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The Media

Maximum Linux Exceeded: Shutdown 97

toaster13 writes: "Found an article on NewsForge this morning that stated that Maximum Linux (a magazine) has closed its doors. It's a shame, because even though it didn't go into extreme technical details, it was a good Linux-only copy of MaximumPC, a magazine I enjoyed for a long time until I saw the Light of Linux(C)." DizTorDed points to this posting by Maximum Linux Online Editor Kelli Sheppard on Prospero's forums. There's also coverage of this over at BinaryFreedom (as well as other interesting stories). Best of luck to the folks displaced by this.
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Maximum Linux Exceeded: Shutdown

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  • I guess they (finally) learned that you need a large potential market if you are selling a magazine.. And as far as the (small) linux community is, it is a remarkably bad market for a magazine. 12-Steps? I'd prefer the manpages. In depth discussions? HOWTOs. Interviews and news? Slashdot.
  • I just wonder, why do Windows magazines/books sell and Linux ones don't? Is it just being abnormal?

    I think you've simply made a few false assumptions. Linux books and magazines do sell, seen by the incredible popularity and variety of new Linux books available on the market now (esp. by the popular publisher O'Reilly). I read Linux Journal and it provides a nice review of products (both free and proprietary). In addition, Windows magazines and books sell, and sell very well, because Windows is the most popular desktop operating system in the world, like it or not. Millions of users make for a large consumer base to sell to, consumers, developers, business people alike.

    From the posts I've read about MaximumLinux, it just wasn't a quality publication, for a variety of reasons. It didn't really appeal to the technical user as much, and from what I've been reading didn't keep with the open-source philosophy. At the moment many users of Linux are technical, and not consumer (what this magazine seemed to appeal to).

    As a final note, quality books (printed and in electronic form) will always co-exist with online manuals and newsgroups. Why? A lot of documentation for programs is scattered and made as an afterthought. After all, developers generally prefer writing code to writing documentation. I myself enjoy a well-written, thorough book that teaches me how to use a product, as well as serve as a reference when using it later. The market is far from dead.

  • After the debut issue of Mamimum Linux I stopped reading it. It seemeed that the magazine had nothing but hype in it anyways. No substance. I was not very impressed with it.

    Nonetheless, the magazine business is a pretty tough one. Managazines go up and down all the time. It is very difficult and constly to get a magazine established. If a magazine survives for one year, either it is very well funded, or it has garnered an immediate following.

    The only high quality Linux magazine out there is Linux Magazine

    Just my $0.02

    ________________________________________________ _____________
  • Agreed.
    Also, though it may not have been very informative for experienced users, I found it made good quick reference material.
    I'm as web aware as the next Linux user, but I do get sick of staring at a screen after a while.
    I think the bottom line is this: Maximum Linux did it's part to raise Linux awareness (we all know there are people who have no clue what Linux is,) and generally speaking, it was a Good Thing.

    Personally, I'll miss it.

  • The fact that they even tried to slide that "height of sleaze" by anyone clearly demonstrates that they had no business printing a Linux magazine. They had no clue. As journalists, they are supposed to have something resembling a clue.
  • I think the free market was just working as usual here. Please don't think I'm saying they were crap, but I think they just weren't good enough to compete.

    Linux Journal has been and I'm pretty sure will always be the big daddy in the Linux magazine department. Maximum Linux was [too] focused on the glitzy side of Linux computing, IMO.
  • I just sent in a subscription after the mp3 box article(which a few of my friends and I are making) Will I get my money back? I sure hope so! --Joey
  • The way this thread is going it seems that everyone is convinced that linux based companies can't make money in the mainstream market(or you can't use the windows business model for linux as one person said). It seems to me (I should note that these comments are based on observations and not on any studies I've read) that most people know the linux name these days (mainstream media talks about it enough) but a lot of these people don't actually know anything about it. A high percentage of these people are curious and these are the sort of people who, when they are looking at magazines, will actually "buy" a linux mag on an impulse. They may even go on to buy a beginer's guide to linux. Remember Maximum Linux was making a profit but their parent company needed money. Since they couldn't close their flagship (probably out of embarressment) they had to get operating income from somewhere.

    I'm not saying that magazines and such will have any connection to the amount of people who actually use linux (growth in readership may not correlate to growth in use.) But if Maximum Linux was making money then there are still gold left in them there hills.
  • Er, since when has a clue been a requirement for a journalist?

    My experence has been that a clue was a liability to a jounalist. The whole "Journalistic integrity" thing is a hell of a lot easier when one doesen't have a clue about the topic of their reporting or the consequences of their ill-informed and biased coverage.

    Jounalists are most sucessful when they envelope themselves in a cloud of blissful cluelessness.

  • by PIPINO ( 238514 )
    One distribution is better then many

  • The only reason I would subscribe to any Imagine publication (as I just did) is for the included CD. The articles are OK, sometimes even useful, but there is no way I would pay $3 to $5 an issue for what they are printing; I would expect to be getting something the size of the old "Computer Shopper."

    It's worth $5 a month to me just to get a decent collection of good-quality programs on CD.

  • I didn't have any moderator points at the time anyway, so fptht.

  • for those of you who remember, boot beget Maximum PC [maximumpcmag.com] which beget Maximum Linux [maximumlinux.com]. boot was the original tweaker's mag, with emphasis on getting what YOU wanted out of your computer (and pioneering the kick ass award). these guys did know what they were talking about, and the organization has a long history of supporting linux and promoting it. as evidence [debian.org] their November 97 CD included Debian [debian.org] (1.3 probably) on it and the issue itself was dedicated to installation & configuration of your brand-new linux box.

    as with every other magazine on the planet you can't cater to all tastes, and the linux community is substantially more diverse then most. say what you will about Maximum Linux, the fact is these folk have been in this field for quite a while & their presence will be missed. fingers crossed, they'll end up as regular contributors to MaxPC. i for one appreciate the attempt & wish them the best of luck.


    the latest issue of Maximum Linux was stuck into my drugstore's puny magazine collection, when i spotted it i nearly had a heart attack, now i guess i'll have to go pick it up as a collector's item. c'mon, linux, in my DRUGSTORE ?....i never saw that coming.

  • It really is a pity that Maximum Linux is closing down. Although I know the magazine receives bad reviews by many "hard core" Linux geeks, it isn't all that bad. In fact, I picked up a copy at the airport once, since I had nothing left to read, as I'd been planning to buy a copy of Linux at some point anyway .. I installed the cd that came with it, and it was the first time I was *successfully* able to get a running copy of Linux on my computer. It inspired me to keep at it, and I've learned a lot since. I haven't bought the magazine since then, but I also haven't found it anyplace, especially when I have money. It wasn't as hardcore of a magazine as many, but it was interesting enough to make up for it. A real pity. Excellent starting ground for people wanting to learn more about Linux.


  • Actually, I couldn't disagree more. I will miss Maximum Linux. How are product reviews bad again? I personally like having a review section so that I don't have to go through a bunch of crap with downloading, installing, and checking out a piece of software just to find out it's a pile and then have to purge it from my machine. So, reviews are good. As far as technical detail, I picked up the first issue when it came out and it explained, in real English, how to set up Internet sharing on a Linux box, step by step. I had to change some of the technical aspects of it because it was for modem access and I have DSL, but it was an excellent place to start and I knew enough to make the necessary changes. So, does it cover technical issues, sure. Does it cover them catering to the code-head? Not always, but not everyone is a code-head. The first issue also had an excellent walk through for rebuilding a kernel. With this mag gone, I don't know of another that speaks to the same audience. People that are not necessarily spanking newbies, but not experts either. There are a lot of us out there and more on the way. THis may perturb you, but it's the only thing that'll keep Linux growing. The column by Mae Ling is for people considering changing from the M$ field of poo to the more enlightened Linux realm. That, too, is a group that must grow for Linux to get anywhere. So, while you may prefer Linux Journal, that doesn't make Maximum Linux bad, just wrong for you.
  • If you bothered to read the license, they had the line "If there is a conflict between this Agreement and and any Third Party Agreement, the Third Party Agreement shall prevail".
  • by SlappinJoe ( 124312 ) on Saturday February 17, 2001 @10:29AM (#424301)
    I"m not sure it's as bad as that.

    I don't think I'm unusual in that I devour electronic AND printed media about all of my favorite topics. I've subscribed to ML since the first issue, and I found lots of stuff in it to be useful, insightful, and more in-depth than even the piercing intellect of the world-renowned /. community.

    Printed media gives a little commercial legitimacy to Linux in general (seeing Linux at the newstand has to be a positive), and ML was aimed down the middle in terms of OS tech, but right at people who like to think they are Power-users or gurus. Some days I'm more than that, some days less, but the mag worked for me.

    Maybe I alone couldn't keep ML afloat, but I don't see why open-source supporters (or just Linux users if they're not the same) wouldn't buy a magazine. Sometimes my cable modem is down (GASP!) Or I find myself reading current lit in the, uh, er, private moments I rarely have.

    Either way, Adieu, MaxLinux. Truly, we hardly knew ye.


  • Something has to pay for the bandwidth, disk space, and web admins.

    Slashdot depends on advertising and is commercial. It's owned by a commercial entity. Not that I'm saying that's a bad thing or anything. If Rob can take a thing like slashdot and make money off of it, good for him!

    But there may be other problems. Cover new software releases? With the print lead time that magazines have, open source software often will release a new version before you can get it to print. Any bugs found and reported in the article could be fixed by then. Workshops and howtos? That could work, except most Linux users are currently used to that info being online and free. So this could be redundant. Or, if the magazine prints "type nr -dl ~!foo/bar", you'd have to type that in on the command line instead of being able to just copy and paste.
  • That's okay, but you probably shouldn't make blanket statements about what Linux users are like just yet.

    Linux users have no objection, in general, to books and periodicals that cover Linux. In fact, one of the first things an average Linux user does is purchase a book about the OS and begin amassing a small library of technical books.

    Linux Journal has gone from a small-niche technical journal to a full-blown magazine. You'll find it in most book stores these days. Linux Magazine seems to be doing decently, as well.

    We are not all license zealots, and even most of us who are do not hold other modes of expression to the same theories as software.
  • Go to the main site [maximumlinux.com] then leave. A pop-up window gives you a link to sign up for a free trial issue.

    If you need to read about linux read a real magazine []


  • I just called them and the lady I talked to had no clue..She even asked around the office and they had no clue..So I'm kinda wondering what's going on here...I just subscribed a week ago, haven't even recieved a magazine yet, and now there closing?..that sucks..I hope that this story is bs...
  • by drovar ( 103306 ) on Saturday February 17, 2001 @12:00PM (#424306)
    Maximum Linux was actually a pretty bad magazine. It didn't really cover anything in technical details, it was full of product reviews,

    So why does it need to be techincal? I enjoyed Max Linux, at least it was interesting. Look at the TOC for Linux Journal, it's a laundry list of *dull*, great it's techy, but geez, I use Linux every day and 99% of Linux Journal is of no use to me as a user.

    Four Feature articles on Consulting --No use to me, as a Linux User
    Deploying the Squid Proxy Server on Linux. --I'll never run a Squid Proxy server
    Alternatives for Dynamic Web Development Projects --I'm a user not a developer
    As the Log Scrolls By... --I don't run Apache
    Using xinetd --I don't even know what that is
    Open Source in MPEG --A history, and somewhat interesting
    Kernel Korner Running Linux with Broken Memory --I read this article, and I still don't understnad it.
    And so on and more so.
    Yeah, I'll miss Max Linux. Linux Journal is great if you're into the tech, but it's a big ol' pile of Huh? if you're not.
  • Free Software doesn't need to pay anyone's salary in order to become and continue to be a force in the industry.

    This isn't Atari we're talking about here.
  • Linux format (LXF) is published in the UK.. this months issue has just come out. However, I think its a bit more popular than Maximum Linux was. There are only two linux magaiznes on the shelves - LXF and Linux Magazine (i get a third through the post which is free - i forget its name). In Canada and US, there are more than 2 linux magazines so is suppose there is a little more competition. I know you can get LXF in Canada (and other UK magazines such as PC Format) - cause i've seen it in shops out there.. but i suppose if you live in US, thats not much use to use!!
  • they were locked out before they could do anything. if you look in the forums you'll find replies from kelli and woody.
  • Is anyone aware of any US bookstores (besides Microcenter) carrying Linux Format?
  • While I liked the CD's that came with the magazine, I could not help but gag on the letters to the editor section. Almost all of the consisted of the message "MicroSoft sucks, Linux rules". That gets old pretty fast.
  • "Today MaximumLinux shut its doors after its many readers began demanding it turn into 'Open Publishing', and give away the magazine for free. When this was knocked down by the publisher as not being viable for making money, many disgruntled linux enthusiasts decided to begin their own linux magazine, which was similar to Maximum Linux but harder to read and incompatible with many readers eyes"
  • I got a trial 3 issue trial subsciprtion to this magazine. Unfortunately, though it was a great Linux mag, at the 7.99 cover price for about 1/4-1/3 the thickness of a wired issue, the price was riddiculous. I didn't continue it because it was just too expensive.
  • I've got a funny feeling that you're probably one of the newbies that will never understand Linux because you're reading Maximum Linux and still think that Linux works just like Windows...at least this is what Maximum Linux promoted whenever I read the magazine.

    You know you could have saved a lot of money by just going to www.linuxnewbie.org and/or www.linux.org to get articles for newbies. Linux Magazine is also slightly better for newbies/users IMO, and they both also have articles that are online. Don't forget the Linux Gazette, www.linuxgazette.com. Yes, these sites also have a lot of technical information, but you don't have to read those technical articles if you don't want (It doesn't cost you anything...except for Linux Magazine print articles). The best part is that the newbie/users articles within these resources try to get you out of the 'works like Windows' frame of mind....and that's worth more than 2 years subscription to Maximum Linux.

    Oh, as far as the Free CD goes, you can go to www.cheapbytes.com or www.linuxcentral.com and get several powertools sets for under $5 which is much cheaper than buying an issue Maximum Linux on the newsstand. In fact, I bet Cheapbytes carry Storm Linux too.

    OK Mr. Moderator, give me my +1.
  • Actually, NexGen is a great magazine for hard-core gamers and the Official Dreamcast Magazine is the only DC magazine that's even worth the paper it's printed on. I'm also pretty fond of MacAddict. The single thing that binds all the Imagine mags that I've read is a sense of irreverance in a good way. They really haven't sold out, in general. They tell you when crap is crap (even ODCM) and when good stuff is good. It's refreshing. Oh, and they are fun as well.
  • The articles were filled with things that, IMO, pretty much every Linux user already knew anyway.

    Thats probably true for most readers of /. but for newbies like me it was a friendly introduction to what Linux could do. I think the idea was for it to be a resource for Windows "power" users (usually younger gamers) on how to upgrade to Linux. Its too bad it never got a chance, I for one still think there is a market for a "pretty" Linux mag aimed at people who are interested in moving on from Windows.

  • Now I don't have any bathroom material
  • Please explain where in her post you see the word book or anything about books?
  • Boot and Home PC were merged (or rather their unfulfilled subscription liabilities were) into Maximum PC. If either magazine had been able to survive and turn a profit on its own I expect it would have been allowed to do so, so apparently not enough people liked Boot or Home PC the way they were to keep it afloat on its own. It wasn't so much a case of "going Hollywood" as it was avoiding going under.
  • ...Linux users hate printed media.


    Do you, as a Linux user, wish to dispute this?

    Yes, in fact, I was a subscriber to Maximum Linux. I've been a subscriber to Linux Journal for years, in fact I have every issue.

    Your point is already moot by your very presence here on Slashdot!

    Proves nothing of the sort... Just because someone likes electronic media doesn't mean they can't like paper media as well, let alone that they have to hate paper media.

  • Well, I stopped reading it after the 2nd real issue came out. Why? Well because they decided to place a licencing on the cd-roms they distributed that was different, and conflicted with the GPL. They were distributin Storm Linux I believe.

    The license stated that the cd-rom must be installed on one computer only and may not be copied etc, except for backup purposes only. If a magazine that is about linux should have at least 1 or 2 people on staff that actually KNOWS what linux is and especially what the GPL is!

  • by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Saturday February 17, 2001 @09:56AM (#424322)
    This isn't exactly an Open Source business, but a business catering to the "Open Source" community that is in trouble. Much like Tucows BSD section, the rest of the computing world really can't get in.

    When I was an NT Administrator, I got Windows NT Magazine, and so did everybody I know. They had GREAT articles and tips that would help any NT Admin out in running a site.

    However, the Linux group doesn't play by the same rules. I occaisionally buy a book (O'Reilly's SAMBA book comes to mind), but that's about it. The rest of the time I use online docs. For my BSD boxes, I find that the man pages are the most useful things. I never think to get a Linux magazine.

    I think that it's a cultural thing. In the Linux world, I don't feel "mainstream" and don't feel like buying mainstream publications. I don't think to spend money.

    For programmers, Open Source can work. I know that I've hired Open Source program writers to install applications, etc. (I mean, for corporate use, when my guys are worth $X/hr, and it will take Y hrs to learn and do it, if X*Y > Consultant fee... I hird consultants), but for people catering to hobbyiests, it may be the end.

    The demographic that used to support all the PC hobbyist books/magazines are pretty much all using Linux. It was a group of tweakers, and you can't tweak Windows anymore (well, some, but it's not useful). That market is dead, replaced by websites and newsgroups.

    I just wonder, why do Windows magazines/books sell and Linux ones don't? Is it just being abnormal?

  • A linux magazine, I could'nt choose between Maximuim Linux or Linux Journal... So I guess its linux journal for me.
  • I just visited the Maximum Linux website, and for a magazine that's supposedly shut down, the website doesn't know it yet.
  • Glad my wife didn't mail out my subscription renewel yet.

    (it's in the envelope just waiting to go to the mailbox)...

  • it's a shame that maximum linux didn't even get the scoop on their own demise. there isnt even a mention of it on their webpage [maximumlinux.com].

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that
  • I disagree with you here on this. Why? Well simply because there is Linux Magazine, and Linux Journal. These two are the best sellers out there as far as I can see and they are chuck full of tons of info, both for newbiews and the highly knowledgeable.

    Linux Magazine is the one which is more for newbies, as it goes into extreme details about simple things a linux system does. I get both of these magazines every month, and will continue to get them.

  • ...that killed "PC Acellerator", the only magazine that catered to heterosexual men that drink beer and also love computers. My wife alway hid my copies under issues of Wired because she was afraid someone would think it was porno or something. So at least in my experience, they don't have a great track record of reading people's tastes.

  • Despite what others have said, I enjoyed the magazine. The articles were well written and covered topics that I was interested in. I realize that no magazine can please everyone, but I think that the loss of a magazine in ANY niche is a true loss for all users.
  • In all honesty I thought it was a good read.

    It was a little heavy on the reviews of new products, but I liked some of the projects...

    The 1u rack for a car mp3 player with a mysql database and web server was pretty cool.

    I'll miss the CD everymonth because it had some interesting utilities on it.

    Anyone have any other paper based Linux mags they recommend?

  • I wrote for Max. Linux and submitted this story yesterday when I heard the news. But all I get is this:

    2001-02-16 20:57:55 Maximum Linux Mag is toast (articles,news) (rejected)

    Gee thanks guys.

    Anyway, I'm sorry to see them go. I wrote many articles (Email compare, XF4, xinerama, more). I will miss them.
  • They misprinted that. They corrected the statement the following issue.
  • I agree, I have also been a Linux Journal subscriber for some time. I tried the Max. Linux magazine on a trial offer and didn't really like it. The articles were too shallow, lacked any real information. It was like reading a collection of PC World articles about linux or something, just because of the lack of depth. It did not feel like a Linux magazine at all.

    Linux Journal, however, is a great magazine, and not just because it's about Linux. The majority is about Linux, but even in this issue there were articles about programming SOAP in perl for 3 tier web applications, tools to help with consulting, finance and billing, book reviews, software reviews, and even witty quotes.

    For anyone who hasn't ever read the Linux Journal I'd highly recommend it. I feel bad for the people of Max Linux for losing thier mag, but honestly I won't miss the actual print at all. Just because it's about Linux doesn't mean I won't buy it, it just has to be worth my money. Linux Journal has been, Max Linux was not.

  • Wasn't this the magazine that included a linux disto with a EULA or something?

    Anyway, while on one hand I realize that the linux magazine market is glutted, Maximum PC is the only computer-related magazine I read so I'm disappointed to see anything Imagine does fail. This unfortunately means that I am regularly disappointed because they keep trying to break into other magazine markets and failing.
  • As a newbie, I look for nearly every bit of information I can find on Linux, be it on line or in print (I prefer printed matter since I read quite a bit while I'm away from my computers). I must have at least 15 different books on Linux, and at least twice that number of various magazines. Even though some information is duplicated between them, each book and mag has a few gems that aren't in any of the others. Maximum Linux was a great source of information for me, and the CD with each issue saved me a lot of download time.
  • Hey, you could have a web page where socially disfunctional Linux users can share pictures of Tux badly GIMP-ed onto lingerie models.

    Oh, wait. That already exists. [stileproject.com]

    Hey, how about an ad for Linux servers showing the mouth of a beautiful woman and the caption "Our servers won't go down on you either."

    Oops, that's also been done.

  • Funny no mention of it on their webpage. I'd gotten a few issues and it wasn't bad, the language was a bit feisty, but the content wasn't bad. And the best things was the cdroms (when you don't have broadband cdrom with goodies are great!)
  • I disagree completely. I would add that your comment, while perhaps en vogue, is a great over-simplification. Print has its place, and MaximumLinux was an excellent publication.

    I think what this move by Imagine Media should teach us, along with the questionable future of Loki and other focused on the Linux user, is that we need to put our money where our mouths are. Otherwise, we risk being marginalized as consumer/user group.
  • "Hi. I was reading an article online and it said that Maximum Linux was shutting down. I was wondering if you know anything about it or what will happen with subscribers?"
    "I'm sorry sir. I haven't heard anything about that yet. Can I put you on hold for a minute."
    ...after a minute...
    "I checked into that and no one seems to know anything about it. If something were to happen you would get some sort of noticfication about your options."
    "So are you saying that no one there has heard about it?"
    "Yes. I know it seems odd for no one to know but we don't."
    "Thanks then. I'll be waiting for the letter."

    Let's have a moment of silence for those soon to be out of a job and were told by customers before management got the balls to tell them.
  • Oh, well.

    you accidentally found an article written by an obscure and unknown guy named Robin Miller ??? Please, gimme a break!. Next article is probably referring us to the private weblog of someone equally unknown, whose name is, say, Rob Malda ??

    Oh... Uhm... Sorry... wer are there already :-)

  • Imagine Media has partnered with Prospero Technologies to bring you enhanced message boards.

    By entering this forum, you automatically register with Imagine Media. Your personal information is protected by the Imagine Media Privacy Policy, and the Prospero Technologies Privacy Policy.

    I can deal with Prospero fairly easily. Their privacy policy is fairly inoffensive. Especially since I don't HAVE to register to simply read the forums (only to post).

    The same isn't to be said for the MaxLinux forum.

    Chas - The one, the only.
    THANK GOD!!!

  • Ok let's take this point by point since I don't think you really know anything about linux or "Linux people"

    1)Linux users are very web-aware. We all get our info from the web, informed places like Slashdot for example.

    Yes linux people are very web aware but calling Slashdot an informed place as apposed to alot of much more technical sources seems like you don't know of any other places or you are just Karma whoreing

    2)Magazines depend on adverts, and are commercial. This is in direct contradiction to the aims and virtues of the open source way. Magazines will always have suspect editorial policies, because they are not independant.

    I don't know were you get this "direct contradition" part I bet the people at Linux jurnel would disagree

    3)Linux users dislike buying Linux related material on principle. Magazines have strict copyright policies regarding articles, and Linux users don't like this.

    I find it intersting that knowbody has taken offense at this statement. I personaly have spent more money on linux related magazines and books on linux then any other OS not to mention BUYING more linux distros then I can remember even though I could and do download them

    Now paying for windows THAT goes against my principles!

  • boot was a great mag for the time (mid 90's), but they merged it with a fairly mainstream one (something along the lines of Ziff Davis tripe), and changed the name to MaximumPC. It sucked.

    Now, to be fair, MaximumPC was fairly good in comparison to the others of its genre, but it didn't compare to boot.

    Imagine used to be a great publisher, but they sold out a long time ago, no sense in mourning the loss years after the fact.

    Rick Kirkland
  • The reason there's a market for Windows information is because there's a paucity of truly well organized data on their products. Anyone who's seriously looked into their helpfile documentation can tell you there's tons of data there. Just that most of it is so buried behind hyperlinks and obscure references that FINDING it is a full-time job.

    Hence, well organized, and expository Windows publications sell like hotcakes.

    In the Linux world, there's a massive amount of data online. Everything from the man files on your computer, to websites, to IRC, to Usenet.

    Much of the data in these Linux books can be gleaned simply by RTFM (ESPECIALLY if that's a SuSE Manual, quite literally a ream of pages). Because of this, the demand for Linux-related 3rd party documentation is considerably lower than that of your average Windows user base.

    Chas - The one, the only.
    THANK GOD!!!

  • I agree. I feel sorry for all the people trying to port their Windows-based business model to Linux. They approach Linux in good faith, but they're too removed from the culture and values of this very different world, so they're rejected.
    However, I don't like any of the Linux magazines. The only good thing they have is ads, which give you an idea of what hardware vendors are catering to the Linux crowd. (Ads cost money. Press releases don't.)
    Recently I picked up one of these magazines in the bookstore (can't remember which magazine) and saw a 'Tape Drive Roundup'. I'm interested in buying a new tape, so I read it.
    I was disappointed. The article showed utter confusion about the world of tape drives. The authors offered no explanation of how they selected the particular models they reviewed. They also failed to differentiate between comparing technologies and comparing vendors. So they compared a DLT from Vendor A to a DAT from Vendor B. This would be like a 'car roundup' that compares a Toyota Tercel, a Honda Accord, and a Ford F350 pickup truck.
    The other irritating thing about the article was that they tested the drives with some closed-source backup software. There are good reasons to use Veritas if you want to drive a tape robot, but I think most sysadmins choosing a mid-range tape drive are going to use tar/cpio/dump + shell scripts. It seemed to me that the authors were Windows-centric and automatically assumed the commercial GUI program was more interesting.
    Magazines I actually buy: Sysadmin and The Perl Journal.
    However, I'm sad to see these things die, because while they weren't helping the community directly, they were helping people find the community. Hackers tend to underestimate the importance of visual artifacts. I think that many real-world linux deployments could not have happened if the PHB's hadn't been assured of Linux's validity by glossy publications. Same thing for Tucows BSD: it sure wasn't going to benefit the hardcore BSD hacker, but it might make a curious Windows user aware of BSD.
  • I'd like to strongly disagree on this one.

    Almost every month I buy both the Linux Journal and Linux Mag. I love the detailed articles on LJ and the lighter but still somewhat meaty LM.

    I bought an early Maximum Linux and was slightly embarassed by the fact that it read so much like a PC Gamer mag from about 5 years before. My girlfriend just bought me the latest (and last?) ML mag, and while the Route66 article was pretty good, the rest of it was pretty thin. I was hoping to learn something detailed about ICQ clients, I didn't. The Heavy Gear review was no better than the one that I had read in LJ (and LM too if I recall..)

    Linux, while fantastic, still isn't as big as Windows or Mac. It's hard to sustain threee magazines that cover different aspects of Linux. I mean, LJ is really for admins/programmers, LM for "mainstream" users (does such a thing exist?) and there just isn't enough going on in the gamer/home market to sustain a "light" mag like ML is/was.

    All the same, it's sad to hear. I'd rather it be them than LJ or LM.

    Anyway, as long as the magazine is good, I'll keep buying Linux mags. I really wish that there had been a mag with at least a little space dedicated to BeOS. At least most of the Linux stuff in LJ applies to FreeBSD (and indeed any Unix.)

    Hey, I found a cool British mag called "The Linux Magazine" not to be confused with Linux Magazine. It was pretty good. Maybe it'll take off.

  • Have you ever read the Linux Journal? It's pretty good, not too expensive to subscribe to, and you get access to all the back issues on interactive.linuxjournal.com. I'd have to say I enjoyed the magazine more a couple years ago than I do today but I'm not sure if that is due to my "advancement" or their slight decline...

    If I were to pick on the LJ I'd say the newer look and feel gets annoying when some articles on the first page waste 1/2 the page with some graphics (not even screen shots). They don't do that often but when they do... Also they seem to be excited about filling up the front of their magazine with "factoids" about linux. Some are interesting but in general they tend to waste space with extra crap (in my opinion). I'm holding the jury on the columnist on the last page but so far I'd have to say his writing is a little too far out there... The other trend is their approach now to focusing on one big topic for each issue. That is fine with me but make like 1/2 the articles apply to that topic, not all of them. Also their reviews usually are pretty sucky in some ways and feel too amateurish (yeah, i can't spell).

  • Yeah but realistically the CD is just extra junk to anyone who has a decent connection (cable/dsl/wireless/dorm). I'd wager that most linux users are pretty techy and tend to have a decent connection somewhere (at least at work). If I were on a modem I'd be happy to get the CD but when I've got SDSL sitting here I'd rather go out and get the lastest version of whatever toy they are writing about or "apt-get install" it instead (gotta love debian).
  • Gotta agree with you. Whenever possible, I buy the newest Linux magazine as the newsstand. But Maximum Linux has never really appealed to me. The price is extremely steep - $7.99 for about 100 pages, but that includes a CD. But I've never done much with a CD.

    The biggest problem I had with it was that it had a very non-professional appearance. Now, I'm not implying that they should wear million-dollar suits and the magazine should be printed in black and white with shiny gold seals... But ML really lent the appearance of some freaks playing around with designing a magazine for kicks. The "Rants & Raves with Colonel" was particularly annoying -- I viewed it as some freak publishing his opinions as if he was some expert in the field. For all I know, he could have had a Ph.D. in Proper Linux Opinions, but I found him to be very disagreeable, and he unfairly criticized many things. I stopped reading it quite some time ago.

  • When was the last time you *paid* for a Windows-based mag? ..or would have had to? They give them away. They make money by throwing ads in front of you, not by selling you a subscription. Targeted advertising, improved spam, if you will.

    From a personal point-of-view, I do not like industry mags at all, Linux, Windows, the whole lot. Like I said, they are all ads, nice to look at, but I'm sure as heck not paying for 'em. If I need information I'll be lucky to find what I'm looking for on the Internet, let alone smashed between ads in a magazine.
  • 1)Linux users are very web-aware. We all get our info from the web, informed places like Slashdot for example.

    Hm, must explain all the Linux books and magazines on my bookshelf. I got them all from the web.

    2)Magazines depend on adverts, and are commercial. This is in direct contradiction to the aims and virtues of the open source way. Magazines will always have suspect editorial policies, because they are not independant.

    Well, I work for an Open Source company, so I hope people will pay for the right things around Open Source. Open Source is not anti-commercial, it's anti-proprietary. Learn the difference.

    And all sources of info have bias, it just depends on how honest they are about it.

    3)Linux users dislike buying Linux related material on principle. Magazines have strict copyright policies regarding articles, and Linux users don't like this.

    See 1) above. I fully support copyright enforcement. I'm also aware of what copyright is about, and it's not meant to be a lever to make money, it's meant to get ideas and writings out into the public.

  • I've got a funny feeling that you're probably one of the newbies that will never understand Linux because you're reading Maximum Linux and still think that Linux works just like Windows
    Well you'd be wrong about that, I think. I've been using Linux since before Red Hat 5.2, (3.something or maybe that was Slackware, it's been a while) and have installed more versions and wrestled my way through more distributions than I care to think about. I've read all the Linux magazines out there, and just happen to find Max Linux more directed toward me, an actual user, and a more interesting read. I'm not a Linux Consultant, Web Designer, Network Administrator, or Developer, I'm a user.

    As to Linux working just like Windows, no I've never thought that and never got that impression from Max Linux, myself. And I've been to the sites you mention and a lot more many times. I'm a user, and I'm interested in Linux on the Desktop, that dosn't make me a newbie.
  • Just as with the dot-coms, so shall it be with Linux magazines. Those which offer use, which are supported by subscribers and not just advertisers, shall survive.

    And the rest shall die like flies.

    So it was with hobbyist electronics, so it was when TV became a big thing, so it was when radio (and ham radio and such) came upon the earth.

    Cry not for these failed zines, for it is from their ranks that the survivors shall pick the best contributors, the article writers, the peons who publish.

  • I want a refund, it was a great mag and I loved the CD, it saved me lots of d/l'ing and the articles were informative, they gave me alot of good ideas, but I don't love them enough to let them keep my $20 something bucks...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    2001-02-16 20:57:55 Maximum Linux Mag is toast (articles,news) (rejected, News is too fresh, resumit in 4 or 5 days)
  • Fuck.

    Mod me down, but that sums it up.


  • Heh, this seems fairly obvious to me for a whole variety of reasons.

    1)Linux users are very web-aware. We all get our info from the web, informed places like Slashdot for example.

    2)Magazines depend on adverts, and are commercial. This is in direct contradiction to the aims and virtues of the open source way. Magazines will always have suspect editorial policies, because they are not independant.

    3)Linux users dislike buying Linux related material on principle. Magazines have strict copyright policies regarding articles, and Linux users don't like this.

    I thinnk it is a real shame. If only everyone could be a little more easy about things then perhaps we would all be a lot happier. I do love Linux, though I use Macintosh's mostly for Art purposes, but my ex-boyfriend really got me interested in Linux. I even have a Mac that runs Linux.

    It is just that a lot of the users of Linux seem to be very principled, which is good, but I am not used to it. My mac using friends don't really care so much. If only we could all have some middle ground :P

  • by SimplyCosmic ( 15296 ) on Saturday February 17, 2001 @10:03AM (#424358) Homepage
    Last year I started trying out the three Linux magazines I knew of (Linux Journal, Linux Magazine, Maximum Linux) in order to decide which one I was going to subscribe to.

    The first problem I had with ML was the USD$29 subscription rate for six issues a year. The copies that I had purchases on the newsstand were too thin for me to consider this a very good price for such a short run.

    The second problem I had was the "game magazine" feel of the publication. I have no problem with the idea of a "non-business" orientation, however, ML felt as if it was trying to be one of those magazines that caters to 16-year old male console gamers. There just wasn't enough meat in the articles to really drag me in.

    The last problem was just the fact that most of the articles were really just introductions to Linux concepts or applications. It was fine for the new user the magazine said they targetted, but once that new user had been introduced to something, they were never given more indepth information afterwords.

    So, I went for Linux Journal, instead.

  • ... I bought most issues, although I could hardly afford them, use NetBSD, and (if I may say so) am waay beyond ML's level; but I was curious, and wanted to support them in some way.

    No more Mei Ling :(

  • by Nick ( 109 )
    Now I don't have any bathroom material

    At least you can *use* it as bathroom material. Which is basically what it was really good for anyway, expensive toilet paper.
  • I never really cared for MaximumLinux. The articles were filled with things that, IMO, pretty much every Linux user already knew anyway. Seems to me, the only reason someone would get that magazine is if they wanted the software on the CD which came with it, in which case you could go download it for free instead of shelling out dough for the magazine.

    My Linux-oriented magazine of choice would be the Linux Journal, which is jam-packed with very useful information on a variety of topics.
  • this was funny 'till you started attacking my masculinity. I'm in college fer chrust's sake. the booody is overwhelming.

    Solidus Fullstop, Esq.
  • Its always out of date by the time I see it.
  • by eclectro ( 227083 ) on Saturday February 17, 2001 @10:10AM (#424364)
    This magazine had a couple of good qualities that other linux magazines didn't have;

    1) It didn't "talk down" to new users (such as myself).

    2) Each issue came with a CD that had current apps on it. Saves a lot of downloading.

    3) The hardware/software reviews were in-depth, complete, and interesting to read.

    There really is nothing comparable for the newbies among us.
  • still had some months left on that one.

    hate to say it, but since marg left linux journal, it has been run by trollish little vermin, so i won't be getting that.

    i liked max linux. it was more light hearted than other linux stuff. we all need a break from solid tech now and then.

    what's the take on linux magazine? who owns it, what are the financials, etc.? any good stuff in it?

  • the company that owns max linux has many magazines. the number you called is probably a general customer service number. so as long as the other 114 magazines owned by this company are still around they will probably still have a job. they probably werent answering too many phone calls for maximum linux anyways.

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that
  • by Laxitive ( 10360 ) on Saturday February 17, 2001 @11:23AM (#424367) Journal
    Maximum Linux was actually a pretty bad magazine. It didn't really cover anything in technical details, it was full of product reviews, and none of the articles really grabbed your gut. They had neither good social nor good technical commentary. Overall, it was a pretty mediocre, and not worth your money. I remember picking up an early copy of MaximumLinux, and reading a column by this gal named Mae Ling Mak. I read the first 3 or 4 paragraphs of her article before putting the magazine down in disgust - it was such a fucking piece of groupie crap, it made me embarassed to even be holding the magazine in my hands. The only hard-copy Linux mag that I've run across that really covers the stuff, in technical detail, and does articles on interesting issues, is Linux Journal. That mag is worth all of your money - it reminds me of the old PC mags before they all turned pansy and product-oriented (does anybody remember the old BYTE magazines? They used to ROCK, had programming articles, assembly code, and all sorts of cool mojo. Nowadays, BYTE is just another ad-filled shit-for-news publication). Anyway, dont mourn the loss of MaximumLinux, pick up a copy of Linux Journal. They've been covering Linux from the start, and they're still as good as their first print. -Laxitive
  • I was a subscriber, and really liked the mag. there were several particularly good articles - a rundown of cd burners and what typical issues were, a whole half magazine dedicated to building an in-car mp3 player, and just this last issue the one about emulators and virtual machines. good stuff for practical users and stuff to take to the boss. but I did pay $29 a year for it. what happens now? I didn't get my subscription fee back. and the company isn't bankrupt, they just killed that magazine. so? what's the story?
    ------------------------------------------ ----
    All that glitters has a high refractive index.
  • A lot of people have been jumping on the Linux / Open Source / Internet train with high hopes of making money. And with the hype these 3 things are getting, getting money for your project was easy.
    Now some of these projects are failing, and the same crowd that generated the hype(in search for a story?), now can tell that it's in trouble and that it won't fly. Meanwhile, for the people who always have been working with these things, it's business as usual. Except that it is still growing.
    So I am not worried, the support and effort of the people who created it in the first place is still there.

  • no one cares about it anymore, its dead

    this post is satire of course, but similar to the crap ppl write about BSD or Macs or whatever whenever a magazine or website closes.

  • Just a couple points from someone who's been in the linuz biz for a while:

    1) It didn't "talk down" to new users (such as myself).

    The people who put the magazine were new users themselves. Just reading it gave you a feel that they hadn't been dealing with non-wintel platforms for very long.

    Another thing I had a problem with was mentioined before, all the info in it could have been gleaned off #linpeople on irc.debian.org in about an hour, just through the regular talk on there. And they didn't give you anywhere to go from there. There was no depth. Linux magazine and Linux Journal do the newbie thing right (Linux magazine moreso than LJ), in offerring newbie content along with good information about how to extend your knowledge, plus articles on more technical stuff so the newbie can get at least an idea on what else is out there besides playing with filesystems and setting up X.

    2) Each issue came with a CD that had current apps on it. Saves a lot of downloading.

    That was the nice thing about the magazine. LJ and Linux Magazine could definately use some CD's with their packaging.

    3) The hardware/software reviews were in-depth, complete, and interesting to read.

    They were also full of misinformation. I'm sorry, as an ex-DEC employee, I find it hard to like a magazine that prints that alphas were designed by Digital Research (the company that originally brought you DR-DOS). Sparcs haven't been 32-bit in YEARS. The one I own (which is pretty old) sure ain't. FTP does not stand for "File Transfer Point". Windows 95 and up actually do qualify as operating systems, it's windows 3.11 and below that are just shells. X isn't UNIX-specific. I could go on (and on, and on), but you get the idea. Incorrect information is worse than no information. I sent them a 5-page email listing all the inaccuracies I found in one issue of their magazine.

    It's nice to have people trying to popularize linux by providing information to new users, but it has to be done right. ML had no quality control, so I can't really say I'm sad to see them go under.

    Anyway, let's hope that someone else steps up to the plate and fills in the niche ML left when they went under. Let's just hope they do it correctly.

  • But I just checked my credit card. I don't believe they processed my order just yet. But if you are being charged, write to them, I'm sure they'll take care of it.
  • I subscribe to LJ and like it. Was condidering a subscription to MaxL, but they said I could preview a copy first. Never got the copy, but still got the bill. In fact, I got one on Sat 17 Feb saying it was my last chance to subscribe (must have been some subscription dept. humor).
  • "At the moment, many users are technical, and not consumer"? That's true, but the point of Maximum Linux was to help spread the good news of Linux to the consumer community. Not the lusers who thought Packard Bell was cool, but the non-programmers who wanted an alternative to Windows, and who appreciated what Linux had to offer -- even potentially offer to non-programmers. The trouble with Linux (and most Unix in general) is that it's built by programmers for programmers. That runs out of users pretty fast. ML understood that.

    It wasn't perfect. Some of their "attitude" was tiresomely manufactured. But they had great CDs (I got a few distros off of them, among other things) and some really helpful articles. I'll miss 'em. I hope somebody picks up the slack.

    Welcome the the recession.
  • Thats amusing.

    Anoying though. I just signed up for a subscription at Linux World Expo in NY and was looking forward to trying the mag out.

    Now I find that they've gone under.

    I haven't received an issue yet, but I did get a nifty t-shirt for signing up.
  • That was my doing. I was the original tech editor of boot, and the internal alt-os champion. Trimming down a micro-Debian distribution and QA'ing that CD was an amazing marathon job. What fun.

    I wonder how many people got their first Linux experience from that dist?

    We definately got a lot of great feedback for that issue.

    I guess this makes me the grandfather of Max Linux. A shame it is dead. :-(
  • 2)Magazines depend on adverts, and are commercial. This is in direct contradiction to the aims and virtues of the open source way. Magazines will always have suspect editorial policies, because they are not independant.
    To defend MaximumPC, it is probably the most independant magazine you'll find. I remember when they published an interview with the Intel guys about the i740, then put in an advertisement from Real3D about their i740 card, then declared then took Intel to task about their hyping of the card and declared it fourth place in a graphics card roundup. They consistantly tell the truth about products, and they have the "speed and quality is king" attitude that I like so much. In the end, some commerical entities just aren't corrupted, whether or not they subscribe to the "evil" idea of capitalism.
  • Yep...I mean the page count and # of article in Linux Journal is only going up by about 30% per year... About not buying books on princible, please explain all the Linux books currently on the market
  • I think that was a minunderstanding on the box. The EULA was for the MaxLinux-owned contents of the CD, the box art, etc, not the actual software ON the CD.
  • I just wonder, why do Windows magazines/books sell and Linux ones don't? Is it just being abnormal?

    i wouldnt say that linux books and magazines dont sell. i can't speak for magazines, but i have no problem buying books. on my shelf right now i have 8 books from oreilly. while only one of them is linux specific i use them all to do things in linux. the reason online documentation is better in my opinion is because of the searchability. It takes a while to dig throuh a perl book to get an example. if you have the perl cdreference it's much faster.

    i dont think that people who use linux are afraid of the "mainstream". personally i look at it like this: i could go and spend $35 for a book on X, but why should i if i can get the info i need out of a man page. if i dont use X that much a book on it really isnt that necessary. i would consider buying the book on X if it provided more insight than the howtos and the documentation that came with X. Bind comes to mind when thinking about buying a book.

    lets face it, a lot of the books out there are just reprints of the howtos anyways. they dont really provide any more insight into the programs just a nicer package. this is why i think oreilly is successful. they take what they will admit is a unique approach to deal with concepts that average linux users would see as are hard to deal with. they accomplish this by providing good example which are normally clear and concise.

    so, in so many words, if people want to successfully publish information about linux they should provide more information than is available for free. people who just rehash stuff thats already out there will most likely fail in the long term.

    note that i'm not condeming maximum linux. i really dont know what they covered. i dont really like magazines that much (linux or otherwise).

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that
  • by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Saturday February 17, 2001 @10:19AM (#424381)
    Actually, there is nothing wrong with saying the CD-ROM must only be installed on one computer and may not be copied. It's there conglomeration of software, and they're free to do with it what they please. You can, however, copy the GPL software that was on the CD, since the GPL overrides the copyright on the whole CD. Either way, a correction was issued in the third issue stating taht the license was a mistake and that they were not trying to propriotize GPL software. People like you make so many things so much worse. You go out looking for trouble, and perceive every little discrepancy as trouble. Its like those people who assume that every time they get bad service it has something to do with their race/religion/gender/hair-color/marital-status/etc . People! Sometimes its just a mistake!

I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.