In "partial" defense of MasterSpec (as well as ICBO who charges more for
codes on CD-Rom) there is a cost to converting the paper documents into a
format that allows database conversions. One example that I am familiar with
and which I believe is the best of the bunch is the conversion to Adobe
Acrobat. While the actual sheet conversion is nothing more than printing to
an Acrobate file.
Acrobat requires the user to compile the PDF chapters and then to create the
index, annotations and hyperlinks - which is an additional cost to the
creation of the original text.
However, in support of your argument, the cost of re-creating the acrobat
version of a reference manual is typically amortized over a much smaller run
than is anticipated in the number of sales. Realistically, the desirability
of online reference materials has not yet caught on. Personally, I would
much rather access an online reference document than the paper version
simply because I can keep everything within one source - my laptop. No
matter where I travel or which room I am in, my reference materials are with
me. The important thing here is the ability to search, to bookmark and to
add annotations (personal notes) to specific sections - something that most
consider defacing books. I've worked with the ICBO UBC on CD-rom and don't
particularly like the search program they use. However, I have been told
that they are transferring over to Adobe Acrobat - my favorite e-document
Once the popularity of computers - especially laptops - start to catch on,
the demand for electronic reference materials will grow and the cost SHOULD
be more reasonable if the publisher or author does not take advantage and
absorb the additional profits when the actual costs drop.
From: Roger Turk [mailto:73527.1356(--nospam--at)compuserve.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 13, 2001 9:39 AM
Subject: Re: HSS vs. TS Properties For Design (WA
Lanny Flynn wrote:
. > It will be very reasonably priced for the value provided.
Are you talking about "value provided," or "perceived value?"
ARCOM, the writers of AIA's MasterSpec, has charged twice as much for the
CD-ROM version of MasterSpec as they charged for the paper edition.
Their explanation was that it cost more to produce the CD-ROM version than
did to produce the paper version, when actually what they were doing was
charging for the perceived value of the CD-ROM version, thus making it a
A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)