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Postby JWLaRue » Thu Apr 03, 2003 11:14 pm

Hi Bob,

We haven't settled on a final price yet, but we have been kicking around a pricing structure *similar* to what back isues are sold for today. With the ability to place (we hope) 4 issues on a single CDrom we are looking at ways to make it more cost effective for folks to acquire the entire set of back issues as a set for a reduced price.

It was asked earlier when these would be available. The best answer that I can provide is that they'll be available when all of the scanning is finished by the SC member who has graciously volunteered his time to do this. My best *guess* would be sometime this Summer.

Once we get closer to being able to make these available, I'll be looking for input from members on how to price these back issues. Stay tuned!

-hope this helps.

Jeff
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Postby 69-1049573587 » Sun Apr 13, 2003 1:23 am

Hi Jeff,

In your post you mention "...when all of the scanning is finished...". Any chance that the images could be OCR-ed to convert them to text? If so, then it would be quite easy at that point to build a search engine for the articles. I've spent a bit of time over the last week playing with some software that does just that, so if you want me to take a look into it, I'd be glad to do so. Let me know...
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Postby Lyle Jansma » Sun Apr 13, 2003 10:04 pm

Hello,

Well I'll jump in now... I am the fellow who is converting the back issues of the SCR to PDF. I had hoped to get them done several months ago but I ran into a few snags. One of the biggest has been that to ensure a quality copy, I have had to scan the early issues at 720dpi, which can take up to two hours. I have years 90' 91' 92' completed and in the process of proofing the final copies be for sending them to Jeff. Starting with Issue 4 the PDF’s open with an index containing links to the various articles. Now I know that there were probably half a dozen ways to get these issues on to CD but I felt that doing it in PDF would be the easiest method to (1) get it on CD and (2) for the membership to use.

As I write this post, year 1993 is being scanned. It looks like this project will take longer than I had anticipated but it is getting done.

Thanks for your patience

Lyle Jansma
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Postby JWLaRue » Mon Apr 14, 2003 12:57 am

Hi Ed,

We should talk. We'd need to not only work out a way to correctly scan and index PDF files, but would also have to figure out what kind of key word indexing would be useful.

Right now, I am working on an Access database that will allow us to create a printable SCR Index that is based on keywords, titles, authors, column names, and dates.

-Jeff
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Postby 69-1049573587 » Mon Apr 14, 2003 3:23 am

Hello,

Lyle, I agree that PDF is the best way to go. The only other option I would consider is HTML, but I think PDF is easier for everyone. Did the SubCommittee every consider using a scanning service for the conversion? I did a quick look around the web, and most are fairly expensive, but I found one that claims to both scan and OCR for 15 cents a page. See http://www.bgscanning.com/page5.html. If that doesn't work I can help out with some of the scanning.

Jeff, once we figure out how to OCR the articles, then I have a tool that for $250 will do the actual indexing. I'm a software developer by trade so I'm pretty comfortable with this side of it. The keywords, authors, etc will be very useful during indexing.

Feel free to contact me directly at [email]mrevh@shaw.ca.[/email]
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Postby Scott T » Mon Apr 14, 2003 12:50 pm

See what you think of this idea:

Instead of selling cd's why not sell access to the files.
Each individual would then download and burn there own cd.
Access would be limited to a specific time and then elapse.
For those who do not have computer access then cd's would be distributed with mail charge included.

Access to pdfs. would be sold by year.

This would greatly reduce the man hours and postal cost to the SCR.
It would make the reports more available.

Well its just an idea. Kick it around. Maybe we can think of something better.

Scott ???
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Postby Bob the Builder » Mon Apr 14, 2003 2:31 pm

I think that's a good idea, a lot like the downloadable versions of programs from software companies. They often give a choice as to whether to get the CD version, or just download the files off their site. Doing this would definitely cut down on manhours necessary to burn CD's and mail them out.

I don't like the idea of limiting time (what about those people out there with dial-up?) There must be a way to limit a download to certain files only. I'm no web expert, but there must be a way.

Then again, perhaps the implementation of this idea would wind up being more labour intensive than just mailing them out...
Bob Martin,
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Postby Scott T » Mon Apr 14, 2003 5:22 pm

As far as a time limit my idea was like a years access.
Should be able to download a couple of times even with
my slow computer. :;):

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Postby JWLaRue » Mon Apr 14, 2003 5:29 pm

Ed,

Yup...sure did a bit of price shopping for getting the SCRs scanned. What we found were only the expensive ones! :(

I will be sending you some mail about that indexing tool.....

-many thanks,

Jeff
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Postby Sub culture » Fri Apr 18, 2003 1:23 pm

On line access is the way to go IMHO.
Infact, I would be happy to pay my membership and receive the 'report' as a PDF file each quarter, I'm sure this would reduce membership costs, especially for oversea's members such as myself.

How about making the back issues password protected and issueing a new password with each years membership renewal?

A printed copy is nice to receive, it has to be said, but at the end of the day, I live in a small flat and I don't have the space for dozens of back issues.

Regards

Andy




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Postby JWLaRue » Fri Apr 18, 2003 3:10 pm

Hi Andy,

This is something that we are definitely struggling with.

On the one hand, it definitely is a convienent way for those of us who are computer-literate and don't mind dealing with a softcopy.

There is a certain amount of the fix publishing costs that does not change no matter how many copies are printed. Would you consider it realistic/fair for a member who elects a CDrom distribution to continue to share some of those production costs?

The idea of password protecting is probably only of limited use......if someone is going to clone/pirate a CDrom of SCRs, then they almost certainly will pass along the password.

Would you consider a password protect PDF file that would not allow it to be *printed*?

Let's keep this discussion going!

-many thanks,

Jeff
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Postby Sub culture » Fri Apr 18, 2003 3:38 pm

Non printable PDF. Hmmmmm, well possibly, but it is sometimes nice to be able to print off a hardcopy.

As regards distributing passwords, how about making them member specific, that way it would be easier to police the handing out of passwords.
It's aswell to remember that a magazine can be handed around to fellow non-member enthusiasts.

I can understand this is a difficult issue, but I think it's the future- just look at the way in which computer companies distribute software updates these days.
Those who chose to stay with the printed format will have to accept that it costs more to produce, and hence pay more.

I think making the report available in electronic format at reduced cost can only enlarge our numbers.

Regards

Andy
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Postby 69-1049573587 » Sat Apr 19, 2003 7:07 pm

Non-printing PDFs would be inconvenient if there's an article that you want to refer to while working in your shop (assuming your computer isn't in your shop). Also, while somebody might print out an occasional article for a friend, they're unlikely to print out large amounts of material, so I don't see piracy-via-printing as being a big concern.

Using customer-specific registration keys is a good approach. A slightly more sophisticated approach is to store the customer's name in a license file and to then digitally sign the license file so that it can't be changed. Thus, when the program starts up it will display "Registered to John Doe". This way people will be less willing to pass along the license file. It doesn't eliminate piracy entirely, but it will greatly reduce it.

Would you consider it realistic/fair for a member who elects a CDrom distribution to continue to share some of those production costs?

The larger and more active the model-sub community is, the better it is for everyone. So if the SubCommittee can increase its membership by providing hardcopies, then I'm OK with CD-purchasers partially subsidizing magazine-purchasers, and downloaders partially subsidizing CD-purchasers. I do think there should be some kind of price break, particularly if it encourages people to purchase the medium which is less expensive to produce.

Just my two bits...

Ed.
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Postby Sub culture » Sun Apr 20, 2003 4:58 am

Can only really say that Ed has hit the nail firmly on the head!

Andy
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Postby Sub culture » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:35 pm

Time to bump this back up.

THE CD-ROM with back issues has been a success, has it not?

How about some serious debate on the validity of electronic distribution of the report, as an option?
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