Letters to the Editor
I'd like to congratulate Linux Journal. I bought all the back copies I could get and found something of real value in each one. What I particularly appreciate, aside from the topical coverage of the content, is the excellent distribution you use: US mail. I'm amazed. My October issue arrived in my Auckland NZ post box on 22 September! This compares very favourably with other US magazines which typically take over three months.
Keep it up guys, I like it!
—John Hardcastle firstname.lastname@example.org
We use ISAL: International Surface Air Lift. This means that all the magazines for non-US destinations are sent in a single package overseas, and from there are distributed by national surface mail. We have found this to be highly effective—in fact, some international subscribers receive their issues of Linux Journal before some US subscribers.--Editor
Just read your column about the idea of printing LJ on recycled paper and use other environmentally responsible solutions. I just wanted to tell you that I fully support this—even if it would cost me $10 more per year.
—Christian Perrier email@example.com
Yesterday I learned about the increase in LJ due to the cost of paper for printing. David Niemi and I discussed alternative papers that could be used. I suggested that hemp paper might be cheaper. David thought that you would be open to using hemp. So I contacted the Hemp Industries Association (firstname.lastname@example.org) about companies that sold hemp paper. There is also a person to contact about hemp paper. Maybe it is cut costs and be environmentally sound. If you want I can contact the companies and get information about hemp paper for magazine publishing. I would probably need info about the size, color runs, pages, etc to pass on though.
Hopefully hemp may be a way to make LJ more cutting edge!
—Gregory J. Pryzby email@example.com
I am very encouraged to see you considering tree-free & acid-free alternatives for LJ. I would definately be willing to pay extra money for a more environmentally sound magazine. The pleasure I already derive from reading Linux Journal could reach nirvana like states if I knew everything I was reading was printed on ecologically sound hemp paper.
I've taken the liberty to pass on your e-mail address and information about the paper alternative discussions to Paul Stanford, founder of Tree-Free Eco Paper, based in Portland, Oregon. I hope that you are able to come up with a solution that makes both environmental and ecomonic sense. Paul can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Robert Lunday email@example.com
P.S. A colleague of mine wanted me to tell you that she would buy your magazine simply because it was printed on hemp paper.
While I approve in principle of using hemp/straw paper for publishing the Linux Journal, the cost of the publication is a factor for some of us. I'm living on a graduate school stipend, and while an extra $5 here or $5 there probably won't break me, every little bit helps. Perhaps LJ should consider student/educator rates that would be closer to the present subscription price should the magazine be published in the future on straw/hemp paper and general subscription prices be forced to rise to cover costs.
Sincerely,Kenneth E. Harker firstname.lastname@example.org
First of all congratulations to LJ. I am a subscriber since the early days. I also gathered all LJ. (I think that the nature of human beeing to gather). In my case, I wouldn't mind to pay $5/year more if I know that I spend the money for the environment.
Thank you for doing LJ.
Best regards,Rene von Arx email@example.com
In your editorial dialogue with Charles Stickelman, you asked what subscribers would think about increased cost of LJ if you switched to hemp/straw based paper (if they became available). I would like to say that I would be willing to pay more for such a product, and would probably be willing to go up another $15.00 per year. If we want to become environmentally responsible, we need to make our demands known to the suppliers of products who have alternatives available. If we are not willing to pay for environmentally friendly products, we aren't in much position to gripe about other people.
—James A. Robinson firstname.lastname@example.org
In Issue 18, you ask the question about who among us would be willing to spend more on the magazine in order to get low-chemical biodegradable papers and inks.
While I am far from an “environmentalist”, I see no point in putting chemicals into the environment when there are perfectly acceptable natural alternatives (e.g. Soy Ink and low-acid paper).
In the same vein, I am no fan of drug use (even marijuana), but given the other uses for hemp (rope, paper, etc), its high quality in these applications, and its possible abundance, I find it deplorable that we have such draconian laws and enforcement to “control” it.
I guess you only asked about higher subscription rates for “environmentally-friendly” magazines... I would be willing to pay $3-5/yr more for the time being. I suspect that as more publications make use of these components they will become cheaper and we will not have to pay higher prices for long.
—Michael George email@example.com
I'm not against the use of more environmentally friendly printing methodologies. I am however, concerned about any degredation in the current good quality of LJ paper and printing.
I've found that some of the newer environmentally friendly journals are easily smudged, making them a poor choice for use as long term reference material.
So for me, it's not an acceptable tradeoff if quality and durability is lessened in the change. I propose that if this is the case, we hold off on any modifications until a solution is found that provides a gain on both these issues.
Keep up the outstanding work.
—Best regards,James Cassidy firstname.lastname@example.org
At current alternative paper prices we need thousands of subscribers willing to pay a premium price. However, we will keep an eye on price and availability of these products.--Editor
I have a great idea for saving money on paper costs. I would like to see an electronic version of the Linux Journal. It would save paper, ink, printing costs, and lots of trees. The only thing to figure out is how to distribute it. You could encrypt it with the subscriber's public key, or something like that. I am sure that something could be worked out.
I have been surprised that publishers have not moved into the electronic market yet. The potential for selling information is tremendous.
The primary reason that I am interested is because I am blind. When I get my journals, I have to find someone with the time to read me the articles I am interested in. Since almost no one has time, it usually involves paying someone by the hour to do this. $5.00 per hour can get steep.
I would be willing to work with anyone who be interested in doing this. I have a lot of ideas on security, making sure the magazine gets to the intended subscriber, and other issues related to electronic publishing.
I am willing to donate my time as I hope that as more things are made usable by me, it will increase my money making potential. I will be able to generate more income and spend less to keep up with the “printed” media.
I hope someone takes a serious look at this note and that it does not go to the great black bit bucket.
Thanks in advance for your time. I look forward to hopefully working with some one on this.
—Kelly Prescott email@example.com
Right now, we are working on distributing it via our WWW site.
We are in the process of writing a markup language for Linux Journal that is similar to HTML and will allow us to do many different kinds of distribution, including paper, WWW, and potentially other kinds of electronic distribution. You are not the only blind user to have contacted us, and we would like to be able to meet your needs better.
Controlling distribution is not a big issue. Most profits come from advertising revenue, even though we have some of the lowest ad rates in the industry. The more subscribers we have, the more advertisers are interested in buying advertisement.--Editor