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Re: Print Journal vs. Electronic

I'm going to respond to this, but let me first say that this is not a personal
attack, I'm simply trying to provide some feedback to your comments. 

Jim Jarvis expunged (jimjarvis@comcast.net):

> Phil Karn's comments in support of an electronic journal
> don't take into account the economic realities of
> printing.  They also assume that everyone has wideband
> internet access.  

Neilson Netratings estimated, nearly a year ago, that there are over 40 
million broadband users in the USA, and another 57 million users that have
56k modems and accounts. We're getting to the point that this isn't a very
big argument. I'm not saying that every AMSAT member will have access to fast
netspeed, but we're most definately heading in that direction. 

> On the first point, if we suddenly reduced the journal 
> print run from 5,000 to 500, for example, it would probably
> reduce the printing cost by 20%, not by 90%.  The reason
> is that the major components of the job are the amortized cost 
> of the press itself and the setup and press-wash costs.  Ink
> and paper don't dominate the equation.

However, you also make an assumption that we use the same printing process!
If we went from printing 5,000 journals to printing 500 journals, I don't 
think you would use the same process (I don't really know, but I'll go out
on a limb and make an assumption.) At that press size I would imagine that
a cheaper alternative would become available to us. 

> On the second point, even cable modem internet service is
> sometimes very slow, despite the promise of 750k or so bandwidth,
> actual data transfer rates of 15k are often seen in the afternoon,
> where I am.  (DSL has just become available here...can cutover be
> far away?) Most private internet access is STILL via dialup.

This isn't very much of a valid argument in my book. There are ALWAYS going
to be temporary bandwidth issues with service providers. Working in that 
industry over the last 10 years, I've come to understand it quite well. If you
have regular measurable speeds of 15k than you have a SLA issue to bring up
with your provider. 

I think overall that we should be looking at offering both services to members
in the future. This will probably require some re-engineering on the editing
front, because I don't imagine that they will want to send out the publishing
programs raw files. I would think that we would look at doing some sort of 
PDF-ification to the files for people who prefer to get it in an alternate

I don't think we need to make this happen immediately, rather would should be
actively looking to migrate in this direction. I would hope that the editors
at least have this in the back of their heads while performing their much
appreciated duties :) 


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