality. CaDD even uses scalable chess fonts so that articles displaying chess positions scale correctly too. By contrast, a bitmap image becomes more "blocky" the larger it gets.

While the CaDD process is tedious and time-consuming, there is a huge over-riding benefit to it: The .pdf files in The Cyc can be searched with a full text search engine. This means, that within seconds, you can find all references in The Cyc's documents to say "The Gramulator." You can then click on the reference and display the associated text. CaDD uses a product from dtSearch to do this. However, many of its features have been incorporated in recent versions of Adobe Reader, which is a free download.

To improve the hit rate of a search, CaDD uses a style book to ensure that all text references to a product are edited to be the same. Example: CaDD style is Extended Basic or XB, not Ex-Bas, Ext. Basic, Xbas, xbas, or X/B. The Cyc includes the style book developed by CaDD.

In some cases, where original drawings are either poor or unclear, CaDD uses a product called RFFlow to create clear and professional artwork. In some cases, CaDD will also provide original photographs of material.

How much does The Cyc cost?

The Cyc is bundled with CaDD PC99 Suite. Please see the Suite order form.

Where does the name come from?

One of my other weaknesses is trains and model railroading. I grew up in the steam age and was fortunate to see and photograph 10 years of steam in action. In the United States steam reached its zenith in the early 1940s. Each year the Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation published the standard reference work for steam locomotive users. It was officially called the 19xx Locomotive Cyclopedia of American Practice, but was usually referred to as the "Cyc." So I combined the somewhat diverse hobbies of steam-powered locomotives and computers and assigned the name "The Cyc" to the TI project.

Copyright information

The Cyc is a labor of love and has a very small, dwindling market. The charge does not cover the cost of reproduction, mailing, and the upkeep of this web site. The balance is paid out of personal funds. When this is explained, nearly all copyright holders are gracious enough to extend permission to CaDD to include their material in The Cyc on a royalty free basis. We thank the many companies and TI'ers that have done so. Unfortunately, there are some who have refused permission. CaDD's policy is to only include material in The Cyc for which express permission has been given. In some cases, material is included for which it is no longer possible to obtain permission, such as defunct companies and publications.

Technical information

The Cyc documentation files are generated by scanning original material with Caere Omnipage 10 Pro OCR and/or Caere Omnipage Ultimate software. The text is edited and, if necessary, corrected in Corel WordPerfect X5. Graphics are scanned and inserted using HP Deskscan 2.8 and an HP IIcx scanner or EpsconScan and an Epson 4490 scanner. The WordPerfect file is used to "Publish to PDF". Because the WordPerfect output is bloated, each file is passed to Adobe Acrobat 9.5 Pro and Advanced | Optimize is used to reduce the file by half ore better without loss of quality. Without this, The Cyc files would not fit on a DVD.

Corel has elected not to address this, and neither will Corel address the failure of using Type 1 fonts in WordPerfect X5 equations, something that used to work in WP 8 SP 7.

The collection of files is burned to a DVD+R using Nero 10. The DVD+R is created to be ISO9660 compatible, which can be read under MS Windows 95 and higher, Linux, and any Mac OS which can read DVDs. All files are named using 8.3 format and do not contain spaces or non-ASCII characters.

Is The Cyc complete?

No. New additions are made to The Cyc on an ongoing basis as time permits. With CaDD PC99 Suite you get one free year of updates if you join the CaDD Yahoo Group. Details are provided on purchase.

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