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Petition Against Non-Printed User Manuals in CFS3!!!

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Better get used to it...production cost:DVD-style box: $0.10big cardboard box: $1.00PDF file on the CD: $0.01printed manual: $10.00Transport/storage cost:DVD-style box: $1.00cardboard box with manuals: $10.00Total extra cost of printed manuals:$10.00 + $10.00 + $1.00 - $1.00 -$0.01 - $0.10 = $29.89That's a lot of money...

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Why? :-rollThese petitions, worded by a complaining schoolboy, are WORTHLESS. To change the actions of a publically-traded, multi-BILLION dollar company, you're going to have to approach this a bit more professionally. However, I have absolutely NO problem with MS offering the manuals electronically--I have not use for a printed manual. I may glance at them once or twice, but after that I don't need them. Why go through all of the expense in printing manuals that will only collect dust.The money you save in not having MS provide a printed manual can be put into either printing the electronic manual or buying one of the third-party FS2002 books.Regards,http://home.earthlink.net/~snyders2000/name.jpg

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I agree with you 100% about your first comment Jeff, anything worded like that petition is going to have about as much effect as me sitting here meditating strongly about it - probably less.On printed manuals I can accept the reasons why they're gradually getting rarer and rarer, but I do still like to have something printed out that I can read away from the computer - even if it's only once or twice like you say. I find PDF files to be a good compromise, providing they're laid out originally for printing onto common paper sizes (ie letter in the US, A4 in more sensible metric places). What I really don't like is documentation provided solely as help files - although fine for some things I find them annoying to read for longer periods rather than for quick reference, and highly unpredictable when it comes to printing them out myself.In all I would prefer a printed manual, but if that's not possible then I hope they stick to PDF files so I can choose properly between hard copies (by printing them myself) or electronic.Have funFinn

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I brought this complaint up on SIMHQ in the Lomac forum. Carl(disigner of Lomac)brought up the same issues of how much it cost to do a manual compared to PDF. I personnel want a manual and if you ever have seen the 4sale forums on most boards that's what people are looking for.I'm lucky enought to bring the PDF's into work and use our laser printer for free. I know many others don't have the chance to do this... MS manuals if you printed all of them cost a pretty penny which when you are already paying $50 for a game really starts to add up.Carl said he would look at a Gold edition or maybe allowing people to buy a spiral manual at an extra cost. If you want to petition MS for doing this the only way to do that is NOT BUY THE GAME....

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Another solution that I looked into on a non-FS application is probably the best compromise that we can hope for. The bottom line for the software companies is....the bottom line. It's not a matter of saving printing so it can be invested in the game to make it better. It's a matter of saving printing expense so that it can be added to Return on Sales (ROS) which is the benchmark that all accounting functions use for evaluating the success of a product line. It's right behind EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Taxes).The solution is that if you want a printed manual, that indicates your willing to accept the higher cost of the game to get that. Rather than pay it to the software company, pay it a printing company. My suggestion is and it's only a suggestion but I've done it on one occassion already..burn the .pdf documentation to a CD.Take the CD to a local print shop (Kinko's comes to mind because it's a national chain but I use a local one) and they can print it far cheaper than you can not to mention the time saved. I had a 120 page document printed in black and white (no pictures) for about $20 which is what is being indicated would be added to the software. And you can choose a variety of bells and whistles if it adds value to you..binding? color? Odd size paper for maybe a checklist? Whatever you want to pay for. But a basic manual can be printed by them for far less than you can on a deskjet and it permits those who don't want to pay extra for the software to keep their money and it permits those who do want the manual to have it as well.Just a suggestion...BobL

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Bob, 20$ seems just a tad much. When I bought RealityXP for FS2002, the complete POH was about 600 pages, and I spent probably no more than 20$ to get it in full color (half of an ink cartridge and a stack of paper). If you can find a cheap wholesaler for ink cartriges, and get a printer that gets good economy off its cartridges (might I suggest the Lexmsrk Z12, as its pretty darn cheap right now), and print it yourself. JUst make sure if its a high resolution printer you use hi-res cartridges and have it in the highest possible printing resolution you can get. And, as for the subject, personally, I prefer non-printed manuals. I never read printed ones, its harder to find what you're looking for than in a PDF where, when all else fails, you can just search for it. Not to mention from all of my games I have about 2 large boxes full of manuals that ive never opened. All in all, the tradeoff is well worth it (at least, IMO).Scott

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actually my best friend use to work at a printing company that makes manuals for several big games such as AOE 2 and for the Red Storm COmpany which makes all of the Tom Clancy games and there are actually quite in expensive to print. . .that is when they are made in big orders (such as 500,000 copies of a 100 page booklet for example would only be about $0.03 USD per copy at most! but that is when it is in bulk print only)

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