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Sys Admin Magazine Ceases Publication

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the paper-is-obsolete-anyway dept.

Unix 134

keithl writes "I received a postcard in the mail today informing me that Sys Admin magazine has ceased publication. 'We regret to inform you that the magazine has ceased publication effective with the August 2007 issue.' Only paid subscribers with remaining issues receive this mailing. If you do nothing, they will send you a copy of the Sys Admin archive CD (1992 – August 2007), or you can return the card for a full refund of all unsent issues. The deadline to return the postcard for a refund is October 1, 2007." The magazine's Web site has no word that I could find on the closing down of print publication.

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shrug. another death of old media. (4, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349209)

Magazines simply can't compete with the interactivity and frequency of websites and blogs. The model is dying so all special interest magazines are feeling the pinch.

Eh... (4, Insightful)

msimm (580077) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349297)

I don't know about that. I'd typically buy Linux Journal. Sys Admin felt almost like a weekly, although side-by-side I'd say Sys Admin was actually the better magazine (but Linux Journal caters to a wider audience..). I think Sys Admin simply missed the boat by not jumping onto the Linux bandwagon. Too bad, I always meant to get a subscription so I wouldn't be lured by the beefier Linux Magazines (with their end-user content, soft surveys and advertising).

Re:Eh... (5, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349339)

sysadmin magazine was a good idea in theory, and I have read a few of their (print) issues, but it always seemed like they were shooting for too much of a novice crowd. They did highlight some interesting things, but the articles were rarely very in-depth, and the code snippets were usually pretty basic. I had contemplated getting a subscription a few times, but it seemed like 90% of any issue would be basic stuff I already knew or could easily figure out on my own. A junior sysadmin may be able to learn a lot from the magazine, but probably not anyone at a higher level than that.

For a magazine that was supposed to be geared toward professional sysadmins, I would have liked to see some more hard-core technical content, including some actual code magic rather than "magic" that anyone with experience in the language would find very basic. I would have rather seen more kernel tuning and less "sorting your calendar in PHP" crap.

Maybe they were hitting at exactly the wrong spot: their focus was too narrow to be an overview type of magazine, but it was too broad to really get into the nitty gritty of any one thing.

Why limit to one audience? (4, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349511)

I've often wondered why magazines aren't formated for the different levels of expertise. Why not have the first 1/3'rd of the magazine devoted to beginner articles. The 2nd devoted to intermediate articles and the last 3rd devoted to expert material?

That way you'd appeal to every range in your audience AND your magazines would be worth keeping.

Re:Why limit to one audience? (3, Informative)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349627)

If you're a bridge player, that's exactly how ACBL handles the Bridge Bulletin.

Re:Why limit to one audience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20349747)

What if you're not a bridge player? :-)

Re:Why limit to one audience? (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350261)

I've often wondered why magazines aren't formated for the different levels of expertise.
Games Magazine (the pencil and paper type games) used to do exactly what you suggested.

That way you'd appeal to every range in your audience AND your magazines would be worth keeping.
It was quite enjoyable. Most of the content was too easy, but there was always a couple of outstanding expert crosswords and a British-style cryptic crossword and I bought a copy every month at the local supermarket right up until I moved to Japan. Does it still exist?

Re:Why limit to one audience? (2, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350273)

I've often wondered why magazines aren't formated for the different levels of expertise. Why not have the first 1/3'rd of the magazine devoted to beginner articles. The 2nd devoted to intermediate articles and the last 3rd devoted to expert material?

Probably because no one wants to pay for a magazine that only has 1/3 of it dedicated to you. Actually less then 1/3 more like 1/6 because most magazines are 1/2 ads.

Re:Why limit to one audience? (1)

FamineMonk (877465) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350637)

Just because your just starting out in something doesn't mean you can't read stuff you don't quite understand at the moment.

I would think it would help people advance quicker seeing as how you would have something difficult to attempt when you were ready for it.

Re:Eh... (5, Funny)

poopie (35416) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349865)

it always seemed like they were shooting for too much of a novice crowd.

That's because the true UNIX sysadmin gurus already know everything.

Re:Eh... (1)

Revotron (1115029) | more than 7 years ago | (#20351281)

Not in-depth enough? Oi, every single issue was as in-depth as anyone would ever need. It just seemed to me like they focused way too much on *one topic* in every issue, and they narrowed that topic greatly to the point where there was really nothing I could use and no lessons that I could take away from that magazine. (Synchronizing Scyld/VRTS disks over a network in Python is in-depth enough. I remember one issue a year ago that pretty much covered only that topic. Every additional page in the magazine contained no useful information, no tips, no best practices - in other words, printed toilet paper.) But really, the approach that SysAdmin took was to just hand out the fish instead of giving fishing lessons. As much as I hated grade school and college and just wanted the answers, it was a good feeling to know that I could learn to solve them myself.

Maybe if SysAdmin would take off the blinders and focus on SysAdmins in general rather than certain subsectors of system administration they would greatly expand their userbase and they wouldn't be having this problem.

Re:Eh... (1)

GPL Apostate (1138631) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349527)

I subscribed to Linux Journal for a year or so in the mid 90's. Still have the back issues somewhere. The problem was, it was and still is mostly a 'Linux advocacy' organ, and the articles and themes got repetetive after awhile.

Re:shrug. another death of old media. (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349349)

While this is kinda true, there are quite a few magazines that have succesfully survived websites and blogs, but it all depends of the popularity of the theme. As a Delphi and C# programmer I have seen the 2 most important Delphi magazines disapear from the surface of the planet for a while ago. OTOH, C# (and .Net in general) magazines are going extremelly well, and I subscribe 3 C# magazines (paper, the real deal), and quite a few webzines.

Paper media is an expensive thing, and the minimum number of exemplars you must sell to make some money from itto justify all the costs is quite high, so it's not a surprise that general IT magazines to explain Windows to my uncle are selling well, or PC Gamer for my teenager brother, etc. Linuzzz OTOH is quite a small market in comparation, so here we have it... It's not to hard to understand.

Re:shrug. another death of old media. (3, Insightful)

catmistake (814204) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349967)

Paper media is an expensive thing

Actually, paper is pretty cheap. Its moving paper around that gets expensive. Distribution accounts for ~80% of the cost of all printed periodicals. This is why publishers were really exited about startups (c.2001) like Kiosk and Newsstand, because it would allow them to deliver the same content digitally (not web pages, but display documents looking identical to the printed edition) and cut out distribution costs almost entirely. Also, the only entity making money off of subscriptions is the subscriptions manager... money from print media comes from advertising.

Re:shrug. another death of old media. (2, Insightful)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349493)

I disagree, there are Linux and Linux developer magazines that are pretty good, and sell for 10 to 20 bux with DVDs of utils. (Some are from the UK too) Also, CPU magazine is pretty good and popular tech mag.

I don't think sys-admin had the top writers, stories or indepth sys-admin howtos and the price was too low to keep up with its small reader base. Plus it wasn't on store shelves like the linux magazines.

But then, I'm not all too happy with the loss of newsgroups and the migration to web forums, use to be 1 place to read or search, now its a dozen websites or mailing lists. Harder to find that small obscure piece of info you need. Plus if you broaden your search beyond 1 subject, you could have to read and subscribe to hundreds of site. Freaking absurd.

Re:shrug. another death of old media. (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349561)

Thats true of 'geek' special interest magazines - but you err in generalizing from that very specific subset. Hobbyist special interest magazines (like 'Model Railroader') are doing just fine, as are many cooking magazines (a field where the web has made little if any penetration).

Re:shrug. another death of old media. (1)

Acer500 (846698) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349637)

I still find them more comfortable than websites to read, but I guess it's a matter of time until I find an electronic equivalent I'll be willing to use in the bus, bed, etc (those e-paper alternatives that keep on popping here).

There's also something to be said for the aesthetics of many magazines being better than websites, and also readability. Still, yes, they'll fall into a niche market I guess.

Re:shrug. another death of old media. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349671)

It depends on the magazine.

Some can compete, others cant.

Re:shrug. another death of old media. (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349685)

The model is dying so all special interest magazines are feeling the pinch.

MAKE Magazine [] seems to be doing quite well.

The Make team speaks pretty openly about their success-- the magazine was doing so well they are giddy with excitement. I don't remember specifics, but in Make's first year of (2005-2006), they subscription numbers was several times greater then their original projections. And I just renewed for another year.

SysAdmin magazine died for other reasons. Personally, I sent in 3 subscription cards to SysAdmin Magazine, tried to subscribe at Linuxworld, etc. I never received a response, bill or magazine.

Re:shrug. another death of old media. (1)

buanzo (542591) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350269)

Heh. I'm so lucky. This is the 2nd time a magazine ceases publication as soon as I get to publish an article (I wrote the 'OpenPGP for http' article of the last SAMag issue).

Re:shrug. another death of old media. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20351071)

Heh. I'm so lucky. This is the 2nd time a magazine ceases publication as soon as I get to publish an article (I wrote the 'OpenPGP for http' article of the last SAMag issue).
Awesome. Will you please write an article for PC World and PC Mag? Thanks!

Re:shrug. another death of old media. (1)

Jarik_Tentsu (1065748) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350369)

Mmm, it also depends on the topic.

I've bought a couple of issues of computer magazines like APC, PCUser, etc, and found, as you said, it's a dying model. All the information can more easily be googled, and to more detail too. The ads for new software, games and hardware can obviously, easily be looked up anywhere. Online, you have access to more indepth benchmarks and comparisons - and from multiple sources. The tutorials they have you can quicker google.

But say, recently, being a teenage guy (and an anime fan who just finished watching Initial D), I've gotten into cars. I've found collecting car magazines (Hot4s, MOTOR and AutoSalon mainly), is a lot more enjoyable and useful than trying to google up information. Firstly, online information on cars is hard to find (mainly because 99% of the results tend to be used car ads of some sort) and other than forums, there doesn't seem to be one central area with lots of interesting stuff relating to the issue. The case studies on certain modded machines, reviews on cars and parts, has been immensely better in magazine form than in electronic, online form in my experience.

I dunno, I'm sure it applies to certain other topics too.

Hell, take the newspaper - I find it's easier to watch the News on TV, or read The Age newspaper than to sit on or a similar site, browsing through everything. The layout of a newspaper - having everything visible at once - just seems to be an easier model.

Of course, this is just my own opinion...but yeah.


Re:shrug. another death of old media. (1)

buswellj (1142221) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350485)

The problem with a lot of websites and blogs is that there is too much content. Many professionals don't have the time to cut through the fluff to get to the really interesting stuff. The magazine model has to change, you should check out o3 magazine ( [] ) and see what we've come up with to revise the magazine model.

Re:shrug. another death of old media. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#20353197)

No true, The gearhead magazines are running incredibly strong. If it's about cars and not stupid know nothing fluff magazines like DUB and the other "list of things to sticker or glue" on your car magazines, they do great. Hot Rod magazine as well as motortrend has done Incredibly well. Some of the more technical gearhead magazines do better but they are way more expensive and harder to find.

it was probably the swimsuit issue (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20349225)

...bad idea.

Re:it was probably the swimsuit issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20349413)

Yeah. And the story about a bunch of sysadmins going to CES and chanting "rm *.*" at Vegas strip joints was plain weird.

Re:it was probably the swimsuit issue (1)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350687)

I hear if you use the -f flag, they kick you out.

Re:it was probably the swimsuit issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20352695)

Yeah that's weird, they should have shouted ld -s, but even less people would understand that one I guess

that's right bitches! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20349235)

linux is losing in the server farms. it's all over. you dick suckers will be living in the streets soon. no one wants a third rate unix rip off running their mission critical needs.
fuck linux and fuck the faggots who think it's good for anything. fucking homos.

Re:that's right bitches! (0, Troll)

muszek (882567) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349359)

take your pills honey and turn off the light. mommy will sing you a lullaby

Linus is right (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20349237)

I am with Linus on this one. For the life of me I can't understand what this sucking up to RMS is about. Linus himself does not think GPLv3 is a good thing. So why do people keep adopting it.
Without Linus FOSS is tossed. Not following Linus is dangerous for the survival of FOSS.

on that general topic (4, Interesting)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349247) []

Re:on that general topic (3, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349367)

Holy crap, the Weekly World News is gone?! What kind of God would allow that to happen?

Screw Sysadmin magazine, civilized society cannot survive without the sheer awesomeness of the Weekly World News. Where will I go for my weekly Batboy update now? Oh, the injustice of it all!

Re:on that general topic (1)

MLease (652529) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350445)

Oh, bugger! WWN was great for passing time in the checkout line! I mean, they're the ones that broke the news about finding Satan's skull (complete with little horns in the forehead). It was such a relief to know he was dead!

Hmm.... Maybe I should have actually bought a copy now and then....


Re:on that general topic (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#20351139)

>What kind of God would allow that to happen?

The kind of god who puts the bat boy in afghanistan to rescue our aid workers, has shown us that fast food lets us live longer, shows us the wisdom of men like Ed Anger, allows scientists to hear the sounds from hell from the core of the earth, and allows bigfoot to marry chucacabra in a satan wedding in Atlantis led by the zombie of Anton Levey. That's who!

Re:on that general topic (1)

HansF (700676) | more than 7 years ago | (#20353069)

The same god that incited them to focus on their online activities [] .

Wow.... (4, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349255)

...that sucks. I hadn't heard anything about this. I actually subscribe to this magazine, and find (check that, found) it very helpful. I think if they had developed a way to digitally copy/paste text from the paper to my application, that would have save them. So many times I have said 'this code is really great. I'll just select it all and...oh wait... DAMMIT!'.

Re:Wow.... (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349683)

I hadn't heard anything about this. I actually subscribe to this magazine

I found out the other day, when one of our techs cme in and touted it as one of the best sysadmin mags out. I flipped to the editor's note, turned to the tech, and asked what he was going to read after the mag stopped publication. He blinked and read the note himself: They clearly stated that it was their *last* issue, and that they were stopping publication....

Can anyone with a sub give us the exact wording/page number, please?

Re:Wow.... (3, Informative)

gpw213 (691600) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349971)

Can anyone with a sub give us the exact wording/page number, please?

Here it is, from page 4:

This is the last issue of Sys Admin magazine that you will receive. The magazine is ceasing publication as of this issue.

The is often a large measure of regret and sadness when a long-term relations ends, and I feel these emotions now at the end of my relationship with Sys Admin. No other publication really does what Sys Admin does, but you probably already know that. You might not know, however, the challenges currently facing many print publications, particularly small niche ones like Sys Admin. These challenges, which have contributed to the decision to stop publishing the magazine, include circulation woes, online competition, and market shift. I take some small comfort in the fact that Sys Admin fought these battles and survived much longer than many others in similar circumstances.

I have worked for Sys Admin magazine for almost 12 years, and I've had a great time. So, in this note, I need to mention some of the many people who have made working for Sys Admin such a rewarding experience for me. In no particular order, I thank Hal Pomeranze, Joe Casad, Ralph Barker, and Robert Ward for making me seem smarter than I really am. I thank Rikki Endsley Kite for therapy shopping, making me do things that scare me, and being a fabulous friend. I thank Lori White and Twyla Watson Bogaard for always reminding me that life goes down better with humor. I thank the regular columnists and writers for their loyalty and consistently excellent articles, and I thank all the readers and contributors for making Sys Admin as successful as it was for as long as it was.

Good-bye and good luck.

Sincerely yours,

Amber Ankerholz
Editor in Chief

Re:Wow.... (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349743)

I agree. Now I only hope that they'll extend the offer of the full CD of articles also to non-subscribers, so we get a last chance of ordering the complete Sys|Admin (note spelling). I know there's older CDs available, but a full one would be nice.

Re:Wow.... (1)

aesiamun (862627) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350189)

I remember spending hours if not days typing basic into my tandy 1000. Character after character. Then, saving it to a cassette tape only to find out it failed next time i tried to use it.

Copy and paste, heh...

Re:Wow.... (1)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350901)

Hmmm, sounds like an application for the Cue::Cat. Shame that little venture went tits up too... :)

Re:Wow.... (1)

rnturn (11092) | more than 7 years ago | (#20351379)

``...the Cue::Cat''

Heh, heh... Remember when programs were published in magazines using the oddball Cauzin strip. Another short-lived gizmo that was going to make software distribution (not that the Cue::Cat ever made that claim) via magnetic media a thing of the past. Too bad it didn't last. Might have saved my eyesight from the strain of squinting at those tiny 8086 assembler listings while typing them in.

I saw it on the newstands a lot... (4, Interesting)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349273)

But never bought it because all the issues I saw were like double issues in a plastic sleeve, so I could never check out the content. Pity, it looked interesting but not enough by just reading the cover.

Re:I saw it on the newstands a lot... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20349727)

Aww, poor baby. I guess it would've broken the bank to buy one issue and see if you liked it.

Re:I saw it on the newstands a lot... (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349923)

Sysadmin and many other tech mags are more expensive. And before I put significant money in a publication, AC, I would want to know if it is worth it. Considering all the books I regularly buy (O'Reilly gets a good chunk of change in that) it may mean buying or not buying some fat $60 book on my monthly book store run.

That kinda sucks... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349283)

...I had let the sub lapse a few years ago, but I remember the thing being chock-full of damned nice tricks and tips. I still have and use the CD (all issues up to 2003 IIRC) once in awhile when I'm looking to do something off-the-wall, or just get stuck on something design-wise to see if an idea/solution is even remotely possible.

It was one of the few mags I'd had that put more into content, than into fluff and adverts.

So, umm, will they carry on in a web-only version?


Re:That kinda sucks... (1)

nclark (1129061) | more than 7 years ago | (#20352249)

who cares? their website runs java.

End of publication was noted in last issue... (4, Informative)

kgasso (60204) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349289)

This was mentioned in a little blurb in the August 2007 edition; I guess a lot of people may have missed it if they're sending out postcards (I didn't notice it until the second time I thumbed through the magazine). From the looks of it, they won't be simply switching away from a paper format, but just ending the magazine all together.

Kind of a bummer, I've been reading it for years -- since before I actually started my career as an SA and was only tinkering with BSD and this newfangled Linux thing...

Re:End of publication was noted in last issue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20352537)

Small blurb? It's more commonly referred to as an editorial.

Because of Windows Server (2, Funny)

MicrosoftElitist (1138973) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349291)

It's because of the ever shrinking UNIX installs, since Windows Server has become the dominant operating system in the data center. TechNet is a more relevant magazine that all of you open source zealots should start reading. Linux with Beryl is great for flipping your screen around in a cube all day. Windows is great for when you want to run a business.

Re:Because of Windows Server (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20349363)

thanks for the insight brother. it's a damn shame that some common fucking linux dick smoking fags had to mod you down as underrated. it's because those flamers know they don't have a leg to stand on because it's true. the age of linux is over. i'd say put a fork in it's ass because it's dead but i know most of the fags out there would rather have a big dick in their cornhole. filthy motherfuckers.
but how can you blame businesses for going with number one? linux is just shit and the truth is coming around. it's time to cut the cord on that faggot shit for once and for all. i know it will piss off pizza delivery boys who like to proclaim some great knowledge of computing but those of us actually putting in the hours in the server rooms are glad to see that crap go.
slashdot is the last stronghold of linux. what else do they have? distrowatch? that shit looks like it was put together by a 7 year old faggot.
btw: if you're a fag and you're offended? how about you just go get aids and die? ok? bye bye faggots. fucking dirty shitballs.

Re:Because of Windows Server (1)

sdhoigt (1095451) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349467)

Mr. Ballmer (we know it's you!), that attitude is just uncalled for.

Re:Because of Windows Server (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349513)

Whats up with all the morons on /. these days?

I mean I know we've always had morons... although admittedly digg helped to carry a good few of them away...

but why is there so much first post spam and grotesque bullshit? maybe they should put a weekly limit on how many AC posts you are allowed or something? :-|

Re:Because of Windows Server (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20349567)

Those guys? That's nothing, honey. You must be new to the internet. Welcome.

Re:Because of Windows Server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20349549)

Where to download the isos from ALL Isuses of the magazine?

what's up? (2)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349295)

does the card you're supposed to send back ask for your bank account number? Lol if their real website doesn't mention a word about it, that's just too strange for this not to be some sort of fake. Can anyone confirm this not being a scam?

Re:what's up? (2, Informative)

rnturn (11092) | more than 7 years ago | (#20351413)

You're to place the little postcard in an envelope and mail it back to the magazine if you want the refund. No banking information should be needed. I expect you'd get a check for the remainder of your subscription. Me? I'm opting for the CD. I've been a subscriber since the second year of publication and the CD will let me get my hands on the first year's issues. I expect there to be some useful stuff even in those issues. What's old is new again and all that.

The news was in the last issue too (5, Informative)

dagnabit (89294) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349301)

The editor put the news in the final issue as well, which was mailed out a couple of weeks ago. I'll be looking for my postcard now though - thanks for the heads-up!

While it's true that printed media has a hard time competing with online resources, SysAdmin was one of the few magazines I looked forward to reading cover to cover each month, so I'm sad to see them closing up shop.

It's nice to have information "pushed" to you sometimes; I learned several things over the years on topics I probably would never have gone looking for on my own.

man they blew it (0)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349533)

it should've just said "@HJ89u^@^NO CARRIER"

Has been known since June. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20349541)

Death of Sys Admin Magazine was quietly announced on june 13. by the parent company, CMP, in a subsentence. []

A few days later, I got a polite letter saying they wouldn't be needing the article I'd proposed for publication.

Re:Has been known since June. (1)

phred (14852) | more than 7 years ago | (#20351615)

It was very good a few years ago and slowly declined. I stopped subscribing when it became in effect SolarisAdmin.

So when can we buy the final CD/DVD? (1)

tjones (1282) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349589)

I'm sure there will be a few bucks in it for a year or two.

Ceased Computer Publications (2, Interesting)

NullProg (70833) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349633)

It happens when user requirements are satisfied and/or shift.

A better question is:
Do you read the issues and throw them away or do read and save them for reference like me (a devout computer publication pack rat)?

My defunct publication list (all of which I still have),

Nibble (one of my favorites),
Compute Apple,
C Users Journal (turned into C/C++ Users Journal),
Computist (one of my favorites),
Byte (now online, content not worth the fee).

I also subscribed to Omni and Final Frontier, both great magazines, now defunct.

I currently just subscribe to Dr Dobbs Journal (still great after a 20 year subscribtion (damn Im getting old)), and Linux Journal.


Re:Ceased Computer Publications (3, Funny) (1108067) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349673)

"My defunct publication list (all of which I still have),"

(extensive list)

Sounds like having you as a subscriber is the magazine equivalent of the "click of death!" Could you do us a favour and subscribe to all those *wonderful* government publications, like tax notices, etc? And Bush's speeches?

Re:Ceased Computer Publications (1)

CyberSnyder (8122) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350837)

Oh no!! You put "Bush" and "death" in the same posting. Be prepared for a knock on the door by some guys in black suits.

Wait, I just did the same thing....

Re:Ceased Computer Publications (2, Insightful)

brassman (112558) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349737)

Usenix used to gave away 1-year subs to SysAdmin to conference attendees -- and I was roundly confused and annoyed when they switched to giving away subscriptions to Dr.Dobbs instead.

Why would a sysadmin be interested in articles about "how to cripple the Windows software you're writing by requiring hardware dongles"?

(For that matter, why would a Windows programmer want to read it? It failed spectacularly some twenty years ago, and good riddance to it.)

Re:Ceased Computer Publications (0, Flamebait)

NullProg (70833) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350875)

Why would a sysadmin be interested in articles about "how to cripple the Windows software you're writing by requiring hardware dongles"?

Because the majority of Windows Dongles saturate the WAN/LAN network with UDP/NetBios packets.

(For that matter, why would a Windows programmer want to read it? It failed spectacularly some twenty years ago, and good riddance to it.)

Sys Admin was a good magazine. It was targeted for Unix Admins. Your a Windows administrator, you really should get help from MSDN.


Re:Ceased Computer Publications (1)

rhavenn (97211) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349849)

I don't remember some of those, but I'm a young one. I must say that that compared to some of the British magazines (Linux Format, Linux Sys Admin and User, etc..) that the American magazines have pretty piss poor content. If it didn't cost over $100 for 13 issues I would have a subscription to them in a heart beat. They are SOOOO much better. Same goes for the gaming magazines. They aren't as afraid to call a lemon a lemon or a dud a dud. Linux Journal isn't bad, but often times it just misses the boat on topics.

Just my thoughts.

Re:Ceased Computer Publications (1)

NullProg (70833) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350695)

that the American magazines have pretty piss poor content.

Um, no. Technical American magazines have pretty good detailed content (Contrary to world belief, were not all that dumb). You must be confusing Dr Dobbs with People magazine.

I've read Linux Format, its great. When are they going to start publishing in the US?

I haven't read User, can you point me to a web site?

I buy games from Tux Games (Nottingham), when are you guys going to export your Linux game sites so I don't pay double?

Is Dr. Dobbs still for sell in the UK? It was the last time I was at Gattwick (two years ago).


Re:Ceased Computer Publications (1)

janrinok (846318) | more than 7 years ago | (#20351725)

Very much tongue in cheek.....

when are you guys going to export your Linux game sites so I don't pay double?

Answer: Just as soon as you get Microsoft to do the same with their software prices in Europe.

On a more serious note, Linux Format is available for US distribution but I couldn't tell you how much the delivery cost would be. The contacts for overseas readers are +44 (0) 1858 43795 or (note the English spelling of 'favourite'). I've no connection with the magazine but I have been a very contented subscriber for over 5 years now. Its not the cheapest around but it is well worth what I pay for it. HTH

Re:Ceased Computer Publications (1)

schlick (73861) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350621)

I used to get Compute's Gazette for the C64 and the 3-2-1 Contact Magazine from the PBS show.

Re:Ceased Computer Publications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20351165)

Add to the list Computer Language/Software Development. Merged with Dr. Dobb's, and Dr. Dobb's is on its last leg, too. I still renewed the sub to Dr. Dobb's, though, cuz I sub to no other computer journals.

I think there definitely is a market for technical journals, but they'd have to make their focus more sharp and article quality higher. Once Dr Dobb's goes under, maybe I'll sub to one of them IEEE or ACM journals.

Btw, one rag I wish it'd kick the bucket: MIT Tech Review. Don't know whether it was any good back when it was alumni journals, but when it was spun out to make money (when I've gotten a free sub to it), it was a pure crap (more of tips/hypes for investors than a tech journal). And that Jason Pontin character is a first-class douchebag. MIT is defiling its good name with this venture for a quick buck - you're one of the wealthiest schools, you don't need to snoop down to this level (do you?).

Re:Ceased Computer Publications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20353121)

My dad received a gift subscription to Omni in the early 80s, but he hated it - called it 'pseudo-science and new age crap', so I inherited it and was introduced to quite a lot of good short fiction by that magazine.

That it survived is news (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349647)

Surely the real surprise is that any serious computing magazine survived this long in a dead tree edition. I kind of figured that went Byte went under it was only a matter of time for everything else. (Long live Jerry Pournelle!)

Re:That it survived is news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20351225)

Jerry Pournelle was still writing for Dr. Dobb's until recently (under the same title "Chaos Manor", but don't see it no more).

I share your nostalgia on the great Byte Magazine, you geezer. :-) When's the last time you saw high-level language source listing (say, Pascal), assmebly code listing, and circuit schematics in a single magazine issue?

reminds me of BYTE (2, Interesting)

Roadmaster (96317) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349661)

It looks like the magazine's parent company, CMP media, has little faith in paper publications, preferring to focus their efforts on online material. However they are following this trend in a manner that hurts publications with real followings and a lot of history. Before sysadmin, it was the Perl Journal and venerable BYTE magazine that got the axe; I was particularly irked by Byte because it happened 4 months after I subscribed.

Someone from CMP did contact me about my problems when I complained (here on Slashdot [] , of all places!) and I realize that there are people within the company who really care about their customers and want to keep us satisfied. However it's obvious that someone up high, making the decisions, is making them with the sole intent of increasing profit, not pleasing customers. It's a business; they're entitled, but they should consider the "political" cost of taking measures such as axing established and very reputable publications.

Re:reminds me of BYTE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20350415)

Sys Admin was owned by CMP Media? No wonder then. They're the cemetery of technology magazines. Byte, Perl Journal, C/C++ Users Journal less than 2 years ago and now this. They've also butchered Dr.Dobbs Journal, which is now just a shadow of its former self. Needless to say, it probably doesn't have much time left before they kill it too - the new layout packs less content, and it has about half the pages it used to have. It makes the price difficult to justify. Their online content isn't all that great presentation-wise, often it's difficult to see what is an ad, and what is real content.

I'm not crazy about reading magazines or books sitting at my computer. Nothing beats kicking back in a comfortable chair or sofa and reading a good magazine. If they decide to go electronic, they better come up with a good device that is as convenient as the real deal.

Customer support? (1)

wytcld (179112) | more than 7 years ago | (#20353051)

Let my subscription lapse years ago. But, remembering how there were a few articles that gave me solutions I'm still using in production, I tried to resubscribe a few months ago. After some weeks, they sent me the January issue - in May! That pissed me off, so I waited to see if it would be followed by February or June (I really wasn't trying to "subscribe" to back issues). All that came, 6 weeks later, was a letter saying "We've trusted you and continued sending you issues even though we have not received payment." Bullshit; they never sent a second issue. So I sent an e-mail to the addresses in their masthead explaining that I'd be glad to buy the subscription if they'd start with the current issue. No response at all. May they rot.

getting worried (1)

mihalis (28146) | more than 7 years ago | (#20349991)

Next thinhg you'll tell me The X Journal is under threat...

Sys Admin is dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20350125)

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Sys Admin community when IDC confirmed that Sys Admin market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all magazines. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that Sys Admin has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Sys Admin is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [] in the recent *BSD comprehensive networking test.

unnecessary (3, Interesting)

unger (42254) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350161)

i used to subscribe to this magazine. reading it was by far my favorite way to enhance my IT knowledge--something i need to do daily in this industry.

i stopped my subscription when i decided to stop paying for dead tree media--an ecological decision.

i contacted the Sys Admin publisher and told them many many times that i was willing to pay *twice* their subscription price if they would make the magazine available digitally because i did't want a dead tree version. they told me in many different ways, no can do.

i'm not kidding when i say i contacted them many times and "climbed the ladder" speaking to various higher-ups. everytime i was met with what i would describe as a lack of vision. i was given every reason in the book as to why offering Sys Admin digitally via the internet would kill their revenue stream. unbelievable to me in the face of me telling them that i was willing to them pay double their subscription price (heck, i probably would have paid more).

imho, Sys Admin had a chance to become a (possibly THE) premier _profitable_ digital resource for IT folks. what got in their way was their lack of vision--their inability to re-imagine themselves.

R.I.P. Sys Admin

if there are any flickering embers in the Sys Admin ashes, if someone takes up the reins and makes the rag digital i'm still willing to pony up good money for a subscription (and i suspect many others would be too).

Re:unnecessary (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20350323)

That's because no magazine makes any profit from their subscriptions, they make it all from the advertising. The subscription cost pretty much just covers the postage to get it into your hands. The higher the circulation, the more than can charge advertisers. The higher the subscription fees, the fewer number people are ever going to see it. It would take way more than doubling or tripling the subscription fees to cover the loss of advertising fees (assuming everyone else would be willing to go along with you). You get the idea.

It's not so much their lack of vision, it's economics and the reality of how their industry works.

Re:unnecessary (1)

red5 (51324) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350727)

Wow, of course sepending the 50K a month to provide sys admin over the internet (back when you had the crazy idea that printing press not computers were the worst offender to the enviroment) was a great idea. "Hey look theres one crazy nut who will pay us $50 a year to do it." Obviously it was a lack of vision on their part I mean you were willing to pay 50 buck a year.

UNIX Review (1)

nbvb (32836) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350201)

Wow, I didn't even know it was still around .... I stopped reading when it was still called "UNIX Review".

it was good then -- not great, but good.

Re:UNIX Review (1)

pkcuff (1147375) | more than 7 years ago | (#20352217)

Well, that remark revived a few stagnant brain cells. I was hooked on UNIX Review - but especially, on Stan Kelley-Bootle's [] acerbic writings. You do remember him, right? Anyway, when UNIX Review morphed itself into UNIX Review's Performance Computing (UR/PC) Magazine, SK-B's "Devil's Advocate" column was relegated to a single page. Shortly therafter appeared the first of many full-page Microsoft adverts, which created quite a ruckus in the "letters to the editor" section. Then SK-B was dropped completely, and the editorial quality went into the sewer. I - along with countless others - cancelled my subscription. It wasn't because we were anti-Microsoftish, but we had paid for a UNIX magazine, and there were already dozens of other slick Microsoft titles on the racks. And I was already getting most of those for free.

I read SysAdmin once or twice in the years following, when I saw something specific on the cover that caught my eye, but I never subscribed again.

Price? (1)

Sp00nMan (199816) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350395)

Sad. I would have actually purchased a subscription if it wasn't so darn expensive! From what I remember it was upwards of $40-50 dollars a year correct? That magazine should be no more than $20, especially since most of the content was user contributed.

a sad day but (2, Funny)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350601)

I still have the first four issues wrapped up in plastic. Hopefully they'll be worth something on ebay one day.

Re:a sad day but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20352459)

That's nothing, I have ready for eBay the first four issues of Scientific American in the original plastic wrapping. I hope they'll fetch as much as I got from this Alaskan bridge. (It leads to nowhere -- hah! Suckers!)

terrible shame... (1)

capsteve (4595) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350721)

i received one of those postcards the other day as well.

sad to see samag bite the dust.

to me, samag was one of those just-in-time publications... often publishing topics just when i was boning up on those exact topics. there are several features of the magazine that i applaud:
+ table of contents is on the front cover (similar to vintage national geographics)
+ the authors were sysadmins and not journalists
+ samag was not a monthly ad circular with a few articles, but a monthly publication with articles and features with a few ads
+ articles are not editorialized ads like mainstream computer publications
+ articles are not lacking in technical information like mainstream computer publications

closing down this magazine without transforming it into an online publication is a real shame and and prolly a pretty stupid move on the publishers part. as with all things that have a strong following that meet an early and untimely demise(delorean, napster, radio shack model 100), samag will likely reincarnate in some fashion or another.

Neglect (5, Interesting)

not_hylas( ) (703994) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350729)

Neglected, pure and simple.
They had the platform, the had the forum, they had an audience.
When it came to subscribe once again, I had to think - has this magazine answered, delivered, proposed anything of consequence? [not counting Amy's column]
It was supposed to be about UNIX (?), not just Solaris. ting_Systems/Unix/ []

System Administrators want answers about the OS. [and the sum thereof]
I wanted Sys Admin to give me configuration tips, tuning tricks ... insight.
I WANT magazines, not PDFs, I want something to refer back to, in these last few years I just skimmed it, read Amy Rich, then it went straight to the shelf.
It's too bad.
I liked the idea of the magazine, but they suffered neglect, from staff and ultimately reader interest alike.

Re:Neglect (1)

regexes (1043434) | more than 7 years ago | (#20351959)

Yep... I did the same thing. I noticed that a lot of the articles were tailored to very specific problems. Or a solution to a business case which didn't really interest me. Of course, some of the articles were interesting reading but most of the time, they didn't do too much for me.

I subscribed for almost 6 years but the during the last two, I just skimmed through it. So, why renew? I didn't see that it was worth the money for a "question and answer" section, in which the questions could be just as easily answered online, i.e. newsgroups, forums, etc...


Another one "bytes" the dust... (1)

dharmadove (1119645) | more than 7 years ago | (#20350851)

My copies were free (being a qualified subscriber). It must have bankrupted them... They were better in the earlier years but seemed to fall off the past few years. Being a hardcore packrat, I still have all of my old copies. I'll have to put them in my "archive" of defuct magazines along with Byte, Kilobaud (both sets from Issue 1 'til the end), 73, Popular Electronics, Science and Mechanics, Amazing Stories, Radio (TV) Electronics, Color Computer Magazine, The Rainbow Magazine, Elecronics World, Atari ST Magazine, Electronic Experimenter, etc., etc... RIP, Hugo Gernsback and William Ziff Sr./Jr., you are missed. Stay healthy Wayne Greene... Hmmmmm.... Wonder if I'll get free CD too?

You sound like my father in law... (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 7 years ago | (#20351089)

He is a pack-rat too.

I hope all your stacks of stuff don't fall on you and seriously injure or kill you.

Re:You sound like my father in law... (1)

dharmadove (1119645) | more than 7 years ago | (#20351309)

Actually I keep them (the collectable ones) in binder boxes w/a mothball in plastic bags, then in bankers boxes on shelves. Last time I moved it ('96) was probably 1/3 of the weight. I also have years of guitar magazines, bluegrass magazines / newspapers , topographic maps and spelunking journals. Then there is the books, mostly paperback not to mention a few tons of electronics (from 1920 on), computers and parts. My sister back east in NC has over 10,000 SciFi books and pulp magazines (many mine). She has a whole storage shed full, cataloged and shelved. I have no garage, just a warehouse. My five kids are gonna have fun when I die...

This is quite sad - but then again maybe not ? (4, Interesting)

slincolne (1111555) | more than 7 years ago | (#20351185)

When I first saw this posting I was quite disappointed. My previous employer paid for my subscription, and over the years I found it to be timely, useful, and topical. The fact that the issues were organised on a themed basis (eg this month security, next month storage, etc) made it far more useful and interesting to read than many of its competitors.

The fact that the magazine called for papers from its readers, rather than simply pay a small group of contributors for whatever they could scrawl out in a month seemed to deliver better quality articles - I suspect this is something similar to more academic journals. I always had a good deal more faith in their articles than in any other periodicals I read.

The idea of a web based version on the surface seems like a good idea. However, based on other postings on this thread this does not look like something that will take off with CMP.

Doesn't this leave an opportunity for someone else to step in ?

If you think about this, if CMP are discontinuing the magazine, then the only remaining assets of value are their website, subscriber list, stock of backissue CD's, and possibly any articles in their library that have not yet been published. Maybe there is an opportunity for someone ( eg OSDN - hint hint) to talk to CMP and see if they can buy the domain. That, coupled with the potential use of their subscriber email list, could be an opportunity to develop a web based publication of similar quality (you know - one with editors that dupe check, spell check, fact check, etc) to fill the void.

Sell advertising in the publications, pay people to review the content before it's release to subscribers, and do it while people remember that the magazine actually existed.

Irrespective of the delivery method, I believe that there is still a need for such a publication. If it was priced in the same market as some of the other electronic magazines (eg Linux Journal) it may work.

I'd buy it.

The Same Sys|Admin Magazine I Saw on the Racks? (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 7 years ago | (#20351221)

Everyone's touting this as a great magazine (well, most everyone anyway).

Someone mentioned Unix Review. I was getting that one for a while and then it went under and turned its remaining subscriptions over to Sys|Admin. So I had a subscription for a little while. The ones I got then weren't very impressive though so I let it lapse.

I'd see it once in a while in the book store, browse through it and occasionally see something that looked interesting and I'd pick it up. But seldom did I find it consistently good enough to justify resubscribing. For a while there I made a point in picking it up each month and it seemed like every other issue had nothing that interested me, while the ones with some info were ok. The problem of course is that even if it finally got as good as everyone said, I was already at the point where I just didn't bother to even look at it.


Taking... (1)

Viceroy Potatohead (954845) | more than 7 years ago | (#20351453)

...a cue from Google, SysAdmin now transfers existing subscriptions to another magazine: Barnacles Monthly. "Caveat Emptor, motherfucker," says company spokesman.

Hindi version (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20351579)

No doubt because there was not a hindi version.........

Someone BUY it and revamp it then ! (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#20352021)

Every year i.t. companies, especially online presences are shelling out heaploads of money at irrelevant and illogical online "ventures" to merge with their existing business.

Why some of the more sane ones gather a bid, get the magazine and make it what it should be like ?
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