I would like to introduce to you a few of the services offered to the academic community by the Humanities Computing Laboratory (formerly the Humanities Computing Facility of Duke University). We have primarily been developing Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) applications since our beginnings in 1979. During the early years of personal computing in the 1980s, when computers were being transformed from number crunchers into the logic engines with broad relevance for our lives which they are today, our predecessor, the Humanities Computing Facility of Duke University, under the direction of our founder Prof. Frank Borchardt of the Dept. of Germanic Languages and Literature, pioneered many humanistic applications in language, literature, and the arts.
We created the language learning and authoring system CALIS ("Computer-Assisted Language Instruction System"), for DOS, and WinCALIS, for Microsoft Windows. WinCALIS and our Unicode-compliant multilingual editor UniEdit have user-friendly foreign language interfaces which permit the courseware developer and the learner alike to type easily in most of the world's languages. CALIS and WinCALIS have been licensed for use in education around the world.
In the process of developing these products for DOS and Windows, the Humanities Computing Facility accumulated a great deal of know-how in the PC/DOS/Windows environment. We may sometimes turn out to be your best source for PC problem-solving, especially for "legacy" data.
We are humanists first and can relate well to the computing needs of departments other than those in science and engineering.
The information here describes some of the services we can provide, at very reasonable rates, thanks to using appropriate technology. Please get in touch with us at any of the addresses listed on the letterhead or stop by our office if we may be of service to you. We are happy to supply references or free estimates based on your specifications.
WinCALIS, the Computer-Assisted Language Instruction System, is a multimedia, multilingual authoring system for Windows. We want WinCALIS to be used! You are invited to come try out the program here at our lab at Duke for use in your classes. We offer a yearly Summer Seminar for WinCALIS training ($550 per week, per person), or we can arrange for a personal introduction to the program. Contact us to receive more information about the WinCALIS program.
Do you have video material that's not in the format you need? We can take your video and convert it quickly and inexpensively into the "digital" form you can use on your computer and the World Wide Web. We have the equipment and know-how to "capture" the analog video from VHS videotapes, laserdiscs, or your camcorder home movies, and convert it into either still images or digital full-motion video in any format (AVI, MPEG, Quicktime, etc.). Then we can store it in any form you desire. For example, we can transfer the video files by network directly to your site, put it on a one-off CD-ROM (see below), or copy it onto your mass storage device, such as a Jaz drive, Zip disk, Syquest cartridge, etc. Most jobs, large or small, can be done in 1-3 hours at our standard full-service fee of $50/hr.
We have produced CD-ROM titles rich in multimedia content for increasing listening comprehension in languages like Persian Farsi, Russian, and Ukrainian. We have put a smorgasbord of WinCALIS exercises and bulky lexical tools in a variety of languages on CD-ROM. We have the linguistic and technical resources to create many more useful CD-ROMs, using either your content or content we develop according to your specifications. Do you have multimedia material that's not in a usable format? We can digitize VHS video, and can convert virtually any graphic file format to any other. We can "burn" one-off (single) CD-ROMs for you using your content (usual charge: $100 per CD). We can also help with your design decisions and arrange for mass replication, if you desire (approximate cost: 500 copies for ca. $1500). For more information on what goes into developing a courseware package, please see Mohsen Mahdavi-Hezaveh's article, "Courseware Development on CD-ROM Using the WinCALIS System."
We have completed the compilation of an on-line Korean-and-English dictionary under contract for Special Operations Forces at Ft. Bragg, NC. We have designed this dictionary with a Unicode-compliant flexible interface, which permits easy adaptation to other languages. We are interested in undertaking the compilation of new bilingual dictionaries and in adding audio and graphic illustration enhancements to the dictionary engine. For example, an Arabic-and-English dictionary which permits the user not only to look up a word, but also to hear it spoken in Classical Arabic and in any of the major modern dialects.
Through the magic of document scanning and optical character recognition, we can take your print materials and reinvent them in electronic form. We recently helped a professor of music to scan musical scores from an 18th-century manuscript for incorporation in his book. Dust off that old out-of-print edition of your scholarly treatise and let us give it new life, so that you can edit it with your word processor and publish it anew. Perkins Library was able to scan a catalog of all Duke theses and dissertations up to 1972 concerning South Asia, using our equipment and resources. If you have a considerable amount of any printed material, save yourself the time and energy of retyping. And we can scan in many of the languages of the world.
We can take disks and files in just about any coding standard, language, and format and convert them into another format. We assisted a professor of English to transform 20th-century British Literature texts from an obsolete word processor format on 360K diskettes into World Wide Web documents for students to access easily. We can also arrange to have your text translated from or to English and most of the world's languages. For example, we have provided camera-ready copy of Duke officials' names and titles for printing name cards in Chinese and Japanese.
We believe that the World Wide Web provides an exciting new paradigm for scholarship and learning. We can help you with your Internet/WWW authoring and publishing. Please remember our website address: http://www.humancomp.org.
We invite you to propose any other projects and suggest any other ideas to the Humanities Computing Laboratory. Using our in-house expertise, or by calling on any of our local or international connections, we can help you. Our not-for-profit status reflects that our interest is not in big price tags; rather, our interest is the development and refinement of high-quality educational material.