After reading the editorial in “My Mac” #6 about HomePC, I thought, “This is great, people need to know stuff like this”. Having not read HomePC myself, I can’t say weather or not it was bashed to much or not enough! However, I have had similar feelings about other “made from a tree” magazines that prominently display the PC acronym.
I have a one year subscription to a “made from a tree” magazine, highly recommended by a very nice relative (my brother) who knows a whole bunch about computers and has been working in the industry for a long time (at least 20 years), albeit the PC side of the industry. (Please don’t hold this against him. Other than that small flaw, he really is a nice guy)!
So when he recommended I get the magazine “CD-ROM TODAY,” I reminded him that I use a Mac, and he told me that the CD that comes with the magazine every month is full of stuff for both the PC and Mac. Cool! I replied and like a dummy, I mailed in the subscription card he sent me (we live on opposite sides of the U.S) along with my check for $49.95. After receiving my first issue, I excitedly inserted the CD and started clicking away to get to the good stuff!
The CD contained way more stuff for the PC than it did for the Mac, which is understandable I guess, considering the market share numbers on the different OS’s.
When I started opening folders on the CD, I would often see just one item in that folder, yet it displayed “contains 8 or 10 items” at the top of the window! I would open the window to full screen size and still, only see that one item! (Yep, you know where I’m going with this!) All the items were stacked on top of each other, allowing me to view only the top item. Not very professional, coming from a commercially made for profit magazine.
Not a big deal right? However, I started to feel like maybe they put this thing together for the Windows and DOS users and as an afterthought threw in a few things for the Mac so they could call their magazine “The Top Selling Guide to PC and MAC Multimedia.” I can’t say for sure that they did this, being unable to look at all the goodies on the PC side of the CD, however, I do suspect it. After all, would my big brother steer me to a lame publication if he in fact didn’t like it himself? I don’t think so, Shirly!
Other things I didn’t like about “CD-ROM Today.”
A lot of the shareware and freeware on the Mac side of the CD would not work or too many of the ones I did get working would freeze up my screen at some point! I recall one disc that had some sample graphics from COREL that my little 5 megs of RAM couldn’t even think of opening! They were beautiful pictures according to the magazine, but I never saw them! The disc also has lots of commercial game demos, but you better have lots of RAM to run them.
Personally, I didn’t buy my Mac to play games on. (That’s why God gave us Nintendo! Correcto mundo?)! So what good are game demos to me! As far as what you get in shareware and freeware on the CD that comes with the magazine, I’m finding out that you can download most all of the same stuff at any Mac site on the Internet or one of the On Line Services!
The magazine itself mainly reviews all the new CD ROM releases. Of course, the majority of which are for Windows and DOS! But even the few Mac CDs they review seem to be complete and in-depth. Making this the one and only strong point of the magazine for the Mac user. Is this small amount of information enough to pay $50 for? Not in my book Shirley!
I paid $49.95 for my subscription 5 months ago. I noticed a card in my latest issue advertising it for $39.95! I predict inside of 2 years they won’t even be around.
I found a better use for this magazine, however! (You might try this with HomePC, or any other lame magazine you get, depending on the quality of the paper they use.) Have you ever spilled coffee, pop, or an adult beverage on your mouse pad? Me too! That’s when I whip out an issue of CD-ROM Today, stick it next to my keyboard, rip off the cover page (too slippery), grab a small piece of Scotch Tape, tape the pages together (so that the page your mouse is on doesen’t keep moving) and presto! 8″X 11″ mouse pad. High quality paper and laser printing keeps the ink on the page and not on your hand, no matter how much your hand sweats! Get tired of looking at the picture on that page, rip it out and find another page you like, no need to run to the local CompUSA store and pay $9.95 for a mouse pad with a picture of the USS Enterprise on it. (CAUTION: DO NOT park your mouse on a page that is advertising WINDOWS 95! Doing so will cause your Mac to crash!!!)
I use the CD’s that come with the magazine as coasters for the coffee table, only to be brought out on holidays or when we have company over! We call them our “good” coasters. We set them out with the title side face down so you get that rainbow color reflection effect off the shinny side when the light hits it.
We are looking forward to having a full set of 12 coasters when my subscription runs out!