Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
actual product may differ from illustration

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Thin tech manuals

tech manuals you can read on the train
  [vote for,

Simple - sell (for example) Professional Serverside Programming in 15 volumes, rather than one 1500 page book weighing a couple of kilos. That way I can read it on the train without having to bring a seperate bag to carry the thing.
mcscotland, Apr 23 2001


       Vikram Seth, after publishing the veyr think _A Suitable Boy_, remerked that personally he slices thick books into signatures so he can carry them about conveniently.   

       This would be most appropriate for computer manuals that aren't likely to be wanted a decade from now. Perhaps we should push the intermediate step of expecting thick computer manuals to be signature-sewn; or make sure that Kinko's, etc., will reinforce the glue on an artificial signature.
hello_c, Apr 23 2001

       There's a cosmic law operating against me: the info I need is a small section contained only in very thick, expensive books. If I can't find one at a library, I'm stuck. I vote yes on thin.
Dog Ed, Apr 24 2001

       That's a bit like asking M$ to produce an OS that doesn't take up half a gig.
Tegestu, Sep 14 2001

       Following Mr Rees, most really thick computer books seem largely full of whitespace, big chapter headings often as long as the very small chapters, large margins, big spaces between paragraphs, not very meaningful diagrams, cartoonish box-outs, cut-and-paste padding, and very few actual words. The idea seems to be that if a book is selling for 40 or 50 USD, you have to make it really big and heavy so people think they're getting their money's worth.
pottedstu, Nov 12 2001

       [Tegestu]: But MS does produce an OS that takes up only a few megs and yet supports Word, Outlook, Excel and a bunch o' other stuff. It's called WinCE/PocketPC 2002.
bristolz, Nov 12 2001

       stu: having made the same observation, I now examine the thinnest book on any subject first. it seems a good way to home in on the one well-written book among the potboilers.
wiml, Jun 07 2002

       I still have all the manuals along with first 86 - now in storage along with a Commodore which ran to TV.
10 INPUT "What is your name"; A$
20 PRINT "Hello "; A$
thumbwax, Jun 07 2002

       Sadly, for some odd reason people who don't know anything about computers (or any subject) will always buy the biggest book available, as (obviously) this contains the most info. Sadly, half hte time this is done by large whitespace, and printing out the entire set of, for example, keyboard codes in the massive appendices.
Soapy, Jun 01 2007

       I guess I see the point of this, if you're only reading on the train or just for some straight forward reading. But what happens if you need to tote the manual to another work site for reference? You're gonna be kicking yourself for leaving section 7 at home.   

       That said, and more practically, have you looked to see if your book is available electronically?
Noexit, Jun 01 2007

       30 GOTO 20, shirley?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 01 2007

       Speaking of which, why the heck don't ALL technical books come with a CD/DVD with the entire contents of the book? It would add almost nothing to the cost of production. I prefer having a hard copy of books, but a digital version would be great, it'd be searchable, and make my backpack lighter since I have to drag my laptop with me everywhere already and could leave the books at home.
JordanG, Jun 02 2007

       //I now examine the thinnest book on any subject first.[...]the one well-written book among the potboilers.//   

       This cheers me up and flatters me, even as my publisher insists I pad out my 74 page book to make it a round 100. Thank you, [wiml], if you're listening.
pertinax, Jun 03 2007

       //Speaking of which, why the heck don't ALL technical books come with a CD/DVD with the entire contents of the book?// - Simple answer: bittorrent.
wagster, Jun 06 2007


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle