A Trivia Quiz

Welcome to Hot off the Press’s first Trivia Quiz! How much do you know about the history of Project Gutenberg and Distributed Proofreaders? Find out, and learn more as you go!
  1. When Michael Hart began Project Gutenberg (PG) in 1971, his goal was to create a digital library of how many titles?
  2. Using a handout he got while grocery shopping on July 4, 1971, what was the first project Michael added to PG?
  3. Which university was Michael attending when he started PG?
  4. The Old and New Testaments of the Bible took about 10 years to prepare for PG and were posted in 1989. What method of data input was used to prepare them?
  5. All early projects were immediately put on the PG website for worldwide distribution. True or false?
  6. What did Pietro Di Miceli create for PG in 1994?
  7. When were languages other than English first included in PG offerings?
  8. Only public domain books are available on PG. True or False?
  9. PG has two entries in The Guinness Book of World Records. What are they for?
  10. What organization did Charles Franks found in October 2000 in order to help PG with digitizing public domain books?
  11. Who was Charles Franks’s “help/advice/guidance” partner and the second registered user on the first Distributed Proofreaders (DP) site?
  12. What was the first title produced by DP volunteers for posting to PG?
  13. How many titles has DP posted to PG since October 2000?
  14. What volunteer reward system did Charles Franks propose in 2003 in order to inspire quality work on DP?
  15. How many “sister sites” do PG and DP have?
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Answers

  1. Michael Hart’s first goal was to digitize 10,000 books. As of this writing, there are well over 60,000 free e-books on PG, far exceeding his original goal. As reported in Hot off the Press, DP contributed PG’s 50,000th and 60,000th e-books. [See A Short History of Project Gutenberg and Distributed Proofreaders on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Earth Edition website. For more about this and Michael’s other hopes and dreams, see Michael Hart’s Online Writings.]
  2. The U.S. Declaration of Independence. Finding the printed handout as he unpacked his bag of groceries, Michael keyed in the Declaration that night in ALL CAPS because lower case was not available. Six users downloaded the file. [Get the whole story in Project Gutenberg 4 July 1971 – 4 July 2011: Album, by Marie Lebert; Hot off the Press, 50 Years at Project Gutenberg.]
  3. The University of Illinois. At the time, Michael was a freshman working toward a Bachelor of Science degree. Both Michael’s parents were professors there; his father taught Shakespeare and his mother Mathematics. [See Michael’s obituary in the New York Times and the Encyclopedia Britannica article on PG for more.]
  4. Typing on a computer keyboard. It took almost a decade to enter both Testaments. Each book of the Bible had to be saved as a separate file due to hardware size restrictions – there was no hard drive when the project began. [See Project Gutenberg 4 July 1971 – 4 July 2011: Album, by Marie Lebert.]
  5. False. The World Wide Web did not exist until the end of 1990, when Tim Berners-Lee got his first browser and server running at CERN. [See A Short History of the Web and Distributed Proofreaders Just Celebrated Its 10th Anniversary, by Marie Lebert.]
  6. Pietro Di Miceli created the first website for PG in 1994. An Italian volunteer, Pietro developed and administered PG’s website between 1994 and 2004, winning a number of awards for his efforts. [See the New World Encyclopedia article on PG for more information.]
  7. The first non-English title was posted to PG in 1997: Dante Alighieri’s La Divina Commedia in the original Italian. It was PG’s 1,000th title. [See Project Gutenberg 4 July 1971 – 4 July 2011: Album, by Marie Lebert; and Hot off the Press, 50 Years at Project Gutenberg.]
  8. False. Michael estimated (in 2007) that about 2% of PG titles are copyrighted and posted with the permission of the author. Two examples are Michael’s co-authored titles, A Brief History of the Internet and Poems and Tales from Romania. [See Michael’s blog post, The Most Common Misconceptions about Project Gutenberg.]
  9. PG holds the Guinness World Records for first digital library and first e-book (the U.S. Declaration of Independence).
  10. Charles Franks founded DP, which officially went online October 1, 2000. He first suggested the idea on a PG volunteer discussion board beginning in April, 2000. [See DP Timeline and Distributed Proofreaders Just Celebrated Its 10th Anniversary, by Marie Lebert.]
  11. Jim Tinsley registered as the #2 user in September 2000 and did much to help Charles get DP up and running smoothly. [See DP Timeline.]
  12. The Iliad of Homer, translated by Andrew Lang, Walter Leaf, and Ernest Meyers, was the first project completed by DP, believed to have been posted to PG in November 2000. [See DP Timeline; Hot off the Press, Happy 15th Anniversary! (Part I).]
  13. As of this writing, DP has posted over 44,000 unique titles to PG. [See Hot off the Press, Celebrating 44,000 Titles; DP Timeline.]
  14. The “Whuffie” system. Based on Cory Doctorow’s sci-fi novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, the Whuffie system would award points for excellence in proofreading and take them away for poorly done work. Charles envisioned volunteers being able to collect and redeem Whuffie points for real merchandise like a DP t-shirt or mousepad. The system was ultimately not implemented. [Read more details in A Roadmap for Distributed Proofreaders, by Charles Franks.]
  15. PG currently has several independent “sister sites” worldwide: Gutenberg Canada, Project Gutenberg Australia, Projekt Gutenberg-DE (German literature), and Project Runeberg (Nordic literature). DP’s independent sister site is currently Distributed Proofreaders Canada.

How Did You Do?

12-15 CORRECT: Gutenberg Pro – congratulations!
Wow! Have you been around here awhile? You sure know your stuff!

7-11 CORRECT: Gutenberg Proficient – you’re on an upward trend!
Not bad! You know over half your stuff. Brush up by reading more about the other half.

1-6 CORRECT: Gutenberg Newbie – enjoy exploring more!
It’s a big world out there just waiting to be discovered. Follow the links in the Answers above to start your adventure.

0 and SKIPPERS: Gutenberg Fan – curious and hungry for knowledge!
Rushed ahead to the good stuff, huh? You’ve just begun a very interesting journey. Have fun!

DISCOVER MORE EVERY MONTH – READ HOT OFF THE PRESS

This post was contributed by Scrutineyes, a Distributed Proofreaders volunteer. Graphics by Unruly Pencil. Photos of Michael Hart from https://www.pglaf.org/hart/.

One Response to A Trivia Quiz

  1. genknit says:

    Wow, that was fun! I’ve been around quite a number of years, but did not know most of the stuff cited here. Thanks, Scrutineyes and Unruly Pencil!

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