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The "Yellow" Van Nuys Curta Math Handbook
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CurtaGuy



Joined: 11 May 2009
Posts: 31
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:37 am    Post subject: The "Yellow" Van Nuys Curta Math Handbook Reply with quote

I'm guessing/sure most of you folks know which/what manual/handbook I'm referring to.


("Van Nuys", for those not local -- or across the pond, is a city on the outskirts of Los Angeles, California USA. From my readings, it was the locale of one of the the main USA west coast distributors of the machine back in the day.)

Question: Does a PDF version of this exist (for public domain consumption)? I'm unsure if it is subject to copyright laws, etc.

I took a VERY used/marked up copy I have and tediously spent countless hours (no, I don't have a life Confused ) scanning it, Photoshop'ing the imperfections, etc. and compiling a PDF out of it. Parts of it look to be just math tables which were photocopied into the master copy way back, and even then -- they were not aligned correctly on each page.

But, in any case, it's come to be a part of the ephemeral history of the machine, such as it is.
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murff



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
Posts: 511
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's allowed to publish this as long as it will be for private use only, no comercial use. And it's a good idea always to name the author or the origin. The copy right is not in all country in the same way regulated, so maybe it's not allowed in your country - on the other side, as long as there is no complainant as long there is no lawsuit...
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Peter Johnson



Joined: 22 Apr 2011
Posts: 18
Location: Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You haven't mentioned why you created the pdf of the Van Nuys instruction manual. If your intention was to make it available to other board members, then I would really appreciate a copy, as the content appears to be different to the European manuals - they contain no tables.
I would imagine that there are no copyright issues now, as the Curta manuals are in the public domain, but as Murff points out, the law varies from country to country.
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CurtaGuy



Joined: 11 May 2009
Posts: 31
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter Johnson wrote:
You haven't mentioned why you created the pdf of the Van Nuys instruction manual. If your intention was to make it available to other board members, then I would really appreciate a copy, as the content appears to be different to the European manuals - they contain no tables.
I would imagine that there are no copyright issues now, as the Curta manuals are in the public domain, but as Murff points out, the law varies from country to country.


Delayed response Embarassed sorry!

I was perusing the BB today, and noticed the post made regarding the Scam and said "dubious" publisher.

I suppose it was with this in mind I didn't immediately go ahead and push forth a PDF copy of the Van Nuys manual to the public domain: I didn't want it splashed around the Interwebz w/some other non-interested (non Curta folk) party profiting at (my?) expense. "My expense" in terms of hours spent touching it up, the cost winning it on eBay, etc.

*Shrugs*

My original intention was to do what Jack C. had done with the Curta manual: make a printed up copy for folks who wanted to purchase it at a nominal cost (USD $5 - USD $10). But having not researched the cost to do so, and the very limited market for it, I'm assuming it would end up costing me more to do so than what I'd receive in return.

So... let me take a run to the local printer in the near future and see what it'd cost. Then I'd send a copy out to you (for, say, the actual cost to print it, plus shipping?), and make a few extra copies for those interested. Again, I've no idea what this would cost to print up in small quantities (with a nice replicated "Yellow" cover of substantial weighted paper, and then either spiral bound or just stapled like the original. It could be well beyond the $5 to $10 USD I'm thinking.) Wink
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Peter Johnson



Joined: 22 Apr 2011
Posts: 18
Location: Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:05 am    Post subject: Van Nuys Manual Reply with quote

Many thanks for the reply. I fully understand your concerns about people benefiting from your investment and time spent in producing the pdf. I know how much time it can take - I once did the same thing with a tatty copy of an instruction manual.
Perhaps a cheaper option to a traditional printer, if you decide to reprint the book, would be to use one of the reputable print-on-demand companies. I don't know what rights you assign to them when they print your book, nor if you have an option of a "private" print, etc. Nor do I know if a small order increases the cost-per-copy.
The reason I mention this is because I also have a modest collection of slide rules (much cheaper than Curtas!) and recently one collector published a book on gauge marks. He very generously offered this at cost to the slide rule community. See:
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/sliderule/message/40968
This book is 6 x 9 inches, 147 pages, spiral wire bound, and has card covers. The cost is $8.94 plus shipping. I bought a copy, and the printers (www.lulu.com) do appear reputable and not in the business of printing Wikipedia.
Another option which comes to mind, if you have a PayPal account, is for me to buy a copy of the pdf from you. I have no idea what the current value of the book might be. The only guides I have is that I bought a printed copy of the Type II Service Manual, 70-odd pages 8.5 x 11 inches, from Ernie Jorgenson for $19.95; and a pdf copy of the Type I Service Manual, with 54 A4 pages, for 3.00 (about $4.50) from eBay.
I would give you my word as a scholar and a gentleman not to make copies.

Regards, Peter Johnson
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CurtaGuy



Joined: 11 May 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Took a look at the "lulu.com" print on demand service. Looks like a convenient way to go; however, the drawback I see (only because I'm OCD Wink ) is I want the finished product to be as close to the original as possible. I'm unsure how I'd go about this without an in person consult.

Having said this, I finally made my way to a local print shop and got a quote. The nice thing about a local shop is they're able to produce a "proof" copy of the final product before I go and order 10, 20, etc. copies. So I'm currently waiting for a "proof" to be made, and will make corrections to the appearance as needed, and then probably print up a run of some amount, depending on demand.

I'll know more about the exact cost (after printing, shipping, PayPal fees (ack!), a 'lil bit of my time), but I suspect not more than -- well, let me get a hard figure before I spout off quoting numbers.

It's turning out to be not so much; I was thinking it'd be a lot just to print up 10 copies -- but not so. However, I need to see the "proof" copy, and see if I need a nicer outer cover (heavier weighted paper, different color, etc. -- they didn't seem to have an exact "Yellow" match. Ah well.)

Gimme about another week and we'll see what turns up in my hands.

Smile

PS - Sort of on topic: a few years back, I used to see, on "eBay", a seller from Germany (?) placing a "Hi quality reproduction" of this guide. I forget the price (USD $20 to USD $25, IIRC?) Wonder if anyone 'round these parts bought one of those? The seller surely wasn't E. Jorgensen -- as I've purchased a few items from him in the past, and he's US based. This was an int'l seller, I'm sure.
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Peter Johnson



Joined: 22 Apr 2011
Posts: 18
Location: Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:23 am    Post subject: Printing Van Nuys manual Reply with quote

Thank you very much for that news - it sounds quite promising. I hope that the printer lives up to your expectations.
I am very new to the world of Curtas, having bought my one and only machine back in October of last year. In the short time for which I have been involved, I can't recall seeing copies of this manual offered for sale. In October I did buy a replica copy of "Computing Examples for the Curta Calculating Machine" on eBay from a seller in Germany. He did quiz me afterwards as to why I wanted it, was I collector, etc, but didn't offer any other manuals.
Regards, Peter Johnson
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CurtaGuy



Joined: 11 May 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Curtas I own have both been "addressed" by J.C. -- one was a bit gummed up inside, and Jack did a marvelous job at cleaning it out. Silky smooth now. (Thx again, JC.)

Anyway, to show you a bit of what I was working with, here's a scan of the "before" of the front/back cover. Needless to say, this portion (both inside and outside the yellow covering) needed the most attention: apparently it was owned by a grade school student at one time, no doubt.

I worked with lossless image formats (and not the JPG format I uploaded here) -- but for the purposes of posting, the lossless images are prohibitively large in terms of MBs.

I did this work about 2 years ago now (?), and for some reason, of which I don't recall, the "period" portion of the exclamation point on the front cover was moved ever so slightly in the "after" image. I forget why. It isn't perfect, especially when trying to remove marks near small lettering, but I did "me best". I'm just an amateur at this photo scanning/editing stuff. Wink



Before:

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m526/curtaguy/before.jpg




EDIT: I took out the embedded images and put direct links to them; they were awfully "bulky" for this BB format.


Last edited by CurtaGuy on Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:44 am; edited 2 times in total
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Peter Johnson



Joined: 22 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see why you describe yourself as OCD!
Since doing the manual I mentioned in a previous post, I have bought a Wacom Pen Tablet. I find this much easier to use than a mouse when erasing and cloning.
I am trying to compile a manual of useful tricks by taking info from the various mechanical calculator manuals which are in the public domain. The tablet helps with the creation and editing of photos and diagrams.

Peter Johnson
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murff



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
Posts: 511
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like in this topic...
http://curta.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=263
I can offer a digital restoration and publication on my site

Sample:






for free... and I'm not a distributor of replicas of Curta papers.

CurtaGuy - please PM me if you're interested.
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CurtaGuy



Joined: 11 May 2009
Posts: 31
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This!

Peter Johnson wrote:
<snip> ... I have bought a Wacom Pen Tablet. I find this much easier to use than a mouse when erasing and cloning. ... <snip>


...is what I don't have. And why it's quite a PITA to do this with a mouse. Don't know why I torture myself and not just purchase one -- suppose I only have a use for it every so often. But yes, this would've helped immensely.
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CurtaGuy



Joined: 11 May 2009
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

murff wrote:
Like in this topic...
http://curta.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=263
I can offer a digital restoration and publication on my site

Sample:

...<snip>...

for free... and I'm not a distributor of replicas of Curta papers.

CurtaGuy - please PM me if you're interested.


Murff -- Your work, website, photography, etc. has always been pleasing to my eye. After my hard copies are gone, I may very well hand it off to others interested in touching this project up further. Thanks for the offer.
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CurtaGuy



Joined: 11 May 2009
Posts: 31
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a picture I took today of the second proof which is almost ready for distribution.

Came out quite nice.

http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m526/curtaguy/3-1.jpg


Last edited by CurtaGuy on Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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Peter Johnson



Joined: 22 Apr 2011
Posts: 18
Location: Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:24 am    Post subject: Proofs Reply with quote

Looks good to me. I suspect that you are going to end up with a copy which is of a better quality than an original in new condition! Mr JC will have to introduce a ratings system for documentation.
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CurtaGuy



Joined: 11 May 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:57 am    Post subject: Production copy sent out Reply with quote

I am sending out production copy to Peter. Once he gives the "OK", I will offer it up to others interested.

In trying to keep costs low (w/respect to printing), I want to make sure the quality is up to par for a "repro" of an old piece of Curta ephemera.

The copies of the original Curta manual Jack C. printed up are quite nice, so I'm sort of trying to replicate the quality on the basis of his reproductions.

In hindsight, I'm thinking it best to just hand off the PDF to someone such as murff where it can be taken care of in a professional manner. I just need to offset my costs first! Embarassed
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