The index.html in the htdocs folder which you are viewing here,  is the basic management html (the index.html in the file structure on your portable USB drive: \init_usb_no\htdocs\index.html).  It was created with NVU, an html editing and publishing program which will be explained after the initial installation of the required hardware and software.  The creation of this folder structure is intended to establish a convention that will simplify the creation of/transfer to a web site and will also simplify accessing, finding, and testing your files for web-based access on any computer or  server.  

It is assumed that seminar participants have a working knowledge of how to find and create folders  via right clicking the Start button, and clicking on Explore on the XP tool bar.

1)You should begin by giving your flash USB drive a permanent drive assignment.  This is done by using the administrative tools that come with XP, the final screen of which appears below.  Note that the initial drive designation for the  flash USB drive on my computer was 'G'.  It may be initially assigned differently on different laptops.


2) The next step is to change your flash USB drive name, and change  the first directory on the usb flash drive to your initials underscore, usb underscore 01. Never use hyphens in a drive or directory name and only before a sequential number in a file name. Use lower case letters wherever possible in all labeling of directories and files.

Links to all subsequent htmls will follow from the index.html.  

All software will be placed in the software subdirectory on the  USB flash drive.

For security's sake you should periodically copy the USB flash drive to the laptop hard drive and to the USB backup drive. Flash drives and hard drives will crash.  The only security for electronic note taking, research and writing, is to keep files backed up/transferred to a 'live' storage environment on a regular basis. I would suggest that this be at the end of every working hour or so.

3) Assuming you have Firefox2 as your default browser, the next step is to install  Zotero note taking software ( and  Nvu html editing software (free), which is an open source, free html editor.  The software will be found in the the software directory on the usb drive once copied there by the instructor.  In installing Zotero, be sure to use the tools option to require that the Zotero files are in a subdirectory under htdocs labeled zotero_database.  To install Nvu in Firefox, a separate program called must be used.  Instructions will be given in class if self-installation does not progress smoothly. 

4) Next install the  IRFAN imaging/image management software and plugins (free) found in the software directory.  This is a most useful image management and imaging software program that will meet all of you research imaging needs.

5) Next install the  ABYSS personal server software found in the software directory.  This is probably the most complex of the software packages to set up and to coordinate with NVU, but it will help you prepare and manage your research files as a web site and will provide a simple means of testing hyperlinks to be certain they work as they should on any web site.

6) Next install Google's package of free software, especially  word processing, desktop search,  and Google Earth. When installing Google Earth, be sure that you have administrator privileges on your laptop or it will not install properly.

The Google pack as of 8/17/2007 was located at:

The following indicates the Google software I have installed.  While the illustrations are images captured from an Internet Explorer browser, the instructions are the same using Firefox2 as your default browser.  For research purposes, Google Earth, Google Desktop, Adobe Reader, and Star Office are the minimum requirements.  You must be on line on the internet to install this software.

7) Next install two useful file management programs, one for multiple renaming of files (mrsetup.exe) and  the other for  global searching and replacing text (sr.exe).  Both programs are located in the software directory.  

8) No matter how careful you may be in arranging and recording your files, something is bound to get lost or be misplaced in the wrong directory.  An excellent free software program for indexing any drives attached to your laptop is Copernic desktop indexing software.  A copy is in the software directory, but as with all the recommended software it is always a good idea to check the web site to be certain you have installed the most up to date version.  Copernic along with Google Desktop Search will not only help you find misplaced files, it will also simulate how your files would be indexed by web crawlers when placed on a web server accessible to the public.
Recommended software:

PDF driver software for exporting to PDF (the most inexpensive and effective I have found to date is the docucom/Zeon pdf printer driver available from (single user license  ca. $49-99) required).

OCR software such as ABBYY($399), IRIS($129), or OMNIPAGE ($149.99)  for creating searchable text/html files and searchable pdfs.

Integrating the software packages:

Getting Firefox2, Zotero,  NVU, the Abyss personal web sever, and the Google programs to work seamlessly together for research and writing requires careful attention to settings in the software.

1) The first step to interoperability is to prepare the settings in the Abyss personal web server by setting the default in Abyss to the master index html on the lap top and and creating an alias to its duplicate on the USB Flash Drive..

Set aliases as needed to access other files  on other drives using the personal web server.   For example:

2) Next set the Nvu Site manager (go to edit sites) so that it displays your research directories and files so that they can be edited directly from Nvu.  You have the option of editing and adding to your files on the laptop or on the USB drive.  I would recommend working from the USB drive initially, being certain to back up and keep current the duplicate copy on the laptop.


Using "localhost" or "localhost" plus alias- for example http://localhost/research_seminar in the IE browser, will simulate a web environment and permit editing of linked htmls with Nvu.  Note that when you access an html through the personal web server (Abyss), be sure to access and edit the files displayed on the Nvu Site Manager, having closed the first tab.  You could edit in the first tab but you will then have to be very careful how you publish your editing back to the web site.

Also always be certain that all research and writing files are in sub directories below the htdocs directory in which the master/initial index.html resides.  With Abyss installed, you can test all of your web intended htmls by using your browser and place http://localhost as the requested URL.  Note that for this to work successfully you must have created a master index.html in your httdocs subdirectory that links to your web pages.

With the required software installed and the settings in place to integrate Nvu editing software with ABYSS, proceed to research and writing to begin applying the installed software and hardware to your research and writing.

Note that all instructions and software programs as of 9/5/2007 are available to download as a zip file created by which is included in the software directory.