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USENIX 4.2BSD Manuals: Status Report
As announced in the April 1984 issue of ;login: (Vol. 9, No. 2), USENIX
has sponsored the printing of 4.2BSD manuals for 1984 Institutional and Sup-
porting Members of USENIX holding a 4.2BSD source license. A description of
the layout and format of the manuals as well as an order form was included in
the original ;login: announcement, and order forms were sent to all recipients
of the 4.2BSD distribution tapes as well. On July 3rd, after waiting approxi-
mately 30 days for orders to accumulate, the printer was told to reproduce the
following quantities of manuals:
User's Manuals 5,000
Programmer's Manual 5,000
System Manager's Manuals 1,800
It was planned that this quantity of manuals would prove sufficient to
fill all orders generated over the next 3-4 month period. Little did we real-
ize how popular these manuals would prove to be! As of September 10th the
following orders had been received and processed:
User's Manuals 5,900
Programmer's Manuals 4,800
System Manager's Manuals 2,000
Thus the original printing run is completely sold out of the User's and
System Manager's Manuals, and only a few sets of the Programmer's Manuals are
left. We have negotiated with the printer to make another printing run in
order to fill the backlog of outstanding orders and to provide a supply of
manuals for future orders that are received during the next few months. As
stated in the original ;login: announcement, it is uncertain how long manuals
will be available for. If your site is interested in manuals and has not
already ordered, you are encouraged to do so promply. An order form may be
requested from the USENIX office (415-528-8649).
Incidently, we have received many positive comments concerning the new
manual layout and format. Thanks are due Sam Leffler of Lucasfilm and Mike
Karels of the University of California, Berkeley for their hard work at organ-
izing the manual sections and producing the typeset masters for the printer.
John Lassetter, also of Lucasfilm, did the cover design.
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I don't get the little devil on the cover. It looks like a character from
The Bugs Bunny Show. Inside joke or is it a daemon?
We have got the new manuals and they are nice. Smaller and easier to
handle. But i would like to suggest 2 changes (too late?):
1) The "TABLE OF CONTENTS" and "permuted Index" included in the User's
Manual--reference Guide" should be also included in the "Programmer's
Manual--regerence Guide". Originally, all these sections 1, 2 and 3
are in one thick volume but the new manuals split 2 and 3 from 1.
2) That little "arrow tail" creature is cute but it occupies too much
cover space. The titles for each manual are split into 2 halves
at the top and bottom of the covers. Since the 4 volumes of the
manuals are about the same thickness (that is good), one has to
look at the top then the bottom to find out what manual it is.
If the cover would be redesigned, how about make sure the titles
are together in one spot? As for now, i am thinking to mark
each volume with a diff. color pen but can't make up my mind
what colors to use.
Albert Cheng (ihnp4!uiucdcs!acheng)
Dept. of Computer Science
Univ. of Illionis
As a step further in this direction, how about different colors for
the plastic binders (comb, spiral, whatever it's called)? Then it
would be easier to pick the desired manual out of a stack (or a
bookcase) without linear searching through the set until the right
one is located.
Of course, some of us (like me) are colorblind, but I still think
it would be helpful.
John Bruner (S-1 Project, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
MILNET: j...@mordor.ARPA [jdb@s1-c] (415) 422-0758
UUCP: ...!ucbvax!dual!mordor!jdb ...!decvax!decwrl!mordor!jdb
/* ---------- */
I would recommend sorting the section three pages by name first and then
subsection rather than the other way around. Or at least put 3C between
3 and 3F.
Some "edge of page" marking should be done to the supplementary documents as
in the reference guides. At least mark major sections: Languages, General
Reference, etc. I dont even use these manuals because it takes too long to
University of Illinois