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UB Today

A publication of the University at Buffalo Alumni Association

Fall 2008





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What are your thoughts on reading magazines, newspapers and books online?*

a rolled up magazine *Question posed in “In My Opinion,” a feature of the monthly electronic newsletter @UB, a portion of which also appears regularly in UB Today. To subscribe, go to the UB Link menu at

As a recent UB graduate, I find myself checking the Spectrum’s official Web site every now and then to keep current with campus news. Still, I think it’s essential to keep the paper copies of publications around, because there’s something special about being able to hold a publication in your hands. It’s relaxing to lean back in a chair, crack open a book or paper and just pass the time reading.

Christopher B. Clark, BS ’06
Albany, NY

I like to read at breakfast but only have a few minutes. It’s easy to grab a magazine to read. If I had to use my computer, it would have to be moved to the dining room table. Also, food and electronics are a bad combination.

Susan Mund, MBA ’05
Amherst, NY

I would like to cut down on the amount of paper used, but I’m always more inclined to read a paper copy of any magazine when it arrives in the mail. The physical form of the publication is more of a reminder to read it, and I’ve never been very good at setting electronic reminders for myself. For all the talk these days of a “paperless” society and going green, the amount of junk mail I receive (and shred) still amazes me. So, in the interest of preserving trees, I'll happily sign up for the online edition of UB Today.

Tom Trinchera, MLS ’96 & BA ’94
Poughkeepsie, NY

The online option is an opportunity to incorporate audio and video into the mix. I hope that’s the direction UB Today is headed.

Greg Gattuso, BA ’91
New York, NY

When I go online to check my e-mail, I have no interest in sitting here and clicking link after link. With hard copy, I can put it down and pick it up whenever I want, and not be chained to the computer.

Cheryl Baer, BS '89 & BA ’79
Lancaster, NY

I prefer the green option. Paper magazines use up trees, add to the waste problem, and use energy for production and delivery.

Mary McHugh Dickerson, PhD ’79 & MS ’73
Buffalo, NY

Hard-copy publications are no longer essential except for public transit riders who want to read during their commute. I believe that more and more people will choose to read online.

Tien D. Nguyen, MS ’77
Arlington, VA

For archival and historical purposes, there is no substitute for hard-copy publications, if there is any intention to convey with certainty such information to future generations in a medium that we can be confident will truly “stand the test of time.” Please consider the history of the electronic alternative, which is neither green nor reliable: Electronic records of 30 years ago cannot be accessed using today’s technology in terms of hardware or modern software. The National Archives maintains an inventory of “obsolete” hardware just to provide access to electronic source material in its collections. Can the individual consumer of information be expected to do that?

Perhaps our current flash memory drives will be as quaint to a future generation, as Edison wax cylinders are to us today. Hard copy—from cuneiform clay tablets to acid-free clay composite paper stock—has proved to be reliable media for the historical preservation and conveyance of information from one generation to the next; dependable, to date, through at least 175 generational cycles of 25 years each.

Kim Gerard Santos, BA ’75
Arlington, VA

It’s a great idea to distribute alumni communications over the Internet. Save a tree. Save some money for the university. Everybody wins. Plus you can provide links to related information. You can’t do that on paper!

Mary Cole, BA ’69
Norwell, MA

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