Mailroom clerks around the country are giving DigiKey one-handed high-fives. With the rapid pace of change in electronic components, who would want to limit themselves to an offering that was probably "locked down" 18 months ago (or more). Undoubtedly, this move will make DK an even stronger competitor by being more agile in its product offering and not carrying the huge marketing burden of a print catalog. I greatly admire DK's decision, knowing that they'll be the recipient of untold whining from the shrinking universe of customers who don't want to change. Speaking of which, in today's engineering world doesn't that resistance to change seem incongruous?
I prefer having a printed catalog and find this very disappointing. Call me a cynic but I'm pretty sure they are doing this for monetary reasons not environmental. Also, I would suspect that they generate much more waste with their packing materials than with their catalogs.
On-line catalogs are a wonderful thing and I'm all for saving paper and postage, but I guess I'm "old school" enough that there are many times when I prefer to have an actual catalog in my hands and turn the pages with my fingers and put sticky notes on the pages I want to look at later. (Maybe it's a throw-back to sitting in my room as a kid thumbing through the massive Sears catalogs.) I also often end up throwing away still shrink wrapped catalogs when another new one comes in because I have notes in an older catalog that I want to keep.
How about a compromise? Publish a hard-copy catalog once a year instead of quarterly. That way us old guys can still flip pages but go to the website to get the latest specs and info. I think a lot of people use the catalog to get close to what they're looking for and then go to the website to pin it down exactly.
Save paper; save the earth. It's indeed a very good move. Electronics version will not only reduce the cost but also help companies/ engineers to look for information quicker. I encourage the move; yet, I will miss the paper catalog that I flip when I have to design a new product.
My latest DigiKey print catalog is still enclosed in plastic shrink wrap. I am going to hold onto it for 20 years then flog it on ebay as a collector's item, along with a few similar plastic wrapped Mouser catalogs.
Good move. With the millions of components now part of the electronics field line-up, print media is overwhelmed. The Digikey online parts search and instant datasheet beats print in every way.
I am all for not filling the mail box at the office! I can not tell you the last time I used a printed catalog, as I always reach for the mouse and search on-line. I do hope that others follow suite and go on-line; this saves them money and should enable a more effective focus on web services like faster searching, more powerful searching tools, etc.
I don't quite go back to the four page catalog, but close. My oldest (why I saved catalogs, I'll never know) is one from the early eighties with about 20 pages. Back then, they were one of a few suppliers I used: Digi-Key, Poly-Paks, James Electronics, Quest.
James is still around, as Jameco. I haven't heard of Poly-Paks or Quest in a very long time. Two of four still around thirty years later isn't bad.
The most recent DK catalog is, of course, a massive multi-thousand page behemoth. There are still a few cases where I find it easier to locate a part in the print catalog, but not many. If I've seen a type of part but don't know it's proper name, paging through the catalog seems to be a bit easier. That's not enough to make me miss all that paper though.
As a long-time fan of Digi-Key, I think this is a good move. I recently received an unabridged catalog. With nearly 3000 pages, it's almost useless. It's much faster to find things using their website, which I've found to be very effective.
I remember first ordering from Digi-Key back in the 1970's. At that time their catalog was four pages long: actually one B-size sheet folded in half. This was the catalog and order form, where you indicated quantity desired of each product. Two pages of ICs (mostly 7400-series TTL in DIPs) and two pages of resistors. I wish I had saved a copy of that form.
One fewer thing to clog up my mailbox. Kudos to Digikey for making this move. If we can get a few dozen other retailers to do the same then we can get that much closer to eliminating the post office.
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