Long-running Apple rag MacUser Magazine shuts its doors after 30 years



  • Reply 41 of 86
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,549moderator
    daven wrote: »
    May I suggest substituting ''publication' in place of 'rag'?

    You may, I can't change the main page myself though, you have to suggest it to the article author. You can PM the author by clicking the name Appleinsider and hitting send PM or use an email address on the contacts page:

  • Reply 42 of 86

    Originally Posted by brlawyer View Post

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

    Rag ... ? Oh dear, I remember when Mac World and MacUser were THE go to Magazines for Mac enthusiasts. How times change. RIP MacUser.

    Indeed. However, I must say that the overall editorial quality and "thickness" of the above mentioned magazines has been on a downward spiral for years now (Macworld used to be a "thick bible" every month in the 90s, even with a much smaller Mac universe) - in the meantime, I can only praise MacFormat for its excellent content in this context of increasingly electronic domination.


    RIP anyway.


    P.S.: Anyone here missing MacAttack! as well?

    Yes, MacAttack was another good one. I brought home my first Mac in May 1984, an amazing 128K Mac. Packing on top inside the box was issue number one of MacWorld that was, at that time, a bit oversized in height and width from the standard-sized magazines.


    As time went on the magazines and the local Mac club became less necessary to get and share news... the internet did that quicker and cheaper. BMUG, the newsletter of the Boston or Berkley user group, used to be an inch think. Those were the days!

  • Reply 43 of 86
    Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

    Perhaps the editor of Appleinsider should look up the definition of 'rag magazine"

    MacUser doesn't or never did deserve the rather disparaging meaning that is associated with the word 'rag' as used in this headline.


    Agreed. Shame on you AppleInsider.
  • Reply 44 of 86
    Ironically, Mac usage now is stronger than ever.
  • Reply 45 of 86
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,395member
    For the benefit of the mostly US-based readership here ... the article is referring to MacUser magazine in the UK -- the US version of which was absorbed by MacWorld many, many years ago.

    This site is WAAAY out of line referring to it as a "rag," and I can only imagine that the author of the piece either has no idea of the deragatory nature of the word "rag" in relation to print magazines, or simply made a typo and meant "mag."

    AI referring to MacUser UK as a rag is the height of hypocrisy. Or perhaps "projection" in the psychological use of the term ...
  • Reply 46 of 86
    Sad but those Apple centric mags were off the charts expensive!
  • Reply 47 of 86
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    bobschlob wrote: »

    Ahh… That's why I loved MacWeek (aside from the great writing and awesome computer classifieds).
    You could fold it vertically, like a newspaper, and have it sticking up, out of your pack pocket. (as I moseyed down the street to eat breakfast and read the latest Mac stuff) Ahh… nostalgia.

    <img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="54376" data-type="61" src="http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/54376/width/200/height/400/flags/LL" style="; width: 200px; height: 253px">

    I loved the quality they used and the print quality was amazing. Always got them delivered for free at the Mac World shows in the hotels where we stayed I recall. Good times.
  • Reply 48 of 86
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,670member
    Used to love picking up a copy of MacUser before takeoff. Old school.
  • Reply 49 of 86
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member

    And in other Mac-related-closing news, macpunk.com seems to have bitten the dust.

    I used their free email service for more than a decade.  Evidently I'll need a new spam catcher.

  • Reply 50 of 86
    Yeah MacWeek was the ticket! I remember reading the Dvorak column every month at the end, back in the early '90s hilarious, still can't get enough! (noagenda.com)
  • Reply 51 of 86
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    Marvin wrote: »
    I suspect the title came about from someone trying to find another word for magazine to avoid saying 'long-running Apple magazine MacUser Magazine':


    It can be used to mean informal, mostly gossip or tabloid-like media, not necessarily trashy but it would be more respectful to say publication or something along those lines. This is a case where it would be best to email or PM the author because they're the only ones who can make such an update. Editorial choices like these are not always going to be made with any intended disrespect so don't jump to that conclusion when you see them.

    Yes, "publication" would be the first synonym that comes to mind, not rag.

    I don't think the crits in the comments are intended to suggest intentional malice, but rather to let the editors know it's a poor choice. Which in turn improves the quality of the AI product, which increases value, which attracts more readers.
  • Reply 52 of 86

    Not necessarily insulting, but incorrect. A 'rag' is a daily newspaper, known as such in the trade because at one time rag was a component of the pulp from which the paper was made. The appropriate comparable term is a 'comic', though that's technically a colour supplement.


    I suspect they meant to write 'mag' and pressed the wrong button.

  • Reply 53 of 86
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,549moderator
    john12345 wrote: »
    Ironically, Mac usage now is stronger than ever.

    It's not the same state of affairs it was years ago though. Back then, there was something to write about. Opinions over what standards were going to win, how Apple could unseat Microsoft, how IBM compared to Intel, emerging popular software products, bundled software discs, workflow tutorials, software that was pushing boundaries. They had games that would push your computer to the limits but still looked unrealistic. One was Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness, I'm sure they had demos with some magazines. This was only 2003 but look at the system requirements in MacWorld:


    "The Angel of Darkness call for Mac OS X v10.2.6 or later; G4/1.2GHz or faster; 256MB RAM; 32MB Radeon 7500 or GeForce2 MX graphics acceleration or better."

    Single core PPC processors, RAM still measure in MBs. That was the first Tomb Raider game they added boob physics and wet skin, it was a watershed moment. My spacebar (jump button) took quite a bit damage. They had to put a nextgen switch in the system prefs to turn off things like bump mapping and dynamic lighting.


    Look at the difference with the game just before it:


    There were tips in the magazines about setting Photoshop scratch discs to a separate drive for the best performance. Way in the past they'd have articles about how to configure IDE drives and setup RAID, the best software to defragment drives, how to get all your AppleTalk hardware to work under OS X. This is mostly redundant now because software is all delivered digitally, hardware performance has reached a level where pretty much any software will run, external drives come preconfigured, graphics, storage and networking standards are mature, we have lots of RAM, we have SSDs, we don't have too many crazy IO formats.

    You can buy a computer now and it will just work and run everything smoothly and there's loads of inexpensive add-on hardware.

    Magazine subscriptions for some magazines still seems to be holding up:


    but you see the topics: health, fitness, food, sports, gossip, glamour. Wired magazine barely made it into the top 100 with ~860k subscribers and they cover all technology. There's a list here of all the brands that MacUser's publisher still puts out:


    It makes sense that tech magazine content would move online because they are competing with other Mac sites like AI which are exclusively online and deliver content far more quickly than a magazine ever could. They'd have more time to work on the content and get the quality up but within a matter of hours, any news is old news.
  • Reply 54 of 86
    @brlawyer: "However, I must say that the overall editorial quality and "thickness" of the above mentioned magazines has been on a downward spiral for years now"

    MacUser had 132 pages (16 more than MacFormat), lovely thick paper and some fantastic design and editorial. No other Mac magazine covered the range of news it did (solid analysis on things affecting technology and creative industries), nor had the kind of creative discussion within, talking about ideas and design rather than a specific feature of an app.

    Since Adam Banks took over again, MacUser went from strength to strength. This article calling it a 'rag' is unfortunate, given the connotations of that term within publishing. MacUser (UK) was of late a consistently beautiful, creative magazine that really delved into stuff, eschewing templates and just daring to be different.

    @Marvin: "It makes sense that tech magazine content would move online because they are competing with other Mac sites like AI which are exclusively online and deliver content far more quickly than a magazine ever could."

    That in a nutshell is the problem print mags have to deal with. MacUser, to my mind, had dealt with it. News was reframed as analysis on all manner of subjects and explainers of things like government policy regarding new copyright laws. Coverage of apps and hardware was in-depth and thoughtful, rather than flinging up a 'review' a day after something's released. And the 'Praktik' section was often astonishingly good, providing insight into the minds of some veteran creatives.

    But someone's response online summed up everything: "I don't need MacUser when I've got Daring Fireball". I read the latter daily, but there's a world of difference between what MacUser did and what DF does. I guess not enough people care any more. (And even those that did care hadn't ventured back to the newsstand to check an issue in years, given may of the comments I've read on Twitter.)

    Personally, I'm gutted. I loved contributing to MacUser, but more than anything I loved _reading_ it. I shall miss it dearly.
  • Reply 55 of 86
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,586member

    I still own the very first issue (and about ten other early key issues) of MacWorld.   The original large format size and thick cover material made it seem so "classy" and consistent with the Mac and Apple's image of something special and superior.    Looking back at it today, there actually wasn't all that much comprehensive content (just what Apple wanted us to know, even though the magazine was independent), but it seemed so exciting at the time.


    Before the Mac, there was an Apple ][ magazine called Softtalk, that was actually quite comprehensive and terrific and somewhat more geared towards software than hardware.   The December 1982 issue was 336 pages long (and Byte and PC World were frequently even larger).    It's amazing how many computer magazines there were in the early days and some of them were quite good with very deep articles about the technology, code listings, etc.    It wasn't just silly rumor mill and one paragraph articles about new products with large pictures like the remaining publications have today.   I think the hobbyist computer world in which so many people did their own programming was far more interesting in many respects.  Now we get excited about some iOS app we can buy for $3.    At least most of the apps have gotten less silly than the early ones.  


    We've gained tons with the internet, but we've also lost a lot as well - deep, rich, comprehensive content with content experts and editors behind it.   

  • Reply 56 of 86
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 740member


    "The December 1982 issue was 336 pages long (and Byte and PC World were frequently even larger). "

    Later on half of those pages were ads for various stores all over the country.  You could even say that was internet shopping in the beginning!  Studying RAM prices all the time month to month, watching them go down :P  Sometimes that's all I would wait for is the RAM prices.  Weird times now, everything is instantaneous...

  • Reply 57 of 86

    MacUser was a quality magazine . When I used to subscribe , it was published twice monthly in the UK which I thought would be tough to keep going . I always thought it was more geeky than Macworld of Macformat - more for the pros than the general user . Sad to see it go though . By the way Macworld is still published in the UK by IDG - not sure for how much longer though .

  • Reply 58 of 86
    blah64blah64 Posts: 990member
    zoetmb wrote: »
    I still own the very first issue (and about ten other early key issues) of MacWorld.  

    I have the first few YEARS of both MacUser and MacWorld, complete. Why I've kept them all these years, I can't really say, other than I like them and think they're cool.
  • Reply 59 of 86
    blah64blah64 Posts: 990member
    bobschlob wrote: »
    Honestly, I didn't know they were still around (more about me, than the magazine).
    I too have fond memories of immersing myself in the mag; pre-internet.

    More than anything though, I miss MacWeek. That was the best.

    MacWeek was awesome. "It's Tuesday, it must be MacWeek!" was a common quote at one place I worked.

    I still have a couple stacks of MacWeek magazine as well as the others mentioned above. MacWeek ads were actually useful, and I looked forward to seeing the latest pricing on memory, hard disks, graphics cards and all that stuff every week. Publishing weekly meant they could keep up with pricing much better than the monthlies.

    I also still have some old Apple ][ mags as well, like A+, and does anyone remember CALL A.P.P.L.E. ?

    And before that, Creative Computing and others of the pre-Apple hobbyist days. I should really clean house, but I like those old mags.
  • Reply 60 of 86
    blah64blah64 Posts: 990member
    cityguide wrote: »

    As a former working journalist with friends in what's left of the industry, I want to point out that chasing advertising is not new to Google.

    Ink costs money. Newsprint costs money. The intern who rewrites press releases needs a little coin to buy his or her McDonald's breakfast. Even in the heyday of the NYT, reader subscriptions didn't cover a quarter of the newspaper's operating expenses. But having a certified subscriber list meant the paper's business department could tell the ad department how many readers were potential customers, readers whom advertisers paid to reach and that's what kept the lights on and the presses running.

    Google, like the rest of the instream online ad universe, just took that model and ran with it into the Internet. And really, the model still works the same.

    Yes, publishing costs money - all well and good; but no, google's model does NOT still work the same.

    Targeted ads have been around forever. Daytime soaps in the 1960s targeted housewives. Cartoons targeted young kids (and their parents). Computer magazines targeted computer users. That's all good stuff, and supports a robust economy without dehumanizing people.

    Google, on the other hand, doesn't just place targeted ads, they place, to the best of their ability, personalized ads, which requires them to create detailed profiles of as many individuals as they possibly can. With ever increasingly invasive methods of creating these digital profiles of everyone, and without regard to people's permission or desire to be a part of that surveillance. Targeted ads are good business, google's business is disgusting, dirty, and aspects of it should be illegal (and may end up being so, but changes like that take a long time).
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