Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Go World Digital Archive - A Go Retiree's Dream Come True

I recently purchased the entire Go World Digital Archive from Kiseido... 108 glorious issues of articles, commented games, and "news", now history, of the world go scene.

At the same time I ordered the archive I subscribed to Go World to obtain future issues. Shortly after that I ordered the three back issues necessary to fill in my collection from where the digital archive ends at issue 108 and my new subscription begins at issue 112.

I had subscribed to Go World back in 1995, and have issues 72 through 97 in hard copy. I allowed my subscription to lapse at the same time that I stopped taking lessons. This was a bad decision in both cases. What could I possibly have been thinking?

I now have all 108 issues of Go World installed on my Motion M1400VA tablet PC, which happens to be the optimal go study machine. It is over three years old, but still going strong, and since go applications demand so little, I am hoping to get another two years of carting my tablet to workshops and tournaments. It's not everyone who has a three year old piece of hardware that still turns heads. I do.

But I digress... this is about the Go World Archive.

I began my exploration of the archive at issue 1, and had started to enter game records. But a quick read of the html index that came with the archive suggested that I look up the games in SmartGo . I decided to look for a game from issue 96. I first tried searching by name, at which point I discovered that I was not able to copy the name from the archive, but had to type it out instead. This inability to copy might be a security feature designed to prevent partial copying of the file, or it might be that the use of jpg images and OCR make this impossible, but it is inconvenient nonetheless. When I typed one of the names of the players I could not find any corresponding files in the library. I assumed that I had not entered the name the way SmartGo wanted to see it, so I sorted the records by date and found the game easily among the other 12 or so records for that date. Because I wanted to be able to add the variations shown in the commentary without altering the library file, I decided to rename the file and save it in a folder dedicated to holding sgf files from Go World which I have reviewed. I named the file GW096-02 because it is the second game review in the 96th issue. This folder of files should be a handy way to keep track of which games I have reviewed. I also created a new tab in SmartGo to display these records.

There is enough material in this archive to keep me occupied for a very long time.

A couple days ago someone asked me online, "Who is your favorite pro?" If he had asked "Who is your favorite teacher?" I would have said Yilun Yang without hesitation, but I had the feeling he was asking me about a playing style preference. I told him that I didn't have a favorite pro because I have not reviewed enough pro games to know whose style I like. I always felt that reviewing pro games was not very productive at my level because I won't understand most of the moves. But now it feels as if my lack of pro game viewing is a big gap in my appreciation of the game of go, which I intend to change through the use of the Go World Archive.

If I find a favorite pro I'll post about it.


Bob Solovay said...


Naive question. In what way is a tablet PC better than a laptop for Go study.

I'd be glad to continue the discussion of this topic in email. My main email is solovay at math dot berkeley dot edu


P. S. Is there a discussion of this topic at Go Discussions?

Terri said...


Was going to devote a blog entry to this and probably will since most people probably won't see this.

But I will be happy to answer it here. The advantage that a tablet has over a laptop (especially a slate tablet) is that it is very light weight and can be carried everywhere. It is flat enough to be held in your lap to read pdf files in portrait mode just like a book. You can slip it easily between the edge of the board and the edge of the table at a tournament especially if your opponent lets you slide the board closer to them. And most people don't object because it gives them a better view of the board, especially kids who can't reach very far anyway.

There is no thread about this on go discussions, but I might start one asking if anyone else has a tablet and if they have slates or convertables.

They are expensive though and will run a few hundred dollars more than a comparable laptop, which is a lot, especially when you can buy a laptop for $600.00 these days or even less.

And best of all, they are actually light enough to balance on your arm at a workshop while you enter your game record on a magnetic go board for a pro to discuss.