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Cheap but not nasty
Member Name: NikkiH
Date: 11/07/01, updated on 27/05/05 (32 review reads)
Advantages: Packed full of information, Jargon free
Computeractive claims to be the UK's top selling computer magazine. It is easy to see why. On sale every fortnight, at the bargain price of only £1.20, it helps you to become more knowledgeable about your computer. The main reason I buy this magazine is because it is written in plain language, and does not presume everybody understands computer jargon. It does not pretend to be something it is not, and it is a successful format.
Every week there are so many features, and whilst you have some that crop up each issue, there are brand new topics to keep up your interests levels, and I have barely finished one issue before the next one is due out. For example the last issue had a feature on photography. I have a 35mm Kodak Advantix camera, which whilst being basic does the job I want it to do….take photos!! I have not yet upgraded to a digital camera, because firstly I do not want to buy the cheapest model around which is probably not much better than my 35mm, and secondly, I do not have the funds to buy a decent model. I did not realise that even if I did not have a scanner or a digital camera, I could still have digital photographs. The article is excellent, and has given me some good tips.
There was also an article about Internet Service Providers, which when we first got our PC, would have been very very useful indeed. It is a very balanced article, showing the pros and cons for most of the big ISP’s.
At the front of the magazine, there are always some short newsflash type articles, which keep you up to date with gossip, recent releases or planned improvements in the world of the PC and The Internet.
Each week there are consumer tests carried out on many different products in order to help you make informed decisions. It is not only PC’s or related products, the magazine also reviews books and games, and is keen to recommend products, as well as interesting or useful websites. However, the magazine is also q
uick to read companies the riot act, as each week there is a feature with a disgruntled reader, and the magazine try to resolve it. Featured companies in this section have been PC World (surprise surprise), Freeserve Anytime and Time Computers to name and shame a few.
If you are having a problem with your PC, then you can submit your question, and on either the letters page or the PC dilemmas page, you will hopefully see a reply if your letter is chosen to appear. Even if your letter is not chosen, you may see a query that you would have asked anyway. There have been a number of times when I have read through the letters page and come across someone in the same quandry as me.
My favourite part of the whole magazine, and the area which seems to take up the most of my time are the workshops. This is ComputerActive’s way of teaching you new skills. In the last issue I spent time on:
**Create Your Own Website (part 2)***
Obviously this carried on from part one which was in the last issue. Since my husband bought me my own domain name for Christmas I have been puzzled as to how to build my own webpage, never mind website. This workshop takes you through each stage in basic steps, and while it may not be helpful to the more experienced website designer, it has helped no end, so maybe I will be able to direct you all to my website soon, and you will amazed by my new found expertise.
The last few pages are packed with adverts, mostly for cartridge companies.
ComputerActive is good value, packed full of useful information, and above all user friendly. I would recommend it to any PC user, even the more advanced because the articles and news are worth paying the £1.20 for.