Home Computer Magazine – free PDF magazine

Free PC tutorials, reviews, advice, help and more in issue 2 of Home Computer Magazine: “Home Computer Magazine is a monthly computer magazine, written by professional journalists. We have over ten years experience in publishing consumer computer magazines. Contributors to these pages have worked on a wide variety of titles including Microsoft Windows XP: The Official Magazine, PC Plus, PC Format and many more.”

It’s actually not bad at all – certainly as good as most home computing magazines, and it’s free. It seems to be fairly UK biased – depends where you are if that’s an advantage or a disadvantage. The fact that it’s a PDF actually makes it more convenient to me – it’s less litter to bring into the house, and with my iPaq, I can carry it in my pocket. The only thing that might stop me catching the next issue is that they don’t seem to have an RSS feed [They do now – see below] – seems like a pretty important thing to miss. They have even gone to the trouble of writing a downloadable program that will check in the background for new issues and download them for you. Hey, it’s good, but it’s not *that* good that I want an extra 1Mb of code running on my machine all day every day just so I know when there’s a new issue.

A simple RSS feed would alert me along with everything else I want to be kept up to date with through Bloglines – no download required, no extra resources needed on my PC. They will also alert you to new issues by email. I could set up Bloglines to pick up their emails and make it act like a feed, but that’s extra work – much easier to moan about it in my blog 😉

They may be thinking that not many of their readers will understand and use RSS feeds, but they may be surprised. And more importantly – the people who they need to reach in order to reach more readers do use RSS. The only other thing it could do with is an indication of how big the file is that you’re about to download – it gives you two choices, but only advises you to use one if you have broadband, the other if you don’t. The actual size would be more useful. On the whole, though, they’re putting together a magazine of the same quality as most dead tree titles, and it’s free.

Update: The publisher kindly got in touch with me yesterday to let me know that they have now added an RSS feed – I’ve subscribed with Bloglines now, and I’ll see the next issue when it arrives.