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I feel compelled to jump in on this one.  We are a small firm, and yes the
cost of codes and references is staggering.

But in defense of the AISC, the AISC manuals are some of the most useful
comprehensive design manuals available. ( Yes, I am still ASD and trying to
come to grips with the shift).  On a dollar value basis the AISC
publications are well worth the cost.  Anyone check out the cost of the AWS
codes lately?  The AISC Seismic requirements are a bargain at $15 and are
well presented and easy to understand.  The same publication from AWS would
have cost $150 and might reach 25% as user friendly.  The AISC companion
publications are outstanding and again, IMHO, worth the cost based on
content.  The free information available on the AISC website is priceless,

The fact that alot of previously free information is no longer free is
because the producers no longer support their own industry.  Anyone who has
a copy of the aluminum design manual that was formerly free from ALCOA has a
jewel, the same manual today is not as well written or presented and is only
around $200.

The AISC manuals historically have been one of the longest renewal /
replacement cycles of all the codes we require.

As we criticize the AISC, we need to stop and look at many of the other life
cycle costs of our information and try and keep things in perspective.
Looked at the cost of continuing education seminars lately?  AISC once again
has a track record of providing quality presentations at lower than average
cost.  Even ASCE, on of our own, is so cost prohibitive that the small firm
engineer cannot afford to attend seminars, never mind send the people who
would most benefit, our junior engineers.

Of all the code and professional bodies whose publications I rely on and
must purchase, I have always viewed the AISC in the "most favored partner"
category.  Apart from AISC the PCA is next in line for value for the dollar.
Things go speedily downhill from there.

My two cents worth,

Paul Feather

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