Thursday, December 16, 2010

Electronic Magazines and Such

Some random stuff today. (Like my blog posts are anything besides random. Heh!) I’ve only got an hour or so before I head off to my weavers’ guild Christmas party. Because our president is also my driver, I get to go bright and early and sit through the executive meeting. At least I have knitting…

Have you seen those new e-mags that Interweave is coming up with? I’d provide a link but you know where to locate them, I’m sure. Anyhow, what do you think of these? So far they’ve covered quilting arts, sock knitting and spinning & knitting combined. I like the fact that the satisfaction is immediate – no trying to see if they’ve come in to my local shops yet or (even worse) being slowly snail-mailed to me by our ever more expensive postal system. They cost the same as a print magazine though. I don’t understand that part. Yes, the production needs to be paid for: writers, designers, editors, computer whizzes and all. But there’s no printing or paper, shipping or distribution. That should save something that might be passed on to the consumer, no?

And although there is some cute and magical content that you can’t get in print journals (animated logos, video demos & interviews, popups and flyouts, oh my!), afterwards I’m somehow left feeling like I just had a piece of candy. All sweet taste and no protein. I enjoyed seeing folks actually do stuff (particularly good for spinning demos) it seems sort of superficial and basic and some of the very minimal number of projects are recycled. The e-mags are pretty and amusing but will I look at them more than once or perhaps twice? Not so far.

There are drawbacks also. The file sizes are huge! It took my highspeed modem about 15 minutes to download the SpinKnit issue the other day (purchased at a 20% holiday discount). And then you have to install it which took another 10 minutes. So I guess it’s not quite such immediate gratification, huh? I don’t think anyone with a dial-up connection could get it. And it needs lots of computer power too – though my little netbook, Bluet, running Windows XP managed ok. I think they need to get the file sizes down to something reasonable or folks are not going to buy too many of these and fill up their hard-drives like crazy. Oh yeah. That was something I just dealt with over the last few days, wasn’t it?

Another drawback is something I’ve complained about before – I can absolutely guarantee that you won’t be able to access these publications in a couple of years. No reading them again 20 years later like I do with my print magazines. No passing them off to someone else to enjoy after you’re done with them. They are limited in their usefulness. Like anything electronic. Just ask my 5-year-old Palm T/X! Oh wait. You can’t. The pressure screen is dying on it and it hardly works at all.

OK, I’m running out of time and I still have to pack up my necessities: portable and easy knitting project, magazines to return to the guild library, tea cup, plate, fork, napkin, finger food (celery & cream cheese – yum!), gift for the exchange, nametag, “ears” – oh, and mustn’t forget the tapestries. These are a dozen vintage pieces from a guild collaboration long ago. So long ago that nobody now remembers who wove what! T-Man and I were in charge of taking them out of the frames which we did. Mme. President wants to give them away to perhaps be used to make tote bags for our guild booth for next year’s ANWG conference. Not sure about that. We’ll see.

One last whine: why does a brand-new pair of footless tights get a hole in the panty area the Very First Time I put them on? They were not cheap ones either and I was careful to don them in the correct manner. Now I know why I so rarely wear pantyhose of any description. I’ve used Fray-Check stuff on the edges and hope it doesn’t run further. Oy.

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