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Last Updated: Thursday, February 01, 2007 02:38 PM

HP3000 FAQ

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Paper Vs. CD HP3000 Manuals

12.1. Paper vs. CD versions


Our company switched to manuals on CD almost 3 years ago with the purchase of our latest XL box. (The manuals on paper were going to cost fully 30% of the price of the machine). We also use manuals on CD for our HP-UX system.

1) With manuals on CD, we have access to a wider variety of manuals than we would if we used paper only.

2) CD manuals are more difficult to read and learn from, but better to solve a particular problem at the time.

3) The new and improved Windows software driver for the LaserROM is much improved but still not as elegant or useful as *we* would like. For instance, while you can now prepare a subset of manuals to search for by putting them into a "bookshelf", you can not do an ad hoc search on an open manual for a particular phrase. Instead you would need to create a book shelf just for that one document. "FindFile" in Word for Windows is far better for searching (and that's no great piece of software).

4) We get better individual performance from a CD when it is shared over a network by a small workgroup, than on an individual CD alone. Go figure!?

5) Under Unix (and I understand now on under MPE), there is a terminal based access program to the CD-ROM. While useable, it would only ever be a last resort. The Windows interface is *so* much better.

6) Graphics on the CD-ROM are pitifully slow for some reason. Again Word for Windows is able to present more complex graphics in a fraction of the time.

7) Printing of a document works, but often is incorrectly formatted. Also you have little control over the layout.

8) The superseded CDs make great coffee coasters (well probably not great due to their high thermal transfer characteristics, but interesting).

9) The ability to search all documents for a particular phrase is *the best* reason for using CD-ROMs for problem solving.

10) Paper manuals are still easier to use, more portable, easier to add notes to, quicker to load.

In conclusion, we can survive (I guess that's what we're doing?) with CD-ROM manuals alone. But we covet any paper manual we come across. :)


One thing I *really* like is:
Being in tech support i get a lot of calls from programmers. i use keyword searches to locate the text which answers the programmer's question, copy it to the clipboard, bring up my email, paste the manual's text in, and shoot it off to the caller. Way cool, like a virtual manual set :-)


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