Byte magazines: 1976 - 1986

Patrick Finnegan pat at
Thu Aug 31 12:17:10 CDT 2006

On Thursday 31 August 2006 12:19, maynard at wrote:
>    Hello,
>    I have recently come upon a collection of Byte Magazines from 1976
> through to about 1986. It is not complete, that is I do not have every
> issue across that time span. But the collection is pretty comprehensive.
>    I have a scanner with an auto document feeder. I'd like to scan this
> material in and post it online as a collection of jpgs. However, to do
> this well would require destroying the bindings of each magazine in order
> to get a completely flat scan of each page.
>    Questions:
>    -  Is it wrong to destroy these magazines in order to scan them
> in for posterity?

I don't think so.

FWIW, I wouldn't scan (especially post!) them as JPEG images.  I'd suggest 
that you do this the way that Al Kossow does with Bitsavers docs - scan as a 
1bpp TIFF, and use Group4 fax compression, then convert into a PDF.  
Optionally, spend lots of time OCR'ing the articles, and post text versions 
as well.

If you need to do color, it's not too hard to scan just the pages that need to 
be color in as color, and use some other compression method, and shove them 
into the middle of the B&W pages.  Check the archives on scanning for 
details, we've had a few discussions on the subject of how to do this (it's 
easier with a *nix box than a Windows box IMO).

The only thing that I don't particularly like about ADF's is their aparent 
tendancy to feed pages and scan them at 5 or 10 degree rotation 
from "vertical".  It's definately nicer to have the info than to not have it, 
but that rotation offset (which usually ends up being one direction for 
fronts and the other for backs of pages) really gets on my nerves when I'm 
trying to read something.  Not all ADF's have the problem though, and the one 
I've got on my scanner seems to work ok.

>    - Are they as rare as I think? That is, are there plenty of copies
> around such that historians and others interested in classic computing
> would not find this project of interest?

Well, I've got a set of Byte, and I think they span more dates... I'd rather 
see them archived on electronic (and publicly accessible) media than have 
another copy sitting in someone's basement, never to see the light of day 

>    - Is the copyright violation involved (on 25 - 30 year old magazines)
> really an issue?

Possibly.  You can thank Disney for our current 100(?) year copyright length 
limitation.  I haven't gotten any cease and desist letters yet myself. :)

Purdue University ITAP/RCAC       ---
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