I'm wondering ... how uncommon are the TI-99/4A manuals in good condition? I ask because I saw some that appear to be in great condition in a currently 0 bids listing on eBay for cheap enough for me to be interested in buying. They're listed along with some carts that probably few people want which I suspect is why the lack of bids.
Anyway, it pains me to see books destroyed, and I consider it almost criminal to destroy books that are hard to come by, but slicing off bindings and putting them in a sheet feeder is the best way to get a good, clean scan. And I've seen the scans we've got--they weren't done that way and are consequently not very easy to read as a result. And because they're left as basically large slightly askew pictures of pages, things like mobile PDF viewers crap out trying to zoom in enough to even begin trying to read the often not great text. Rather frustrating, it is.
So that's what I propose to do--to slice, scan, and add searchable text. And it seems like that in and of itself might be a worthwhile endeavor. But if others are interested in helping, I think we might be able to take it further and actually remaster those manuals. It's something I've considered proposing in the Apple // community as well, but there's a lot more manuals there and I tend not to see them offered cheaply enough for me to fork over the cash myself (L@@K ***RARE*** !!!STEVE JOBS!!!) so ... that's not real likely.
But here at least is what I gather were some of the manuals that would've come with the computer, and they're in good shape, so ought to scan as well as such manuals could. The text blocks should OCR well for searchability and non-skewed black-and-white graphics tend to compress well without quality loss. If the layout can be recreated, text reflowed into logical paragraphs and sections, and figures recreated as vector images ... That'd fully remaster the original manuals, and they could be rendered into other formats like ePub as well.
Am I the only guy in the world who really wants that enough to do anything about it though? And am I contemplating destroying something that is rare and in demand because I saw a rare great deal on eBay?
Answers to questions like these will inform my decision as to what, if anything, to do about any of this.