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Re: Cost of the VMS...?
> [Nick Pelling:] Has anyone tried to calculate how much the VMS
> would have cost to produce? I'm thinking along the lines of the
> recent TV documentary where a group of engineers worked out
> (using modern project management tools) how long it would have
> taken to build a pyramid in Ancient Egyptian times. It's way too
> easy to unconsciously project our economic models onto those
> times. :-/
It must have taken me somewhere between 0.5--2.0 hours to fabricate
that "lost" page of the VMS. That is probably how much it would have
taken for the VMS author to write and draw the real thing from a draft
copy. Thus the whole book must have taken 100--300 man-hours, i.e.
between a couple of weeks and a couple of months.
This estimate does not include the time needed to encode the text ---
which could have been anywhere from zero to many hours per page; nor
the time spent researching (or inventing) of the semantic contents.
Indeed, if the latter was based on the author's own field/lab notes,
that part of the work could have taken a lifetime.
> Also: how easy would it have been to get hold of all the things
> you'd have needed to make the VMS?
Vellum, ink and pens would have been easily available and affordable
to any scholar or crank, almost anywhere in Europe.
> Here, I'm reminded of the passage quoted on Rafal's page where
> Arthur Dee's tutor, "under pretence of going to Budweiss to buy
> cullors", runs away.
IIRC, for much of his Bohemian years, Dee lived with his family
in the country estate of some nobleman (Rozmberk?). So naturally
even the most trivial purchases would require a trip to the nearest
Moreover, it is still an open question whether the VMS colours are
original, or were applied much later.
All the best,