computer manuals vs books

I am only an egg. (
Tue, 31 Mar 87 07:15 EST

     I recently had occasion to order from DEC the data link layer and
physical layer specs for the ethernet. What I received was your basic
standard computer company type manual.

     Last year I ordered some documents from the NTIS* on computer
security. Some of what I received from them was similar to the above
but the rest looks very much like 3 rd generation copier material. For
the price I paid for the NTIS documents I would have expected better.

     I recently ordered, from the IEEE, the 802.2 and 802.3 standards.
What I paid was in line with the rest of the manuals I am talking about
here or maybe just a bit higher but not much. What I received floored
me completely. The IEEE sent me BOOKS. They sent me REAL BOOKS. These
aren't computer manuals and they certainly are NOT 3 rd generation
copies. These are hard cover, very solid BOOKS. Worth every penny
just to see a real book again, never mind the content.

     They were done with proper type-setting, an eye catching use of
bold type, and clean diagrams in general. I wasn't at all ready for
this. The IEEE got Wiley & Sons to do the publishing. I guess that

     If I were king, I think I would tell the computer companies AND the
NTIS to either cut there prices or start printing better material. If
the IEEE can do it then so can they. (Yes I understand about replacement
pages, the time value of information, and other things like that. Many
documents can be well published however.)

     HOORAY for the IEEE!

     Just thought you might like to know that somebody seems to do
something right.

NTIS: National Technical Information Service.

          Chris Johnson
          Academic Computer Services
          Northeastern University 39RI
          360 Huntington Ave.
          Boston, MA. U.S.A. 02115
AT&T: (617) 437-2335

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