PC Magazine on paper: RIP

PC: n. abbreviation for personal computer (in this instance)

Paper: n. a felted sheet of plant fibers laid down on a fine screen from a water suspension, often suitable for the display of printed words.

Ziff-Davis, publishers of PC Magazine, announced today that starting in January the “magazine” would appear only online – no longer in its paper version. End of an era.

Although I let my subscription lapse about a dozen years ago, PC Magazine was once my favorite read.
An addiction, actually.

For a liberal arts kinda gal, I always had a nerd side. Computer nerd. I bought my first computer for an unspeakable amount of money in 1980 and have never looked back.

It made writing a whole lot easier, but as time went on I got so intrigued by the technology that I got myself hired at a local custom-computer-building outfit in Berkeley, working for a couple of legitimate geeks – ordering parts, selling systems, doing tech support, training users.  Since I had zero background in electronics I had to educate myself in order to stay at least one step ahead of my customers.

That’s where PC Magazine came in.  It was my bible.  I read every issue from cover to cover. My husband grew jealous because I took it to bed with me and gave the magazine more attention than him. (Perhaps this explains our divorce??)

I kept the back issues and they began to crowd out the real literature on our book shelves.

In 1990 the magazine developed a huge online community on Compuserve, called PCMagNet, of which I was an enthusiastic member – even got my picture taken for a full page PCMAgNet ad (token female user) that appeared in several magazines.

When we moved to Washington State in 1992, I left the computer profession behind, but not my attachment to PC Magazine.  However, removed from the day-to-day business of computing, I began to see the magazine for what it really was: xornography (a p-word in disguise to throw off spammers) for geeks.  It was impossible to read the magazine without lusting for some faster, flashier, slicker piece of hardware or software.

My own gear invariably came up insufficient.

Without the benefit of being able to get new gear at cost any more, the magazine became torment, and finally I cancelled my subscription.

I still flip through the current issue when I see it on a newsstand, and I do check reviews at PCMag.com when I’m contemplating something new (or did when I had the $$ to do so), but I have recovered.

Here’s the cover of their final print edition. Oh, that logo is soooo familiar, so evocative. RIP, friend.


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