The Ten Pound Island mainframe is in the lab for overhaul, and I’m forced to do all my computer chores on my teeny weenie backup brain. Hence, the brevity of this blog entry, which reflects the drop in capacity from tera to giga to mega to kila.
Actually, I’m quite fond of my little Toshiba Netbook.
I bought it in 2010. It was somewhere on the evolutionary chain between the laptop and the tablet, and quite a novelty in its day. It served me well for many years. It was light and portable, and it had a long battery life. When my old computer blew up three years ago I used the Netbook for several weeks to run my book business. Because it was so portable, it was the machine I took with me on my travels. I wrote several years worth of “Bookman’s Logs” on it, and it lived in my backpack inside a ziplock bag during my four years of walking down the Connecticut River, following the journey of John Ledyard. The only problem was that with a mere 2 MB (I upgraded it from its original 1 MB) of ram in its diminutive brain it… r a n v e r y s l o w l y…
Before my big brain left I’d been cataloging a book I bought at last week’s Boston Book Fair. It was written by a fascinating character named Archibald Campbell. His story is so fantastic I’m surprised it hasn’t turned into the basis for a best-selling-novel-soon-to-be-a-major-motion-picture.
Campbell, Archibald. A Voyage Round the World, from 1806 to 1812; in Which Japan, Kamschatka, the Aleutian Islands and the Sandwich Islands Were Visited… With an Account of the Present State of the Sandwich Islands, and a Vocabulary of Their Language.. Charleston, SC: Duke & Browne, 1822. 12 mo. (5)-220 pp. b/w folding map colored in outline. 
“Third American edition.” This is a fascinating and, in my opinion, under-appreciated account of a journey to China and Japan, and along the coast of Alaska. “Of great value is his description of the Hawaiian Islands. Campbell became close to Kamehameha I, King of Hawaii, and became the king’s sailmaker. He built the first loom in those islands. After a shipwreck, Campbell had both his feet frozen… American imprints of this date, relating to Pacific voyages, are rare. – Hill 245. “Campbell’s description of Kodiak is particularly valuable.” – Lada Mocarski 71. “Probably the earliest printing of a Hawaiian vocabulary in America. The American edition contains information not found in the Edinburgh edition.” – Forbes 461. See also Hunnewell p. 29. Huntress 184C. Judd 30. This Charleston edition is scarce, Worldcat showing only eight libraries holding copies. Bound in functional but gaudy half morocco-like substance over blue boards, with eye-popping gold decoration and spine lettering. (Why do people do that?) $500
(Just as I was ready to shut the old Toshiba down, I noticed this fugitive image on the desktop… The Three Wise Men from however many years ago, looking at something that was obviously very interesting. Especially after those three bottles on the counter had been emptied.)