Letter to Linux Format – Published in Christmas Edition – Special Edition Magazine

I’ve had another of my letters published in Linux Format magazine. This time it relates to the Special Edition magazine. This is a magazine and DVD available from WH Smiths. Although on the magazine stands it’s more like a software package complete with instruction manual rather than a normal magazine.

It caters for all levels from complete beginners to those wanting to learn advanced database features.

Well worth getting a copy and taking a look at software.

Dear Editor,

Firstly I’d like to congratulate the Linux Format team on another great special edition. The magazine provides a good balance for everyone from new users to more experienced users wanting to learn some of the more advanced features. It also shows that you can write a magazine that caters equally well for Linux, MacOS and Windows users. Another great reason for choosing Free Software.

The magazine is ideal to pass on to someone that has not used, and it includes a good introduction to Free Software.

Now for my criticism. The criticism is not really directly aimed at the magazine but the marketing of it. The back shelf of the WH Smiths (or other newsagent) is not really the place where this kind of magazine belongs. The people buying this OOo Special Edition are going to be those that are familiar with the software already, or have at least heard about it.

The place where this really belongs is in the high street computer / electronic stores alongside the other office software. The software license allows this, and all that would be needed is to provide the magazine as a user manual in a smaller form factor so that it fits in a software sized box. This would then provide a real alternative for those going into the shop to purchase an office suite.

Stewart Watkiss
Coventry, UK

Also see my earlier review of the special edition magazine or some of my other letters to Linux Format: