Disappearing act of computer magazines

On my way home from the office (yes, I know, technically it was Sunday) I stopped at my favorite Chapters store just to check what is new. First stop is always magazines, partially because it is right next to the entrance, partially because it is on the shortest path to Starbucks counter inside Chapters. For many years, there used to be two shelves with computer magazines. Now there is only one. And half of the magazines are about Photoshop, iPods and digital gadgets. Not that there was anything wrong with Photoshop and iPods – I love my iPod and have deep respects for Photoshop capabilities (albeit I can hardly use the Elements). What I miss are good old fashioned developers mazines which have dimisnished almost completely.

Back in 1998-2000 there used to be dozens of developer oriented magazines: Java Report, Java Developers Journal, JavaPro, Dr. Dobbs, Software Development, Microsoft Systems Journal (later MSDN Magazine), C++ Report, PHP magazine, ASP.NET Pro and many others. Plus many operating systems specific magazines: several Linux oriented, few Windows and lots of Mac specific. Today pretty much all of them are gone. Some because they have stopped to be printed on paper or published completely, most of them probably because Chapters stopped ordering them. Occasionally I see ASP.NET Pro, but most of the shelf represents very consumer oriented view of the computing world.

It is probably inevitable trend: more and more advertisement goes online, away from printed media, and the content must follow. Old style media are being replaced by digital. Same as with film cameras and VHS. But is sort of sad to realize that you will have to consume articles about “Greatest MP3 players of the year” with your chai latte, rather than enjoying juicy and intellectually stimulating Dr. Ecco’s Omniheuristic Corner from printed copy of the Dr. Dobbs. Right now, you can still read it online – assumed that you have your notebook with you and are willing to pay for overpriced WiFi connectivity on top of overpriced coffee. Unfortunately, the WiFi connection in Canadian Starbucks is not free, you will be likely better off to go to Bridgehead, they have better coffee with organic cream and milk … but no Chapters attached …

And btw, today is day 30 of the 30 day challenge :-). I did it !

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