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  • M.E.B. Possible CD format?

    The publishers apparently called me today, although I was not home to take the call, interested in my opinions. Apparently a goodly number of the 3000 (!) or so subscribers must have contacted them.

    My wife spoke to the caller, and apparently the idea of a CD version was broached. That sounds to me like a decent alternative. CDs can be done fairly cheaply in bulk, which 3000 is getting to be, and have the advantage of being pre-organized, not requiring a person to organize their own storage means.

    Anyway, if you are less than perfectly pleased with the online "blog format" (yes, I am afraid that IS political spin), you might email them and ask about a CD format, if that appeals to you more. I think it does to me.

    I don't know if there would have to be any degradation in quality to fit onto a CD, it is possible. I don't know what the total file size for the magazine is in electronic format, but from experience with other smaller publication files, it could go well north of a gig or two in full-size. But A CD might be a good compromise, it isn't as if print is exactly high-res. And who wants to download a few gig per issue?
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  • #2
    Hopefully they are bright enough to use the highest possible settings on acrobat. I've seen the MEW digital copies and they're a joke, just about unreadable. Storage/bandwidth is so cheap there is just no excuse for trying to conserve bits and bytes....and mailing a disk makes objections of the dial up people moot....tell them they'd be better off making it a DVD not a CD.

    Nice to see they're trying figure it out to the customers satisfaction

    a side note, its is amazing how many firms put up low resolution pdf's on the web sites. So low res that diagrams and labeling are simply not readable. In a perfect world, Mr. Foxworthy would be mailing them a special (barely readable) sign. How can a firm expect the market to buy they're technical competent when they can't create a readable pdf? Grrrrr
    .

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
      Hopefully they are bright enough to use the highest possible settings on acrobat. I've seen the MEW digital copies and they're a joke, just about unreadable.

      The online viewer is not bad.

      This is an example as a screen shot.



      The problem is software related when it's saved as a pdf file, something in the way the online reader works degrades the saved page.



      this is the same page from a saved pdf file.
      .

      Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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      • #4
        Although I'm not one of their readers, this idea sounds good to me. Although DVDs would be the better option (especially given the price differential of pennies between media).

        Reminds me of the old saying, never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes.

        J

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        • #5
          Personally as an overseas subscriber it saves me $26 dollars so I am more than happy with the pdf method but can see the benefits of cd or dvd but its easy enough to save them to either format. I guess by doing the online magazine they will save themselves some costs and the magazine stays viable. Much better than folding and losing another publication in the narrow field we work in.
          Pete

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          • #6
            Though I am not a fan of CD/DVD in lieu of a magazine, I can see that if the resolution (of the pdf file) is good/high enough it should meet the "readability" requiremet.

            I take it that there is a good indexing feature.

            A high resolution monitor helps too.

            I wonder if George could provide a short term trial run of the magazines on CD/DVD particularly for those that are overseas where distance, time and cost are impediments.

            I read in the US press that the US Postal Service (USPS) is looking to reduce their costs and services and to increase costs to users/clients. How will that affect mailing times and costs?

            I'd elect to stay with the magazines.

            How well could you stop copying/pirating of the magazines on CD/DVD and how simple is any protection to bust or get around? You can bet it will get tried. I understand that there will be pass-words" and some sort of lock/encryption etc. but if the down-loading/on-line reading "tied" to a particular computer/user?

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            • #7
              If any of you speak to the publisher, better not recommend a DVD over a CD. CDs have extra bits for error correction, so if a few bits degrade it's not a problem. DVDs don't have this as they're designed for video streaming. The first bit error there will make your files corrupt.
              This goes as well for your own backups....

              Igor

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              • #8
                Instead of doing only half the job, MEB should go the whole hog (bad pun) and supply electronically and cut out the delivery/non problems at source. If anyone wants to copy and distribute from the mag it's not too difficult so the old landlocked hard copy option doesn't hold water anymore. Disengaging postal services not only saves the subscriber money, but also the originator distribution headaches re P&P but also copying time (3000 x How long per disc?)

                Regards Ian.
                You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ikdor View Post
                  If any of you speak to the publisher, better not recommend a DVD over a CD. CDs have extra bits for error correction, so if a few bits degrade it's not a problem. DVDs don't have this as they're designed for video streaming. The first bit error there will make your files corrupt.
                  This goes as well for your own backups....

                  Igor
                  I didn't realize that, thanks.
                  .

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Circlip View Post
                    Instead of doing only half the job, MEB should go the whole hog (bad pun) and supply electronically and cut out the delivery/non problems at source. .
                    They planned to........... you missed the original discussion

                    A number of us were less than pleased with the prospect of spending a long time downloading hundreds of Mb files, onlt to burn them to our OWN CDs to avoid having such huge storage on teh computer.... storage is cheap, but not as cheap as a CD... although a stick memory can be had at 64 gig for $30 or so, maybe less by now. However, they are not perfect, and not necessarily good as a sole backup. Neither are CDs, but they are not bad.

                    The stick memory would be good for a while... until the file format becomes incompatible, or until the "dinosaur" USB connection disappears like RS232.
                    1601

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan

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                    • #11
                      Dvd/cd publication doesn't solve the money problem that the owners have, they would still have to produce the medium and then mail it with little to no savings over the printed magazine. Not going to happen.
                      The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                      Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ikdor View Post
                        If any of you speak to the publisher, better not recommend a DVD over a CD. CDs have extra bits for error correction, so if a few bits degrade it's not a problem. DVDs don't have this as they're designed for video streaming. The first bit error there will make your files corrupt.
                        This goes as well for your own backups....

                        Igor
                        I'm afraid this absolutely NOT true - a completely different format is used for DVD video and DVD data discs, just as there are different formats for CD audio and CD data discs.

                        Think about it for just a moment and you'l see how ridiculous it would be to design a data storage medium that couldn't correct for a single bit error !!!!!

                        Cheers

                        .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by loose nut View Post
                          Dvd/cd publication doesn't solve the money problem that the owners have, they would still have to produce the medium and then mail it with little to no savings over the printed magazine. Not going to happen.
                          Well, if you are certain........... but THEY brought it up.

                          And producing a CD is idiotically simple these days.... any band can get hundreds made.....

                          I took it that the postage wasn't the issue, but rather the printing....

                          The "production" has to be done regardless, that is what a publisher does, get it set up ready for printing (or alternate distribution). The magazine may have been submitted to the print facility on a CD format anyhow.

                          printing is expensive, and particularly so in low volume, with high quality, as with their "centerfold feature" engine photos.

                          Since this idea of CDs cuts the entire printing problem out of the deal, I would expect that it would indeed provide a significant savings. CD duplication is nothing like the same deal as printing, collating, binding, etc an entire magazine.

                          If you do not believe that, then explain why so many computer companies etc dumped hard copy manuals in favor of CDs........... It's simple....... they were a lot cheaper. Of course, now they are not even doing that....... but ..............
                          1601

                          Keep eye on ball.
                          Hashim Khan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ikdor View Post
                            If any of you speak to the publisher, better not recommend a DVD over a CD. CDs have extra bits for error correction, so if a few bits degrade it's not a problem. DVDs don't have this as they're designed for video streaming. The first bit error there will make your files corrupt.
                            This goes as well for your own backups....

                            Igor
                            Actually a DVD has much better error correction than a CD. This is true for both data and video.


                            Ed

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                            • #15
                              I wonder how much money magazines could save in printing costs if they didn't have advertisements and just charged the subscriber the actual costs of doing business.
                              Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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