Friday, September 12, 2014

Farewell to Macworld

I was working up to writing about something else - my approach to writing is akin to turning around the Queen Mary II; nothing happens quickly - when I saw the news that Macworld had discontinued its print edition and laid off much of its editorial staff. It's certainly a sad time for the talented people there who are looking for work, several of whom had just returned from a final hurrah at Apple's unveiling of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch. It's also something of a sad time for me. I subscribed to Macworld years ago, when I had the original Macintosh, and re-subscribed in 2010 or so when I finally ditched my Windows PC for a MacBook. The magazine's sibling, PC World, discontinued its print edition some months back, and at the time I wondered if Macworld's print days were numbered. 

But here's the thing: much as I am happy to get a lot of my information from the Internet, which can provide news faster and cheaper than can print, I like magazines. They're the thing you can turn to sitting on the sofa with ten minutes to kill. You can refer back to them. You can use them in Internet dead zones, like much of the underground portion of the DC Metro. They're easy to stuff into a bag and carry for just such an emergency, and short articles mean not having to remember where you are in the plot, unlike carrying an emergency novel. I subscribe to a half-dozen magazines, and I used to buy a lot of single issues on the newsstand if something caught my eye. Not only are there fewer places to buy magazines these days, but the selection at, say, Barnes & Noble continually shrinks. Some hang on because a computer monitor doesn't do justice to the pictures: Scotland, and its siblingWhisky, are basically porn for Scottish scenery and booze, and wouldn't be the same in an on-line edition.

At any rate, print magazines seem to be a dying breed, and we're worse off for it.

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