Mac Fan Magazine

Tuesday, 2003-08-05; 23:19:00

Just some interesting thoughts on the Japanese Mac magazine...

Today I received my copy of the July 15 issue of the Japanese Mac magazine called "Mac Fan".

No, haha, I can't read Japanese. But I requested a copy of this issue from the editors because they decided to put a little mini-article about my software, Memory Usage Getter, in this issue. I guess my software has what it takes to be in a Japanese Mac magazine, but not in an American one. Pff, stupid MacAddict and Macworld.

Anyway, there are a lot of interesting things to note about this magazine, even though I can't read Japanese.

Let's start off with the number of pages. Mac Fan (July 15 issue): 177. Macworld (August issue): 132. MacAddict (July issue): 96. OK, excuse me, but that's just pathetic. First, Mac Fan puts out a BIMONTHLY magazine; I think that's a reasonable assumption, given that the actual date is on the magazine, and that going to the magazine's website reveals that there seems to be at least two August issues -- see the left-hand column. Not only that, but Mac Fan STILL wins in sheer volume of pages. Wow.

Now, lest you think that more of those pages are devoted to advertisements, I'll count the number of pages in each magazine that are devoted JUST to advertisements. MacAddict: 33. MacWorld: 69. So actual substance pages in these two magazines amounts to much less than the actual number of pages. MacAddict: 96-33=63. MacWorld: 132-69=63. Funny; even though Macworld is seemingly more substance-full, it actually amounts to the same exact number of actual information-filled pages (Oh, and Macworld? Isn't a magazine supposed to have more writing than advertisements? Apparently not.).

How does Mac Fan do? It clocks in at 147 information-filled pages. Yes, that's right; only 30 advertisement pages. Not only is Mac Fan a bimonthly magazine, but it has MORE pages for each issue and LESS advertisement pages. That means that Mac Fan puts out over twice as much information in a month as MacAddict and Macworld do together. Feel free to come over and do your own counting, especially if you can understand Japanese.

There are a couple more interesting things to note, however. The Mac Fan magazine seems to be more laden with pictures that help you understand what's going on. While obviously I can't REALLY tell what's going on, I can get a good idea about what they're talking about, given that there's a lot of pictures. They have almost two whole pages showing "screen shots" of the new iPod, actually SHOWING you how it works, not just telling you. Each product they do a "mini-article" on is also accompanied by at least one picture, as is my program (which is on page 149). They have cartoons (more than one), articles, interviews, opinion, news on new products from Apple, the works (and by "the works", I don't mean "the crappy American way of doing 'the works'" -- see the previous two sections).

Also, Mac Fan actually includes pictures of the WWDC 2003 keynote webcast. They seem to be higher quality than the actual webcast, so I'd bet that they took stills from the live satellite broadcasting of the keynote, since one of the pictures takes up about half a page. That's much more interesting than just hearing rehashing of the keynote in text. I also noticed that at least one Apple product seems to have different name in Japan: AirPort Extreme over here is called AirMac Extreme over there.

You want to know the best thing, though? All of you subscribers to Macworld and MacAddict can toss your CDs away. Mac Fan puts out a DVD. It's a chock-full-to-the-brim DVD, too; complete with video that plays in a normal DVD player, AS WELL AS the standard software that's mentioned in the magazine (and yes, my disk image is included on the DVD :) ), which fills up 4.2 GB of space.

Mac Fan has just totally soured me on this whole Mac magazine thing. Not only are magazines a horribly inefficient way of getting information, since I can get up-to-the-minute news from Mac websites like MacMinute, the Mac magazines over here in the U.S. don't do much to make them worthwhile! While MacAddict is arguably better than Macworld in that it's at least MILDLY entertaining, I still can't remember the last time I actually looked at a MacAddict issue for anything longer than 10 minutes. It practically took me half that time to find the screenshot of my application in Mac Fan! It seems like Mac Fan would actually be a worthwhile magazine to subscribe to if I actually could understand it.

Bottom line: I'm not renewing my subscription to Macworld OR to MacAddict. They just aren't worth the few dollars I contribute to them anymore, and I really can't justify paying for a magazine that simply clutters up my home mailbox. I'm sticking to Science News from now on (which, by the way, actually comes out weekly -- thanks grampa!).

(Oh, yeah, and I don't have to put up with the letters that inevitably come with every Macworld issue: "Blah, blah, blah, I can't stand Mac OS X, even though I haven't even tried it. You actually devote a bunch of pages to show how to squash the top Mac OS X bugs? That just shows me that I should steer clear of Mac OS X, even though I haven't got a CLUE about the benefits of Mac OS X, and I'm conveniently ignoring all the extension hassling and constant crashing that plagues Mac OS 9. Maybe I should switch to Windows, that has even more problems than Mac OS 9: clearly it's a better choice since I have to learn a 'whole new' operating system anyway." Good RIDDANCE.)

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