The Jack Kerouac ROMnibus

This CD-ROM project was developed in 1995. It contains the entire text of The Dharma Bums with annotations, selections from other Kerouac works, an archive of Kerouac's papers, a gallery of artwork and related photographs, a timeline of Kerouac's life, a "Beat Family Tree" illustrating the interwoven relationships of the Beat Generation, and a sampler of recordings of Kerouac's work.

The project was developed by Mind in Motion and published by Penguin. It was produced and directed by Ralph Lombreglia and Kate Bernhardt. Graphics design and illustration by Fran Forman. Software design and development by Michael D. Murie

There were also many other contributors, including researchers, a literary consultant and others...


Short description of the development
The Kerouac project was originally prototyped using a product called SuperCard. Once the prototype was approved we were told that it had to be delivered as a cross-platform project. At the time the developers of SuperCard were promising a version for Windows (it was Macintosh only) but it was going to be several months away. We could risk developing in SuperCard under the assumption that by the time we were finished they'd release the Windows version OR we could switch to Macromedia Director. Macromedia released (within a couple of weeks of our approval to start) version 4.0 of Director, which was there first cross-platform version. So we jumped.

Developing in Director was a challenge because the project was almost a database problem; there were about a thousand annotations with each one made up of several elements; title, text, picture, etc. We were also limited by the number of sprite channels Director supported (the number of sprite channels is the maximum number of individual elements that can be on screen at the same time.)

Other problems included dealing with all the rights holders (fortunately I didn't have to handle that), creating the anti-aliased text for the book, and dealing with the video. Some of the biggest problems at the end were getting the project to play the video correctly under Windows.

The screen shots below provide only a taste of the product. Unfortunately, it's very hard-if not impossible-to find the product now.


The Main screen of the Kerouac ROMnibus.
Click on an icon to see more about individual modules

| The Dharma Bums | Archive | The Beats | Timeline | Gallery |


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