The Linear Canvas
This journal is about the wrongs and rights of the world, as I see them.

The Linear Canvas

PC Magazine, We Hardly Knew Ye!

May 12th, 2007 . by Alexander Fisher

I have subscribed to many magazines over the years. Many of them have been computer related. I began receiving Run Magazine, Compute!, and Compute!’s Gazette back in the nineteen eighties. I read every page and saved most of these magazines for years. I always said it was for reference, but it also reminded me of a time when I had a whole lot of fun learning and playing.

After I threw away my Commodore 64 magazines, boxed up my C-128, and bought a PC, I determined that PC Magazine seemed to be a straightforward computer magazine without as much marketing hype as some of the others. I had been subscribing to PC World magazine and determined at one point that PC World was following a path to less information about PCs and more about entertainment products. About this time, another magazine I was reading, Maximum PC, was in a rush to please its corporate marketers by acquiring more subscribers which included those that can barely open a PC, let alone build one. I dropped both PC World and Maximum PC.

In the last few years PC Magazine has seemingly been out to reshape itself as an entertainment magazine as well. There had been articles about cars, cell phones, and game systems on a regular basis. This was similar to the approach that PC World had taken. I had probably become numb to this type of computer journalism. After a year or so, I began reading PC World again. It did not seem to be quite so much over-the-top as I had remembered. Or like I said, maybe I was numb.

Automobiles might be an electronic novelty and I know someday the computer related features in these luxury automobiles will begin appearing in the cheaper one that I can afford, but that still doesn’t interest me to read it in a computer magazine. Not only is the subject wrong for a computer publication, PC Magazine automobile columnist Tom Howard is a poor writer and I am unwilling to read his column anymore. It’s an entire waste of paper.

I can sort of accept game systems in a PC magazine. Some of their functions are similar to those of a home PC. Cell phones are only computers in the same utilitarian sense that automobiles are and therefore are of no interest to me, a PC user.

There have always been reviewed products in PC Magazine that were more business based and very expensive. These products aren’t being marketed to me as a home PC user, although I have interest in some of them. At least those products are true to the original mission for PC Magazine, personal computers, as in PC. Doing reviews and articles on non-PC related computer products is not the reason I subscribed to PC Magazine.

PC Magazine in my mind has gone a step beyond what PC World magazine had done previously. For this reason I did not renew my subscription to PC Magazine. I will continue to subscribe to PC World magazine for the foreseeable future, or at least until its pages become cluttered with the same marketing gibberish that has infected PC Magazine so badly.

I have been receiving invoices from PC Magazine advising me that they are giving me an opportunity to clear my account. They need to understand, that they did not stop my subscription because of nonpayment. I canceled my subscription at the end of its agreed upon duration. I actively stopped the auto renewal on their website. It is possible that they realize this already and are just trying to intimidate me with the language of their invoice, so I will send them some more money.

It will probably take some time for me to return to PC Magazine, not because of the invoice bullying. The reason I have chosen to discontinue my subscription is wholly due to the lack of quality materials contained in PC Magazine, at this time.

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