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Old 09-29-2010, 11:10 PM   #46
Elfwreck
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1) The iPad--or any tablet--cannot replace paper as long as it holds on to the "walled garden" mentality. There will always be a need for specific-to-this-business functions that can't get through the approval process.

2) Paper is still a requirement for many, many legal documents. The law would have to change (and judges get a lot more technophilic) before we can *begin* to remove paper from the legal process.

3) In case people had forgotten, over 14% of US families live below the poverty line. Poverty, in the US, is a family of four living on $22,000/year. IPads-all-around is NOT going to happen anytime soon.

4) Digital documents can be *altered.* Yes, the alterations (or at least, the fact of alteration) can be detected--if you know what to look for. But some alterations are necessary. And digital documents can become corrupt. While this can happen to paper docs, we have literally *centuries* of practice with methods to avoid it with our paper docs, and with backups and such. We have no such methods for digital documents.

5) We really, really aren't tech-savvy enough to consider this on a large scale. (Insert 200 amusing office anecdotes of your choice here.) (I'll start: I still giggle over the one client who demanded we provide her with "searchable tiffs." Not "tiffs and text," not "tiffs and database;" searchable tiff files, because "that's what the other company gave me." We refrained from telling her to go back to them, and insisted on providing her with tiffs and text in separate files. If her office "goes digital," she may delete the text files & database file to "save space" and "just keep the searchable tiffs.")
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:17 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
(I'll start: I still giggle over the one client who demanded we provide her with "searchable tiffs." Not "tiffs and text," not "tiffs and database;" searchable tiff files, because "that's what the other company gave me." We refrained from telling her to go back to them, and insisted on providing her with tiffs and text in separate files. If her office "goes digital," she may delete the text files & database file to "save space" and "just keep the searchable tiffs.")
Funny, I just dropped an image into OneNote and it asked me if I'd like to have any text in the image searchable... it has built in automatic OCR.
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Old 09-30-2010, 05:49 AM   #48
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1) The iPad--or any tablet--cannot replace paper as long as it holds on to the "walled garden" mentality. There will always be a need for specific-to-this-business functions that can't get through the approval process.
In which case the company could develop and distribute their own apps (or pay someone to do it for them). Approval is only required for access to the App Store, not to run an app on the device.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:10 AM   #49
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1)
2) Paper is still a requirement for many, many legal documents. The law would have to change (and judges get a lot more technophilic) before we can *begin* to remove paper from the legal process.

3) In case people had forgotten, over 14% of US families live below the poverty line. Poverty, in the US, is a family of four living on $22,000/year. IPads-all-around is NOT going to happen anytime soon.
On your second point - that has already begun to happen. Some government agencies have started to store some documents only as digital images.

On your third point - I can't disagree but the problem is more widespread than access to technology. Here is a link to an article about illiteracy in America: http://www.tysknews.com/Depts/Educat...te_america.htm
Thus, even when something is printed on paper does not ensure its availability to someone who can't read.

When reading this thread, I think most don't think that paper will disappear in the near future. But, I think the process has begun. We are moving into an age where tablets or some similar device will become increasingly important. We need to make sure we don't leave behind large numbers of people. There was an interesting article in the local paper about how libraries are beginning to reinvent themselves to provide this service.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:54 AM   #50
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1) The iPad--or any tablet--cannot replace paper as long as it holds on to the "walled garden" mentality. There will always be a need for specific-to-this-business functions that can't get through the approval process.
That's not a problem for every electronic device, so it's hardly an issue. If the iPad isn't convenient for office use, some other device will be adopted (or built) that is.

Businesses have also altered their procedures to accommodate computer applications before (witness email use), so there's no need to assume offices will accept zero change to adopt to a new technology or system.

Show them how it will save them boatloads of money, though, and most companies will eventually come around.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:59 AM   #51
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we still write on stone, so if that example holds true - then paper won't go away any day soon - if at all ....
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:45 AM   #52
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As someone who A) has never used a cocktail napkin to write on, and B) always has a PDA or smartphone with me... I can't relate.
Even before PDA's became available?

That being said, you are limited to what the PDA can do.

Quote:

Every sysadmin and IT guy I know carries their smartphones and blackberries with them everywhere, and uses them incessantly to communicate, take notes and share info with others. Never seen one whip out a pen and paper and start writing down stuff.
As a system administrator myself, I do use my phone to connect to work (as I indicated in another post) when I have to. But my work as a system admin is very different from the work I did as a programmer. Programming on a 3" screen literally sucks. If I was trying to figure out the best way to crack a tough programming problem, I either need a laptop or a piece of paper and a pen.

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Word and Notepad, both available on my smartphone and my laptop. Everything else is in my head.
I wasn't talking about writing ideas down. I was talking about doing basic calculations to see if an idea at least was close to feasible. Word and notepad are not very good for that.

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Yes, and as I indicated, we can do much better in that regard. Point is, when used properly a single device can replace reams of paper, making for a smaller environmental footprint than a comparable amount of paper (and most people have no clue how large that paper's footprint really is).
I am not sure, but I suspect that most of those studies make assumptions about how long people keep the devices that may not be true. In addition, as I indicated before, there are almost certainly ways of reducing the environmental impact of our paper use.

Even if it ends up in a Landfill, its ultimately bio-degradable and reasonably non-toxic (maybe not at all, but I haven't read enough to be sure). The real issue is with how its made.

Quote:
I still have a "day job," as a web designer. I keep copious amounts of info on my PC and in my smartphone, and the only thing I ever print out is my occasional vacation recording sheet, because my HR department demands it. It is a form on the office network, and for the record, doesn't need to be printed at all... they just like it that way, in a conservative sense.
Well, at my job, I rarely print out anything, but I do keep a notepad around for meetings and working out problems. I do know people who print everything out, including emails!

I just don't see any evidence of the paperless office becoming a reality anytime soon.

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Old 09-30-2010, 11:50 AM   #53
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To be honest, I don't think that paper will disappear in a very long time. At least not in the lifetime of us on the MR and probably not in our childrens either.

Dead tree paper will probably disappear but (better) substitutes will overtake. There are several alternative papers on the market, and which has been around for a while.

Treeless paper
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:34 PM   #54
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Lessee...iPad 9 1/2" x 7 1/2" x 1/2", uses a non-user replaceable battery, and weighs 1.5 lb. Memo pad 4 1/2" x 3 1/4" x 1/4", no battery, and weighs 2 oz. My digital audio recorder 4 1/8" x 1 1/4" x 1/2", three user replaceable AAA batteries, and weighs 3 oz.

The digital recorder requires no boot up time when switched on and can be held in one hand and operated by feel with one thumb (perfect for when I'm driving; it's safer than using a hands off cell phone). The notepad can have pages ripped out and given to other people. Both combined weigh 1/3 the weight of the iPad and take up less room in my purse or in a pocket. For that matter, an iPad will not even fit in my purse. The digital recorder cost $60 eight years ago; they run less than half that for the equivalent now. The notepad runs $2 max. iPads run $500-600. Guess which I prefer?

Still, my home office is pretty much paperless. Except for documents like titles, birth certificates, etc., I do not keep hard copies of anything. I receive as many receipts, statements, etc. as possible from online and scan everything else as soon as it hits my desk.

For true paperless business to happen, digital document management and distribution will have to become more convenient and less expensive than using paper and businesses and government entities will have to let go of outdated attachments to paper. Someone mentioned digital documents can be altered. So can paper so that's a non-argument.

Last edited by Lady Fitzgerald; 09-30-2010 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:36 PM   #55
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iPad ?
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:41 PM   #56
Lady Fitzgerald
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iPad ?
I'm so good I responded before you posted.
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:45 PM   #57
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Even before PDA's became available?
You're right: I used paper, until PDAs came along.

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That being said, you are limited to what the PDA can do.
As there are limits to what paper can do. That's why we invented computers! And item for item, I daresay a PDA/smartphone can do more than paper.
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:53 PM   #58
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...I daresay a PDA/smartphone can do more than paper.
Except hand someone a note (not everyone has email access).
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:59 PM   #59
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Xerox was worried about this in the 1970s and 1980s when they were inventing the technology that would drive Windows and Mac computers for the next 30 years and counting. It was dubbed the Paperless office and as a result, Xerox did not pursue the technology for fear that it would undermine their copying business. Anyone who lived before computers became necessary in business and after can tell you computers multiplied office paper use.

While, it is conceivable that tablets will replace some paper, I doubt that it will ever completely eliminate paper for business. Sometimes nothing substitutes for scribbling tons of notes when brainstorming ideas and then spreading them out next to each other to see what floats.... Giving each worker 5-6 tablets to do this sort of thing is probably impractical .

--
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Funny.....
I'm working for Xerox...
Our studies show, demand for paper in total even still is increasing.
But the demand structure permanently changes.
About 15 years ago, just-in-time had been a huge trend. Lots of manufacturers did incorporate digital print solutions into their supply line processes: No stock, no planning, 100% flexibility.
Back then, just-in-time/print-on-demand has been one of our main revenue sources.
This has changed drastically: Due to various reasons (due to just-in time, number of languages can be reduced; manufacturers have more efficient supply line processes; lots of documents aren't printed anymore (look at the documentation for iPads for example: 95% of it are on the unit itself as downloadable files, ...), this volume has declined by at least 60%.
But on the other hand, marketing material for example grows exponentially.
It's more than compensating the decrease in "direct material".
We don't link this directly to "classical reading" like we're talking about here in mobileread, as Xerox never has been very much into "book printing".
Xerox more than 15 years ago did focus differently. About 10 years ago, our slogan had been "Xerox, the document company". Never "the printing company".
Meaning: There "always" will be demand for documents. It even will be further increasing, for example due to new markets (= additional volume and languages). But not all of them will be printed. There are more and more alternatives, for example making files downloadable via the web.
BTW: Xerox did invent (in addition to thousands of other patents like Ethernet, laser printer or the computer mouse) the "electronic paper".
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:41 PM   #60
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