Adios to Joe Stevens' GeMiNi

Discuss general aspects of Genii.

Postby Matthew Field » 12/10/01 10:23 AM

Joe stevens has announced that GeMiNi, his magic bulletin board, will cease to exist in January. Originally started as a dial-in board, GeMiNi (Greater Magic Network) expanded to the internet and featured articles by, among others, Jon Racherbaumer, Mike Rogers, Ted Lesley, Bruce Cervon, Billy McComb, Pete Biro and many others. The bulletin board ("messages") feature was very active and featured many of the Magic Castle gang. It also gave GeMiNi members discounts on Stevens Emporium merchandise.

It will be missed.

Matt Field
User avatar
Matthew Field
 
Posts: 2476
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hastings, England, UK

Postby CHRIS » 12/10/01 10:29 AM

Matt,

could you shed some light on the reasons? Lack of interest?

Chris.... Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
CHRIS
 
Posts: 678
Joined: 01/31/08 01:00 PM
Location: las vegas

Postby Matthew Field » 12/10/01 12:10 PM

According to Joe Stevens, "There are many reasons for this change, but the most important is the amount of time each week that was needed to maintain this site with quality information and products."

Matt Field
User avatar
Matthew Field
 
Posts: 2476
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hastings, England, UK

Postby ADG » 12/10/01 08:07 PM

Sorry to see the GeMiNi Network go out in January. With all the amount of work that goes into maintaining The Genii Forum, I think Jon Racherbaumer and Richard Kaufman should deserve a nice round of applause or a standing ovation for their outstanding work as administrators of the Genii Forum. It is very professionally well-done!!
Thanks,
Alex D. Gutierrez
ADG
 
Posts: 62
Joined: 02/21/08 01:00 PM
Location: San Antonio,Tx

Postby Geno Munari » 12/10/01 08:20 PM

Let us not forget the outstanding man behind the scenes that did all the work. Pat Hennesey and spouse. They are wonderful people.
Geno Munari
 
Posts: 624
Joined: 01/30/08 01:00 PM
Location: Las Vegas/Del Mar, CA

Postby Steve Bryant » 12/10/01 09:01 PM

Amen. Getting to know Pat and many of the other regulars on Gemini was a real pleasure. There were some outstanding columns as well as all the chat, and those who never joined missed something really special in magic.
User avatar
Steve Bryant
 
Posts: 1673
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Bloomington IN

Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/10/01 09:27 PM

I think the thing that killed the Gemini Network was the subscription fee. Very few people want to pay $20 per year for it, and so many other sites on the Internet, including this one, are free and open to anyone who is interested in civil discourse.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20708
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 12/10/01 11:57 PM

I think that BBS or Website (interactive) forums run in cycles and it is difficult to maintain a STEADY, CONSISTENT, STIMULATING quality-control. Every site has it regular contributors, who often monopolize the conversation. Another aspect that "kills" sites is personal bickering and "flaming." Right now the SECOND DEAL is experiencing a lull. EG has its ups and downs.

As far as fees are concerned, the key is to give the patron some bang for the bucks. The site must offer dollar value that exceeds the monetary investment. Gemini subscribers, if they took advantage of the specials and saved some of the material provided by columnists, received MORE than their money's worth.

The Genii Forum is added value to subscribers and others who may become future subscribers. However, if RK decided to provide a weekly MAGICANA-type routine or trick (52 great ones a year) for $20 to special members...I'm sure many would jump to join.
Jon Racherbaumer
 
Posts: 817
Joined: 01/22/08 01:00 PM
Location: New Orleans

Postby Dustin Stinett » 12/11/01 01:02 AM

For me, the value in GeMiNi was (is) the archived columns. I'm still working my way through them (it was “slowly & surely” but will now be “fast & furious”). Easily worth a measly $20 a year. The bulletin board was not why I joined GeMiNi.

The biggest highlight for me was the GeMiNi Gathering at the Castle in September of 2000. It marked the first time I'd met Jon Racherbaumer and Steve Bryant, both of whom I've admired for years (JR since I can't recall when and SB after I read his little book, Bryant on Cards, at the Castle library in the early 80's (a copy of which I still covet) – and, of course, The Little Egypt Gazette). That one afternoon was better than several conventions I've attended. Value is so subjective: sometimes when something is free, you end up getting what you paid for. I feel I received more than my money's worth from GeMiNi.

This site is so well done that I'm surprised it's not a pay site (or at least restricted to subscribers of Genii). Of course, that's a testament to the people that run and moderate it. With GeMiNi going, this will be the only place I can be found (with any regularity) on the web – not that anyone is looking.

Dustin
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5855
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Guest » 12/11/01 01:38 AM

I personally never subscribe to any of the magazines of magic. I prefer my magazines to be in pristine condition and purchase them at my local magic shop on a regular basis. (The ratty 'zines I do own are from the one year I did have a home delivered subscription- never again!)

Yes, I would like to log-on to a hip and exclusive on-line journal; but it would have to have a lot of downloadable/printable
illustrations (GIF/JPEG) for me to truly enjoy the information. (Maybe Java applets for a clearer understanding of difficult to render in words sleights would be applicable?) But would $20 x 2000 be worth it? Would people e-mail them to others for free- even ignorantly?

Great idea with potential problems. I really wish we magicians could actually be leaders and innovators of something really thought through instead of always seeming to be defenseless when we can't figure out a feasible, cohesive plan when things go wrong.

We're magicians afterall... Think, Dammit, Think!!!
Guest
 

Postby CHRIS » 12/11/01 04:50 AM

I was never a subscriber to Gemini and can therefore not talk about its quality in contents, but I am reading a lot of high opinions.

May I therefore suggest to perhaps capture all of the Gemini contents in an ebook. I have just done that for the online-visions magic magazine. The editor and owner Shane Causer was very pleased with the result he wrote me: "Excellent job! It looks great, and I love the formatting and the tools! You, sir, know exactly what you're doing here!'.

I could do the same for Gemini. If somebody wants to take this further, please contact me under wasshuber@lybrary.com

Chris.... Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
CHRIS
 
Posts: 678
Joined: 01/31/08 01:00 PM
Location: las vegas

Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/11/01 08:56 AM

Steve Bryant has captured most of The Little Egypt Gazette on CD-Rom and sells it.
It's worth buying!
Hey Steve ... give us the dirt on your product!
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20708
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Steve Bryant » 12/11/01 10:58 AM

Sorry to be slow -- I've been spending the morning archiving all of Mike Rogers' columns off Gemini. The Little Egypt Gazette was a monthly e-zine I wrote from 95-97, for 24 issues. Though I don't think they ever noticed, I was competing in my mind with MAGIC and Genii, at about 40 pages a month of reviews, tricks, news, and a lot of humor. The internet was still pretty young, and a lot of my readers were college students standing in line each month for a turn at their campus computer facility. There was, for them and me, also the tales of the ladies and gents who worked at the Gazette offices. You can sample the second year of the Gazette at my continuing web site, at littleegyptmagic.com, a one-page monthly site (NOT a magazine). As to the CD, I put all of The Little Egypt Gazette on CD and it is for sale from me (or H&R Magic Books) for $24. As the ads say, "Over 2 years in the making/Over 700 pages/24 content-rich issues: 32 magic tricks, 9 interviews, 22 book reviews, 20 convention/show reviews, 22 feature articles, 4 poems,and much more." What makes the CD really nice is the lightning access to any of the contents and a great index that lets you easily click to any of the stuff. I use it myself all the time. Order off my site or mention Genii and it's postage free in the U.S. (Checks, cash, or other spendable moolah directly to me at 1639 Sycamore Court, Bloomington IN 47401).

Thanks, Richard, for the mention. By the way, it was largely Richard along with other great guys in magic who contributed many things to the Gazette.
User avatar
Steve Bryant
 
Posts: 1673
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Bloomington IN

Postby Dustin Stinett » 12/11/01 11:00 AM

Unsolicited Endorsement Department:

The Little Egypt Gazette CD is a true bargain at a mere $24. Very entertaining reading (the adventures of the staff, including Columbine, Phoebe, Golem et al); great interviews, reviews and some darned good tricks for those so inclined. Check it out at Steve Bryant's terrific site: http://littleegyptmagic.com/magic.html

Regards,
Dustin
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5855
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby CHRIS » 12/11/01 11:16 AM

Steve,

...lightning acces to the content...

does your CD come with a search engine?

Chris.... Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
CHRIS
 
Posts: 678
Joined: 01/31/08 01:00 PM
Location: las vegas

Postby Steve Bryant » 12/11/01 11:55 AM

No, there is no search engine. Just a good index to the contents. However, I suggest loading all the htm pages and graphics into the same directory on your hard drive (about 8 meg). You can then use your computer's Find feature to search for any word or phrase in the directory.
User avatar
Steve Bryant
 
Posts: 1673
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Bloomington IN

Postby Steve Bryant » 12/11/01 12:24 PM

I should have added that you need a browser to access the contents of the CD. The Little Egypt Gazette was designed for the web and is in html format. The CD is for PCs only and is not Mac formatted. I am, however, becoming very interested in Macs as I grow disenchanted with Microsoft. Perhaps some day soon ...
User avatar
Steve Bryant
 
Posts: 1673
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Bloomington IN

Postby CHRIS » 12/11/01 12:40 PM

Steve,

I guess you are alluding to the Find utility under Windows. This is better than no search but it is far from what can be achieved with an integrated powerful search engine like the one we are offering.

i) Windows Find only gives you a keyword search. No boolean or proximity searches. No regular expressions

ii) Even if you find something it is not particularly convenient to display the found section. You have to open the file and then depending on the length of the file you have to do another Find execution from your browser. With our search engine you just click on the search result and the ebook opens to the exact page and scrolls to the exact place.

There is a big difference in handling, particularly if you do a lot of searching.

Let me make you an offer. If you send me your CD I show you how it would look with our HTML reader/search-engine and send you back the result. Then you can decide for yourself.

Chris.... Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
CHRIS
 
Posts: 678
Joined: 01/31/08 01:00 PM
Location: las vegas

Postby CHRIS » 12/11/01 12:43 PM

Steve,

regarding the Mac 'formatting'. If you prepare a CD in ISO9660 format then Mac people can access it. That is how we do it at Lybrary.com. We have many happy Mac customers.

And I totally share your disenchantment with Microsoft.

Chris.... Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
CHRIS
 
Posts: 678
Joined: 01/31/08 01:00 PM
Location: las vegas

Postby Bill Mullins » 12/11/01 03:21 PM

Originally posted by Steve Bryant:
I am, however, becoming very interested in Macs as I grow disenchanted with Microsoft.


Of course, this only means that eventually you will become reinterested in Microsoft as you become disenchanted with Macs . . .

Bill Mullins
Bill Mullins
 
Posts: 2967
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Huntsville, AL

Postby Guest » 12/11/01 09:32 PM

Steve:

Take up Chris's offer. At least you will get your disc with a new tool (and MAC user friendly- Quack).

What you do is continue to sell your existing CD-ROM for $24 and offer the "new reader" CD-ROM for $32.50. I'll be the first one to buy your upgraded disc since I totally missed out on your quality Gazette and look forward to it.

The Spiceman

P.S. Love your page, but what does "Gothic Magic" entail? Cards magic with fake blood while listening to Marilyn Manson? (or would that be Siouxsie and the Banshees?)
Guest
 

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 12/11/01 10:04 PM

I'm perhaps one of those true believers of what cybernauts dream is possible on the Net. I've just read a fascinating book called EMERGENCE (see a future column on the Genii Website for details); however, I think this forum and GENII magazine itself will continue to do innovative stuff in terms on CONTENT. As an erstwhile "content provider" (with a Website of my own), I envision all kinds of possible ways for peer-to-peer "content sharing" to happen--sharing that would be MUTUALLY beneficial, economically feasible, and dramatically ROBUST. Chris W.'s and Peter D.'s experiments in the e-publication field is ground-breaking. I also plan to offer some real values on my site (although the focus is narrower than main-stream pubs). The vexing variable lies in how participants will eventually find each other and then sustain their relationship. What thrills me, however, is the instantaneous aspect of it all, its timeliness, and how Content can ultimately become tailor-made. As Picasso once said, "Consumers also become creators and collaborators and the reciprocal process evolves incrementally in real time. Another goal is to provide material available nowhere else. Stay tuned...

In many ways, Gemini was a work-in-progress and an ongoing experiment. I agree with Dustin and others regarding the archive of columns. If you compile them into a single file, its size comes close to bulk of Greater Magic.

In the case of my site, I hope that the size of its eventual archive will be equivalent to 50 good-sized volumes.

Just imagine if the entire GENII archive was accessible on a subscription-based archive?

I believe that such things will come to pass.

Onward...

P.S. Yes, I too applaud the Hennessys, Joe Stevens, and the rest of the crew. It was a privilege and honor to be associated with the Gemini experiment.
Jon Racherbaumer
 
Posts: 817
Joined: 01/22/08 01:00 PM
Location: New Orleans

Postby CHRIS » 12/11/01 10:44 PM

Jon,

I thought long about subscription based contents. Imagine for example hundreds of magic ebooks online, not for reading from cover to cover but to search in and then read a section/chapter/paragraph. Perhaps some other magic database to look up credits/bios/references ...

Somehow I have the feeling that not a whole lot would be interested to pay for such a thing. The majority of people want to hold something in their hands, even if it is just a CD. Additionally the accumulation of a large amount of data which would warrant a reasonable subscription fee is quite difficult and time consuming. Over two years I have now converted 100+ books. I think I need 10x more to make it really outstanding.

Also most are consumers and not creators. Or perhaps creators on a very small level. Just look at how few letters a magic magazine with 10000+ subscribers gets every month. At best there is a vocal 1%, a creative 1%. 1% which would contribute to creating something online. Visit any forum and you have a handful of active people who post regularly and the rest is the silent majority.

I think the best results can be achieved if a dozen or so active and creative contributors from around the world work together to create contents online and provide for the random contribution from the silent majority.

Or perhaps better and more effective modes of operation will be developed in the future.

Chris.... Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
CHRIS
 
Posts: 678
Joined: 01/31/08 01:00 PM
Location: las vegas

Postby Steve Bryant » 12/12/01 06:01 AM

Of course, this only means that eventually you will become reinterested in Microsoft as you become disenchanted with Macs . . .


Alas, Bill, that will never happen. I may become disenchanted with Macs, if I can ever afford one to find out, but I won't go back to Microsoft. I'm completely happy already with Linux and see that as the (my) future. I'd rather junk my computers altogether than choose Microsoft. Of course, at this point that's what I'm still stuck with ...
User avatar
Steve Bryant
 
Posts: 1673
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Bloomington IN

Postby Terry » 12/13/01 05:50 AM

I'm completely happy already with Linux and see that as the (my) future.


Steve, I heard that with Linux, the main drawback is that you have to set up the pathways to your programs/files. True? I know that Linux blows the doors off Microjunk as it doesn't waste space/time/speed. I want to move to Linux, but haven't found anyone to question on setup time/problems.
Terry
 
Posts: 1245
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Kentucky

Postby Alain Roy » 12/13/01 07:08 AM

I heard that with Linux, the main drawback is that you have to set up the pathways to your programs/files. True?

I've been using various forms of Unix, incuding Linux, for many years.

You might be referring to a couple of different things. It sounds like you're referring to the need to set up the PATH environment variable. It is necessary so that, for instance, when you type "netscape" it can be found. In my opinion, this is not particularly taxing.

There are real difficulties in switching from a non-Unix system (like Mac OS 9 or Windows). There is a different mindset with Linux, different programs run on Linux (no Eudora, no Internet Explorer, no Adobe photoshop, although there are equivalents for these.), the user interface is different (and often inconsistent), and you are likely to need to use the command line.

My opnion is that Linux isn't quite ready for the non-enthusiast, but it's getting there. It is certainly quite usable for anyone that really wants to get away from Microsoft.

Uh-oh, I haven't said anything about magic in this post. Am I in trouble? If you have further questions about Linux, feel free to email me at: alain.roy@pobox.com.

-alain
Alain Roy
 
Posts: 134
Joined: 02/22/08 01:00 PM
Location: Sun Prairie, WI

Postby Pete Biro » 12/16/01 09:25 PM

I've suggested to Joe Stevens he take a peek here... the main reason Joe had to drop GeMiNi was the amount of work. As you all may or may not know, Joe has had some (thankfully) minor health problems, and his Doctors have told him to "reduce stress" -- Deadlines are stress makers for sure.

I would wish it could keep going, but at this time it doesn't look like it will.

There are plans to archive and make available all the back (GREAT) columns, but as Joe told me on the phone last night, "Not right now, but in the early part of next year."

Stay tooned...
Stay tooned.
User avatar
Pete Biro
 
Posts: 7124
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hollyweird

Postby Pete Biro » 12/16/01 09:27 PM

OOOPS... the "parenthesis" should have been around both words (thankfully minor)... sorry 'bout that... tsk
Stay tooned.
User avatar
Pete Biro
 
Posts: 7124
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hollyweird


Return to General