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Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: richg on November 19, 2011, 06:13:47 PM



Title: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: richg on November 19, 2011, 06:13:47 PM
Interesting reading for those trapped in these forums and do not venture out.

http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/6302

Rich


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: Jerrys HO on November 19, 2011, 06:28:41 PM
rich-
I still believe in paper. I do use the internet more than most people my age that I know. My 80yr.old father surpassed me, he prefers to read everything off his computer.
Very interesting to see how this has progressed and to see where it may be going.

Jerry


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: Jim Banner on November 20, 2011, 02:35:31 AM
In my opinion, buying paper publications makes little if any sense. 

Firstly, paper publications are expensive to produce, so much so that the publishers have to charge advertisers for ad space and then charge us to read those ads.  With electronic publication, there is no cost for paper, ink, printing presses and large physical buildings.  Nor are the distribution costs anywhere near as high.

Secondly, paper publications are expensive for us to buy, and even more expensive outside the USA.  E-mags are free anywhere in the world.

Thirdly, because the cost per edition does not depend so heavily on paper, ink and printing costs, e-mags can give you the whole story without editing out all the details just to satisfy the bean counters.  This is particularly important in how-to articles.

Fourthly, it takes a lot of space to store paper magazines.  And we do like to keep our hobby magazines.  I have fifty or so years of MR and about half that of RMC and they take up some 12 feet of shelf space.  Cost of the shelving was about $100.  By comparison, I could save about 60 years (800 issues) of MRH on an SDHC card costing about $15.  And unlike the old days when articles stored on hard drives could be lost in the next computer crash, the chances of losing the e-mags due to a faulty card are probably less than the chances of losing the paper magazines due to a fire or flood.  And if that is too risky for you, think about how many backup SDHCs you can store in a small safety deposit box compared to how many large safety deposit boxes it would take to store 800 issues of a paper magazine.

Fifthly, there are possibilities for e-mags that could not even be contemplated for paper magazines.  An obvious one is cross linking terms and articles, another is searching for particular words or phrases instantly.  But also think about high resolution photos and drawings, photos of say 1000 megapixels or more where you can zoom right in on any part and still have what we today call high resolution.  We already have architectural drawings where a single drawing can show all the details of a large building just by zooming in on the various layers.  Imagine an article about the latest locomotive containing a drawing that shows every nut, bolt and washer of that locomotive.  Sure, the e-mags would be much larger - probably many gigabytes in size.  And we would need internet connections operating near the frequency of visible light but why not - many of us have seen internet access go from 110 baud up to today's high speed access.  Storing such e-mags would require more memory as well but with flash memories doubling in size every year, we could be looking at yogabyte cards in a few decades.

Bottom line, paper publications were nice while they lasted, but so were horses and buggies.

Jim


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: Ray Dunakin on November 20, 2011, 02:46:35 AM
Personally, I prefer physical books and magazines -- especially magazines. I haven't seen or heard of any tablet yet that has a screen as large, clear, and sharp as a full-color magazine. Besides, with a real magazine, you have real ownership. You keep it forever, you can loan it out as often as you desire, and you (or your descendants) can sell it.

Will a magazine that exists only as an electronic file still be accessible and readable 20 years from now? 50 years? 100? I doubt it. I've been using computers for over 20 years and there are very few files from when I began, that have not either become incompatible with current hardware/software, or been deleted, lost or corrupted.

Digital books and magazines may be fine if you're the kind of person who reads them once and then throws them out, but not for me.

However, I suspect that ebooks have cut into the sales of hobby magazines indirectly. As more bookstores go out of business, there are fewer places where the average individual can encounter a hobby magazine. Sure, you can find them online, but you have to know they exist, and have to be actively looking for them. There's no "impulse" purchases to lure new readers. By the same token, that lack of access also cuts into the number of people who would have discovered the hobby.



Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: jward on November 20, 2011, 10:47:40 AM
i think both have their place. while i love the depth of information available online, there is no substitute for a good book. and with dead times at work, what else am i going to do to pass the time?sleep? eat? having a good book makes the dead time bearable. and besides, if i hadn't found a reference in a book, would i have found the somerset & dorset joint railway?


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: CNE Runner on November 20, 2011, 12:08:07 PM
While I do agree with Jim Banner, I see some problems with e-media. The largest problem, with this type of media, is storage and retrieval. Computer science, and its related storage subset, are changing exponentially.

I can go to a garage sale and purchase (then read) a 40-year old copy of Model Railroader. Once home I can read (and re-read) that copy ad nauseum. Now let's suppose one saves their 'electronic copy' of a recent MR on a flash drive (or whatever)...will they be able to retrieve it in 40 years? I think not. Don't believe me? Suppose dad saved some important family financial information on a Radio Shack TRS-80 ('remember those?). How would you retrieve this information? Look at the progression of technology in just the recording industry: LP>8-track>cassette>CD>on-line retrieval. Wow...you found a rare album on 8-track...do you have the resources to play it?

Saving magazines will bury you (see Jim's post). Each month I take the previous month's MR (or whatever) magazine and comb through the articles for those that are of use to me. I scan these articles and save them as a PDF file(s). There is a neat program that will 'stitch' several separate PDF files together into one file. The new file is saved on a flash drive. [Uh oh...'better keep up with technology.]If that doesn't interest you, Model Railroader will sell you all the past issues on a CD...just don't get rid of your CD player.

Personally I like e-media and have enjoyed watching Model Railroad Hobbyist grow and mature. While we don't (yet) have a tablet, I await its purchase. We would love to be able to read our favorite magazines "on the road".

Just my opinion...everyone has one - like a nose,
Ray


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: Pops on November 20, 2011, 06:06:49 PM
I still prefer the "paper" kind of magazines.  They're more versatile and fun to read.

 ;D :o :o ::) :)


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: Jim Banner on November 20, 2011, 07:04:42 PM
Actually, I agree with Ray that changing technology will likely make all of today's electronics recording methods obsolete in the not too distant future.  And I think his analogy "LP>8-track>cassette>CD>on-line retrieval" is good but does not go back far enough.  Before LP's were 78's and before those were Edison Cylinders and before them were player pianos.  If I want to transcribe music from any of these to a digital form, I can.  It usually involves buying, borrowing or renting a antique machine for the playback and a computer complete with microphone for recording.  If I want to hire it done, that is no problem either.


The more recent the technology that I am transcribing from, the easier and cheaper it will be.  Once digitized, both the medium and the standards may, and likely will, change.  A change of medium will usually require new machinery to write to and read from.  A change of standards will require a program to translate.  So either I am faced with keeping some older equipment on standby and buying some newer equipment and a program or I am faced with sending my old media out for transcription by a service.  This is nothing new - many of us have 40 or 50 year old home movies transcribed from film to DVD.

Being heavily into digital photography, I don't see having to update my library from time to time as being much different from having to update my photo collection from time to time.  At least this way, the photos will stay available far into the future.  Not like the colour prints of photos I took in the 1950's that have long since faded.  When I decided to update the prints, it turned out the negatives had faded too.  I don't expect that to happen with digital.

Jim


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: Doneldon on November 20, 2011, 09:36:56 PM
Jim-

Your problem is those colour photos; you should have taken color ones. My old pictures are just fine. Of course, I kept them in albums away from the light. The same is true for color slides and both 16mm and 8mm movies.
                                                                                                        -- D


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: NarrowMinded on November 20, 2011, 10:01:38 PM
Electric gadgets are good and bad, some say digital media is going to result in a loss of history, I agree to that a little, how many of us have lost pictures or other data due to a crash or a corrupted disk or other storage device.

I can trace the history of my family by sending for copies of birth records or go on ancestry.com and trace it faster, but what happens when the 1's and 0's go bonkers and all the hard print has been shred ed? I ride the fence on this subject.

But thats for the link I enjoyed looking through it, I had not before.

NM-Jeff


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: mabloodhound on November 21, 2011, 11:29:12 AM
I've dropped all MRR subscriptions as of 3 years ago in favor of MR Hobbyist.   I've also thrown away all my MRR magazines, as hard as it was to do, as storage space is at a premium in the senior years.
The only printed MRR book I get is the On30 Annuals, which satisfy my needs for books.   I also presume the on line magazines will be able to be updated for the rest of my life.
I actually get more out of the varied forums than I ever did from magazines.
 8)


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: Johnson Bar Jeff on November 21, 2011, 12:21:34 PM
I'm single and I live alone. I can page through a paper copy of Model Railroader at the table while I'm eating my dinner. I can't do that with an electronic magazine.

And no, I don't want to eat my dinner in front of my PC.

Or get a laptop to take to the dinner table.

Edit to add: But, see my question, below about e-book readers.


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: Terry Toenges on November 21, 2011, 01:41:34 PM
Nor do I want to take my computer into the john with me where I do a lot of my reading. It's the only place I can do so uninterrupted.


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: Johnson Bar Jeff on November 21, 2011, 03:57:30 PM
Nor do I want to take my computer into the john with me where I do a lot of my reading. It's the only place I can do so uninterrupted.

Good point. I don't want to take a laptop to bed with me, either.

But now here's a question that potentially undermines my own objection: Are any of these periodicals available through some sort of e-book reader?


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: richg on November 21, 2011, 05:04:32 PM
The nice thing about using a tablet is I can read under the covers. I can expand or shrink the page also. I can take the tablet to the library, aka, bathroom.
Years ago I use to use a High Tech device called a flashlight to read under the covers. Much easier than using matches or a candle. lol.

Rich


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: Jim Banner on November 21, 2011, 08:20:13 PM
Jim-

Your problem is those colour photos; you should have taken color ones.

Sorry, old chap.  But being a Canadian, I tend to speak and write the Queen's English.  When cornered, I can scream pretty good in French too.

Jim


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: Jhanecker2 on November 21, 2011, 09:52:59 PM
I'm one of those people who like books better than electronic data sources.  Having said that I admit my music sources included  78 s , 45 s , 33 -1/3 both monaural and stereo , CDs. as well as  1/4" reel to reel, 8'track , and compact cassettes. I also have  8 mm . VHS , and DVD for movies. All have there place but it gets expensive/ Also prefer  35mm film for cameras for photograph quality but have gotten  Digital camera for snap shots. I suspect that future archaeologists are going to have one hell of a time trying to learn about our civilization because of all of the ways we have recorded data . Even now it is difficult to get government records due to the myriad of systems they are filed on.  I remember being offered to buy  10 years of a magazine on DVD ROM discs , don't remember which magazine it was, sort of like having  Encyclopedia Brittanica on Disc. J2.


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: WoundedBear on November 22, 2011, 12:24:48 AM
Look at what Kalbach has done with Model Railroader, you can order the entire life of the magazine on DVD's for 200 bucks. Not a bad deal actually for 75 years worth of information.

Could you imagine the shipping on the 912 paper issues these DVD's purportedly replace?

http://www.kalmbachstore.com/15120.html (http://www.kalmbachstore.com/15120.html)

Sid


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: DWU on November 22, 2011, 09:00:35 AM
I come from the old school,dont like change,dont like technology,dont like computers.Our world is and has and will keep changing towards more and more technology weather I like it or not.My attitude on change a few months ago when our old clunker TV gave up.A nice big flat screen now sits in its place.I had taken some digital photos of a model I built,my son said to show them on the TV,WHAT??????In less than a minute Im lookin at a slide show of my work,50 inches wide and sharper than I could imagine,also shows your mistakes!Theirs no mag in the world that can do that!


Title: Re: The Hobby's Magazines and Future
Post by: pdleth on November 24, 2011, 07:44:09 PM
There are advantages to living in a nursing home. you train your self to work with what you have
Also, I have for years used Ubuntu on my computer instead of windows. Ubuntu provides me  with a free 5 gig storage for my files and more if I want it.I have many CDs with files on them including a vast collection of rail road photos, Including many from the Denver public library