Thursday, April 23, 2009

Digital vs Paper

Further to my debate with myself yesterday on whether or not to go to a digital subscription for two of the magazines that I regularly buy, I’ve decided to do a pro/con comparison.

Paper: Pros

  1. Can review in store before purchase.
  2. Easy to hold and read anywhere.
  3. Doesn’t require special equipment to read (besides glasses!)
  4. Stays available on the shelf indefinitely until needed.
  5. Can be kept beside me for reference while working on a project.
  6. Lasts as long as the paper and ink hold up (decades or more).
  7. Can be lent, given or sold to another person.

Paper: Cons

  1. Takes physical space to store.
  2. Costs nearly twice as much to purchase.
  3. Takes several weeks after publishing to become available.
  4. Uses environmental resources: press, paper and ink plus delivery to the shop. (Note however that I pick up magazines on foot!)
  5. Can be damaged but not easily if reasonable care is taken.

Digital: Pros

  1. Delivered immediately when published.
  2. Takes only digital space to store.
  3. Backup copies possible, including physical offsite or digital online storage.
  4. Search, bookmark and notes functions.
  5. Links are immediately clickable.
  6. 12 issues (2 years) subscription costs almost half as much.
  7. No printing costs or resources unless I wish to print something myself.
  8. Can print just the page(s) needed.

Digital: Cons

  1. Must be paid for by subscription upfront. (12 issues best price-point.)
  2. Can’t be previewed before purchase.
  3. Needs Internet access to view, highspeed recommended.
  4. Not as convenient to read on screen.
  5. Possibility of losing or corrupting files.
  6. Formats may change in future so old files can’t be read.
  7. Illegal to lend, give or sell a copy to another person.
  8. If I want a hardcopy, I have to print it myself using my own resources.
  9. Home-printed copy not as good quality.

See any clear winner there? I don’t – so I’m still debating with myself. Did I miss any points anywhere?

Meanwhile yesterday we spent the afternoon in the garden. The weather was sunny but cool-ish so we got quite a bit done. Including planting King Edward, the flowering currant. Hopefully he won’t outgrow his space because I spoke too soon about the hellebore. It’s showing new shoots coming up so it didn’t perish after all. Just died back completely so we had no flowers on it this year. I also got more of the mint bed dug up and a new space for the two madder buckets is forming against the fence. I’m still reluctant to plant that stuff in the ground even though I’m probably limiting my madder harvest significantly. So be it – that stuff makes nice dye but from ugly scratchy invasive plants. It can just live in its big galvanised buckets! As I’ve written before, they make it totally easy to harvest the madder roots every couple of years. Just tip out the bucket’s contents on a tarp, separate out the roots, plant a few back in with some compost and lime and Bob’s yer uncle. We won’t discuss all the rest of the work cleaning and chopping and dyeing with the roots. I’d have to do that anyway whether they came out of the ground or the buckets.

Yes, I know I said I’d show the FOs today but instead of writing them up, I spent the morning knitting two repeats on my paper wrap and listening to the provincial leaders’ debate on the radio. Politicians! Why can’t they just say what they mean and mean what they say? And what does it say about me when I plan to vote for the party that I don’t want to run the province because the person running for the other party in my riding is not a good candidate for the legislature? And the other choices are worse and have no chance to get in anyhow. I like some of the policies and not others for each party but know they all lie to get in so just what can I actually believe? And don’t get me started on the personal attacks! Negatives are not the way to get me to vote for you, people. Just saying.

I always vote even if the choices are poor ones. Because if you don’t vote, you can’t bitch later. I prefer to earn the right to bitch. Even if it doesn’t get me anywhere.


yarnpiggy said...

A couple of extra cons for the digital...

3. b) Not just not as convenient to read on screen -- not as kind on your eyes. :-)

and 10. More people out of work. (I know this is a contentious one, but what can I say, I come from a publishing background, and I feel bad for all the pressmen & women who are losing their jobs.

As for the election...ugh. I agree with you wholeheartedly, though: I earn my right to bitch. Always. :-)

Susan said...

I go for the paper version. I can reduce and recycle elsewhere (and do!) but give me my hard copy to hold and cherish.

Sorta like books and I don't see you giving those up! :)

Hugs, Susan

Louisa said...

Thank you, my dears, for your input. Yes, Yarnpiggy, I was thinking about the pressmen and others that would be put out of work. (Already happening actually. Not my fault!) T-Man was in pre-press and actually still is tech-support for computer-to-printing-plate systems. So I getcha. And Susan, I agree but what do you do when you have 8 bookcases full plus boxes in the attic and we haven't even discussed T's collection which is in a number of places around the house. I'm going to end up like those old eccentrics with pathways through the stacks! Oh wait, I am an old eccentric already...