Re: 3-ring binders

Subject: Re: 3-ring binders
From: Bob Stromberg <stromberg -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 1994 19:15:16 EDT

"Virginia L. Krenn" writes:

>If you feel that the binders themselves are too expensive, just do
>what IBM has been doing for many years and send out the manuals in
>shrink wrap for users to insert into their own binders. (Don't we have
>a tech writer from IBM on this list? Comments?)

I suspect that IBM products are moving away from 3-ring binders.
One of my products is MVS/ESA, for which there are simply dozens of
books. For the most recent release (MVS/ESA SP V5.1), we switched
to lay-flat bindings, after checking with users at the GUIDE
and SHARE user groups.

-- Some users prefer binders, some prefer not having them.
-- The practice of producing change pages (which IBM calls
TNLs, or Technical Newsletters) is disappearing.
Without the need to insert changed pages, one can bind the
pages into a book.
-- We avoided producing bound books until the "lay-flat"
improvement came in. Users had complained that
the books wouldn't stay open on the desk.

NOTE: Another major operating system, VM/ESA, has used bound books
for years. A couple of years ago an IBMr asked the following
on an internal forum:

>Subject: MVS looseleaf Manuals versus VM 'books'.

>Hi, I've just received a new batch of MVS manuals and will
>as usual go through the drag of putting them in their
>binders, adding technical newsletters, etc. It does
>become a pain if you get a lot of manuals regularly as I
>do. I will get a CD-ROM soon but still have a need for

>I would feel a lot happier if the MVS/ESA manuals came in
>pretty much the same format as the VM/ESA ones, i.e. as
>books! Just replace the old ones with the new ones, no
>binders neccessary.

>I assume that they wait until a significant number of
>changes are needed or a very important change then simply
>issue a new book.

>Any chance of MVS manuals going this way?

Well, indeed, the MVS books have switched over. (We still
punch holes in them just in case.)

Hope that helps,
Bob Stromberg, MVS/JES Information Development, IBM Corporation
Internet: stromberg -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com IBM Mail Exchange: USIB2FZL

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