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The IOBA Standard is the journal of the Independent Online Booksellers Association and covers the book world, with a special focus on the online used, out-of-print, and collectible bookselling markets.


IOBA Q & A Column

By Jean McKenna

Q. Is there such a thing as a computer dictionary? I can’t possibly be alone in that I am very proficient at most of the programs that relate to what I’m doing at the moment, but don’t understand a scary amount of what others consider too obvious to even define.

A.  Yes, there are computer dictionaries; in fact, there are a variety of them, some covering general computer terminology, some dealing with specific areas (desktop publishing, graphics, the Internet, telecommunications, etc.).

I have accumulated a small collection over the past 20 years, some bound volumes and some downloaded from Web sites. An oldie but goodie is JARGON: An Informal Dictionary of Computer Terms, by Robin Williams (long one of the best authors in the computer field), ISBN 0938251643, Peachpit Press, soft cover, 7.5″x9.125″. Mine is a 2nd printing, 199l, so it’s not completely up to date, but I’ve found it an excellent reference. There may be later editions available.

Q. My post office refused to let me send a lot of thirty-year-old Surfer magazines BPM because they contained advertising.

A. This is from the USPS web page Business Mail 101 (for beginners):

Bound Printed Matter must:

a. Consist of advertising, promotional, directory, or editorial material or any combination of such material).

b. Be securely bound by permanent fastenings such as staples, spiral binding, glue, or stitching. Loose-leaf binders and similar fastenings are not considered permanent.

c. Consist of sheets of which at least 90% are imprinted by any process other than handwriting or typewriting with words, letters, characters, figures, or images (or any combination of them).

d. Not have the nature of personal correspondence.

e. Not be stationery, such as pads of blank printed forms.

It couldn’t be much clearer than this.

(It is also suggested that BPM packages be marked “Return Service Requested”, as the Post Office will not return Bound Printed Matter if undeliverable.)

Q.  Does anyone use those white paperback display boxes? They are 30 x 8 x 4-1/2–typically they hover around the feet of bookcases and are meant to display paperback spines. I do not mean shipping boxes, but display boxes. I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear before.

A. I get most of my storage supplies, plastic bags, comic boxes, magazine boxes, record boxes from: All kinds of bags and backing boards.

And since it seems appropriate here is a list of other specialty suppliers:

(The above represents only a few suppliers; there are, of course, others.)

Our thanks go to:

Bonnie Scott

Ken Fermoyle

Tom Hood  – Logan Lake Books

Terry – An Odd Volume Books

Bill Burns

Sasha – NeetStuff




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