I never thought I would live to see the day. The British Museum which is one of the greatest repositories in the world of human knowledge — and of which I am a very, very proud member, has been seduced by Microsoft. No ordinary seduction. Microsoft has got the British Museum to push you into getting Microsoft programs on to your computer to view its treasures.
Go first to http://www.bl.uk/.
Now click on turning the pages which gets you into http://www.bl.uk/ttp2/ttp2.html.
Read what it says:
Turning the Pages 2.0™ allows you to ‘virtually’ turn the pages of our most precious books. You can magnify details, read or listen to expert commentary on each page, and store or share your own notes.
Turning the Pages 2.0™ runs with Internet Explorer on Windows Vista or Windows XP SP2 with .NET Framework version 3, on a broadband connection. We have detected that you do not have the necessary software. You may also need to check that your hardware meets the ‘Vista Premium Ready’ specification. If you think you have suitable hardware and software, you can go direct to Turning the Pages 2.0 and try it out.
Then it has a saving note:
Turning the Pages on Shockwave includes all the books on Turning the Pages 2.0 except for the Codex Leicester notebook of Leonardo da Vinci (it also has a different selection of pages from the Codex Arundel notebook). The Diamond Sutra and musical excerpts from Mozart’s musical diary are available only on the Shockwave version.
So the British Museum is telling you that if you want to view its treasures on line you need to support Microsoft. I think I may resign in protest. I have put a big, thick black border around the illustration. It is a sign of mourning.