Rae Baxter's Key to
Fishes of Alaska is Rae's work as he left it. There have been many
potholes in the road to getting Rae's monumental work out into the
hands of the fishery scientists who want it. The original manuscript
has been modified and appears elsewhere under someone else's name. I
was totally stymied by having a disk with gaps in the text.
Professionals had tried to recover them with no success. Then Print
Works in Homer, Alaska recovered the entire text.
Fortunately, I had copyrighted the work. I give my permission for individuals and organizations to reproduce this work for their own use. I want Rae to have the recognition which is his due. He worked on this book for 34 years. He went on many research cruises after his retirement. He did the field work. He did the writing. He took meristics counts on all the fish he could get his hands on. He built his own fisheries library. This is his work.
This is a work in progress as far as getting it on the internet is concerned. My helper, who is a self -educated computer bug, is constantly learning new tricks. He also has other things to do, so the project proceeds erratically. However, it is proceeding; so keep looking. If the Family you need isn't there now, it will be .
About four years ago, Sera Baxter showed me a copy of Rae's manuscript, and we started cooking up a plan to make it accessable via the internet. At the time, neither of us had any modern computer experience, and I had none at all. First, I had to learn about using a computer.
Help came in the form of a gift from Richard Oien, a used AST 9303, which I have since modified to a much more potent machine than it was sold as. That inspiration came out of the blue, as I found an old friend and bandmate of a third of a century ago by the name of Eric Laffoon, via a search engine. His rather constant verbal proddings got me to take up the study of computer technologies, and commence to make this massive collection of data fairly web friendly. Of particular importance to Sera, is the need to get the Meristics in circulation, thus the current simple state of this directory.
It is a work in progress. I'm typing with just my thumbs and middle fingers, due to injuries. There are over 1200 pages to type and arrange for your hard drive, so far I've made it to page 79. Many drawings and photos to scan. I start with individual families in Open Document and Adobe's PDF placed in a subdirectory for each family. Images will be added there as obtained. The ultimate goal of this is to provide a directory easy to download via FTP, or perhaps in a zip type file.
A side benefit for me, is getting to learn about the subject of Ichthiology. Spellings may need upgrading, as I'm not well versed in these terms. I don't recognize a typo when I see it, yet. I'm guessing that this will be finished (and polished!) by winter 2007.