Thank you very much for your input regarding the Handbook. I agree
that we must understand the basics to use any tool, which the computer is
as much as a pencil or paintbrush. The consensus clearly is in favor of
retaining the airbrush chapter, and I have been forwarding your messages to
Joel Ito, one of the airbrush chapter authors.
When I get e-mail addresses (that work) for other authors, like Dan
Cole who wrote Cartography and Patrick Lynch who wrote Charts and Diagrams
in the Handbook, I will forward your responses to them, also. (I can't get
any e-mail thru to the Smithsonian. They are having problems of some sort.
Anyone in the D.C. area want to call Bruce Daniels in NHB ADB and ask what
is going on? I keep getting mail returned saying "too many hops." I
snail-mailed one of these returned messages to a staff member and hope he
passes it on.)
Regarding the question asking what is a scriber, please look in the
cartography chapter. It contains a picture and description of a scriber.
My question is should we retain this section? Seems like few use it. I
will check with some of the people you have recommended, and, of course,
Dan Cole and I are discussing this problem.
And then there are charting tapes, etc. Well, some of you have
discussed pros and cons. I'm still thinking about that one, haven't heard
from Lynch. I will meet with art supply buyers and discuss availability of
Several of you pointed out the futility of describing in the
computer graphics chapters details about software use because of frequent
changes/upgrades. I have instructed the authors of these chapters not to
do this. They are to explain broad concepts that should be timeless, we
hope. Of course, in this world of rapidly changing technology, "timeless"
may mean five years, if we're lucky!
Originally the publisher and I considered having the computer
graphics and other technology-type chapters, perhaps including business
aspects, in a separate volume from the subject matter and technique
chapters, as one of you suggested. But the publisher, Van Nostrand
Reinhold, became nervous that people would buy only the technical volume.
Actually, with the changes occurring in technique chapters because of
materials (see below), a volume with that information may be equally
desirable. A two-volume set would have to be more expensive than one
volume, and I don't see why it couldn't be sold only as a set. Higher
prices, however, would cut sales. Current retail price for The Handbook is
$109.95. GNSI still sells it for $80.00, including shipping.
A new development may change everything. I found out last night
that Van Nostrand Reinhold has been sold to John Wiley publisher. My
editor and the rest of VNR staff are not sure they will have jobs. I
assume that my contract with VNR will commit Wiley to publishing The
Handbook. The new publisher may view The Handbook and how to issue it, one
vs. two volumes, differently.