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title: Low-tech Magazine: The Printed Website url: https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2019/03/printed-website.html hash_url: 7c36201571

After 12 years, Low-tech Magazine finally makes the jump from web to paper.

The first result is a 710-page perfect-bound paperback which is printed on demand and contains 37 of the most recent articles from the website (2012 to 2018).

A second volume, collecting articles published between 2007 and 2011, will appear later this year.

Book Design

The books are based on the same electronic documents that make up the solar powered website of Low-tech Magazine -- all articles were converted to Markdown, a lightweight markup language based on plain text files. Therefore, the content is almost identical.

Both the books and the website use dithered images, albeit for different reasons. On the solar powered website, dithered images reduce page size and thus energy use. In the book, dithering makes it possible to also include low resolution images. The first volume contains a selection of 159 illustrations.

Why Paper?

The books can be read when the solar powered website is down due to bad weather. In fact, the content can be viewed with no access to a computer, a power supply, or an industrial civilization. A printed website also serves to preserve the content of Low-tech Magazine in the longer run. Websites don’t live forever, and the internet should not be taken for granted. 

Print on Demand

Printing is done on demand, meaning that there are no unsold copies (and no large upfront investment costs). Our US publisher Lulu.com works with printers all over the world, so that most copies are produced locally and travel relatively short distances.

The first book sells for $25.20, which converts to 23.80 euro at the current conversion rate. Delivery rates (for books ordered through Lulu) vary by country, but if one accepts the longest delivery times (up to 11 working days), costs can be as low as $3. Note that it also takes 3 to 5 work days to print the book. 

Print Quality

Before the launch, we have distributed a few dozens of books worldwide, and quality was excellent in almost every case. However, if you do receive a copy that is badly printed -- the book should look and feel as any other book -- you should notify Lulu to get a replacement. And obviously we also like to know.

Kris De Decker. Book design by Lauren Traugott-Campbell. Book images by Adriana Parra.

Low-tech Magazine 2012-2018, Kris De Decker, ISBN 9780359478330, 710 pp., March 2019.



How to Build a Low-tech Website?
We Can't Do It Ourselves
Ditch the Batteries: Off-grid Compressed Air Energy Storage
History and Future of the Compressed Air Economy
How Much Energy Do We Need?
Bedazzled by Energy Efficiency
How to Run the Economy on the Weather
How (Not) to Run a Modern Society on Solar and Wind Power Alone
Could We Run Modern Society on Human Power Alone?
Heat Storage Hypocausts: Air Heating in the Middle Ages
Why the Office Needs a Typewriter Revolution
The Curse of the Modern Office
How to Get Your Apartment Off the Grid
Slow Electricity: The Return of DC Power?
Power Water Networks
Fruit Walls: Urban Farming in the 1600s
Reinventing the Greenhouse
How to Build a Low-tech Internet
The 4G Mobile Internet that's Already There
Why We Need a Speed Limit for the Internet
How Sustainable is Stored Sunlight?
How Sustainable is PV Solar Power?
Restoring the Old Way of Warming: Heating People, not Places
The Revenge of the Circulating Fan
If We Insulate Our Houses, Why Not Our Cooking Pots?
Well-Tended Fires Outperform Modern Cooking Stoves
Modular Cargo Cycles
High Speed Trains are Killing the European Railway Network
Power from the Tap: Water Motors
Back to Basics: Direct Hydropower
The Mechanical Transmission of Power (3): Endless Rope Drives
The Mechanical Transmission of Power (2): Jerker Line Systems
The Mechanical Transmission of Power (1): Stangenkunst
How to make everything ourselves: open modular hardware
Electric velomobiles: as fast and comfortable as automobiles, but 80 times more efficient
Cargo cyclists replace truck drivers on European city streets
The solar envelope: how to heat and cool cities without fossil fuels

Low-tech Magazine 2012-2018, Kris De Decker, ISBN 9780359478330, 710 pp., March 2019.