Tech Magazines

Magazine
By M. Anger
I hate writing introductory paragraphs, so I'll just say that here are some reviews of some popular Magazines, Computer Shopper, Wired, Maximum PC, and Blender. Hope you enjoy complaints!


Computer Shopper
First Impressions
I never paid any attention to Computer Shopper magazine. Unless this is a computer parts catalog or buyers guide, they couldn’t have chosen a worse name. Computer Shopper sounds like all I'm going to find inside is a boring list of products and red or black circles with differing degrees of filled-in-ment. Anything else would be better: Computer Universe, Computer Reader, Computer Components, Computer Hardware, Computer Digest, Computer Pocket Rocket, Computer Light Fixture, Computer Aided Design, or even Computer Penguinfish. Just because your magazine is boring doesn't mean you should advertise this in the title.

Penguin
Penguinfish (Thayeria boehlkei)

Hands-On
After nearly completing my year-long subscription to Computer Shopper I can honestly say that my first impressions were completely valid. This magazine is exactly what its name implies: The world's dullest and driest buyers guide to computers, computer accessories, and other electronic junk that people buy for use in office buildings. Yeah, I know, it's even dull reading this paragraph talking about it, but imagine how I felt having to wade through 12 issues. Good god.



WIRED
First Impressions
The first problem with WIRED is its forceful name. You needn't shout the title of your magazine at us, one capital letter at the beginning of the word is sufficient, thank you very much. PUTTING THE ENTIRE WORD IN CAPS SOUNDS MORE LIKE A NERD RANTING ON A NATURO FANFICTION MESSAGE BOARD THAN ANYTHING ELSE. Unless this is what you're trying to accomplish with your title it is probably best to stick to the classical method of capitalization. Also, in my head the title WIRED brings up a mental image of a cover headline touting an exclusive interview with David Duchovny on X-files the movie. I have no idea why. Was this an actual article I once read in WIRED magazine? In any magazine? In any case, this has tainted WIRED for me, and I haven’t read it anywhere except for in Doctor’s or Dentist’s waiting rooms. Again, this only helps to associate the magazine with whining drills, a horrifying antiseptic bandage smell, and stainless steel gouging implements. Not exactly pleasant images.

David

But I was not apprehensive about WIRED when I first picked up a copy. Perhaps there is some soothing quality that David Duchovny’s pleasantly bored face and droning voice possess, and these feelings are brought out for me by association when I see a copy. In any case, I checked out Wired’s website and was surprised to find that it sucked approximately 100 times less than Computer Shopper's (which is to say that it sucks only a little).

Hands-On
This magazine has a great design if you don't mind your eyes being seared out of your skull when you look at a page. Remember all those "Hot" colors that they had for markers when you were a kid like Hot Pink, Electric Blue, and Retina-Melting Orange? Well those are pretty much the only colors they use in wired. Well those, and Surface-of-the-Sun-During-a-Solar-Flare White.

This magazine also suffers from Rich Man Syndrome. What is this? I will tell you, don't get pushy! This means there too many articles and reviews inside geared towards the 0.001% of the population who have a lot of money to burn. It's maddening to read article after article about charming billionaires who flush more money down the drain trying to get to the moon in a day than some poor single welfare mother of 5 would make in 500,000 lifetimes. Or maybe some rich jerk who decided to build the world's fastest sailboat after becoming bored with screaming at the illegal immigrants who mow his lawn and swimming around in his building-sized vault filled with gold coins or something. Whatever.

Rich
Mmm. Smack smack smack. *sizzle* *Snarf* Ahh...

They also include reviews of inordinately expensive and useless gadgets. I realize that these are probably there to say: "Hey look how neat this is" but to me it sounds more like "Hey check out all this awesome stuff you will never be able to afford to waste your money on and not only that, but if you could it probably wouldn't mean anything to you and it would most likely break in a few days and you still wouldn't care because you could just order 3 more from The Sharper Image catalog and pay 95 dollars for one day shipping. Ha-Ha-Ha oh god don't you wish you were wealthy?!!"

Then there's the undercurrent of "look how cool and smart we are" which runs through much of the magazine. Things like the WIRED, TIRED, EXPIRED list try to sound all-knowing but it usually just come off sounding like they were written by elitist asses who are also completely out of touch with reality. Oh really, Halo 3 Mountain Dew is rated "Expired" now? I guess I'd better throw away the 50 cases of it I bought because you rated it as "Wired" a month ago. Jesus.

They also have music and film reviews; the most pointless music and film reviews ever to exist. The "reviewer" gives each film or CD a 2 word review and then some orange circles (More = Better). With so few words you may as well not write anything at all, or maybe you should just write GOOD or BAD. What a waste of time.


Ninjas
GOOD



Maximum PC
First Impressions
I don't have any first impressions of Maximum PC because I've been a subscriber to it for approximately four thousand years (for some reason).

Hands-On
I can say one thing about this magazine: It (like WIRED) has a the Rich Man syndrome too. Well, maybe not so much Rich Man, but at least Needlessly Wasteful Man Who Throws His Coffee Table in the Dumpster Because It Got A Little Scratched. Seriously, it's ridiculous! I can't count the number of times this magazine has referred to an item as being "budget" only to nearly choke myself to death with laughter upon reading the price. Some of their worst offenses have been in the computer monitor category. The staff of this magazine apparently consider 400-500 dollar widescreen LCD monitors "Budget Monitors". You have GOT to be kidding me! Are these people so completely out of it that they think casual consumers are purchasing 500 dollar monitors for their computers? Intelligent people who would consider themselves average income gamers are rarely going to spend 500 dollars on a monitor, it's ridiculous!

Fedora
How much would you pay for this man in a fedora?
HOW MUCH WOULD YOU PAY DAMMIT

Great, you've just bought an LCD monitor with a resolution of  150000 X 122000. Don't forget to buy the 900 dollar video card that will allow you to run games at a playable framerate along with it! Oh, and also don't forget to repurchase an additional 900 dollar video card every 4 months so that you can continue to run your games at that ridiculously high resolution because your game runs at 12 frames per second even with all the settings turned all the way down. Yeah, sure sounds like something a "budget" pc user would want to be doing. Get a grip Maximum PC, I realize that you guys love using all the cool stuff you get to play with FOR FREE in your office, but you should try to remember that regular people are actually going to have to pay for these things after you recommend them, not conjure them out of thin air.



BLENDER
First Impressions
Blender is an appropriate name from what I can tell; because it appears that the creators of this magazine have put Maxim in a “Blender” with a few extra music reviews, and called it Blender magazine! Shazam! Take that Blender! But seriously, it appears to be the exact same magazine as Maxim, except with a different title on the cover.

Blender seems to understand that they can’t possibly hold a candle to the rock-stupid idiocy and desperate lowest-common-denominator pandering of SYNC magazine, but they give it their best shot. If they are seriously hoping to compete with SYNC, they are going to have to add more “mushmouthed glassy-eyed gutshot rappers smash low quality cellular phones with bats” articles (Source: 50 Cent’s Gadget Beatdown, SYNC Magazine; seriously).

50
Oh stop pouting.

To its credit though, Blender does have a lot of top-something lists. These are extremely popular with people who enjoy seeing products or ideas places in arbitrarily ordered lists by no-name pop culture magazine editors. They include approximately 32 Top-Fifty Lists per issue, as well as a bonus “Top Fifty Top Fifty Lists” where the editors present the fifty greatest top fifty lists from the previous issue in list format. I checked out the magazine’s website and found an example list entitled: “The Top 50 Worst Things To Happen To Music.” Various clever jabs at pop culture icons were included in the list, and one of the items was was 'Kids Today'. Oh Blender! I can’t believe you went there! All of you aspiring journalists out there to take note of Blender’s technique here: Take a phrase commonly associated with shriveled and dismissive curmudgeons and use it to try and prove that you’ve got better taste than a stereotyped group of nonexistent “teenyboppers”. Well done.

I’ve composed a "Top 5 List" containing a few more items for Blender to add to its “Things Which Are Ruining Music” list too:

  1. News update which breaks in during the ending theme of Golden Girls

  2. Those whippersnappers in short-pants clacking their sticks too loudly on the wheels they push down the thoroughfare during the church hymn

  3. Loud backfiring of the horseless carriage which drowns out the waltz playing on your Victrola

  4. Warden who breaks into the office while you attempt to play opera music over the intercom for the rest of the inmates, pulling the needle off the record and giving you 2 weeks in the hole. After you're released Heywood asks, “Couldn’t you have played something good, you know, like some Hank Williams or something?” You do not reply, but continue to eat your dinner.
  5. Blender Magazine

Old
Christopher Walken?

It’s also interesting what they also failed to include in the list of what ruined music. What about: MTV, VH1, ClearChannel, the RIAA? I guess they must have gotten pushed aside to make room for the timely and original Michael Bolton bashing section. That’s what I call edgy humor! I hear Michael Bolton is pretty popular with “Kids Today”.

Hands-On
You're crazy if you think I'm even going to buy one issue of this magazine. 



That's the end of this article for now, but I think I will do a video game magazine version of this too. So both of the people who read this, keep a look out for that, I'm sure it'll be a real piece of crap too.