Newest Review: ... hardware and physical side of computing and this magazine caters for that. In actual fact I think this side of the magazine has been follo... more
The Godfather of Computing Mags
Member Name: Mazboy
Date: 13/03/01, updated on 13/03/01 (56 review reads)
Advantages: Covers Everything in Reasonable Detail
Being in the IT industry I subscribe to three magazines to keep me up to date with the latest goings on. These are Internet magazine; Net magazine and PCPlus magazine, the other two of these are also reviewed by myself on their own sections.
The reason for buying all three that between them I get the full picture and all the information I could want, whether it be hardware, software, news or just coding bits.
Obviously Net and Internet magazines deal with the Internet side of things while PCPlus spreads itself through all the areas of computing. If you are looking for a great general Computing magazine then there is nothing else that quite hits the spot like PCPlus. This is no overnight wonder, either, I have been buying the magazine on and off for over 6 years and even back in the days when the in machines were Amiga’s and Atari’s PCPlus was there leading the front for PC owners everywhere. Back then of course it was a lot thinner and a lot more technical and aimed at the hardcore guys. But age has done it some good.
PCPlus costs £4.99 per issue and is published by Future Publishing and can be found in most newsagents. This is quite steep but is reduced considerably if you subscribe to £37.90 which works out to £3.16 an issue and believe me you get a hell of a lot for your money.
One other thing that pleases me is that when it does arrive in the post it comes backed with a piece of hard cardboard, which I know is only a small thing but I am one of the fussy people that likes to keep all my magazines in pristine condition, and that piece of cardboard helps to do that. I must grumble with the chaps at Internet Magazine to do not do this and consequently my copy of Internet Magazine always arrives slightly damaged.
It comes with a CD every month packed with the most useful software you will find on any free CD. Not only that but most of it is full applications only a version older then the current
releases and sometimes amounts to thousands of pounds worth of software. This is also quite broad from Firewall software, virus checkers, development tools, graphics packages to database applications and word processors. The list never ends. As long as you don’t mind not having the latest versions of software then you will never have to buy any software again!
The first section of the magazine is ‘News’ which basically goes through all the months’ stories regarding all aspects of Computing. Just your run of the mill stuff but essential if you are to keep abreast of the latest goings on.
Then you have the ‘Reflections’ section, which is basically a page, devoted to each of the main writers for them to basically sound off about anything they want. A good read, as their issues are always relevant to the readers.
Then there’s the ‘Mailbox’ part, which is for reader’s general letters from complaints to praises about anything computers. An extension to this is the ‘Campaign’ section, which covers users letters complaining about products and services.
The following sections are focused on the cover stories, which are the current issues in the computing world. This month’s one covered the ‘The Great Dot Com Disaster’. As well as this there is always a large group test of products, normally PC’s. Do not go and buy one before reading one of these group-tests, it tells you all you have to know so that you can make an educated choice. A good example of this is the number of group-tests they do comparing Intel based machines with AMD based machines. These group-tests also cover software and you normally get at least 3 or 4 different groups of products put through their paces and fully compared every issue.
We then come onto the ‘On Test’ section, which is where they give in depth single reviews of a
ll the latest software and hardware. Again, very details reviews with ratings and good and bad points.
Then there is the ‘HelpDesk’ section which is normally at least 8 pages long of reader’s letters regarding software or hardware problems they are having and giving them solutions. It never seizes to amaze me that every month I find a problem solved that I’ve encountered.
We then get into the Developers section called ‘MasterClass’. This is basically a quarter of the magazine devoted to every type of developer out there (near enough). Every month they have articles aimed at Office Developers, Graphic Designers, Web Designers, Linux Developers, VB Programmers, C++ Programmers etc, etc. Basically enough to keep any Developer amused!
The penultimate section is called ‘Internet Buyer’ and is basically a hardware buyers guide with ratings and prices, etc.
The remaining section of the magazine is filled with details of all the software given on the free CD, and includes basic guides and also good offers to be able to purchase the latest versions of the software at a discount.
That basically rounds it all up, without doubt the ‘Godfather’ of computing magazines. Go out and buy it!!