The following notes mostly pertain to the original version of the work that was issued on a CD. This version on the internet, is cut down because of the storage and bandwidth needed to provide all the functionality. The need for a screen resolution of 800x600 and 64,000 colours or better is still pertinent and the notes below provide information on this along with fixed font sizes. The images and graphics on this internet version are not of the same standard of quality as those on the CD, having been 'optimised' for faster loading on the web.
The CD version allows enlargement of the thumbnails on each page without the drop shadow and bevel and also printing to a fixed size. The seperate files it uses for enlargement are at this time too big for viewing on a standard dial up connection and the storage needed is in excess of 500MB so they are not available. The CD version also includes copies of the original scans before they were processed or enhanced, extra pictures that were not included in the main collection plus other files including working files and templates.
I would draw your attention to the notes below on historical data and copyright.
The Credits section from the Main Menu is worth viewing and contains the author's contact details at this time.
The CD is designed to run on any IBM compatible PC system running any of the Windows operating systems except for the early Windows 3 systems. The higher the specification of your machine, the better the CD will work. A monitor of 17" or above is the ideal display.
The computer must have installed on it, Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4 or higher browser software. Although it has not been tested on Netscape Navigator browsers of version 4 or higher, it should run with them, too. The important thing regarding the browser is that the font size MUST be set to medium. This is usually the default. If you want to check this on Internet Explorer, click on View on the menu bar and then Text Size. Make sure Medium has a dot next to it. If you don't have this set correctly, the pages will not be displayed properly.
Screen Resolution and Colours
This CD will not work at a screen resolution of 640x480. It was designed specifically for a screen resolution of 800x600. This is the most common resolution used at the time of writing although not really the best for displaying photo images. You can use a resolution of 1024x768 or higher. This will provide much sharper images but they will be proportionately smaller and the page detail will occupy a smaller area of the screen. Working at higher resolutions than 800x600 will not affect the size of the image sent to your printer, though. That will always be the same.
If you wish to change the resolution of your screen, right click on the screen desktop, select Properties, select Settings and slide the bar under Screen Area to the desired setting. Then click Apply and click OK on the pop up box. The screen will go blank for a few seconds. If the display is fine and you see the message 'Do you want to keep this setting', click OK. Should you not see the message and the screen is distorted or remains blank, wait. After fifteen seconds your screen will return to normal. If the latter occurs and you are trying to move from a screen resolution of 640x480 to 800x600, then unfortunately your hardware does not support it and you cannot use this CD. If you are moving from 800x600 to 1024x768 and this happens, then your hardware will not support the higher resolution and you will have to use 800x600.
The CD requires for correct display that you are using 64,000 (16 bit) colours or better. If you wish to check this, right click on the screen desktop, select Properties, select Settings and under Colors there is a drop down box that enables you to select the number of colours your screen displays. Select the highest one that does not alter the Screen Area setting from your chosen resolution.
Apart from this, the other parameter that is of paramount importance is font size. I have already mentioned font size relative to browser software. Your system's font size is also important to the display of the pages on the CD. If you are using a screen resolution of 800x600, you MUST be using small system fonts (default usually). To check this, right click on the desktop, select Properties, select Settings, select Advanced. Under the General tab you will see Font Size. If it does not say Small Fonts, click the drop down menu and select small fonts. Now click on Apply and you will be returned to the Settings window. Click on Close and the computer will ask you to Restart. Make sure you have saved any work you have open before restarting the computer.
Navigation and Display
This has been made as simple as possible and was one of the reasons for adopting a browser for displaying the images. Most computer users these days are familiar with browsers through Internet usage. From the Index page you have the options at the top of Author's Notes, User Guide, Credits and Tech Notes. Each opens another window containing the information. When you are finished, close the window by clicking on the ' Back' button on your browser toolbar or by clicking on the Main Menu button at the bottom of the page.
Below these options is the Main Menu, which leads you to each section of the photo collections. Clicking on an item in the menu will open a new window and display the first frame of that collection. Arrows in the bottom left and right of the screen can be clicked on to move back and forward through the frames. When you have finished and wish to exit from that collection, click on the Main Index button at bottom centre of the frame.
Whilst looking at a frame, in the majority of cases, clicking on any picture will enlarge it in a new window. There are some pictures in the collection which do not do this and will be annotated accordingly. When the image is enlarged, you have two options at the bottom of the picture. One is to close the the window and the other to print the picture. See the section Printing below. Do not try to open more than one enlarged window at a time by clicking on several pictures. Only one can be displayed at a time and clicking on a second will cause the open window to minimise onto the task bar containing the second image you clicked on.
When a picture is enlarged it can be sent to your printer. The output is a fixed, scaled size and fits centrally on an A4 page in portrait mode. Changing your print mode to landscape will not increase the picture size. You can adjust the other print settings to your own personal requirements, i.e. resolution, print quality etc. Refer to your printer user guide for further information on print settings for your machine. Bear in mind that a high quality inkjet printer will give the best results and more so if you use photo quality paper. You should also bear in mind that the images that you see on-screen have been optimised to look good on your monitor and as such will not always provide an acceptable print without making adjustments to your print settings. This is a fact of life unfortunately. You may need to make several test prints with different settings to achieve a satisfactory result. Do persevere!
Beyond the results obtained by the fixed print output, you can go a stage further that will provide better quality and enable you to change the size of the print. All of the files of the photos on the CD are stored in separate directories under the folder Collections. This folder breaks down into section folders for each collection and then into the Image, HTML and Thumbnail folders. The Image folder contains the photo files in PNG format and are named for easy identification. You can load these files into any graphics package you have that accepts PNG files and then print them out at the size you want. A word of warning here. The size you can safely go to is determined by the size of the original picture and the resolution it was scanned at. Most of the pictures on the CD were scanned on average between 150dpi up to 400dpi.
If you do not have a suitable graphics package, I have included one on the CD called Paint Shop Pro. This is a 30 day trial version and instructions for full purchase are included after the 30 day trial is up. You will find it in the folder PSP. Run Setup and install it. Once installed it is simple to use. With the program running, select File from the top bar and then Open. Navigate to the area of the CD where the files you want are. Select the file and click OK. The file will load on screen. Now select File again from the menu bar and select Page Setup. On the right, click on the box marked Fit to Page below the previewed image or else use the scale facility to achieve whatever size you want. (You should note that the pictures on the CD were sometimes scanned from small photos and you will find if that you try to enlarge them too much, they will print with a 'blocky' effect. Experiment with different sizes of print to achieve an acceptable image quality). Now on the left choose Portrait or Landscape whichever is the more suitable and below that select Color or Grayscale. Now click OK. Then go back to the File menu on the top bar and select Print. Select your chosen resolution etc. and print. If you are using a quality inkjet and quality photo paper, you will be amazed at how good the end result is but you may need to experiment with plain paper first until you get the settings right.
High Quality Prints
If you do not have the facility to produce the quality of print you may want for display purposes, then feel free to contact me. My details are in the Credits section. I can print any of the pictures you want on high quality equipment using the best quality photo papers. The charge for this will depend on the size and number of prints you require. I stress that the charge will be for material and labour and I cannot reproduce prints of pictures that are copyright of the owner as stated on the CD without their permission.
Photo Quality and Display Quality
Remember that when looking at the old pictures on the CD, they were scanned from photographs that in some cases were anything up to 100 years old. Also, many of the photographs were very small indeed. Some of the scans were from photos that were copies and not originals. These factors and the scanning process itself, means the resultant image quality of some of the pictures was quite poor. I have laboriously manipulated most of the images using several graphics packages to crop, adjust brightness, contrast, sharpness and many other parameters to make them more acceptable.
Also, you must remember that the resolution of the monitor plays a big part in how good the result will be alongside the quality of the monitor. The very fact that they are being displayed on a low resolution medium such as the average computer system is a big disadvantage before all other factors are taken into consideration. A computer with a screen resolution of 800x600 means that you are only seeing the pictures at 72dpi (Dots Per Inch). If you want to see the pictures at their best, I really urge you to print them following the instructions above. You will be amazed at the difference!
Variations in how your monitor is adjusted is another factor to consider and you may need to fiddle with both contrast and brightness to achieve a good result. It is my experience that most people have both brightness and contrast far too high on their display!
I have included on the CD in the folder Originals, copies of the original scanned files in PNG format, each in separate folders. PNG is a lossless format and provides the best quality. These files have not been cropped or manipulated in any way and gives you the chance to load them into a good graphics package and play around with them for yourself. I must apologise for the fact they are not that well organised, but nevertheless, they are all there. The filenames, categories and folders will possibly differ from those in the Collections on the CD. Also, you will find that there are many pictures contained in Originals that were not used in the main part of the CD for various reasons. There are also pictures in the folders of the Collections that have not been featured. Have fun exploring!
I have had great difficulty in providing accurate information on the greatest proportion of the old pictures in this collection. Very few that belonged to the Breachwood archive had any information with them as to the date, place or identification of people in the pictures. Other pictures from other sources have provided me with the same headaches. I have had to rely on the information provided by various generous people in the village to get some information about the pictures. I am very grateful to those who have helped me in this respect. Aside from this, I have had to do some detective work and research in teasing out details of pictures and in many cases, just had to take a 'guesstimate'. I hold my hands up here and say that I cannot guarantee the validity of the descriptions of the pictures and historical facts. I have, however, done my best with what has been available. If you find that you disagree with what I have written and have better or further information, please contact the Hertfordshire Archive and Local Studies (HALS) section of the main library at County Hall, Hertford. They will be pleased to talk to you.
The pictures on the CD have been culled from many sources. In the majority of cases the copyright to the pictures exists with the original photographer and due reference has been made to this where possible. However, a large number of the pictures were obviously taken many years ago and the photographer has long since passed away. I have asked people in many cases for their permission to reproduce photographs belonging to themselves and their families and have been given verbal permission. There are also a number of photographs which I have reproduced without the owner's consent as I just could not find them. I hope that in these latter cases that the owners of the pictures will not be duly offended. Also, I trust that those who find pictures of themselves in the collection will not be duly upset by their inclusion. The project was never to be a commercial venture and the CD has been given to a number of people and has been sold to many others for the price of the raw materials to create it.
If anyone has any issue over the inclusion of any picture or pictures featured on the CD, please contact myself and I will make sure that the material will be removed from any future versions of the work
Copyright of a Pictorial History of Breachwood Green in terms of the design and construction of the work and all text unless otherwise stated, is with myself, Peter Rochford. No part of these may be copied or reproduced without written permission.