Rebooting Electronic Literature, Volume 2: Documenting Pre-Web Born Digital Media

Photos of Deena Larsen's "Samplers"

Deena Larsen's Samplers borrows its design inspiration from quilt-making. Everything from how the lexia are arranged to the appearance of the folio are reminiscent to the patches of a quilt, exploring the multitude of ways that stories can be structured. This section is dedicated to providing descriptions with supplementary photos regarding the physical contents of Samplers.

Samplers is contained within a 9 inch by 6 inch cream-colored folio, which is covered in grey stitch-like patterns. Contents inside include a CD ROM for Windows, a floppy disk for Windows, and a booklet containing the software and license agreement, installation instructions, navigation help, and an introduction by Deena Larsen. 

Folio, Front
The front of the folio is covered in grey and cream stitch-like patterns, which cover the entire folio’s exterior. The top of the folio has turned light purple, though the bottom portion has maintained its original creamy hue. The title “Samplers” at the top is comprised of small black squares that give it a quilted or cross-stitched aesthetic. Underneath the title reads “Nine Vicious Little Hypertexts” in italics. Placed below and center is an image of nine quilt patches stitched together over speckled purple and black fabric in a neat 3x3 grid. Larsen explained that the patterns on each patch represent the link structure of the nine different hypertexts. These patches are described in detail below by row, left to right:

Top row
Patch 1 - A rounded celtic knot of green, blue, white, and burgundy bands are overlaid on a red background.
Patch 2 - An X of randomized blue, white, purple, red, and green fabric patterns rests on top of a black patch.
Patch 3 - Two circular flowers of different sizes with green, purple, red, and blue swirls are laid diagonally across a white square of fabric.

Middle row
Patch 1 - A swastika composed of small blue and black triangles on top of a purple patch.
Patch 2 - A red snowflake with an orange and yellow center. The orange center is speckled with green, and is the same as the background.
Patch 3 - Two diamonds (one of red fabric speckled with light red, the other in dark blue speckled with aqua) overlap each others’ edges. They are arranged horizontally across a navy blue background with a dark red border.

Bottom row
Patch 1 - Wide white V’s speckled in aqua point downward over an aquamarine, cyan, and black patch, which resembles a dense marble pattern.
Patch 2 - Four isosceles triangles arranged reminiscent to a throwing star occupy the center of the patch, speckled with cyan, white, light purple and black threads. Four purple isosceles triangles are arranged at the four corners of the patch clockwise: the top left triangle points upward, the top right points to the right, the bottom right is pointed downward, and the bottom left triangle points left.
Patch 3 - Two thick blue zig-zags facing each other create an hourglass shape in their centers. The hourglass is the color of the background, with is red speckled with green and white threads. The zig-zags are speckled with yellow, white, green, pink, and red threads.

The bottom of the folio reads “Deena Larsen” in bold black letters, center-aligned.

Folio, Spine
The spine has the same stitched pattern as the rest of the folio, with “Deena Larsen” printed on the far left, “Samplers” in the middle, and “Eastgate Systems, Inc.” on the far right.

Folio, Back
“Samplers” is printed at the top in the same way it is on the front. The paragraphs below this title are as follows:

Paragraph 1
Starting from the image of an old-fashioned sampler quilt, Deena Larsen has created nine richly imagined works: stories of spirits returned to haunt the living, of memories that stubbornly refuse to fade, and of children far wiser than their parents. Includes:

Paragraph 2 (right-aligned. The red patch with blue zigzags forming an hourglass is placed on the left-hand side of the text.)
Devil’s Claws: The masks that watched over the family, and what they demanded…

Paragraph 3 (left-aligned. The orange patch with a white diamond-shaped doily is placed on the left-hand side of the text.)
Firewheel: a stranger in Japan, and the Fox God.

Paragraph 4 (center-aligned. The red patch with a circular celtic knot is placed on the left-hand side of the text.)
Mystic Knot: A traffic barrier finds its true worshippers in a San Francisco park.

Paragraph 5 (left-aligned.)
And six others.

Paragraph 6 (center-aligned. This text is a much larger font size than the previous paragraphs.)
Nine Vicious Little Hypertexts

Paragraph 7
Deena Larsen was born in Denver, Colorado. After attending the University of Northern Colorado, she worked in San Francisco and Japan. She returned to Colorado to get a Masters in Engish at the University of Colorado. She now lives in Denver, working as a technical writer and teaching English at community colleges.

Paragraph 8
A black line separates the content at the bottom from everything above it. Text reading “For Windows™  or Macintosh™” has two circles printed after each platform name. The bubble with “For Windows” appears to have been filled in with a sticker that has since been scratched off, leaving only the soft paper layer underneath. The Macintosh bubble is empty.
Below the platforms sections reads “Requires 2 MB free RAM and a hard disk drive.

The Eastgate Systems Inc logo (an ink drawing of a brick wall with an ornate passageway) is at the very bottom of the folio on the left. 
Text to the right of the logo reads “Eastgate Systems I N C” [where “INC” is arranged like a staircase], followed by smaller text that reads:

“134 Main Street 
Watertown, MA 02172

The left of the logo says 
“(800) 562-1638
(617) 924-9044
TAX (617) 924-9051

The bottom-right portion of the folio’s back has an ISBN number printed on it, along with barcode. The ISBN number is 1-884511-30-9

Folio, Inside, Opened
The left side of the folio contains an advertisement for A Dream with Demons by Edward Falco. A summary of the work and Falco’s biography are included on this page. A black line separates this content from the Samplers copyright information and information about Eastgate Systems. This left page also acts as a pouch for the Samplers floppy disks. The right side of the folio contains an advertisement for the Storyspace hypertext authoring system.

CD, Front & Sleeve

Samplers includes a burgundy CD ROM for Windows that reads “Eastgate” on the front. White circular designs emanate from the disc’s center and travel off to the bottom right, growing in size the further away they go. The disc is stored in a white sleeve with an Eastgate Systems label. Top and center is the word “Samplers”, which is comprised of small burgundy squares that give it a quilted or cross-stitched aesthetic. Below it in italics reads “Nine Vicious Little Hypertexts.” A thick burgundy line contains white text that says “SERIOUS HYPERTEXT from,” followed by the Eastgate System Inc.’s logo in burgundy at the bottom left and their address on the right:
“Eastgate Systems I N C [again, ‘INC’ is structured like a descending staircase]
134 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02172
(800) 562-1638
(617) 924-9044.”

Booklet, Front
The front of the booklet is identical to the folio cover, except that it is printed in black and white.

Booklet, License Agreement, Warranty and Disclaimer, and Copyright & Page 1
The first page contains the license agreement, Warranty and Disclaimer, and Copyright information, while the second page contains a table of contents.
Booklet, Page 2 & 3
Page 2 is blank. Page 3 provides Macintosh installation instructions for Samplers.

Booklet, Pages 4 & 5
Page 4 is a continuation of the Macintosh installation page. Page 5 contains the instructions for installing Samplers on a Windows device.
Booklet, Pages 6 & 7
Page 6 provides the rest of the Windows installation instructions. Page 7 shows the user how to navigate Samplers for the Macintosh, such as hitting the RETURN key to follow a default path through the work.
Booklet, Pages 8 & 9
Page 8 is a continuation of the navigation instructions for Macintosh. Page 9 begins explaining how to navigate Samplers on a Windows device, which spans more pages than the Macintosh instructions do. Page 9 begins by differentiating the two types of windows that the user will get to interact with: the Text windows and the Map windows, which are not provided in the Macintosh version.

Booklet, Pages 10 & 11
Page 10 describes ways to interact with the hyperlinks on a Windows device (such as holding CTRL to view all links in a passage.) It also explains the Text windows controls that are found at the bottom of every text window (like the HISTORY and BACK ARROW buttons.) Page 11 talks about the Map windows, specifically how to navigate and use the window as a resource for viewing the work.

Booklet, Pages 12 & 13
Page 12 is a continuation of the Map windows instructions from the previous page. Page 13 provides an introduction written by Deena Larsen, which goes all the way to page 15.

Booklet, Pages 16 & 17
Page 16 provides an About the Author section. Page 17 shares Eastgate System Inc.’s contact information in case the user has any questions regarding the product.

Booklet, Back
The back of the booklet is left blank.

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