Please don't go there, PCA...

  fourjays 20:57 30 Nov 2004

I am starting to get angry, at the number of 'PC' magazines that are now doing more articles on mobile phones, freeview boxes, satelite dishes, televisions, etc, etc. For a while now, PCA has been the only one that has not been doing this, but I am getting ever worried about the increasing number of these non-PC items apprearing in the mag. Its boring. I buy a PC mag, because I want to read about PC's, not mobile phones (how much is there to say: "you press the buttons and it makes a call").

Please don't go down the road of doing more articles on things that are not anything to do with PC's.

  stalion 21:13 30 Nov 2004

want it the same as this forum then ;o)

  Sir Radfordin 21:29 30 Nov 2004

For how much longer will there be such as thing as a personal computer? More and more people are buying laptops, which I admit could be PCs, but the line between laptop/palm top/mobile/media centre/desktop is getting more and more hazey as time goes by. Magazines like PCA appeal to the mass market and so have to cover the mass market products which include new technology like freeview boxes with built in hard drives etc.

If you want a more technical approach then buy a more technical magazine. I stopped reading PCA when I'd had enough of reading about the latest PC when I wasn't looking to buy one.

There is only so many reviews about hardware one person could really want to read...isn't there?

  Forum Editor 23:01 30 Nov 2004

that the magazines you mention are running articles about things other than Personal computers?

Perhaps it's because - as Sir Radfordin says - the lines of distinction between the machine that we all know as a PC and other digital devices are less obvious. Mobile phones are a case in point - very soon they'll come equipped with miniature hard drives, and will be able to store all your data files and lots of MP3 tracks, images, and video clips. All that in addition to being a personal organiser, and...a phone.

They say nature abhors a vacuum, and for every niche in an ecosystem there'll be something that has evolved to fill it. So with technology - there'll soon be no gaps, each digital device will overlap slightly with others and the differences between them will fade. One day we'll all have a single digital nerve centre that can interface with every electronic device we use. We might call it a computer or we might not, but surely that doesn't matter? What matters is the end result - that we can work and play with as little inconvenience and as much satisfaction as possible.

Whether you like it or not, we live in an age where technologically nothing stands still for long, and that must include the magazines which inform us.

  fourjays 00:12 01 Dec 2004

What I am getting at, is that I am buying magazines called 'PC blah blah', when in fact they seem to be doing more about technology than PCs. The PC will always exist, and people who are interested in PCs, would want to read about PCs, and there components, software, etc. Mobile Phones have ebcome stupid completely. They seem to do everything else, except make a phone call. You acn take pictures (whats a camera for?), play games (so ancient in design that it is untrue - when are you going to get time to play on the phone anyway? - if you are at home then you would use the computer surely?), browse the internet (pages of useless text about ringtones), but when it comes to a phone call... lol

Im all in favor of technological advancements, but not when they make zero sense.

An HDD in a DVD player is a great idea however, as it gives much more flexibility. Technology has to advance to give benefits, not pointless implementation of old ideas.

If PCA is going to do nothing but review mobile phones and TVs then I will go elsewhere for PC info. If I want to hear about a mobile phone, I would find a mobile phone magazine, or go to the shop. Same for a TV.

Under the way you are describing it, you should be reviewing cookers, washing machines, central heating systems and just about everything, as there is a lot of technology in these things too now.

  fourjays 00:13 01 Dec 2004

This forum is much better when it comes to the technical side of things. Maybe a print out of the forum would be good for a mag.

  kev.Ifty 02:05 01 Dec 2004


I think i know what you want. A Personal Computer Magazine about..... Personal Computers!!

I would like a Car Magazine about Cars. My Wife would like a TV Magazine about TV.(especially the Soaps) Could you suggest any?

Cheers Kev....

fourjays, you come up with some good topics, and this is another good one.

What can the average 'joe' do with a PC that cannot be done without one?

My mate has a Internet enabled Phone... One can E-Mail via a TV. Another Friend can record to a Hard Drive and make DVD Recordings........!

Is it possible to make recordings of my favourite TV programmes?

Can i talk to one of my work colleagues who is in America?, i need to speak to them in 'real time'!

Can i get the LATEST NEWS about a particular subject that concerns a local matter?

Will i be able to get these Photographs over to The Nederlands as quick as possible?

I would also like to send an letter to a Customer. Order my shopping , play a game, listen to my music, watch a Film, keep an eye on my finances, pay my Gas bill, get my Wife a Christmas Prezzie.

Could you suggest the necessary equipment?

I've only got about 300 quid, and the Lad wants a new phone, and He wants to download the lastest ring tones and he would also like me to recommend a Mag for 'the younger generation' that he should buy...... Is there a 'MAX TURBO GAMER PC' mag i should recommend?

  Diemmess 10:54 01 Dec 2004

Things change... The PC has evolved from a tool used only by mathematicians to the multi-purpose device it is today.

Workshop tools changed from the dedicated devices used by industry, via mutlipurpose devices (which were not much good at anything)to the dedicated but much cheaper tools for today's needs.

Hobbies and their magazines have done much the same. Magazines obviously have to sell, and can only respond to demand.

I wouldn't be so surprised to see the all-purpose PC actually decline during the next few years to be replaced by gizmos (many using some internetwork for information exchanged,) but giving much more power to enable particular uses.
Dedicated gamer machines already do this, and Design/Advertising people sail on very happily (for a little longer) in the boat called Apple Mac.

  fourjays 14:04 01 Dec 2004

One thing, that would seem to be a problem with 'all-in-one' computer systems (ie: Media centres), is that (for example), while I can play games, listen to music, browse the net and watch DVDs on my computer, it cannot do all of them at once (physically it can, but teoretically it can't - let me explain). If I was in a house on my own, running all the media from one machine, then it would be fine. But one thing that seems to have been overlooked, is a family. This PC is in our 'living room/dinig area'. My Mum and sister are always in this room. If I play a game, my Mum and sister can't watch a DVD, or listen to music. If I am watching a DVD, my sister can't play a game, and so on. Its all good to hook a TV, 7.1 speakers and other gizmos to the one box, but where is the point for a family? If Dad is watching the TV, someone else cannot browse the internet (unless the computer can display two diff pics, on two diff monitors at once - which Im not sure they can in the way I am trying to explain).

This is one of those pointless technologies that has 'taken off'. A seperate TV and hi-fi system will always be needed, as much as a seperate PC would be. While its clever, its not really anything more than connecting lots of bits together to get something else.

Mobile phones are now using very old technologies, that seem to please everyone so much (ie: games from the stone age on a mobile). "oooooo, wow. My phone takes a picture!" - The manufacturers have taken a few extra bits from a digi camera and stuck it in a mobile phone. Equation: Old Mobile + Old Technology = New Mobile + Massive profits because it is 'clever'. Little things please little minds.

It just seems to me that people are being pleased by very simple things really. Why don't magazines concentrate on NEW technologies. I read about SLI in another magazine for this month (the only interesting article), which isn't 100% new, but has been essentially been redesigned for modern computing (click here). Another mag for this month did an article on the new NForce 4 Chipsets, and their many benefits. While PCA sadly hasn't done anything to do with these, and we were stuck with yet another 'Go Digital' article (I am hoping that these new technologies will be in next months mag).

With PCA's obviously massive technically minded audience (154,000+), shouldn't the magazine be concentrated on more technical things than mobile phones and televisions (not much to say about TVs in a review anyway "Its big, small, colourful, drab, good quality)? Im sure there are many here would much rather read about the many pros and cons of adversarial technologies (ie: Intel vs AMD, nVidia vs ATI, to name a few), rather than read about how 'fast' one thing is, and how 'slow' the other is, without looking at factors other than speed.

I started reading PCA, as it was the best written and easiest to read for someone who knew a bit about comnputers, but wanted to know more - it was unbiased and was about COMPUTERS (ie: PC = *PC* Advisor) and not anything that has a plug attached. Unfortunately, its appealing style, writing, unbiased opinions and overall great writing is starting to slip, and it is saddening to see it happening to a great magazine, with a great bunch of followers.

  Dorsai 17:51 01 Dec 2004

I have to agree with fourjays.

Yes, it is true that a mobile phone can be linked to a PC, as can my video, Hi-fi, Digital camer, Digital Video camera, TV, etc.

The lines are becoming Blurred beyond recognition.

But if i wanted the lowdown on phones, hi-fi's, video's, TV's, etc i would look to buy a magazie about those subjects.

I subscribe to a Personal Computer magazie because i want to know about personal computers, not phones, cameras, hi-fi's etc.

The mag is becoming more and more a magazine about 'items that can be used with a computer, but are not parts of a computer'.

I suppose the real distinction lies at the point when the device becomes 'stand-alone'. Digital cameras, mobiole phones and TV's do not require a PC to be used.

Scanners, mice, Soundcards, CPU's and software on the other hand are only any use if attached to (or loaded on to) a PC.

What can be done about it? do the reader survey's, and express your opinion. And the results will decide editorial policy.

  fourjays 18:33 01 Dec 2004

Thanks Dorsai, for putting it so clearly. Thats the exact point I am trying to make.

I think the problem with all companies, is that they always go with what they 'think' is what the reader wants. They rarely ask what the reader wants. I have never been asked by any company, magazine or internet group what my thoughts and feelings are on where they should 'go'. Maybe it would make a good PCA poll on the website?

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