|In this section, we try to answer
questions you may have about our products and about doing
business with us. Please click on the link
below to go directly to that section.
|Why CDs and downloads? Why don't you
publish "real" books instead?
|How do your downloads work?
|How do I pay using PayPal or a
|I've got a Kindle® or a Nook® (or
a tablet). Can I
use it with your products?
|Do I need to be a computer expert
to use your CD-ROMs?
|What stores sell your CD-ROMs?
|What about your subject matter?
|Questions about our CDs
|Questions about shipping
|Will your CDs work with my
|What if I have a problem with an
|Having a problem with a CD
purchased from us?
|Another question? Please contact us directly!!
|Want to know more about Between
the Lakes Group and the people who run it?
|Want more information about what's
available on this website? Check our expanded search page
|What do your customers say about
Why CDs and downloads? Why not "real"
Question: I prefer reading "real" books
to using CD-ROMs or downloaded files. Do you also sell your material in book form?
Answer: We sell our material
in CD-ROM or download form only, although we confess to a real love for old books
ourselves. There are many reasons that we currently sell only via
electronic media; see the answer to the next question for some of them.
Question: I understand that it's cheaper to publish on
CD-ROM or as a downloadable file than in printed book form, but is that the only reason you
Answer: The largest reason is cost,
but here are
some others, including how fast we can make a new CD or download
available to you and how fast we can re-stock. We also don't have
to worry about minimum press runs.
CD-ROMs let us add features that would be
impossible in printed form, such as slide
shows and thumbnail
images of photos and maps that you can click on in order to see a greatly expanded image.
Some customers already own one or more of the rare books that we offer on CD-ROM or as downloads
but buy our CDs and downloads so they can preserve fragile original editions.
Librarians, archivists, and people who
work at historical societies tell us they prefer CDs and downloads for
ease of copying, because shelf space is minimal, and response to e-mail
queries is much easier.
Once you get the
hang of it, it's much easier to switch back and forth between an index
and the text on a computer screen than it is in a book -- and no worry
about losing your place if you take your finger out of the book to write
Most important: downloads
are immediately available to you.
Simply download the file and it is ready to use!
do your downloads work?
Question: I know I can rely on Between the
Lakes Group for history and genealogy CD-ROMs. So,
what's this "download" thing anyway?
Answer: Some background first.
Some time ago, we asked our customers whether they preferred CDs or
downloads. They told us they were very interested in
downloads. Some of the reasons people mentioned were that they
could get the download almost immediately (instead of waiting for the
Post Office to deliver a CD-ROM), and that downloads cost considerably less than
CD-ROMs (absolutely true -- most of our downloads cost less than $5,
and many are in the $2 range).
We found a vendor affiliated with PayPal
to provide the capability of selling and delivering downloads easily,
and we introduced our
first downloadable files. That was nearly three years ago now and
now we offer several hundred downloads.
Question: So, just how do your downloads work?
Answer: It's really quite easy. You
do NOT have to be a computer whiz to use them.
If you've ever downloaded a program for
your computer, or purchased music or a movie online -- or looked at a
photo or newspaper article someone has sent to you attached to an
e-mail, or viewed one of our free downloads, you can use our downloaded
You will need the capability of reading
files in PDF format, but nearly everyone has that today. (If you
do not, we recommend the free Adobe Reader
program, which can be
directly from Adobe.)
You pay for our downloads online pretty
much the same way you would pay for our CDs except that you pay for each
download individually. You start by clicking the the "Buy now"
button next to the description of the download.
How do I pay?
You'll be taken to the page where you pay (with PayPal or a
credit card) the low price for the download. Here's what the page
||If you do not have a PayPal account or
prefer to charge your purchase to a credit card or debit card
instead of your PayPal account, click the second option on the
If you want to charge your PayPal
account, simply sign in with the information near the top of the screen.
If you prefer to charge a credit or debit card, click the second option
on the page.
2. Then, you'll be automatically taken to a
page where you click to download the file to your computer. What
if you lose your connection right then? Don't
worry. Even if you're interrupted you'll still receive an e-mail from
PayPal with the code needed to download the file later. Usually
the e-mail is on the way within seconds and sometimes it arrives before
the e-mail receipt does!
3. The file will automatically download to your
computer (PC or Mac) -- you'll get to say whether you want to open the
file immediately or save it to your hard drive (we recommend saving it
to your hard drive), and where on your hard drive you want to save it.
(Most PC users select either their Desktop or a file in My Documents,
but the choice is entirely yours.)
4. Once the download is complete,
the file is yours to keep. You can print it out, you can print
selected pages from it, you can move it to another location on your
computer to refer to later, or you can even copy it to another location,
such as a backup drive or a CD-ROM,
Question: What if I have a problem?
Answer: You probably won't!
Very few people do. It's really quite easy, and if you want to experiment by downloading one
of our free downloads, please do.
However, if you do find that you have a
problem, you have three easy ways to solve
First, you can download the file a second (or third) time by
clicking the link in the e-mail you receive after you purchase the
download. (This link is good for a few days after you purchase
your download). We find that this solves most problems. The
most typical problem people encounter is not remembering exactly where on your computer you stored the
Second, there are "help" pages
associated with the download vendor (PayLoadz) that we use to handle the
download process for us. There are also "help" pages provided by both
PayPal and by Adobe.
Third, if these solutions don't work
out for you, you can contact us directly. We'll try to help.
We usually can.
Question: Can I use
your products with a Kindle® (or Nook® or a tablet or an iPad or smartphone)?
Answer: YES! Virtually all of these devices can read PDF
format files, and the great majority of our products are in PDF
format. These include ALL of our downloads, and all of the text
material on our CD-ROMs. The things we sell that you cannot use on
early Kindles (newer Kindle models can handle some of
them) are slide shows, maps, and photographs that don't appear as
part of a book or other publication.
If you originally downloaded the file
to your PC and want to move it to your portable eletronic device, we
suggest you check the documentation that came with your device.
Some use USB cables, some use Firewire, some use tiny cards that you
copy, some use USB devices, some use proprietary connections, and some work via "the cloud". But
each of these devices has a solution. All you need to do is find
the one that works with your device.
Some are pretty ingenious: here's
one for older Kindles -- you can e-mail the PDF file as an attachment,
sending it to the e-mail address assigned to your Kindle. But
that's just a start!
One hint: you may need to adjust the
font size and the page orientation in order to view them comfortably on
your your portable device. Experiment
with settings until you're happy with the result (we like landscape
format for this, usually).
Do I have to be a computer expert to
use your CD-ROMs? Your downloads?
Question: I'm a novice with
computers. Will I be able to figure out how to use your CD-ROMs?
Answer: If you were able to find this page on the
internet, you can use our CD-ROMs.
That's because all of our CDs are designed
to function like websites. You navigate around them by clicking,
just like you do on the web. Every page has a link back to the
"table of contents" at the bottom, so even if you get a little bit lost,
you can always find your way back to familiar territory. We also
provide frequent contextual links on individual pages.
If you've ever downloaded a program for
your computer, or purchased music or a movie online -- or even looked at
a photo or newspaper article someone has sent to you attached to an
e-mail, you can use our
The only program you need to read them is a
program to read PDF files, and most people already have one. If you
do not have one, we are happy to recommend the free Adobe Reader
program, which can be
directly from Adobe (or from the Apple or Android stores).
Where to buy our CD-ROMs:
Question: While I
know I can order your CD-ROMs by mail or through this website, I'm a little
old-fashioned. I like to see the product before I buy it. Do
any stores sell your CD-ROMs?
We're very pleased to announce that
many of our
CD-ROM titles related to New York State are available at the following fine bookstore:
Hope Farm Press
& Bookstore, 252 Main Street, Saugerties, NY 12477. Their phone
number is (845)246-3522. Be sure to check their website as well --
they have a wonderful collection of New York State material and are good
people to deal with, too.
Their website is at
sure to tell them that you heard about them from Between the Lakes
We don't have retail vendors for our
titles about other states yet, so if you have a bookstore or other business
and would like to handle them, we
would be glad to hear from you. We offer attractive terms for
Questions about our subject matter:
Question: How do you handle questionable or touchy material -- material
having to do with racism, sex, violence, religious preferences, etc.?
Answer: We handle it entirely in the context of the source
material, which we do not expurgate or censor.
You should realize that in America of the 19th and
early 20th centuries racial/ethnic
group membership and religious orientation were considered suitable topics for humor.
so, if an ethnic joke
was printed in a high school annual of the period (and some that we would
consider pretty tasteless today were!), we don't attempt to hide it. Nor
would we disguise an unflattering ethnic name associated with a feature on a US
topographic map of the period (and there were some pretty shocking ones by
We don't publish pornography or
erotica, even in an historical context (actually, mentions of sex
in older materials are very rare and downright prudish compared with today's standards
in what today are considered family publications and broadcast TV).
choose not to publish political or social tracts whose sole purpose is to denigrate
individuals or groups (even though many such documents existed in the time frame we
cover). You may find that we publish historical documents promoting a
social or political agenda with which you disagree, but we do this in the
interests of making this historical information available, not in changing
anyone's mind today. We feel strongly that an important aspect -- and
purpose -- of history is understanding how views on important
issues have changed over the years.
Occasionally we comment editorially on material we publish, but
our comments are intended to provoke thought and discussion, not to convince. We invite your comments on material we publish, and
often create free e-mail discussion groups where others may wish to respond to your
thoughts. No purchase is required to
participate in these e-mail discussion groups.
|Question: I found a name I was looking for when I did a "Search
our Website" search here. When I went to the page that was listed, it
said that the name was in a "Directory" of a city or county. What does that mean to me? How much
information is there?
Answer: The short answer is that it depends,
but that most of our customers do find this kind of information to be useful.
If you're not familiar with directories
as they were published in the 19th and early 20th centuries, there is
some information you'll find in most of them. First, there's
typically a little information about the city or county -- a lot in some
cases, particularly if it's also called a gazetteer. Often there's
information about local institutions, such as schools, churches, clubs,
and elected officials.
Second, there's almost always a list of
residents. Sometimes this is a list of businesses (which typically
include farmers), and sometimes it's a list of householders. This
section usually includes the street address, and often includes the
occupation of the head of household and sometimes the employer.
For farmers, often the number of acres farmed in included.
Finally, there are always
advertisements. These can be very informative about what life was
like in that community when the directory was compiled.
Generally we don't index the directories
we publish because the process is so labor-intensive and because the
lists of residences and businesses generally are in alphabetic order.
Questions about our products and services:
Question: When I buy a CD-ROM
from Between the Lakes Group, what do I
get? How about a download?
Answer: The simplest answer to the CD
question is this. A CD-ROM containing the material described in our
write-up on this website.
Our CDs start automatically on most PCs, (Mac
users, we have information specific
to your computer) but we
also include a flier with extra instructions for those who may be unfamiliar
with data CD-ROMs -- and a whole "Support" section on this website for any
remaining problems. The labels on
our CD-ROMs are in full color, occasionally depicting material actually found on that
CD. After all, there's no reason why we can't make the CDs attractive as well
We package our CDs
in paper CD envelopes inside sturdy cardboard envelopes manufactured for the
specific purpose of sending CDs and DVDs through the mail.
Regarding downloads, you will receive an
internet link to a file. By clicking that link, you'll be taken to the file, which you can then
easily download to your own PC or
Mac (or portable device). You'll have an opportunity to decide where on your
device you want
to receive the file (such as your desktop, or perhaps a file on the subject you
are working on). The download may take a few moments to complete,
depending on connection speed. Once
it's downloaded, you can open the file just as you would open any other file on
your computer (double-clicking on the file name is a good place to start).
If the download fails, or if you erroneously delete the
file, you have a period of time for which the link will still be good to
download it again. If the link has expired by the time you discover the
problem, e-mail us. We'll see if we can help from this end, and most likely we
Question: How do you ship your CD-ROMs?
We ship by First Class Mail (not "media mail" or parcel post) -- or by
the international equivalent. Occasionally -- frequently in the case of
larger orders -- we will upgrade shipping to Priority Mail at no additional
Question: That sounds like it costs plenty. How much additional do I
have to pay for "shipping and handling"?
Answer: For several years we were able to
reply "nothing at all" to that question. Unfortunately increasing costs
coupled with the January 8, 2006 postal rate increase made it impossible for us
to continue that practice. Accordingly, we began charging a
flat $2.50 per order, regardless of the number of CD-ROMs in it. No,
especially after the January 2012 postal rate increase, that
doesn't cover the cost of the packaging and the postage, but it does help.
The calculation is automatic if you purchase
By the way, we held the line on the
shipping and handling charge even in the face of the major postal increases of
May 2007 and January 2012, as well as some smaller ones in the intervening years. It's still just $2.50 per order, no matter how many CD-ROMs you
purchase. We'll see how long we can hold the line when future postal rate
hikes occur. Want to stay up to date with shipping arrangements? Why
not join the list to receive our e-mail newsletter?
Of course there's never a shipping charge for
Question: I'm not located in the United States.
Can I still purchase from you?
Answer: We're delighted to serve
international customers, but we do require payment in US dollars.
The easiest way to accomplish this is to order via PayPal. For many
currencies they will automatically convert your payment to USD.
We cannot accept checks or drafts drawn in
other currencies or drawn on accounts in foreign banks, however. The costs
of collecting these items substantially exceeds the price of the CDs. If you cannot purchase using PayPal or a credit card that converts
purchases to US dollars, please obtain an official check or
international money order denominated in US dollars from your local bank and
enclose it with your order.
We do not impose any extra charges for
Downloads are sold only via PayPal or credit
and you can download them anywhere you are in the world if you have
an internet connection.
Question: How frequently do you ship?
Answer: With an occasional day off due to weather, brief
absences from the office (for example, when we travel to find new material to
publish), etc., we go to the Post Office every day except Sunday.
When you pay by credit card or via PayPal, we ship immediately -- the same day
we receive your order if we can get your CD-ROM to the Post Office in time.
When you pay
by check we do reserve the right to wait a few days for your check to clear before shipping.
However, clearing times have gotten much shorter in recent years; never more
than three business days We
engage in the abusive multi-week hold process that some vendors unfortunately
still apply to check
Once you are known to us, your check payment will usually not delay
shipment at all (unless a check you have sent us previously has been
returned to us unpaid -- then, we will hold your subsequent checks a bit longer).
And, of course, when you purchase a download, you will be
able to download the file just as soon as you've made your payment.
Question: I ordered from you over a week ago and
my CD-ROM isn't here yet. What should I do?
Answer: By all means contact us -- an e-mail
geoff at betweenthelakes.com (substitute an "@" sign for the "at" in
the address) is the best way to do it -- and tell us.
There are a few possibilities to consider.
First, it's possible we didn't receive your order -- but we won't know that
has happened unless you tell us. Second, it's possible that we've messed up someplace
in the process of filling your order -- but, again, we won't know that unless
you tell us. Third, it's possible that there has been a problem with the
Post Office -- it doesn't happen very often, but it's certainly a possibility.
We will do everything we can to make sure you
receive the CD-ROMs you order from us. Please be sure to let us know if you don't
receive an order in a timely manner. We'll do our very best to solve the
Question: How do you make sure that the CD-ROM you send me will work?
Answer: We are fanatical about our quality control process.
First of all, we produce all of our own CDs, starting with high quality blank CD-R
stock. We never outsource or
contract out any portion of the process. We also spot-test CD-ROMs we ship by
loading them in a real
CD drive or DVD drive on a real PC just before we pack them. We rotate our testing among several PCs
to make sure we are not producing CDs that work only in some units.
Having a problem? Why not check our
Support section to see if the problem you've
encountered is one you can fix yourself.
We also test our downloads to ensure they are
in good order and complete. If you download a file and it does not work,
try the link to download it again -- usually the second time is successful.
If the link has expired, contact us. We can help from this end.
Question: Will my CD-ROM work in a Mac?
Answer: The answer to this one is pretty
much always but still, "it
depends". We have a special page on
If you are running Unix or Linux as operating systems,
the most likely limitations are (1) Microsoft PowerPoint slideshows on a few of
our CD-ROMs, and (2) our use of the Joliet standard for image names. Our
experience is that people who are technologically well versed enough to be using
Linux or Unix can get around these problems easily.
Most of our CDs have files in PDF format (which
stands for Portable Document Format -- pioneered by the Adobe Corporation),
which is intended to be usable on any computer, whether Mac, PC, or other.
Our downloads will work on any computer,
regardless of vendor, that can read a PDF file -- and virtually all can.
If you happen to need a "helper program" for this purpose, we recommend the free
Adobe Reader program, which is
free to download from the
Question: Why don't you make your CD-ROMs
compatible with all Macs?
That's a fair question! We have used Macs in the past, and we find them
However, we base our CDs on Microsoft
Windows technology as a matter of economics. We're a very small
business. Only 2% to 3% of visitors to our website use Macs --
the remainder use one of the Microsoft operating systems. To be fully Mac-compatible, we would need to run at least two
-- and probably three or more -- Mac OS
versions. This means we would need two (or likely more) additional computers in our small
office. As well as the additional hardware and software cost -- and the
physical space, we would have to nearly double the time we put into testing. Considering the small volume of
any CD that
we can expect to sell to Mac users, this would greatly increase our costs, and our
price to you.
With newer Macs
increasingly able to read CD-ROMS prepared for PCs, we can't justify the expense
based on our present business volume.
Of course our downloads are compatible with all
computers that can read PDF files -- and virtually all can.
Question: Is recovering and republishing history all that Between
the Lakes Group does? Can you help me in other ways?
Answer: We maintain a small consulting practice,
helping others both with our main business, recovering history and genealogy, as well as
in other areas in which we have accumulated expertise.
Learn more about our consulting practice.
Questions about the way we do business:
Question: What if there is a problem with my order?
Answer: Contact us immediately. We will try our best to help you
promptly. As the old saying goes:
"If you like our products and service, tell your friends. If you don't like them,
We will do our best to make you a satisfied customer,
and happy with the product you have ordered. If a refund or replacement is in
order, you can be assured that one will be forthcoming, and speedily.
Go to our contact page to e-mail us
or call (860)824-0640 about any problems you encounter.
If you are satisfied but have suggestions for
improving our products, we would like to know about that, too. We value your input!
Question: You provide indexes on your website of some of the material on your
CD-ROMS. Why do you do that? Why don't others who publish old records
and reprint history put indexes on-line too?
Answer: Indexing takes time -- lots of
it. While indexing greatly reduces the number of
CD-ROMs we can create and greatly increases our costs, we know that a good index adds
immense value, and we
know that people appreciate having complete, accurate indexes. We certainly
appreciate a complete, accurate index in material we buy (at least when we can find them!)
When we do index one of our publications, we
usually put the indexes on-line because it
makes good sense in an Internet age -- they help people find our site via search
engines like Google and Bing!, and we can help people find unexpected connections on our own
sites via our own internal search capability provided by
Google Custom Search.
But there's more! In doing our own family histories,
too many times we spent sizeable sums of money for books that seemed very likely to have information about
our families in them. Too often, when the book arrived, it did not contain
the information we needed. This may have happened to you as well.
To put it bluntly, we felt
ripped off. We decided that we did NOT want our customers to
feel that way, or to feel that we had exaggerated what our CD-ROMs contained. Putting
some indexes on our website seemed
to be the
most sensible way to make clear exactly what purchasers would find on our
Why don't other re-publishers of old records and
historical material put
indexes on line? After reading why we do
prepare indexes of some of the material we republish and put them on line,
you probably already have a good sense of the reasons that others are
unwilling to provide them. When you purchase a CD from us, you are
encouraging us to provide indexes (or at least a list of
the names in the index) on line.
Something else you might want to consider is checking the
genealogies page here on the website. Many
sources contain so-called "hidden genealogies" and when we find one, we list it
on the genealogies page so you can find it and get more information on it that
way. Our "genealogies" page is here.
We're in the process of creating other subject-matter pages, and an example is
our military history page.
Question: What about image quality? I've
seen books on CD-ROM and online from some vendors and their quality is awful!
Pictures that are so dark that you can barely see, pages with parts that
are folded over, missing pages, just terrible! Are you any different?
Answer: Yes, we ARE different!
Possibly it will help if you
understand how a few of our competitors work. First, they rip apart the old
books (a few even save the cover so they can have the pages glued back
into them and later re-sell the book as being in the original binding). Then, they feed the pages through an automatic high speed bulk
scanner that feeds data directly into a program that directly creates a PDF file. Then,
virtually untouched by human hands (or eyes) they burn the results onto a CD and push the product out the door.
Why? They care about making money, not about history or genealogy, not about
old books, and certainly not about doing a good job.
Our process goes like this: We hand-scan
our books and ephemera, page by page, and work hard to preserve the original
book in the process. We scan at high resolutions, usually either 300 dpi
or 600 dpi, so that we lose no detail either in the printed word or in pictures.
A few of our competitors actually brag about how many pages they can shove through their
high-speed scanners per minute, while we think in terms of how many minutes it
can take to get a decent scan of a single particularly difficult page. After scanning,
we individually adjust the images of every page for the clearest possible
result. We check the pagination to make sure that all the pages are there
and correctly numbered. After the files that make up our CD-ROMs and
downloads are complete
and tested, we have a "beta test" process in which a second
person (and sometimes a third person as well) reviews every single page for completeness, accuracy, clarity, and
overall image quality.
And our old books, the ones we scanned?
We put them back in our own library
-- unlike many of our competitors, who put what is left of their old books in a landfill.
Question: I've seen claims on other websites recently that they don't need
to index their products because they use Adobe Acrobat, and now Acrobat can do
automatic lookups that make indexing unnecessary. Aren't you wasting your
Answer: We use Adobe Acrobat too. We like it, and
have been using various versions of it for nearly 20 years! And we also ship a free copy of Adobe
Reader on every one of our CDs, just in case you don't already have a copy.
But we still hand-index many of our publications, and here's why.
Adobe bases their lookups on a form of optical
character recognition technology -- OCR. Using crisp, clear originals, set
in the popular modern typefaces, on bone white paper, they can routinely achieve better than
accuracy on most of their lookups and can achieve nearly 100% in some cases.
That is pretty impressive, and definitely a vast improvement over the early days
But let's look at the realities of republishing
local history and genealogy.
- First, the typefaces that were in
use a century ago are NOT the ones Adobe's OCR engine (or anyone else's, for
that matter) is calibrated to
read. That means that virtually all old local history books and other
similar publications we scan are automatically going to achieve far worse than
accuracy. The characters that the OCR engine will correctly
identify in those old fonts are those that are identical to the same
letter in a modern type font. There is a whole industry of typeface
designers whose continued employment is based on coming up with new typefaces
-- and this has been the case ever since moveable type was invented in the
1400s. Some typefaces that are a century old or older might as well
be written in Greek as far as modern OCR engines are concerned.
- The quality of the original has a great deal to do with the
success of an OCR reader. The success rates mentioned above apply to mint
condition originals, on bone white paper, with un-faded print, made with
typefaces that have been generated electronically (not the same old hand-set
metal type that had already been in use for several years setting a weekly newspaper --
and collecting plenty of dings and wear in the process). We always look
for the best quality originals we can find, of course. But no amount of
looking is ever going to make well-used, hand-set type, in an obsolete
typeface, on paper a century or more old into
perfect quality originals.
- Any kind of lookup technology makes the assumption that you
know EXACTLY what you are looking for. But computers are very
exact. Here are some examples of lookups that a computer will NOT
consider a match:
- "Post master" is NOT the same thing as
- "N. Y." is NOT the same thing as "NY"
- "and" is NOT the same thing as "&"
- "Bonell" is NOT the same thing as
"Bonnell" or "Bunnell" or "Bonnel"
- "VanBenschoten" is NOT the same thing as
"Van Benschoten" -- or even "Vanbenschoten"
- "Rob't" is NOT the same thing as
The spelling people used 100 years ago -- and the way they
abbreviated and punctuated -- was highly variable, frequently even within the
same source. And no, the Adobe lookup engine does NOT do a soundex
We are providing you with scanned images of
the old books -- essentially, photographs. Even Adobe doesn't claim that they can
reliably index material in photographs!
So, by all means use the Adobe finding capability on our CD-ROMs
too! At very least it will correctly locate the name or words you
are looking for in our index -- the indexes that are unique to our CD-ROMs. Then,
you can easily go from our index to the page where the name or term appears.
Finally, whether you are doing genealogy or whether you are
writing local history, you are probably not going to be satisfied with an 80%
accuracy rate -- or even 90% -- much less 60% -- which is what you can expect
achieve on a less-than-good day with modern OCR technology and century-old documents.
Are you content to be half right? To us, that means that
you are willing to be half wrong, and there's no way that we can condone that!
We do recognize that manual indexing can include errors. We
check our indexes carefully, and we consider a 99% accuracy rate acceptable for one
we create ourselves, and will reprint an original author's index if we find it is 90%
better when we spot-check it.
OCR is rapidly advancing. We already have
an OCR program called Abbyy Finereader that does a better job with old fonts
than Adobe does, and we occasionally use it for projects that are mainly
straight text, with good quality, reasonably modern type. Eventually, perhaps some successor
to it will do the whole job decently. But it's not quite there yet, and our competitors are kidding you when they say
Question: I've read that Google, Amazon, and
others are creating huge on-line libraries of out of copyright books
that you can look up for free on line. First, won't that destroy your
business, and second, are there any benefits to us local historians and
genealogists you can see in this?
Answer: We think that this is great news! So far it has helped our
business as more people are now comfortable with books and articles in electronic form.
We've even joined forces with Google to include some of our titles in their
Google Books section that permit you to see a number of pages and only purchase
the CD from us if you want the whole book.
There's no question that getting the big players
involved will help reach the point where the internet
actually lives up to its promise, and we think that's super news.
Other reasons we don't think it will hurt our
business: Because we tend to republish fairly obscure local history, we
think that it will be decades before they get around to providing the kind of
material on line that we furnish on CDs. In the case of ephemera, such as
pamphlets, booklets, programs, and the like, we are quite sure they will never
have them all captured. Also, we often add previously
unpublished historical material to our CDs. Under present
copyright laws, you will not find this new material elsewhere during our
An additional benefit we are definitely going
to see in the reasonably short run -- perhaps a year or so -- is development of
software that can "read" the old type fonts accurately. This will have to
happen in order for the Googles of the world to actually provide reliable
lookups in the old texts. If Between the Lakes Group asks Adobe
Corporation to improve their ability to read old fonts, they aren't going to pay
much attention. If Google and Amazon ask, we will rapidly see massive
improvements in this area. Soon, these improvements will be affordable,
and we'll incorporate them in our operation. We'll be able to republish
more history faster, and also keep prices under control.
And, such services as Google Books can provide our
prospective customers with a look at a portion of the product BEFORE they buy.
Question: What about privacy?
Answer: Between the Lakes Group not only
complies with all Connecticut and other applicable laws concerning privacy of
we believe not only is fair, but that goes beyond fair. Please compare it
with the privacy policies of others who offer historical and genealogical material
on the web -- if you can find their privacy policies. Let
us know if you find that we fall short in any respect. Here are some of the
- We don't sell, rent, loan to or otherwise share your name, e-mail
address, or postal address with any other organization or individual, ever.
- What you buy from us is a matter between you and us. We
would reveal it only under legal process.
- If you ask us not to send you e-mail (or
postal mail), we will not send you e-mail unless you send us an e-mail (or
contact us otherwise) specifically requesting an answer from us. We
maintain a "NO E-MAIL" file that we actively compare with all outbound
promotional e-mail we send (and we send VERY little of that, and the vendor
who handles that for us is even more fanatical about avoiding spamming than
we are). We dislike "spam" e-mail as much
as you do, and we make every effort not to fall into the spammer category in
anyone's mind. We make every effort to comply 100%+ with the Federal law
against spam. Even before the law was passed, our own voluntary e-mail
practices were already considerably stricter than the provisions Congress enacted into
- We ABSOLUTELY NEVER telemarket. We
hate telemarketers every bit as much as you do!
ABOUT CREDIT CARDS:
We do not collect credit or debit card
numbers, even to process transactions!! When you order from
Between the Lakes Group, your payment is handled for us by PayPal, one
of the largest processors of payments in the world, and we at Between
the Lakes never even see your credit or debit card number. We see
only information from PayPal advising us that you have made a payment to
us. This applies whether you purchase a download or a CD-ROM.
See our catalog.
Return to our e-History page.