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MathGroup Archive 2005

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Re: Hardcopy or electronic books?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg62304] Re: Hardcopy or electronic books?
  • From: AES <siegman at>
  • Date: Sat, 19 Nov 2005 23:18:31 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: Stanford University
  • References: <dln1n3$glk$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

In article <dln1n3$glk$1 at>,
 "Steven T. Hatton" <hattons at> wrote:

> do not tend to read them.  I much prefer having books in hardcopy.  Having
> the electronic form, especially if they consist of Mathematica notebooks is
> certainly valuable, but does not replace the functionality of traditional
> books with paper pages.
> What do others think about this?

Absolutely agree!  If it's a book, a manual, or some other document that  
I want to thumb through, flip from page to page, read bits here and 
then, scan text quickly, put sticky tabs to mark pages, scribble written 
notes on pages -- and do it in comfort and convenience, not trapped at 
my desk -- then an electronic version is just NOT SATISFACTORY!! (even 
with laptops, Airport wireless all through my house, and so on [1]).

On the other hand, nothing replaces doing a full-text electronic search 
through a long electronic document or manual looking for some term; or 
the ease of having color or animations.  And nothing can be immediately 
and continuously updated the way an electronic document can.

The ideal is to have a paper copy, *and* an electronic version at hand, 
with the latter containing tons of supplemental material, updates, and 
search capability.


[1] With a laptop now being not just my primary but my one and only 
computer, and Airport throughout my house, I personally do a lot of 
"away from my desk" computing all over the house -- but I'm still always 
nervous about dropping it, spilling coffee in it, dog knocks it off the 
couch, etc.

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