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End of an era, end of printed encyclopedias

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  • oldtiffie
    replied
    I can't argue with that Evan but I guess it won't apply to "older books" - encycopedias and the like very much included.

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  • Evan
    replied
    The problem of acid free paper has mostly vanished. Most plain bond paper is now acid free because of changes to make it easier to recycle. Bond paper used to be filled with white clays but that is very difficult to recycle. Paper is now filled with carbonate compounds, mostly calcium carbonate. That neutralizes any trace of acid. The carbonates dissolve in acetic acid which makes it trivial to recycle, unlike silica mud. Current bond papers will last hundreds of years and more if protected from excess humidity and hungry fungi. Black laser printer ink will last about forever since the colourant is carbon black and in some cases magnetite/ferrite powder as well.

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  • oldtiffie
    replied
    I would not expect too long a life from any/most books in a domestic enviroment which in many respects is far less a standard than the preservation standards of museums and archives.

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  • loose nut
    replied
    Originally posted by Nemesis
    Is not the failure of the Modern book to last due to the paper used, a prime example of the use of the Modern Technology of the day.
    Yes it is BUT it is that "flawed" process that allows us to be able to afford the books we want. Acid free paper is more expensive, at least for everyday book binding and not that common. The "old" books that many quote as examples of the way to store data were more likely to be printed/written on velum or linen until fairly recently.

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  • sasquatch
    replied
    I have a number of old books, and still buy them up as i find them if it is of interest to me. Mostly mechanical stuff, and backwoods country living stuff, lots of valuable info in them if it is needed.

    Fun once in awhile to just sit down with old tool or hardware catalogs , and browse through them looking at what was available for the times.

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  • Nemesis
    replied
    Is not the failure of the Modern book to last due to the paper used, a prime example of the use of the Modern Technology of the day. We know 150 years later that this technology was flawed because the books do not last, or did someone back then have an insight into the arrival of the Internet and knew the books had a finite life.

    As regards Longevity it was used in the context of the EB, if one takes the Internet it has been widely available since the mid 1990's according to Wikipedia.
    We have on the one hand 244 years for the EB as opposed to 17 for the Internet, equate the EB's life to one year then the internet is just 25 days old.

    I am not out to knock the Internet which is how some appear to have taken it, I am of the opinion that a book has something more to offer that is all. By all means save all the information you can, but is it going to be safe in this format, what is to say 150 years down the road that this Technology was flawed to?

    Nemesis

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  • Peter N
    replied
    I have the 15th edition, had it since new in the early/mid 70's when parents bought it for me and my brother.
    30 volumes in total, one Propaedia, 10 Micropaedia, and 19 Macropaedia.

    Son is at University now, but always used to reference it for old information when he was in High School, and Daughter (still in High School) was using it just yesterday to check some WWII and post WWII information.

    It's nice to have around and still very useful for anything pre-1975

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  • Evan
    replied
    I think they would gravitate towards it IF we said causal internet time was cut off.
    Just let them know there are some $20s hidden here and there.

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  • JRouche
    replied
    Ok, Ill chime in.

    I LOVE books. Dont know why? I love digital media also.

    I was a poor student in grade school. Had poor grades and the teachers were fine with that. They could focus their limited time with the kids that were excelling. I liked it that the teacher didnt hound me for straying to what? YUP, the encyclopedias. This was in the 70s and for at least three grades (4-6) I was a D student because I couldnt do the syllabus that they were provided.

    So I read the encyclopedias for three years. Front to back and back to front.

    I cant spell or work out simple math but I DO have a simple grasp on many subjects now.

    Would I change my habits now? Nope!!

    I saw this in the news, EB going out of print. I looked at the cost for the latest set. Bout 900 bucks. I wanted to buy the set for my two kids. I think they would gravitate towards it IF we said causal internet time was cut off.

    And Im not saying for actual research papers its cut off. The internet WAS created for research. They haven't become lazier with the internet but I think more productive and efficient.

    Im talking about their down time when they are just cruising the web (like I do).

    Id rather have them cruising the books, like a set of EBs.. They get way off track when idling along on the internet. YES!! They can get side tracked from what they were reading on the books but they get easily sidetracked when they are on the web.

    HELL!! You ALL know. Its SO easy to stray from your original path when tromping around on the internet.

    Thats fine for US adults. Kids I think need to learn focus and learn to stick with an interesting story VS what the internet provides which is a dabble in a section of interest then they see something (a link) and they go to the link.

    Books dont have an immediate gratifying "link".

    Dont get me wrong but the instant gratifying feeling that you get when finding the info you want instead of putting some work into the research is a problem.

    Oh, my highly educated wife thinks its a bad move and they wont use the books. Shes prolly right ((( Oh well. Not gonna happen. Im prolly the only one in the house that wants them so I wont do it.

    Not a prob!! We have a great library and Im sure they DO have the books. So guess what kids? YUP!! I love libraries. We will be taking more trips to the Library..... And thats prolly a good thing anyway... JR

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  • J. Randall
    replied
    Originally posted by Nemesis
    The thing is with books when you are thumbing through looking for a particular item or subject you often stumble across things quite by accident. It may have no relevance to the subject you may be looking for but none the less a mental note gets made and it is remembered for a later date.

    When accessing similar information on the web you go straight there, you miss the chance to stumble on the other information to add to the data base in the brain.

    Nemesis
    I totally disagree, I have pages of bookmarks on this computer that I have stumbled across while looking for specific items.
    James

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  • Bill736
    replied
    I too buy and keep old books, including five or six sets of encyclopedias , some small and some large. My sets only go back as far as circa 1900, but it's amazing how " history" changes with the year of the book. A good example is to read an encyclopedia article on Germany written in, say,1930, and an article on Germany written post WWII . The post war articles are so full of hate for Germany that there's little in common with the 1930 articles . Nowdays, of course, all new articles on any subject must be politically correct and gender neutral . Can you say B.S. ?
    Last edited by Bill736; 03-22-2012, 11:33 PM.

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  • Evan
    replied
    The T transmission uses a planetary transmission with band brakes on two of the moving elements. By engaging or disengaging the bands in various combinations it is able to reverse and also select 2 different ratios. It was a very rugged transmission since gears did not be engaged or disengaged.

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  • Black_Moons
    replied
    Originally posted by Nemesis
    I well remember whilst working at the forefront of CD manufacture, (30 years ago now), being told that the Vinyl record would be obsolete, but people still seek those out today, why? if the CD or MP3 is so much better.

    Nemesis.
    For the same reason that (m)any of us here would pay DAMN good money to buy a rotted out, rusted, barley running model T ford. A weird sense of nostalgia.

    I was not even alive back then and have only seen them in pictures, and some similar counterparts in pictures. I would still likely trade my really nice truck for a model T with bad suspension, Poor acceleration (20hp!), poor as my truck gas mileage, Only 2 speed gearbox, unable to maintain the speed limit on steep hills, etc. ... Oh, and upon reading more about it.. I found this crazy tidbit:


    "The Model T's transmission was controlled with three foot pedals and a lever that was mounted to the road side of the driver's seat. The throttle was controlled with a lever on the steering wheel.

    The left pedal was used to engage the gear. With the handbrake in either the mid position or fully forward and the pedal pressed and held forward the car entered low gear. When held in an intermediate position the car was in neutral, a state that could also be achieved by pulling the floor-mounted lever to an upright position. If the lever was pushed forward and the driver took his foot off the left pedal, the Model T entered high gear, but only when the handbrake lever was fully forward." - Wikipedia

    .. Maybe it is just a bad description but.. I can honestly say after reading that, I still have no clue how to operate a model T ford.

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  • loose nut
    replied
    Originally posted by Nemesis
    books have something that the internet does not have and that is longevity, manuscripts have survived for thousands of years.

    .
    Old books yes, modern books no. You won't find any books that are printed on modern acid bearing paper in 150 years let alone thousands and the number of old surviving books isn't that great compared to the number of books printed in the last 100 years.

    Digital archiving is a necessity, if all that knowledge isn't going to be lost. Like it or not digital books are hear to stay.

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  • Mike Nash
    replied
    Paper books are good. When society collapses around us, those with the most books stay warmest the longest. Oh yeah, and let's hope the ones that "off" themselves 5 minutes afterwards have lots of paper books!

    Also oh yeah, if you value a book or magazine, don't use toilet paper to bookmark.

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