Speaking of paper...


Investing the time to absorb the latest HP graphing calc - HP50g - has been quite fun, but I really have to say that the manual situation is pretty bad. Not that I mind staying glued to my desk chair, burning out my retinas while viewing a 900 page PDF document for hours on end.....

Has anyone got any tips on how to get these manuals on paper?

I can appreciate the cost savings to HP in going the paperless route, I just wish there was some option available for getting the manuals in hardcopy, for those of us who wouldn't mind coughing up a little money.

Do I sense a nascent business opportunity here? Would it be profitable to produce these in bulk and sell at a small margin? Has anyone done the math?



What is wrong with hitting the print button from Acro Reader? Or do I miss something? That of course is not cheap and probably the reason why we do not get the nice manuals anymore.

To help the ailing paper industry however it is exactly what I did.

Unfortnately without doing a lot of maths I do not expect to find enough people willing to pay the small fortune...



I'm guessing, worst case, I could end up going through a color cartridge or two - maybe $80 average, other costs, perhaps total of $90 to print the entire thing on my HP color laser... Oh, I think I just realized why HP stopped printing their manuals! ;)



I'm thinking Kinko's (& maybe Office Depot, etc.) will print & bind for you. Have you checked with them?

I do appreciate Kinko's plastic spiral binding on my HP-35s manuals. WAY easier to read seated at the table/desk.

(And I doubt that H-P would be happy to have anyone else making a profit on their documentation, but maybe someone could get approval -- "Authorized H-P Documentation Media Transmutation Service"?)

Edited: 15 Aug 2008, 4:21 p.m.


Yeah, I have to agree. I don't remember who suggested it in this forum a few months back, but after taking my 35s manual to kinkos and spending like $6 for the spiral binding procedure, it's been heaven. I'm loathe to do it to some of the older manuals (which I consider part of a "collection" era), but it would be nice to have them all in that format.

The 20b manual, by the way, is a piece of junk. It's the first manual I've considered throwing away (from HP). It's not "worthy" of being spiral bound. ;-)



Really? For the glued binder manuals eh? I never thought of asking Kinko's to perform that kind of surgery, but I'm glad to hear they can do it.



You might search the archives here to see what was proposed, but it's pretty straight-forward. You take your manual to kinkos, tell them you want it straight cut and spiral bound. They chop off the glue and end cap, punch some holes in it and feed it into a spiral ring. It took them about 10 minutes, and cost like $6 or something.

I was so pleased I went back and had several other manuals bound like that. Very cool.



I printed my set (the manual and the AUR) in booklet form, 128 pages at a time, duplexed. (I have a good laser printer.) What I mean is, I used a special printer driver to print 128 pages at a time of the manuals so that if you folded each batch in half, the pages would end up in order, with page 1 and page 128 on one side of the first piece of paper. I then cut the booklets in half, assembled them into big stacks almost two inches thick, and used the binding machine in my office, with the widest spines we had -- two inches. They ended up as two fat handbook-sized manuals. If I had it to do over, I'd bind them in two parts each. Or else maybe I'd try to get a couple of reams of nine-pound bond paper to print on -- that the very thin paper they sometimes use for bonds and Gideon Bibles and suchlike.

Another option for people with good eyes is printing four-up, four pages per page. And always, always duplex (which means printing two-sided) -- not only do you save paper, but the stack is half as thick. Duplex even if you have to do it manually. Do it in relatively small batches if you do it yourself, so that if the pages mis-feed and end up out of sync you don't have as much to re-do.


Thanks everyone for the great ideas!



Another option I'm considering (but not yet tried) for printing pdf manuals is lulu.com print on demand service (http://www.lulu.com/en/products/product_manuals/)
You upload your pdf, choose the size, binding and cover option and they can print a single unit for you.

Looks simple but there are some limitations: max page number I think is 470, and you need to provide the cover in a separate file.
So you'll have to split your hp50g manual in two and extract the cover pages. There are some free software tools that can do this, pdftk being one of them.

Regarding prices they have a cost calculator where you choose your options (size, BW/color, binding, number of pages, number of units), for example a 450 pages BW plasticoil 15.24 cm x 22.86 cm costs $13.53 + shipping.

Edited: 16 Aug 2008, 2:41 a.m.



Thanks for this tip! I'll check this out.


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