SuperBeam 1: manuals and publicity

The first SuperBeam manual, published in early 1989, was very much a DIY job, partly because we didn't have much in the way of money or equipment, and also because at that point it was by no means certain as to whether we would sell many copies. The pages were printed on a 24-pin dot matrix printer (our first laser printer, a Brother HL8e, was bought later that year and cost £1500), photocopied and put into a clip binder.

SuperBeam 1 manual

I must have had a fixation with colour in those days since each section of the manual used a different colour paper. When we added SuperHeat and ProSteel to our product line we used differently coloured floppy disks for each one!

SuperBeam 1 pages

By late 1989 it was clear that SuperBeam was becoming a viable product so for release 1.40 we produced our first printed manual, split into two parts, one dealing with the structural elements, the other with configuration, installation and other topics. The printer we used used litho printing so we had to get 400 printed to get an economic price. Long before these were used up, we added a release 1.50 supplement ... and then a leaflet supplementing the supplement!

 

SuperBeam 1.40 User GuideSuperBeam 1.40 Reference Guide

As to selling the program, remember that this was long before the days of the Internet. Those who were computer enthusiasts probably learned about SuperBeam through shareware vendors (paying around £3 for a disk containing a trial version). As for the rest, those who saw a press advert or those we mailed directly, the printed literature had to tell the whole story. I didn't have the money to get a professional designer so it was down to DIY again

 

Leaflet outside

SuperBeam leaflet inside

SuperBeam 1.50 order form

SuperBeam 1.50 example calculations


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