Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

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In a message dated 96-02-16 00:10:50 EST, you write:

>I think that publishing the "Blue Book" and any other codes on CD-ROM 
>format is a necessary step to follow.  And it applies also to every other 
>reference documents as encyclopedias.  The combination of 
>subject-searching tools, upgradability, reduced physical space 
>requirements, paper (trees, oxigen) saving, and the guarantee of monetary 
>profit for the publisher, make CD-ROM the (only?) logical way to store 
>this large reference documents.  

There is a need for convenient location of information. Until a display
device is available that can sit upon my desk, can be carried easily (< 2
lbs) and actually presents an easy to read display, these things will not
sell. I use computers as much as anyone, probably alot more, but I detest
CDROM's as a sole source of information. I can find things I am used to
finding faster in the UBC, for example, than I could with a CD. They are
better for infrequently accessed data. The mind and a book fit our ways of
working much better.

With a monitor stuck at a place on my desk I need to turn my head a large
number of times to see my work. With a printed copy I can have it next ot my
work. Books, for a number of info retrieval needs, are superior to current

>Someone said in a previous reply to Mr. Quazi's question that nothing can 
>actually replace a book.  I would say: Maybe, only from a romantic point 
>of view. 

With the current technology that view is absolutely correct. 

>Regarding the publisher's profit, I believe it is far cheaper to produce 
>CD-ROMs than books, which leaves the publisher a broader margin for profit 
>with a still affordable price for the users.

True. But they won't sell for most uses. I will never by one from AISC or
ICBO until the price is a reasonable facsimile of the printed product and
*includes* the printed product when it ships. Currently the proces are
ridiculously high. Certain things, like proceedings archives, ICBO Research
Recommendations, etc can sensibly be put on CDROM because they are accessed
infrequently. When I need one for daily access I can print a copy for ease of

Developers have a *long* way to go before books are replaced with CD's. In
fact, they never will be replaced by CD's. When they *are* replaced it will
be by something far more compact and inexpensive.