Date:         Sun, 23 May 1999 00:57:38 -0500
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
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Comments:     Originally-From: Patrick Douglas Crispen 
From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
Subject:      TOURBUS-BONUS -- 23 MAY 1999 -- ACSES / BOOKFINDER / ISBN.NU
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Howdy, y'all.  Your fearless bus driver was looking for a way to avoid
studying for the Microsoft Networking Essentials exam, so I decided to
send you a bonus TOURBUS post.  :)
TOURBUS -- even bonus TOURBUS posts like this one -- remains free
thanks to the financial support of our sponsors.  I want to thank the
folks at "A-Lock" for making today's post possible.  Please take a
moment to visit today's sponsor to thank them for keeping TOURBUS on
the road!
On Friday, I told you about [ ], the
free, online bookstore search engine.  Well, thanks to the help of
several alert TOURBUS riders, your fearless bus driver has some more
bookstore search engines for you to check out.  The first is called
"Acses," and you can find it at .
Key in a title, author, ISBN, or keyword, and Acses will compare
prices from 40 different online bookstores.  Best of all, unlike, the results from a search at Acses actually contain a
BUNCH of information.  For example, a search for Tom Clancy's book
"Rainbow Six" yields 10 hits, and each hit tells you:
     1. The book's title;
     2. The book's author;
     3. The book's publishing date;
     4. The book's publisher;
     5. The book's binding (in other words, how the book is bound --
        usually either "trade paper" for paperback books or "trade
        cloth" for hardcover books);
     6. The book's ISBN (which either stands for "international
        standard book number" or "integrated services bigital
        network" -- I forget); and
     7. The book's list price.
By way of comparison, an initial search at only shows you
the book's title, author, and ISBN.
Once you find the book you are looking for -- in the case of "Rainbow
Six," it is the third hit on the page -- just click on its link.  This
takes you to a page that:
     - Shows the book's cover;
     - Restates some of the information you saw on the search page;
     - Shows you some reviews of the book (if they are available); and
     - Displays a "Compare Prices for this Book" form that is
       remarkably similar to the form at
To actually find the prices at each of the online bookstores:
     - Pick the location where you want the book to be shipped;
     - Pick the currency unit you want to use;
     - Pick a "search time limit" (between 20 and 40
       seconds); and
     - Click on the "Start Price Comparison" button.
The top of the next page will show you (once again) the basic
information about your book, including its list price (in other words,
its cover price).  Scroll down the page to see a price comparison
table.  This table shows you the total price from each of up to 40
different online bookstores, including shipping.
When comparing prices, make sure to consider not only the price but
also how long it will take the book to be delivered to you.  For
example, for US$23.37 I can have Rainbow Six delivered to me via
snail mail in about 16 to 45 days (no wonder they call it "snail"
mail!).  For an additional 10 cents, I can have the same bookstore
deliver Rainbow Six to me in 2 to 10 days via UPS.  That first price
may be cheaper, but the second one is a better bargain.
Besides being a well-designed site, Acses is also a pretty substantial
operation.  They recently received funding from Bertelsmann Ventures,
the independent venture capital fund of the Bertelsmann Group.
Bertelsmann AG is the third largest media company in the world, but
most Americans know the company best for its music division: BMG
Entertainment (whose artists include Aretha Franklin, Arturo
Toscanini, the Backstreet Boys, David Bowie, and even the late Elvis
Presley).  [Give yourself 5 bonus points if you actually know who
Toscanini is, and 10 bonus points if you can name the orchestra he
conducted during World War II.]
I don't think it comes as a shock to anyone that shortly after Acses
received funding from Bertelsmann, Access expanded their service to
include comparison shopping for both music and movies.  To compare
music prices offered by the biggest online music stores, just click on
the "music" tab at the top of Acses' homepage, or point your Web
browser to .
You can search by album title, artist, or keyword, and the process is
identical to searching for a book.  Acses' music search engine is
great for contemporary music searches, but HORRIBLE for classical
music searches.  In fact, I couldn't get a single hit for any of the
following search terms: "Overture 1812," "1812 Overture," "1812,"
"March Slave," or even "Karajan."  That's just plain sad.  [By the
way, if anyone knows where I can find a CD copy of Karajan's DG
recording of the 1812, let me know ... I can't find it ANYWHERE!]
Acses also offers a movie search that compares prices for both videos
and DVDs.  You can find that search engine by clicking on the "movies"
tab at the top of Acses' homepage, or by pointing your Web browser to .
You can search for movies by title, director, star, or keyword.  Be
careful when ordering a video or DVD online, though.  While the Net is
international, television standards are not.  Before you purchase a
videotape online, make sure it is recorded in a format that will play
on your VCR and TV.  And before you purchase a DVD online, make sure
it encoded to play in your region of the world (to prevent video
piracy, DVDs purchased in one part of the world -- like France -- will
not play on DVD players in another part of the world -- like Canada).
Unless you really know the difference between the NTSC, PAL, and SECAM
formats, your best bet is to only purchase video tapes and DVDs from
online merchants located in your own country.
Shortly after I wrote about, I received a bunch of emails
from your fellow TOURBUS passengers suggesting that I write about  I also received suggestions for a few other online
bookstore search engines, including:
     This search engine lets you search through seven online
     bookstores including and Powell's.  Their database may
     be small, but BookFinder is great if you are looking for used,
     rare, and antiquarian books.
     Located in the country of Niue, ISBN.NU uses a system in which 8
     concurrent searches happen in under 15 seconds.
Your best bet is try all of these search engines out and see which
ones you like the best.
I goofed ... again.  In my 6 May 1999 post on the Top Ten Web Mistakes,
I misspelled spell Jakob Nielson's name.  I apologize.
I do have some good news to share with you, though.  Back in my 6
August 1998 post I asked:
     A couple of years ago I saw a TV show where museum officials
     covered the surfaces of great paintings with a rubberized epoxy.
     The epoxy was then peeled off, giving the officials a negative
     of the artist's brush strokes.  This negative could then be used
     to make hyper-realistic copies of that painting.
     Does anyone know more about this process or where you can
     purchase these copies?  I really think this would make a great
     TOURBUS stop.  :)
Thanks to the help of a TOURBUS rider, I was able to find the folks who
make and sell these replicas, and we will be talking about their Web
site in a future bonus edition of TOURBUS.  :)
'LANNA (noun).  The capital of Georgia.
Usage: "Ya see them 'limpics in 'lanna a few years back?"
[Special thanks to an anonymous TOURBUS rider for today's wurd]
You can find all of the old Southern Words of the day at 
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
=====================[ Tourbus Rider Information ]===================

   The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2238
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TOURBUS BONUS -- 23 MAY 1999 -- ACSES  /  BOOKFINDER , viruses, hoaxes, urban legends, search engines, cookies, cool sites
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