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The Printed Website: Second Volume Out Now

The second volume features a third of the web articles published in the earlier years, carefully selected for their continued relevance and interest today.

The Printed Website. Image: Jordi Parra.
The Printed Website. Image: Jordi Parra.
View original image View dithered image

The printed version of Low-tech Magazine can be viewed with no access to a computer or a power supply – or when the solar powered website is down due to bad weather. The second volume is out now and contains 32 articles originally published between 2007 and 2012. The book, which has 618 pages and 268 images, is for sale in the Lulu Bookstore. It is also available as an ebook.

Whereas the first volume contained all but a handful of web articles published between 2012 and 2018 (see the contents table), this second volume features a third of the web articles published in the earlier years, carefully selected for their continued relevance and interest today. Overall, we wanted to make an attractive book with timeless articles rather than an exact copy of the website.

The articles in the books are also on the website. However, we have partly rewritten and improved some articles, updated all references, and added more and better images.

Design Changes

Based on the feedback we received on the first volume, we made a few changes to the design. This volume has more images and they are now located in the middle and not at the end of each article. None of the images is dithered.

For most of the period covered in this volume, Low-tech Magazine did not make use of footnotes, but rather hyperlinks in the text. For the book, these links have been converted to references, and dead links have been replaced by links to copies of pages recorded by the Internet Archive. Ironically, the references in the book are now more up-to-date than those on the website.

The printed website. Image: Jordi Parra.
The printed website. Image: Jordi Parra.
View original image View dithered image

This book is printed on demand, meaning that a copy is only printed when someone orders it. It takes a bit longer to receive the book, and because each copy goes straight from printer to client, there is no way for us to control the print quality. If you receive a copy that is badly printed, you should notify Lulu to get a replacement. It’s a very smooth process and there’s no need to return the damaged copy.


  • How to downsize a transport network: the Chinese wheelbarrow
  • Medieval smokestacks: fossil fuels in pre-industrial times
  • The bright future of solar powered factories
  • Pedal powered farms and factories: the forgotten future of the stationary bicycle
  • Bike powered electricity generators are not sustainable
  • The short history of early pedal powered machines
  • Insulation: first the body, then the home
  • Aerial ropeways: automatic cargo transport for a bargain
  • Hand powered drilling tools and machines
  • Boat mills: water powered, floating factories
  • Recycling animal and human dung is the key to sustainable farming
  • The status quo of electric cars: better batteries, same range
  • The sky is the limit: human powered cranes and lifting devices
  • Wood gas vehicles: firewood in the fuel tank
  • Gas bag vehicles
  • Trolley canal boats
  • How (not) to resolve the energy crisis
  • Hoffmann kilns
  • Wind powered factories: history (and future) of industrial windmills
  • Water powered cable trains
  • Get wired (again): Trolleybuses and Trolleytrucks
  • Electric road trains in Germany, 1901 - 1950
  • The monster footprint of digital technology
  • Cargo ships, then and now
  • Moonlight towers: light pollution in the 1800s
  • Tiles as a substitute for steel: the art of the timbrel vault
  • A steam powered submarine: the Ictíneo
  • The Citroen 2CV: cleantech from the 1940s
  • Life without airplanes: from London to New York in 3 days and 12 hours
  • Satellite navigation in the 18th century
  • Email in the 18th century: the optical telegraph

Low-tech Magazine 2007-2012, Kris De Decker, ISBN 9781794711525, 618 pp., December 2019. Ebook edition.


  • More volumes have been published, as well as a thematic book series. See all print books and ebooks.
  • Patrons get free access to ebooks, as well as early access to print books at a reduced price.


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Lars Knudsen

Sounds like a good bargain.

But is there an option for european buyers? I’m from Denmark and when buying from the US I have to pay customs handling fees of up to 40 USD per purchase.

kris de decker

@ Sonya

Yes, probably early next year


E-book will be also an option?


Still not in full color.


Are there any plans to release an updated version of the first volume (2012-2018) to include the new design changes?

Peter Uithoven

Please also make the ebook available for other platforms. I’d love to read it on my Kindle which can handle general epub’s and pdf’s. (It also downloads purchages directly from


KDD : Makes a lower tech, paper version of his low tech website

Readers : Please make an e-book to read on my high tech device…

KDD : …


What a lovely idea ! I live in France and would love to order a French version to share with my French friends. Any chance of that being published one day ?