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My Philosophy About Test Equipment Manuals

Since I host a number of free manuals in pdf on my web site, here my take on the subject:

1) we need quality outfits such as Artek Media, Qservice, AA4DF and a few others. They provide valuable service by having access to paper manuals very few people have and the quality of their scans is generally much better than what I and other “amateurs” in the business can do, and their prices are so reasonable, I wonder why I would spend an hour looking for a free manual if I can get it from one of those outfit for $15, but that's just my opinion. They routinely or optionaly provide both fully indexed text searchable and high resolution copies ready to print. So I want to keep them in business and I have bought and will in the future buy more manuals from them.

2) the manuals I provide on my web site are generally of lesser quality (save the few exceptions like those made by John Miles and a few others). However, even the better scans on my web site rarely have both full text searchable AND high resolution ready to print versions. However, I believe that by hosting these manuals, I also provide a valuable service for those who would not in any event buy a commercial pdf from one of the outfits listed in 1). Heck, I started this because I was using these manuals myself. In many cases, they are sufficient.

3) the issue of copyright is serious, but I believe both HP and Tektronix have no problem with the practice of scanning and hosting their manuals of obsolete equipment on publicly accessible web sites they do not control. Even HP downloaded some manuals from my web site when they built their own “Obsolete Equipment” manuals pages, so I don't feel bad. If a legitimate copyright holder were to complain about material on my web site, it would be gone from my site so fast, your head would spin.

4) I certainly will not knowingly host a manual scanned by Artek, Qservice or AA4DF on my web site, unless they have allowed me to do so, as AA4DF has done for the lower resolution version of his 494P manual, which I bought from him. These 3 outfits have discrete watermark or other marking indicating they scanned the document. However, these are barely noticeable and absolutely do not interfere with using the document. I do not mind those.

5) I have seen other free manual sites download free manuals from other web sites, or take manuals that were uploaded to their web sites by generous contributors and put their own watermark on the pdf document, as if they had scanned it. That practice is despicable. You won't get that from me.

6) Most importantly, do not forget that original Tektronix paper manuals are still available from Deane Kidd (google him, he is well known in Tek circles) at reasonable prices. When Deane runs out of originals, he keeps the last one and will sell high quality paper copies. Don't ask him about pdf's, you won't get those from Deane :-)

I believe that covers it.

Didier KO4BB

test_equipment/my_philosophy_about_test_equipment_manuals.txt · Last modified: 2013/01/08 19:00 (external edit)
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