As an interesting historical note, in the late 80's/very early 90's, I had approached the owner of D. Robbins (many know his name, but it's unnecessary to mention it) with an idea.
I would, of my own effort, scan the entirety of the Tarbell books, use OCR and hand effort, to convert them into electronic format. Yep, it would have taken many months.
The plan at the time (prior to the emergence of pdf as a standard) was to store them in a custom database format, and have them readable and searchable (not printable, as he wanted to preserve book sales.)
I had designed custom software (thems were DOS days, btw) with the ability to perform complicated real-time concordances -- basically, regular expression searches - for example search sections for appearances of the word "coin" and "cigar" but not "stage."
Well, after giving a 40 page "demo" to him, he agreed by phone to do it. We had yet decided whether I would sell him complete software units at wholesale, or he would "buy me out" for my effort, but it was certain he would receive a full electronic copy of his books for future use (1-7 were plates, as I recall, and were not in eFormat of any kind.)
Well, after calling to nail down that last detail, I was informed that a relative decided producing videos of various effects in the Tarbell books would be a better direction to pursue. I haven't seen 'em yet. :rolleyes:
So, to make a long story just a tad bit longer, it pleased me when the pdf versions of the public domain Tarbell Course was released. First, it was affirmation that I had a good idea that just didn't blossom. Second, while not feeling any ill will about the dissolved deal, it provides a tiny bit of satisfaction knowing that his lack of foresight means someone else makes a few bucks that he doesn't ;)