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Can't do without my Simpson.PDF

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About two weeks ago I downloaded the latest Simpson Catalog, Plated truss catalog and ICBO report files in PDF format. I am forever loosing my catalogs or loaning them on a one way return policy (never comes back) and find myself stranded when I need the information. This happened two weeks ago when I could not locate my latest catalog and needed to specify a new connector that was not in last years literature.
Although it took a while to download some 6 or 8 meg catalog, I have devoted space on my virtual desktop to the catalog so that I can simply double click on it and have the information right on the screen.
I can't recommend this enough to my peers who are either forgetful as I am or are running out of bookcase space. This is very convenient when working through a design.
I have spoken to the APA who are also considering putting their technical documents online and/or by availability of PDF format. For those unfamiliar, PDF files are read with a free Adobe Acrobate Reader (latest version 3.x). The format preserves all graphics for as crisp and sharp an image (of couse based upon the limits of your graphics card) as you would have on paper - just without the coffee cup stains and bent pages (however, the penciled in notes have been helpful).
I have asked APA to consider making all technical documents available on their web site ( rather than to be a clearing house for documents at small fee's. They have shown interest in our comments inasmuch as they plan to do work on their web to accomodate online documentation. Three cheers for APA who are more interested in supplying engineers technical documents immediatly than earning $2.00 for a snail mailed copy.
If you have any suggestions for APA, please feel free to send them to lmetzner(--nospam--at) who is one of the technical writers for APA that I have e-mailed.
It does my heart good to see professional industry organizations do more than sell literature on the net. I have to applaud those that realize that engineers promote their industry in our designs and that the more they do to make technical information available to us helps their industry. Good work APA - just tell us how soon before your ready for downloads.