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 Post subject: Maximum Linux-OS-Cell Phone-Gaming PC?
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 6:21 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:24 am
Posts: 74
Will:
I'm a long time reader and fan of MPC. I am upset. Here's why:

I get it - Will has a hard on for Linux. Is it really worth all of the magazine space though? There are hundreds, if not thousands of similar articles online. More importantly, I haven't been subscribing to MPC for years so that I can get the latest idiot's guide to Linux installation. Isn't this a mag for savvy PC users? Why are you (Will) so set on using MPC as a printed device for the Linux revolution? It just seems a shame and a waste.

I value your opinions on cell phones, but c'mon. This isn't Maximum Cell Phone, PDA, or any other mobile device. You're not editor of Maximum Mobile Operating System, or any other OS. Can't such reviews be left for the website?

Why not stick to what you do best - reviewing computers and hardware. Why are you spending what few precious pages you have (once the ads are placed) reviewing games? Let your brothers and sisters at PC Gamer handle that material.

How many more pages of relevant material could be covered in each issue if you cut out Linux how-to's, Mac comparisons, Cell phone and PDA reviews, web software (blogging and data hosting), and all the other garbage that people can already find online from reviewers who review nothing else but those items?

So what do I want? Review some business systems! How about reviewing more Dell machines such as the OptiPlex, Precision and the Latitude. I think you're ignoring a major part of your market by leaving out these types of machines. While I am sure there are money hobbyists who read MPC for the latest info on power supplies and cases, I'd be willing to bet there are more system administrators and industry professionals who look to MPC to stay ahead of the curve, without having to monitor 10+ websites for snippets of unfiltered news. While you're at it, tell us ways to enhance the performance of these machines without voiding the warranty we bought these machines for. You know - useful stuff that only MPC caliber techies can write about.

The most recent mag ( June 2007) was the most disappointing edition ever. The feature article is literally full of re-hashed reviews and crap that almost no one needs or wants. Followed by "Terrific Time Wasters" which was a waste of time to print and yet another edition of Will preaching to the Linux fanboys (the only ones who will bother installing Linux based on your articles). How many times has there been a slipstreaming how-to in MPC? Too many.

It's also time for MPC to decide where you stand on Windows Vista. You have been flip-flopping more than a Democrat on tax cuts about whether or not you recommend it, when the bottom line is who really has a choice? Sure, people could wait - but what for? Gamers will soon have no choice, and businesses will need to for tighter integration with Office 2007 and upcoming server systems, not to mention faster and easier networking. It's about time you stood up and admitted that Vista is what people should be buying now, even if it is a monumental disappointment. There are people out there who literally won't buy something until they get the MPC "OK", and those people are being poorly served by your magazine.

I'm a fan of the more frank style of writing we're seeing lately in MPC. I'd like to see more insights into the near and long term future. I would also like more advanced tweaking tips. Aren't we owed a MPC Vista tweaking guide, or are you too busy writing the 11th installment of "How to install Linux the super really easy way"?

Why aren't printers and scanners ever reviewed? We all use them - more people use them than iPods or video editing software - but look how much paper has been allocated for reviews of those products.

I hold MPC to the highest standard for technical journalism, because for years it has set that standard. It's time for MPC to get back to its roots.

Those are my thoughts.

I love you all.

-SC


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 8:51 pm 
Maximum PC Editor
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Hey sc,

There are two or three different factors we use to determine what types of stories we should include in Maximum PC, I don't determine feature stories or cover stories on my latest whim. We consider reader feedback, sales numbers from different cover topics, industry trends (including what competitor mags have seen success with), and the stuff that the staff (as a whole) is interested in.

The Linux topic is really interesting, because it seems to be a totally polarizing topic. I've gotten more questions from readers about Linux in the last six months than any other topic we cover. After we run a Linux story, I get another deluge of email, fairly evenly split between people who are interested in Linux and people who are Linux haters. To ignore a topic that generates that kind of interest, both good and bad would be a mistake.

But, basing the decisions we make on a statistically small number of responses from people who are obviously very passionate about the topic would also be a mistake. That's why the July issue of the magazine went to different parts of the country with different cover stories. One area got the Upgrades You Didn't Know You Needed cover. The other got Get Started With Linux. We can use the info from this test to determine what types of stories the majority of our customers are actually buying.

I also have to tell you, that this is probably the first request I've received this year for us to test more IT oriented products, like scanners and printers. While I definitely appreciate your confidence in us, we don't have the manpower to test an enterprise printer, small-business server, or fax/printer/scanner combo to my satisfaction. And, we don't really have the room to test that kind of stuff. It's big.

As for Vista, the more I use it, the less inclined I am to recommend it to anyone. I originally gave it a wait and see verdict, which I felt was pretty generous. Everything about Vista tells me that it was designed to maximize Microsoft's profits, with improving the end-user's experience as a distant second goal. For example, take the activation failure dialog. When I activated my copy of Vista for a third time (on the exact same hardware, mind you) I got an activation failed message. Instead of prompting me to call the 800 number, as XP does, Vista offers to let me buy another copy of the OS to replace the legitimate one that I paid good money for and hides the method I can use to reactivate my legit copy of Windows. That's not the action of a product that I can endorse, especially for power users. Call me an idealist, but I personally don't want to be stuck with an inferior product that removes functionality I'm accustomed to and need because
"we're stuck with it". Both XP, OS X, and Linux are superior to Vista, I'm hoping Microsoft will release an SE version of the new OS sometime soon that will put the focus back on the end user, giving us the OS we need, not the one that maximizes Microsoft's profit margin.

Furthermore, the uptake rate among our readers is very low. about 20,000 visitors come to Maximum PC's website every month who use Vista. About 15,000 come to our website using Linux, and another 12,000 come to our website every month using OS X. All three of those numbers are insignificant compared to the number of XP users. That, and the feedback I've received from readers, makes me question the viability of a Vista tweaking story this early in the fledgling OS's lifespan.

Anyway, that's an insanely long answer to a pretty long question. Hope it helps.

///Will


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 5:13 am 
8086
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Will:
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and for allowing me to voice my opposing opinion. I appreciate your input and opinions.

I understand your disappointment with Vista - we all feel that pain. I think you're looking at the product's pricing from a very narrow perspective - that of an upgrader. It's not all that much more expensive than XP was when it came out to purchase new. Purchasing it pre-installed on a PC is actually cheaper (yes - I know this for a fact), than purchasing XP is at this time.

I agree that it is overpriced no matter how you buy it. I agree that many versions of Linux are more powerful than Vista (except for gaming). To say XP is superior to Vista is taking it a step to far, however. XP, even with SP2 is an OS that needs hours worth of installations and modifications out of the box to bring it up to the functionality level of Vista - even then you're not getting the integration that Vista offers, nor the DX10 support. I can't speak to OS X because of my limited experience with it, but I can tell you that I don't want to by a new version of an OS every time Apple decides to add a new feature to the kernel. I think anyone who plunks down the upgrade money for the latest and greatest from Apple every time they release will tell you their pretty animal skin box ends up costing much more than Microsoft's alternative.


I'm not a Linux hater. I run several distros on 4 different boxes and dual boot my notebook. I've been a fan of Linux for many years and support the movement. I just don't think it's MPC's job to write "Linux Installation for Dummies" guides.

I know that to some extent you have to write about what sells magazines, but if you feel that Linux is a cash cow, couldn't you at least try and write about something OTHER than how to install it? If you have the time to research Linux distros, then why not do a comparison of what the top varieties of Linux are working on for future releases? You know - something that normal people would have to really dig through the web to find. Why not interview the leaders of the the dev teams who are behind Ubuntu and openSUSE? You know - something anyone else can't do.

If you have enough time to write about Linux, which entails doing a good deal of research online and careful double checking of syntax, why don't you have time to review business machines? I'm not asking that you review business servers (although that would be great), as I know that is an even more limited market - but I don't think it would be that difficult to do a "Business Machine Roundup" of 6-10 boxes. How do you know how many copies it would sell until you try it?

Your numbers are low on Vista visitors because it still hasn't been adopted by home users. I think you know this. Your Linux number is promising, but unless it represents unique viewers I wouldn't trust it. Linux fanboys pound any site that talks about Linux. Of course those numbers are insignificant compared to the XP number - but shouldn't that tell you something? It should tell you that MS dominates most boxes and most of your readers. It should tell you that that vast amount of your readers are using an OS from Microsoft. It should say that you need to put more time into Vista, not less, because most of your readers will eventually be upgrading to it. They will not be throwing away Windows for Linux - I think even in your fantastic vision of an open source future you realize that it isn't going to happen within Vista's lifetime.

I want to see an article that tells readers how to optimize Vista and gives benchmark results before and after. While on the subject of benchmarks - Quake 4 and Fear? I know it must be a nightmare to have to switch benchmarks, but Quake 4 and Fear?! I'm sorry but Q4 is no longer a benchmark anyone cares about, and Fear is quickly approaching that stage as well. Why not try a game that really taxes today's games, like Supreme Commander? If you can find a way to give me 10fps on my Vista box in Supreme Command I will personally bow down and kiss your feet (after carefully removing your I *heart* Linus slippers.

-SC


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 8:01 am 
Team Member
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To your last paragraph; if you switched benchmarks every month would that be fair to last months PC vendors? No. Those games, while a little old, still give an accurate measurement of a PC's horsepower. When MPC came out with those benchmarks a while back, they were the most rigorous games a PC could play. I'm sure MPC will update their current benchmarks at about the same length of time they always do.


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 Post subject: Re: Maximum Linux-OS-Cell Phone-Gaming PC?
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 9:59 am 
Little Foot
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Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:35 am
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sc123 wrote:
I value your opinions on cell phones, but c'mon. This isn't Maximum Cell Phone, PDA, or any other mobile device. You're not editor of Maximum Mobile Operating System, or any other OS. Can't such reviews be left for
the website?


sc123, I totally agree with you on some of your points (especially on some of the wasteful articles in this month's issue like "terrific time wasters" etc). The only two points you make that I disagree with however is cell phone reviews and linux articles.

I really like seeing cell phone reviews. In-fact I don't think MaxPC does enough of them! I want to see how they rate the new Razr Vxx. And the two new Razr V8 and Razr V9 coming this Summer. Just look at another PC magazine in the marketplace... PC Magazine. They review tons of different categories: business machines, mobile phones & devices, and on and on. I agree with you that there should be reviews of business PCs and servers. But I also like reviews on mobile devices too. Gives some variety as well.

I think linux articles are fascinating and something to explore more of (in a limited quantity -- it is great for an article in an issue, but it shouldn't however take the whole issue). I also like free programs like what you would find at download.com or free scripts for a web server.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 5:37 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:24 am
Posts: 74
It's nice to have your suspicions proven correct.

Maximum Linux - "a new editorial blog for Maximum PC"

This guy even looks like Will.

Image

Image

...creepy, ain't it?

MPC readers - I told ya so.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 3:18 am 
Maximum PC Editor
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He has a suit though. Worth mentioning that we also have a Windows blog.


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 Post subject: D'OH!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:42 am 
8086
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First off- I’d like to say that I agree with this reader. The magazine has gotten way off the Maximum PC path. Things change, they always do- especially in the PC world, but change doesn’t always equal better.
It’s rather funny that Linux, once again, is the topic at hand. Another classic Windows vs. Linux battle is underway, right in the middle of the Maximum PC pages. Get your ring side seats people!!! Wow, who would have ever thought we’d see an article about Windows vs. Linux anywhere these days? I mean magazines, newspapers, books, blogs, podcasts, the whole Internet!!! I just can’t get enough of this stuff… oh, wait- I CAN GET ENOUGH AND I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!!
When I started reading Maximum PC a long time ago- I like it for one simple reason- they gave me information on things that I could not find anywhere else. They also took the time to add pictures to the articles and give in depth reviews. Things like processors and video cards, mother boards and memory. They gave me info on Monitors that could do this- or do that... it was cutting edge stuff. They told me about free applications, websites that might have good info to continue looking at things.
But has the computer industry slowed so much that these days are gone? I hope not.
Case in point- cases- How many time a year will you run a 6,000 page article on computer cases??? Let me just tell you something about a computer case- it holds stuff, it has an on/ off button somewhere on it. Can they be kept cooler than others, sure- but how many times a year do we need to read about a new case that is 1 degree cooler than last month’s cases?
I like how Will avoided the question of reviewing Dell Optiplex machines by saying there isn’t enough time. How can there not be time? Isn’t the magazine called Maximum PC? PC- see that- PC… that means Personal Computer. And I hate to break it to you, but there are PC’s at businesses.
The other thing that I see that Will fails to see is that his readers have changed- they grew with the magazine. It’s funny how they give you these people all these “how toâ€


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 1:57 am 
Little Foot
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Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:02 am
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from the responses here you would think this is life or death wow.

[quote]The other thing that I see that Will fails to see is that his readers have changed- they grew with the magazine. It’s funny how they give you these people all these “how toâ€


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 Post subject: Re: D'OH!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:09 am 
Coppermine
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[quote="Sonjador"]First off- I’d like to say that I agree with this reader. The magazine has gotten way off the Maximum PC path. Things change, they always do- especially in the PC world, but change doesn’t always equal better.
It’s rather funny that Linux, once again, is the topic at hand. Another classic Windows vs. Linux battle is underway, right in the middle of the Maximum PC pages. Get your ring side seats people!!! Wow, who would have ever thought we’d see an article about Windows vs. Linux anywhere these days? I mean magazines, newspapers, books, blogs, podcasts, the whole Internet!!! I just can’t get enough of this stuff… oh, wait- I CAN GET ENOUGH AND I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!!
When I started reading Maximum PC a long time ago- I like it for one simple reason- they gave me information on things that I could not find anywhere else. They also took the time to add pictures to the articles and give in depth reviews. Things like processors and video cards, mother boards and memory. They gave me info on Monitors that could do this- or do that... it was cutting edge stuff. They told me about free applications, websites that might have good info to continue looking at things.
But has the computer industry slowed so much that these days are gone? I hope not.
Case in point- cases- How many time a year will you run a 6,000 page article on computer cases??? Let me just tell you something about a computer case- it holds stuff, it has an on/ off button somewhere on it. Can they be kept cooler than others, sure- but how many times a year do we need to read about a new case that is 1 degree cooler than last month’s cases?
I like how Will avoided the question of reviewing Dell Optiplex machines by saying there isn’t enough time. How can there not be time? Isn’t the magazine called Maximum PC? PC- see that- PC… that means Personal Computer. And I hate to break it to you, but there are PC’s at businesses.
The other thing that I see that Will fails to see is that his readers have changed- they grew with the magazine. It’s funny how they give you these people all these “how toâ€


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 Post subject: Re: D'OH!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 11:59 am 
Malware specialist
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[quote="Lawrence Chang"][quote="Sonjador"]First off- I’d like to say that I agree with this reader. The magazine has gotten way off the Maximum PC path. Things change, they always do- especially in the PC world, but change doesn’t always equal better.
It’s rather funny that Linux, once again, is the topic at hand. Another classic Windows vs. Linux battle is underway, right in the middle of the Maximum PC pages. Get your ring side seats people!!! Wow, who would have ever thought we’d see an article about Windows vs. Linux anywhere these days? I mean magazines, newspapers, books, blogs, podcasts, the whole Internet!!! I just can’t get enough of this stuff… oh, wait- I CAN GET ENOUGH AND I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!!
When I started reading Maximum PC a long time ago- I like it for one simple reason- they gave me information on things that I could not find anywhere else. They also took the time to add pictures to the articles and give in depth reviews. Things like processors and video cards, mother boards and memory. They gave me info on Monitors that could do this- or do that... it was cutting edge stuff. They told me about free applications, websites that might have good info to continue looking at things.
But has the computer industry slowed so much that these days are gone? I hope not.
Case in point- cases- How many time a year will you run a 6,000 page article on computer cases??? Let me just tell you something about a computer case- it holds stuff, it has an on/ off button somewhere on it. Can they be kept cooler than others, sure- but how many times a year do we need to read about a new case that is 1 degree cooler than last month’s cases?
I like how Will avoided the question of reviewing Dell Optiplex machines by saying there isn’t enough time. How can there not be time? Isn’t the magazine called Maximum PC? PC- see that- PC… that means Personal Computer. And I hate to break it to you, but there are PC’s at businesses.
The other thing that I see that Will fails to see is that his readers have changed- they grew with the magazine. It’s funny how they give you these people all these “how toâ€


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 Post subject: my earlier post.....
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 12:57 am 
Little Foot
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Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:02 am
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I do apologize i only meant to quote the first paragraph> I am new to this forum stuff and i guess i need to close the quote.


Mega sorry...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:10 am 
Million Club - 20 Plus
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Something that I think everyone is missing is that the mag is called MaximumPC. Not MaximumXP, MaxVista, MaxLinux it is MaxPC.
PC's come in many flavors and OS's. It is indeed correct that the HUGE majority of computers have some flavor of Windows on them, However, Linux has made large strides lately in the numbers of users. To ignore that would be to do them and the magazine a disservice. So if you want a magazine that caters ONLY to Windows and/or games, you need to look elsewhere.
I have been reading the mag since the boot days. I have noticed a major change in the reporting style from those days to now. Back then if the reviewer thought something sucked thats what would be in the write up, "it SUX!!!". Now it is much more politically correct in how the ratings are done. You still get the idea of whether or not something is worth your attention but still, every once in a while a good ole "it SUX!!!" would be niceand nostalgic.
Remember MaxPC <-- not XP/Vista/Linux

BTW, 7 computers
3 Windows
4 Linux


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