Information Today
Volume17, Number 4 • April 2000
Gutenberg Station Releases the Gutenberg Explorer

Gutenberg Station has released the first full-featured version of its flagship product, the Gutenberg Explorer. Gutenberg Station, named after the inventor of the printing press, is a Web site developed by entrepreneur Curtis Keisler. The organization’s mission is to develop software to ease the procurement and conversion of e-books for use by e-book reading devices, such as Rocket eBook, SoftBook, and Microsoft Reader. The Gutenberg Explorer is the organization’s first effort toward that mission. The software works in tandem with the Project Gutenberg ftp Etext sites all over the world. The Windows program can be downloaded free from the Gutenberg Station Web site.

“This tool—being the first of its kind to my knowledge—will have a big impact on the e-book industry,” said Alex Pigeon, co-founder of and MiaMedia, a technology research and consulting company.

Project Gutenberg ( is an effort to convert public domain books into a universal format known as Etext. Etext is designed to make the public domain books available in just about any software on any computer in the world. The Gutenberg Explorer enhances this effort by making it easy to search for, retrieve, and convert into e-book format any one of the thousands of books in the Project Gutenberg collection. Due to the universality of the Etext format, the Project Gutenberg Etexts reportedly do not load into e-book readers very well.

The Gutenberg Explorer incorporates Intellisplore technology, which enables the Gutenberg Explorer to convert and enhance the Etext so that it imports cleanly into e-book readers. According to the company, reading a straight imported Etext on an e-book reader without using this tool is very difficult—Intellisplore technology opens up Project Gutenberg to a whole new world of readers.

The Gutenberg Explorer is one of the first programs that creates documents in the new Open eBook format. The Open eBook ( initiative is an effort led by Microsoft and over 30 e-book publishers, authors, booksellers, and other organizations to create an industry standard for publishing e-books.

Source: Gutenberg Station, Columbia, SC, 803/790-1662;

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