Subject: RE: On PDFs
From: MList -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 16:04:51 -0400

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Watson Laughton [mailto:WLaughton -at- orphan -dot- com]
What I always have to do with
> a NEW product
> is print out the PDF (or whatever) file, and then browse through the
> 3-inch-thick crappy copy that clutters up my office. For
> future use, taking
> the thing with me without having to carry around a book,
> etc., it's nice to
> have a portable (e.g., PDF) version, but it should NEVER
> replace the printed
> version. For some $19.99 utility program, I'm willing to
> accept it, but if
> I'm buying something that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars per
> license, I expect to at least get a manual (that costs $5 to
> print) in hard
> copy.

Actually, it costs about the same for us to print a book for
you -- and in the same format -- as it does for you to print
it on your own departmental printer.

We generally sell such small quantities between revisions
that we can't justify printing and storing enough copies to
get any kind of volume price on them. We tried for a while,
and threw away more copies than we sold. Of course, ours is
not a consumer product.

Just for fun, we tried giving people a choice to explicitly
pay for a printed document set, rather than getting just
the Install Guide printed and all the rest as PDF-only.
Nobody was interested, even though the added cost was in
the hundred-dollar range (several documents, laser printed)
on product that costs tens of thousands per unit.
>From that result, we figured that we had nothing to gain from
going ahead with the logistics and expense of printing, and
then hiding the cost in our product prices.

Not sure where to go from here, on that topic, or even if
there's a reason to try.


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