hoffmann at koreaweb.ws
Mon Feb 6 10:58:18 EST 2012
Dear All, dear Brother Anthony:
Thank you for posting the link to the online Ŭigwe, the books of
royal ceremonies of the Chosŏn dynasty with all its images--a
most valuable record that was just last year returned to Korea (from
The link was again: http://uigwe.museum.go.kr/
As you already mentioned in your posting there might be technical
issues. Here some analysis and advice that might help those interested
in using them:
The technical solution has, to put it short, very major programming problems.
1. You cannot use this on a Mac as it, as usual for many Korean sites,
requires ActiveX control (of course, on a virtual Windows system on a
Mac it will work).
2. The main issue is that the site that hosts the add-on READER
software required to see the images of the actual documents is
extremely slow! The same is true for the server that hosts the
documents themselves. Here is what you can do--you need a lot of
- On a Windows OS, and with "Internet Explorer" 8 or 9, go to e.g.:
Then click on any of the "이미지보기"
buttons all the way on the right.
You will see a new window popping up (make sure your security settings
in IE are set to medium or low ... high security settings do NOT work
... and do not forget to send the Korean National Museum a thank you
postcard after your PC got hacked), "외규장각
의궤 PDF Viewer." This Web embedded PDF viewer required a
file from ePapyrus.com to be downloaded. ePapyrus offers a free (and a
commercial) viewer application called PdfPro; however, installing that
does unfortunately NOT work. After that just mentioned pop-up
"외규장각 의궤 PDF Viewer" a
download link should appear. PROBLEM is here, at least from several
thousand miles away, that it took about 10 to 12 minutes before that
link appeared (I am not joking!). So, just get yourself a cup of coffe
and wait for it:
--> "Install ... ActiveX control: 'SecureReader.cab' from ePapyrus Inc'"
That is what you should see -- click on it and always confirm with YES
or INSTALL. Now, because it took so long (unless, maybe, you are in
Korea or the moon is in the 3rd house), that window 'expired' and your
Windows OS will tell you so through a warning window--click again YES
and/or RESEND INFORMATION. Then, I am again not joking here, wait
another 10 or 12 minutes until you see a new window with an INSTALL
button in it. Click on INSTALL.
Restart Windows AFTER the ePapyrus Viewer file install completed.
Afterwards, you can use Internet Explorer to see the images of the
original Ŭigwe books. But be again warned, downloads might easily
take 20 miutes (at least outside of Korea) and there are various
scripting errors, e.g. you cannot cancel a download, cannot close the
viewer application while it downloads, etc.
THANKS again to Brother Anthony who clarified some issues in a private email.
I was also just being made aware of the fact that the ENGLISH website
of the museum is Potemkin village: you can sign up for some access as
foreigner to see certain other documents, but then it asks for a
Korean cell phone number. Very nice! Of course, as we all know, this
is not the only Korean institution with such protective measures.
Another note, not directly related to above:
A few days ago I wondered what happened to that North Korean TV
station stream that SPTV, a station in South Korea, had made
accessible on the Internet:
You probably knew already then. As for me, I only figured that out
after a few days: the Korea Communications Standards Commission
(KCSC), the ROK censorship committee for "ethics," has taken it
offline. Alone in 2011 they deleted 67,300 website posts and entire
websites. And it is now very clear that right now they are at their
absolute height of activity. South Korea is probably the only
democratic capitalist country in the world that performs political
censoring to such an amazing degree (not sure about Russia). I find
that shameful! In the case of SPTV it even seems that there is a 2nd
layer of censorship towards foreign countries: even recorded NK
broadcasts are are blocked overseas. What a stand-up comedy this is!
Last technical notes:
1. North Korea now has, thanks to the cooperatuion with Egypt's
Orascom, over one million cell phone users. See related article:
(The northkoreatech.org blog and its author Martyn Williams, by the
way, are a great source of information.)
I'd like to add from my end that North Korea has three cell phone nets
now, one outdated, then then Koryolink one metioned here, and then one
based on Deutsche Telekom technology (hard and software for satelite
systems). That does make them independent from China for military
purposes: in short, China can't anymore intercept communication in
case of war (or any other miltary communication) ... I am just
applying the logics from their technical setup to politics here --
tell me if I am wrong. In terms of business, it means that the country
has now all (!) the capabilities, and more, than the South has when it
comes to communications technology and networking. That is at least
what I seem to detect there. And together with Egypt's Orascom they
could easily create a new international market there. Only they will
know what the exact plan is, but the high investments that Orascom put
into the North must have some clear economic aims.
2. "Google Street View" is now available, since about 10 days, for
Seoul and Pusan:
(just drag the little yellow man on the left to the map)
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