Mass Media & Technology

Reading Matter

Magazines in Days Gone By

NL
Ne1L C Recently warned Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
I keep up to date with all the new gadgets by reading magazines such as "Stuff" and "T3" but two magazines I remember reading in the past were the monthly "What Satellite And Digital TV" and "Home Entertainment" magazine.

Does anyone else remember these magazines? Likewise did you read any other magazines of this kind?
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member Central (West) Midlands Today
What Satellite only stopped publication a few years ago and ultimately ended up in the hands of Future Publishing, who do all that sort of stuff and had done since they did their first regular magazine in 1986.

Home Entertainment was also Future printed, and was closed in 2003 in favour of Digital Magazine, but I'm not sure if its still going or if its been rebranded as something else. Wouldn't be the first time Future Publishing flogged something off and then bought it back again, indeed its founder flogged the company. then bought it back again a few years later, and then buggered off again a few years after that.
NL
Ne1L C Recently warned Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
What Satellite only stopped publication a few years ago and ultimately ended up in the hands of Future Publishing, who do all that sort of stuff and had done since they did their first regular magazine in 1986.

Home Entertainment was also Future printed, and was closed in 2003 in favour of Digital Magazine, but I'm not sure if its still going or if its been rebranded as something else. Wouldn't be the first time Future Publishing flogged something off and then bought it back again, indeed its founder flogged the company. then bought it back again a few years later, and then buggered off again a few years after that.


Cant say I've seen Home Entertainment since its demise in 2003 which is a shame as it was a superb magazine.
LL
London Lite Founding member London London
I was another reader of What Satellite in the 90s, but I just get all the news it covered online now.

The only tech magazine I read these days is PC Pro.
BB
BBC TV Centre
I was surprised to see Computeractive! was still going all these years later when I was browsing the magazine shelves in Tesco recently. The format has barely changed over the years.
NL
Ne1L C Recently warned Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Very true.
JA
JAS84 Yorkshire Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs)
I used to buy two tech mags - Personal Computer World, and Windows XP: The Official Magazine. The Windows mag actually still exists to this day (it's another Future title), which I stopped buying when it transitioned to Windows Vista (I skipped Vista, and later bought a new PC with Windows 7 on it), and the long running PCW was axed some years ago.

They always came with DVDs with software and game demos on.
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member Central (West) Midlands Today
JAS84 posted:
I used to buy two tech mags - Personal Computer World, and Windows XP: The Official Magazine. The Windows mag actually still exists to this day (it's another Future title), which I stopped buying when it transitioned to Windows Vista (I skipped Vista, and later bought a new PC with Windows 7 on it), and the long running PCW was axed some years ago.

They always came with DVDs with software and game demos on.


The trend for "cover mounted software" dates back to the 1980s and Future caught on quite early with that idea. Their 8-bit titles Amstrad Action and Your Sinclair (and later Commodore Format) started bundling so-called "covertapes" for the Amstrad, Spectrum and C64 respectively.

The "cover disk" continued into the 16-bit era and when CD (and later DVD) became a thing, it was possible to have hundreds of programs you didn't want, as opposed to the three or four you might have got in the 8-bit era. Though CDs and DVDs later became laughably cheap to make, they aren't particularly environmentally friendly and a lot of magazines later switched to digital downloads, although at that point you had to buy the damn thing to see what software they had available, although I can't recall using any magazine bundled stuff long-term - maybe a game or so in the 8-bit era but these days? If you don't like what the magazine gives you, Google will find you something else in two seconds.
Last edited by Neil Jones on 16 September 2020 9:32pm
NL
Ne1L C Recently warned Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Ohh you’ve just brought back so many wonderful memories. There were some cracking free games on the c64 magazines.
GE
thegeek Founding member London London
I was a very early reader of MacFormat magazine - I think I still have issue 4 or so from 1993. The cover disks were a big draw, though I'm not sure I ever paid for a bit of shareware from them.
An edition in 1994 came with a preview of .net magazine, which piqued my interest - I'd soon persuaded my parents to buy a modem and send off for a trial of CompuServe from an ad in one of them.

I subscribed to both for years, alongside occasionally buying Wired (the US edition was was always better than either attempts at a UK one, though the 1995 UK one published in conjunction with the Guardian is a bit of a curiosity).

I barely get the chance to sit down and read anything these days, but I do miss the chance to serendipitously discover things in the way you can when you read a magazine cover to cover. I signed up for a cheap digital sub to Wired for the year and it's not the same flipping through on a phone screen, and I can't quite bring myself to browse their website in the same way. Unfortunately with sales having fallen off a cliff, many titles are folding and as people aren't willing to pay for content in the same way online, the quality of writing is going to fall. Which is a shame.

(I still subscribe to Private Eye and the Viz though.)
Avatar credit: SMPTE RP198
SP
Steve in Pudsey Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Yes I was an avid reader of MacFormat back in my Apple Fanboy days.

The cover disks (floppy then CD) were a big draw back then, I suspect that this kind of magazine was hit by the internet more than many others.

They had a very clever and probably underappreciated in-joke in the list of contributors, a credit for Colin "Blud" Dalziel.

I changed my bank account recently to one that comes with a free magazine subscription as a benefit. There was nothing on the list that I could see myself sitting down and reading.
Write that down in your copybook now.

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