ST Review this month published an open letter to ST Format, challenging the
latter magazine over some of its claims. ST Format says it has around 80
editorial pages per month, but this figure can only be achieved by including
subscripion offers and adverti*ts for other Future magazines.
As far as I am concerned, it's high time somebody put the boot in. None of
my coder friends had liked ST Format, although I had always thought it was
the best of the three ST magazines generally available in the UK. Then I
bought the May 1994 issue. I may be alone in finding Paula Richards'
comparison of piracy to* rather staggering, but they surely set new
standards for insulting readers' intelligence.
Their review of a CD-ROM packed with PD software lists as one of the
product's low points, "Needs a CD-ROM drive." And they give one of the
"Lows" of PageAssistant - an accessory which provides on-line help for
PageStream - is "Only of use to PageStream users." Pretty astounding.
And in the "least helpful answer ever" category, a reader who inquired as
to the purpose of C header files was told, "A header file warns the compiler
that there are functions and structures held within your program that have
not previously been defined." Eh?
If it wasn't for Ed Ricketts' hilarious reviews, I would seriously consider
not buying this magazine any more.
ST User's May issue had a gratuitous picture of a girl in a bikini on the
front cover. But enough of the good points. "The original ST was based on
a Motorola 68000 chip running at 8MHz, but the STE doubled this speed to
16MHz" practically had me in spastic convulsions. At least they don't
appear to be reviewing Amiga games this month, although some of the screen
shots in the preview of Premier Manager 2 looked a tad suspicious.
ST Review isn't exempt from criticism either. One of the letters on the
"Ask The Experts" page, on the topic of computers supposedly capable of
millions of colours, ran thus: "I have been trying to see how many colours I
could think up but have only managed to come up with just 51 colours, shades
or tints. These are: red, blue, buff, fawn, [..]." They printed the entire
list! Surely some judicious editing was called for..
Still, ST Review has, in my eyes, displaced ST Format as the best magazine
available, and probably did so several months ago although I didn't really
notice until now. (ST Format still has the best design and layout of the
Ofir Gal's column about the Internet (in the May issue of ST Review) is also
one of the few entirely factual magazine articles I have read on the subject
- and a delightfully positive article at that.