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Manual Database


Would you use a manuals database ?  

113 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you use a manuals database ?

    • Yes
    • No

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Hey Guys,


I notice on this forum and a few others there is a constant need for manuals, many people seem to have loads of PDFs lying around on their computers for varying products, yet there is no easy way of distribution.


Some of you may remember we (Ukslc) tried this before, and we got a load of manufacturers on board and willing to let us host the manuals, however there were only two of us, and the amount of manuals we had to tag and upload was silly, in the end we canned the idea, as it would have taken us ages, given our old system.


However I have moved servers, and now have written a script to make this easy, and to allow you guys to upload manuals, obviously they would all be checked first, but it would still greatly reduce the amount of time the two Admins would have to spend keeping the thing going.


Would a free service like this be useful, and more importantly would you use it ?


I'm willing to set this up and plow hours of work into it, but if its no use then I wont bother !! :oops:


I also welcome comments regarding the idea, if there is a way you would like to see it implemented then please let me know !!

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That's a brilliant idea! I'd definitely use it and contribute where possible. It'd be very useful for the manuals you never seem to be able to find anymore - such as for old/discontinued equipment.
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Wow, this is a great response so far, it really excites me to see so many people willing to help and use it, thanks for the emails and PMs those that have sent, I'm going to work on the site a little this evening and show it to a select group of testers, this should help me get the usability sorted, and hopefully we can work from there.
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I'd probably agree with Gareth and go with the manufacturer's site first, although as we all know, some are of questionable quality, so I may try your site first for them. Out of interest what kind of range of manufacturers have you got, and what kind of breadth of equipment were you planning for it to cover?


Have you also considered either just using direct links, or offering links as an alternative in case manufacturers are fussy?

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The problem isn't so much with current products but with older products, many manufacturers don't have old product manuals in an easy to find location, sometimes just because they have lost them, I see in the Lighting forum at the moment someone is looking for a Coemar Comet manual, which I'm guessing is old. It would seem from the replies that there are PDF manuals around, but obviously Coemar dont host the PDF anymore.


Fair game, new products are very easy to source manuals for, and it is probably less effort to just go straight to the manufacturers website, usability issues aside, they will probably have a copy.


We had the majority of manufacturers signed up last time, willing to let us host their manuals, with only one or two companies refusing. The direct link thing is something we discussed with them last time, and although it is possible, what happens when said company goes under, or decides that hosting pdfs from 5 years ago is a waste of space ?!


Equipment wise, do the categories, AV , Audio, Lighting seem ok ? Obviously there is scope to be expanded upon, and there will be a full search function allowing you to instantly find manuals just by product name.


A structure like this is one that many people seem to favour, do you all agree that this would be the best way?




-->Manufacturer Name

--->Lighting Desk Manual.PDF



->Graphic EQ

--> Manufacturer Name

---> GEQ Manual.PDF

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I reckon it'd succeed or fail based on the what proportion of manufacturers you could get on board:

If people were to search your site for a manual and not find it too often then they'd soon stop, if however they always find it beats the proverbial out of hunting round a poorly laid out manufactures site, which is aimed primarily at sales only has support as a poor second.


I'd be willing for our manual(s) to go on there just as soon as I've written the blessed thing.

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Copyright issues aside I would probably use it if the manufacturers site let me down however it would defiantly depend on the quality of site. While I would use a quick well laid out FTP site quite frequently I probably wouldn't use a frame filled thing that took a million clicks to get to what I wanted or wasn't compatible with older browsers.
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It's an interesting idea, it might just go somewhere. But personally, if I'm looking for a manual for a piece of kit, the first place I go to is the manufacturer's website.


But as I have just discorvered, there isnt a manual online in English anywhere for the Coemar Comet, Ive spent 3 days looking for it with no success.


Ive got loads of manuals here, and would definately contribute to the system. It should be a flying success.


As for copyright...Theyre only copyrighted so the cant be copied, not redistributed surely? And what ever happened to firing an email off to the just to make sure they had no problems with you hosting it, just to be courteous...

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