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Sys Admin Magazine Ceases Publication 134

Posted by kdawson
from the paper-is-obsolete-anyway dept.
keithl writes "I received a postcard in the mail today informing me that Sys Admin magazine has ceased publication. 'We regret to inform you that the magazine has ceased publication effective with the August 2007 issue.' Only paid subscribers with remaining issues receive this mailing. If you do nothing, they will send you a copy of the Sys Admin archive CD (1992 – August 2007), or you can return the card for a full refund of all unsent issues. The deadline to return the postcard for a refund is October 1, 2007." The magazine's Web site has no word that I could find on the closing down of print publication.
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Sys Admin Magazine Ceases Publication

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  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:11PM (#20349209) Journal
    Magazines simply can't compete with the interactivity and frequency of websites and blogs. The model is dying so all special interest magazines are feeling the pinch.
    • Eh... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by msimm (580077) on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:19PM (#20349297) Homepage
      I don't know about that. I'd typically buy Linux Journal. Sys Admin felt almost like a weekly, although side-by-side I'd say Sys Admin was actually the better magazine (but Linux Journal caters to a wider audience..). I think Sys Admin simply missed the boat by not jumping onto the Linux bandwagon. Too bad, I always meant to get a subscription so I wouldn't be lured by the beefier Linux Magazines (with their end-user content, soft surveys and advertising).
      • Re:Eh... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by eln (21727) * on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:26PM (#20349339) Homepage
        sysadmin magazine was a good idea in theory, and I have read a few of their (print) issues, but it always seemed like they were shooting for too much of a novice crowd. They did highlight some interesting things, but the articles were rarely very in-depth, and the code snippets were usually pretty basic. I had contemplated getting a subscription a few times, but it seemed like 90% of any issue would be basic stuff I already knew or could easily figure out on my own. A junior sysadmin may be able to learn a lot from the magazine, but probably not anyone at a higher level than that.

        For a magazine that was supposed to be geared toward professional sysadmins, I would have liked to see some more hard-core technical content, including some actual code magic rather than "magic" that anyone with experience in the language would find very basic. I would have rather seen more kernel tuning and less "sorting your calendar in PHP" crap.

        Maybe they were hitting at exactly the wrong spot: their focus was too narrow to be an overview type of magazine, but it was too broad to really get into the nitty gritty of any one thing.
        • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:53PM (#20349511)
          I've often wondered why magazines aren't formated for the different levels of expertise. Why not have the first 1/3'rd of the magazine devoted to beginner articles. The 2nd devoted to intermediate articles and the last 3rd devoted to expert material?

          That way you'd appeal to every range in your audience AND your magazines would be worth keeping.
          • by sconeu (64226) on Friday August 24, 2007 @08:14PM (#20349627) Homepage Journal
            If you're a bridge player, that's exactly how ACBL handles the Bridge Bulletin.
          • by SL Baur (19540)

            I've often wondered why magazines aren't formated for the different levels of expertise.

            Games Magazine (the pencil and paper type games) used to do exactly what you suggested.

            That way you'd appeal to every range in your audience AND your magazines would be worth keeping.

            It was quite enjoyable. Most of the content was too easy, but there was always a couple of outstanding expert crosswords and a British-style cryptic crossword and I bought a copy every month at the local supermarket right up until I moved to Japan. Does it still exist?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by king-manic (409855)
            I've often wondered why magazines aren't formated for the different levels of expertise. Why not have the first 1/3'rd of the magazine devoted to beginner articles. The 2nd devoted to intermediate articles and the last 3rd devoted to expert material?

            Probably because no one wants to pay for a magazine that only has 1/3 of it dedicated to you. Actually less then 1/3 more like 1/6 because most magazines are 1/2 ads.
            • Just because your just starting out in something doesn't mean you can't read stuff you don't quite understand at the moment.

              I would think it would help people advance quicker seeing as how you would have something difficult to attempt when you were ready for it.
          • Becuase hiring someone with expert skills costs more than hiring someone, like a reporter, with some or no skills.
          • by a.d.trick (894813)

            Because the newbies make up about 90% of their audience, intermediates get 8%, and experts get the rest. Don't forget the whole "I read sysadmin magazines, ergo I'm an expert" thing that newbies seem to love.

        • Re:Eh... (Score:5, Funny)

          by poopie (35416) on Friday August 24, 2007 @08:50PM (#20349865) Journal

          it always seemed like they were shooting for too much of a novice crowd.


          That's because the true UNIX sysadmin gurus already know everything.
        • by himself (66589)
          eln wroe:
          >
          > ...it always seemed like they were shooting for too much of a novice crowd. They did highlight some interesting
          > things, but the articles were rarely very in-depth, and the code snippets were usually pretty basic.
          >
          Really? I thought the articles were plenty in-depth (e.g., one a year or two back about integrating Samba with an Active Directory domain). I always read the articles but rarely put much of it into practice because they were too often fairly big projec
      • I subscribed to Linux Journal for a year or so in the mid 90's. Still have the back issues somewhere. The problem was, it was and still is mostly a 'Linux advocacy' organ, and the articles and themes got repetetive after awhile.
    • by El Lobo (994537)
      While this is kinda true, there are quite a few magazines that have succesfully survived websites and blogs, but it all depends of the popularity of the theme. As a Delphi and C# programmer I have seen the 2 most important Delphi magazines disapear from the surface of the planet for a while ago. OTOH, C# (and .Net in general) magazines are going extremelly well, and I subscribe 3 C# magazines (paper, the real deal), and quite a few webzines.

      Paper media is an expensive thing, and the minimum number of exemp

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by catmistake (814204)

        Paper media is an expensive thing

        Actually, paper is pretty cheap. Its moving paper around that gets expensive. Distribution accounts for ~80% of the cost of all printed periodicals. This is why publishers were really exited about startups (c.2001) like Kiosk and Newsstand, because it would allow them to deliver the same content digitally (not web pages, but display documents looking identical to the printed edition) and cut out distribution costs almost entirely. Also, the only entity making money off of

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BrookHarty (9119)
      I disagree, there are Linux and Linux developer magazines that are pretty good, and sell for 10 to 20 bux with DVDs of utils. (Some are from the UK too) Also, CPU magazine is pretty good and popular tech mag.

      I don't think sys-admin had the top writers, stories or indepth sys-admin howtos and the price was too low to keep up with its small reader base. Plus it wasn't on store shelves like the linux magazines.

      But then, I'm not all too happy with the loss of newsgroups and the migration to web forums, use to
    • Thats true of 'geek' special interest magazines - but you err in generalizing from that very specific subset. Hobbyist special interest magazines (like 'Model Railroader') are doing just fine, as are many cooking magazines (a field where the web has made little if any penetration).
    • by Acer500 (846698)
      I still find them more comfortable than websites to read, but I guess it's a matter of time until I find an electronic equivalent I'll be willing to use in the bus, bed, etc (those e-paper alternatives that keep on popping here).

      There's also something to be said for the aesthetics of many magazines being better than websites, and also readability. Still, yes, they'll fall into a niche market I guess.
    • by nurb432 (527695)
      It depends on the magazine.

      Some can compete, others cant.
    • The model is dying so all special interest magazines are feeling the pinch.

      MAKE Magazine [makezine.com] seems to be doing quite well.

      The Make team speaks pretty openly about their success-- the magazine was doing so well they are giddy with excitement. I don't remember specifics, but in Make's first year of (2005-2006), they subscription numbers was several times greater then their original projections. And I just renewed for another year.

      SysAdmin magazine died for other reasons. Personally, I sent in 3 subscription cards
    • by buanzo (542591)
      Heh. I'm so lucky. This is the 2nd time a magazine ceases publication as soon as I get to publish an article (I wrote the 'OpenPGP for http' article of the last SAMag issue).
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Heh. I'm so lucky. This is the 2nd time a magazine ceases publication as soon as I get to publish an article (I wrote the 'OpenPGP for http' article of the last SAMag issue).
        Awesome. Will you please write an article for PC World and PC Mag? Thanks!
    • Mmm, it also depends on the topic.

      I've bought a couple of issues of computer magazines like APC, PCUser, etc, and found, as you said, it's a dying model. All the information can more easily be googled, and to more detail too. The ads for new software, games and hardware can obviously, easily be looked up anywhere. Online, you have access to more indepth benchmarks and comparisons - and from multiple sources. The tutorials they have you can quicker google.

      But say, recently, being a teenage guy (and an anime
    • by buswellj (1142221)
      The problem with a lot of websites and blogs is that there is too much content. Many professionals don't have the time to cut through the fluff to get to the really interesting stuff. The magazine model has to change, you should check out o3 magazine (www.o3magazine.com [o3magazine.com]) and see what we've come up with to revise the magazine model.
    • by Lumpy (12016)
      No true, The gearhead magazines are running incredibly strong. If it's about cars and not stupid know nothing fluff magazines like DUB and the other "list of things to sticker or glue" on your car magazines, they do great. Hot Rod magazine as well as motortrend has done Incredibly well. Some of the more technical gearhead magazines do better but they are way more expensive and harder to find.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:12PM (#20349225)
    ...bad idea.
  • by fred fleenblat (463628) on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:14PM (#20349247) Homepage
    http://www.magazinedeathpool.com/ [magazinedeathpool.com]
    • by eln (21727) * on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:31PM (#20349367) Homepage
      Holy crap, the Weekly World News is gone?! What kind of God would allow that to happen?

      Screw Sysadmin magazine, civilized society cannot survive without the sheer awesomeness of the Weekly World News. Where will I go for my weekly Batboy update now? Oh, the injustice of it all!
      • by MLease (652529)
        Oh, bugger! WWN was great for passing time in the checkout line! I mean, they're the ones that broke the news about finding Satan's skull (complete with little horns in the forehead). It was such a relief to know he was dead!

        Hmm.... Maybe I should have actually bought a copy now and then....

        -Mike
      • by gad_zuki! (70830)
        >What kind of God would allow that to happen?

        The kind of god who puts the bat boy in afghanistan to rescue our aid workers, has shown us that fast food lets us live longer, shows us the wisdom of men like Ed Anger, allows scientists to hear the sounds from hell from the core of the earth, and allows bigfoot to marry chucacabra in a satan wedding in Atlantis led by the zombie of Anton Levey. That's who!
      • by HansF (700676)
        The same god that incited them to focus on their online activities [weeklyworldnews.com].
  • Wow.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Itninja (937614) on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:15PM (#20349255) Homepage
    ...that sucks. I hadn't heard anything about this. I actually subscribe to this magazine, and find (check that, found) it very helpful. I think if they had developed a way to digitally copy/paste text from the paper to my application, that would have save them. So many times I have said 'this code is really great. I'll just select it all and...oh wait... DAMMIT!'.
    • I hadn't heard anything about this. I actually subscribe to this magazine

      I found out the other day, when one of our techs cme in and touted it as one of the best sysadmin mags out. I flipped to the editor's note, turned to the tech, and asked what he was going to read after the mag stopped publication. He blinked and read the note himself: They clearly stated that it was their *last* issue, and that they were stopping publication....

      Can anyone with a sub give us the exact wording/page number, please?

      • Re:Wow.... (Score:4, Informative)

        by gpw213 (691600) on Friday August 24, 2007 @09:03PM (#20349971)
        Can anyone with a sub give us the exact wording/page number, please?

        Here it is, from page 4:

        This is the last issue of Sys Admin magazine that you will receive. The magazine is ceasing publication as of this issue.

        The is often a large measure of regret and sadness when a long-term relations ends, and I feel these emotions now at the end of my relationship with Sys Admin. No other publication really does what Sys Admin does, but you probably already know that. You might not know, however, the challenges currently facing many print publications, particularly small niche ones like Sys Admin. These challenges, which have contributed to the decision to stop publishing the magazine, include circulation woes, online competition, and market shift. I take some small comfort in the fact that Sys Admin fought these battles and survived much longer than many others in similar circumstances.

        I have worked for Sys Admin magazine for almost 12 years, and I've had a great time. So, in this note, I need to mention some of the many people who have made working for Sys Admin such a rewarding experience for me. In no particular order, I thank Hal Pomeranze, Joe Casad, Ralph Barker, and Robert Ward for making me seem smarter than I really am. I thank Rikki Endsley Kite for therapy shopping, making me do things that scare me, and being a fabulous friend. I thank Lori White and Twyla Watson Bogaard for always reminding me that life goes down better with humor. I thank the regular columnists and writers for their loyalty and consistently excellent articles, and I thank all the readers and contributors for making Sys Admin as successful as it was for as long as it was.

        Good-bye and good luck.

        Sincerely yours,

        Amber Ankerholz
        Editor in Chief

    • by arth1 (260657)
      I agree. Now I only hope that they'll extend the offer of the full CD of articles also to non-subscribers, so we get a last chance of ordering the complete Sys|Admin (note spelling). I know there's older CDs available, but a full one would be nice.
    • by aesiamun (862627)
      I remember spending hours if not days typing basic into my tandy 1000. Character after character. Then, saving it to a cassette tape only to find out it failed next time i tried to use it.

      Copy and paste, heh...
    • Hmmm, sounds like an application for the Cue::Cat. Shame that little venture went tits up too... :)
      • by rnturn (11092)

        ``...the Cue::Cat''

        Heh, heh... Remember when programs were published in magazines using the oddball Cauzin strip. Another short-lived gizmo that was going to make software distribution (not that the Cue::Cat ever made that claim) via magnetic media a thing of the past. Too bad it didn't last. Might have saved my eyesight from the strain of squinting at those tiny 8086 assembler listings while typing them in.

        • I used to have an HP41CV calculator with the barcode scanner addon. Their program books came with barcode strips so you could load 'em up by running the wand across each line. It didn't care if you went backwards or forwards, either, which made it even easier. Ah, those were the days... :)

          BTW, you can still get Cue::Cats from eBay. There's a Ruby program called Alexandria that can use the Cat to read UPC barcodes from books to populate a home library catalog.

  • by JoeCommodore (567479) <larry@portcommodore.com> on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:17PM (#20349273) Homepage
    But never bought it because all the issues I saw were like double issues in a plastic sleeve, so I could never check out the content. Pity, it looked interesting but not enough by just reading the cover.
    • by macdaddy (38372)
      The other content in the plastic sleeve was special bonus material like content on console servers or a section dedicated to Solaris topics only.
      • May have been - but it still prevented me and others from checking out the contents of either document before purchasing. The publisher may have thought of that as a bonus, where many of us just saw a barrier.
  • ...I had let the sub lapse a few years ago, but I remember the thing being chock-full of damned nice tricks and tips. I still have and use the CD (all issues up to 2003 IIRC) once in awhile when I'm looking to do something off-the-wall, or just get stuck on something design-wise to see if an idea/solution is even remotely possible.

    It was one of the few mags I'd had that put more into content, than into fluff and adverts.

    So, umm, will they carry on in a web-only version?

    /P

  • This was mentioned in a little blurb in the August 2007 edition; I guess a lot of people may have missed it if they're sending out postcards (I didn't notice it until the second time I thumbed through the magazine). From the looks of it, they won't be simply switching away from a paper format, but just ending the magazine all together.

    Kind of a bummer, I've been reading it for years -- since before I actually started my career as an SA and was only tinkering with BSD and this newfangled Linux thing...

  • does the card you're supposed to send back ask for your bank account number? Lol if their real website doesn't mention a word about it, that's just too strange for this not to be some sort of fake. Can anyone confirm this not being a scam?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rnturn (11092)

      You're to place the little postcard in an envelope and mail it back to the magazine if you want the refund. No banking information should be needed. I expect you'd get a check for the remainder of your subscription. Me? I'm opting for the CD. I've been a subscriber since the second year of publication and the CD will let me get my hands on the first year's issues. I expect there to be some useful stuff even in those issues. What's old is new again and all that.

      • by macdaddy (38372)
        I would get just the CD except that I already have an old CD and the upgrade is only $20. I also just re-upped for a 2 year sub so the refund of a CD isn't quite up to snuff.
      • by himself (66589)
        You insensitive clod: I just got the CD less than a month ago!

        I guess now I would get a backup copy that also contains, what, eight more issues? *sigh* Not much of a choice...
  • by dagnabit (89294) on Friday August 24, 2007 @07:20PM (#20349301) Homepage
    The editor put the news in the final issue as well, which was mailed out a couple of weeks ago. I'll be looking for my postcard now though - thanks for the heads-up!

    While it's true that printed media has a hard time competing with online resources, SysAdmin was one of the few magazines I looked forward to reading cover to cover each month, so I'm sad to see them closing up shop.

    It's nice to have information "pushed" to you sometimes; I learned several things over the years on topics I probably would never have gone looking for on my own.
  • it should've just said "@HJ89u^@^NO CARRIER"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2007 @08:00PM (#20349541)
    Death of Sys Admin Magazine was quietly announced on june 13. by the parent company, CMP, in a subsentence.

    http://cmp.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=1722 [mediaroom.com]

    A few days later, I got a polite letter saying they wouldn't be needing the article I'd proposed for publication.
    • by phred (14852)
      It was very good a few years ago and slowly declined. I stopped subscribing when it became in effect SolarisAdmin.
  • I'm sure there will be a few bucks in it for a year or two.
  • by NullProg (70833) on Friday August 24, 2007 @08:15PM (#20349633) Homepage Journal
    It happens when user requirements are satisfied and/or shift.

    A better question is:
    Do you read the issues and throw them away or do read and save them for reference like me (a devout computer publication pack rat)?

    My defunct publication list (all of which I still have),

    Nibble (one of my favorites),
    Compute,
    Compute Apple,
    Incider,
    A+,
    C Users Journal (turned into C/C++ Users Journal),
    Computist (one of my favorites),
    Byte (now online, content not worth the fee).

    I also subscribed to Omni and Final Frontier, both great magazines, now defunct.

    I currently just subscribe to Dr Dobbs Journal (still great after a 20 year subscribtion (damn Im getting old)), and Linux Journal.

    Enjoy,
    • by trolltalk.com (1108067) on Friday August 24, 2007 @08:22PM (#20349673) Homepage Journal

      "My defunct publication list (all of which I still have),"

      (extensive list)

      Sounds like having you as a subscriber is the magazine equivalent of the "click of death!" Could you do us a favour and subscribe to all those *wonderful* government publications, like tax notices, etc? And Bush's speeches?

      • by CyberSnyder (8122)
        Oh no!! You put "Bush" and "death" in the same posting. Be prepared for a knock on the door by some guys in black suits.

        Wait, I just did the same thing....
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by brassman (112558)
      Usenix used to gave away 1-year subs to SysAdmin to conference attendees -- and I was roundly confused and annoyed when they switched to giving away subscriptions to Dr.Dobbs instead.

      Why would a sysadmin be interested in articles about "how to cripple the Windows software you're writing by requiring hardware dongles"?

      (For that matter, why would a Windows programmer want to read it? It failed spectacularly some twenty years ago, and good riddance to it.)

      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by NullProg (70833)

        Why would a sysadmin be interested in articles about "how to cripple the Windows software you're writing by requiring hardware dongles"?

        Because the majority of Windows Dongles saturate the WAN/LAN network with UDP/NetBios packets.


        (For that matter, why would a Windows programmer want to read it? It failed spectacularly some twenty years ago, and good riddance to it.)

        Sys Admin was a good magazine. It was targeted for Unix Admins. Your a Windows administrator, you really should get help from MSDN.

        Enjoy,
        • by brassman (112558)
          > Enjoy.

          BITE YOUR TONGUE! Those people who run Windows boxes? They should have some title of their own, much as "System Manager" told you the guy was a DEC/VAX wrangler.

          But calling them sysadmins? NO, DAMMIT. That title belongs to us Unix guys, and that lot are not entitled to it.

          My comments about "failed spectacularly" and "good riddance" were both addressed to the dongle makers, not to SysAdmin Magazine. THAT, I will miss.

    • by rhavenn (97211)
      I don't remember some of those, but I'm a young one. I must say that that compared to some of the British magazines (Linux Format, Linux Sys Admin and User, etc..) that the American magazines have pretty piss poor content. If it didn't cost over $100 for 13 issues I would have a subscription to them in a heart beat. They are SOOOO much better. Same goes for the gaming magazines. They aren't as afraid to call a lemon a lemon or a dud a dud. Linux Journal isn't bad, but often times it just misses the boat on
      • by NullProg (70833)
        that the American magazines have pretty piss poor content.

        Um, no. Technical American magazines have pretty good detailed content (Contrary to world belief, were not all that dumb). You must be confusing Dr Dobbs with People magazine.

        I've read Linux Format, its great. When are they going to start publishing in the US?

        I haven't read User, can you point me to a web site?

        I buy games from Tux Games (Nottingham), when are you guys going to export your Linux game sites so I don't pay double?

        Is Dr. Dobbs still fo
        • by janrinok (846318)

          Very much tongue in cheek.....

          when are you guys going to export your Linux game sites so I don't pay double?

          Answer: Just as soon as you get Microsoft to do the same with their software prices in Europe.

          On a more serious note, Linux Format is available for US distribution but I couldn't tell you how much the delivery cost would be. The contacts for overseas readers are +44 (0) 1858 43795 or www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk (note the English spelling of 'favourite'). I've no connection with the magazine but I have been a very contented subscriber for over 5 years now. Its not the

          • by jez9999 (618189)
            www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk (note the English spelling of 'favourite')

            Good job they didn't use the French spelling. :-)
    • by schlick (73861)
      I used to get Compute's Gazette for the C64 and the 3-2-1 Contact Magazine from the PBS show.
    • does anyone remember Creative Computing?

      eric
  • Surely the real surprise is that any serious computing magazine survived this long in a dead tree edition. I kind of figured that went Byte went under it was only a matter of time for everything else. (Long live Jerry Pournelle!)
  • reminds me of BYTE (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Roadmaster (96317) <{roadmr} {at} {tomechangosubanana.com}> on Friday August 24, 2007 @08:20PM (#20349661) Homepage Journal
    It looks like the magazine's parent company, CMP media, has little faith in paper publications, preferring to focus their efforts on online material. However they are following this trend in a manner that hurts publications with real followings and a lot of history. Before sysadmin, it was the Perl Journal and venerable BYTE magazine that got the axe; I was particularly irked by Byte because it happened 4 months after I subscribed.

    Someone from CMP did contact me about my problems when I complained (here on Slashdot [slashdot.org], of all places!) and I realize that there are people within the company who really care about their customers and want to keep us satisfied. However it's obvious that someone up high, making the decisions, is making them with the sole intent of increasing profit, not pleasing customers. It's a business; they're entitled, but they should consider the "political" cost of taking measures such as axing established and very reputable publications.

    • Let my subscription lapse years ago. But, remembering how there were a few articles that gave me solutions I'm still using in production, I tried to resubscribe a few months ago. After some weeks, they sent me the January issue - in May! That pissed me off, so I waited to see if it would be followed by February or June (I really wasn't trying to "subscribe" to back issues). All that came, 6 weeks later, was a letter saying "We've trusted you and continued sending you issues even though we have not received
  • Next thinhg you'll tell me The X Journal is under threat...
  • unnecessary (Score:4, Interesting)

    by unger (42254) on Friday August 24, 2007 @09:26PM (#20350161)
    i used to subscribe to this magazine. reading it was by far my favorite way to enhance my IT knowledge--something i need to do daily in this industry.

    i stopped my subscription when i decided to stop paying for dead tree media--an ecological decision.

    i contacted the Sys Admin publisher and told them many many times that i was willing to pay *twice* their subscription price if they would make the magazine available digitally because i did't want a dead tree version. they told me in many different ways, no can do.

    i'm not kidding when i say i contacted them many times and "climbed the ladder" speaking to various higher-ups. everytime i was met with what i would describe as a lack of vision. i was given every reason in the book as to why offering Sys Admin digitally via the internet would kill their revenue stream. unbelievable to me in the face of me telling them that i was willing to them pay double their subscription price (heck, i probably would have paid more).

    imho, Sys Admin had a chance to become a (possibly THE) premier _profitable_ digital resource for IT folks. what got in their way was their lack of vision--their inability to re-imagine themselves.

    R.I.P. Sys Admin

    P.S.
    if there are any flickering embers in the Sys Admin ashes, if someone takes up the reins and makes the rag digital i'm still willing to pony up good money for a subscription (and i suspect many others would be too).
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      That's because no magazine makes any profit from their subscriptions, they make it all from the advertising. The subscription cost pretty much just covers the postage to get it into your hands. The higher the circulation, the more than can charge advertisers. The higher the subscription fees, the fewer number people are ever going to see it. It would take way more than doubling or tripling the subscription fees to cover the loss of advertising fees (assuming everyone else would be willing to go along wi
    • by red5 (51324)
      Wow, of course sepending the 50K a month to provide sys admin over the internet (back when you had the crazy idea that printing press not computers were the worst offender to the enviroment) was a great idea. "Hey look theres one crazy nut who will pay us $50 a year to do it." Obviously it was a lack of vision on their part I mean you were willing to pay 50 buck a year.
  • Wow, I didn't even know it was still around .... I stopped reading when it was still called "UNIX Review".

    it was good then -- not great, but good.
  • Sad. I would have actually purchased a subscription if it wasn't so darn expensive! From what I remember it was upwards of $40-50 dollars a year correct? That magazine should be no more than $20, especially since most of the content was user contributed.
    • by macdaddy (38372)
      Actually it's about $25/yr. I actually just renewed my sub. I waited until the 4th notice when they really sweetened the offer by making it a 2 for 1 deal with 2 years for $25. I sure hope my other $25 didn't put them out of business. I liked that magazine.
  • I still have the first four issues wrapped up in plastic. Hopefully they'll be worth something on ebay one day.
  • i received one of those postcards the other day as well.

    sad to see samag bite the dust.

    to me, samag was one of those just-in-time publications... often publishing topics just when i was boning up on those exact topics. there are several features of the magazine that i applaud:
    + table of contents is on the front cover (similar to vintage national geographics)
    + the authors were sysadmins and not journalists
    + samag was not a monthly ad circular with a few articles, but a monthly publication with articles

  • Neglect (Score:5, Interesting)

    by not_hylas( ) (703994) on Friday August 24, 2007 @11:05PM (#20350729) Homepage Journal
    Neglected, pure and simple.
    They had the platform, the had the forum, they had an audience.
    When it came to subscribe once again, I had to think - has this magazine answered, delivered, proposed anything of consequence? [not counting Amy's column]
    It was supposed to be about UNIX (?), not just Solaris.

    http://www.google.com/Top/Computers/Software/Opera ting_Systems/Unix/ [google.com]

    System Administrators want answers about the OS. [and the sum thereof]
    I wanted Sys Admin to give me configuration tips, tuning tricks ... insight.
    I WANT magazines, not PDFs, I want something to refer back to, in these last few years I just skimmed it, read Amy Rich, then it went straight to the shelf.
    It's too bad.
    I liked the idea of the magazine, but they suffered neglect, from staff and ultimately reader interest alike.

    • by regexes (1043434)
      Yep... I did the same thing. I noticed that a lot of the articles were tailored to very specific problems. Or a solution to a business case which didn't really interest me. Of course, some of the articles were interesting reading but most of the time, they didn't do too much for me.

      I subscribed for almost 6 years but the during the last two, I just skimmed through it. So, why renew? I didn't see that it was worth the money for a "question and answer" section, in which the questions could be just as easi
  • My copies were free (being a qualified subscriber). It must have bankrupted them... They were better in the earlier years but seemed to fall off the past few years. Being a hardcore packrat, I still have all of my old copies. I'll have to put them in my "archive" of defuct magazines along with Byte, Kilobaud (both sets from Issue 1 'til the end), 73, Popular Electronics, Science and Mechanics, Amazing Stories, Radio (TV) Electronics, Color Computer Magazine, The Rainbow Magazine, Elecronics World, Atari S
    • He is a pack-rat too.

      I hope all your stacks of stuff don't fall on you and seriously injure or kill you.

      • Actually I keep them (the collectable ones) in binder boxes w/a mothball in plastic bags, then in bankers boxes on shelves. Last time I moved it ('96) was probably 1/3 of the weight. I also have years of guitar magazines, bluegrass magazines / newspapers , topographic maps and spelunking journals. Then there is the books, mostly paperback not to mention a few tons of electronics (from 1920 on), computers and parts. My sister back east in NC has over 10,000 SciFi books and pulp magazines (many mine). She has
  • by slincolne (1111555) on Saturday August 25, 2007 @12:25AM (#20351185)
    When I first saw this posting I was quite disappointed. My previous employer paid for my subscription, and over the years I found it to be timely, useful, and topical. The fact that the issues were organised on a themed basis (eg this month security, next month storage, etc) made it far more useful and interesting to read than many of its competitors.

    The fact that the magazine called for papers from its readers, rather than simply pay a small group of contributors for whatever they could scrawl out in a month seemed to deliver better quality articles - I suspect this is something similar to more academic journals. I always had a good deal more faith in their articles than in any other periodicals I read.

    The idea of a web based version on the surface seems like a good idea. However, based on other postings on this thread this does not look like something that will take off with CMP.

    Doesn't this leave an opportunity for someone else to step in ?

    If you think about this, if CMP are discontinuing the magazine, then the only remaining assets of value are their website, subscriber list, stock of backissue CD's, and possibly any articles in their library that have not yet been published. Maybe there is an opportunity for someone ( eg OSDN - hint hint) to talk to CMP and see if they can buy the domain. That, coupled with the potential use of their subscriber email list, could be an opportunity to develop a web based publication of similar quality (you know - one with editors that dupe check, spell check, fact check, etc) to fill the void.

    Sell advertising in the publications, pay people to review the content before it's release to subscribers, and do it while people remember that the magazine actually existed.

    Irrespective of the delivery method, I believe that there is still a need for such a publication. If it was priced in the same market as some of the other electronic magazines (eg Linux Journal) it may work.

    I'd buy it.

  • Everyone's touting this as a great magazine (well, most everyone anyway).

    Someone mentioned Unix Review. I was getting that one for a while and then it went under and turned its remaining subscriptions over to Sys|Admin. So I had a subscription for a little while. The ones I got then weren't very impressive though so I let it lapse.

    I'd see it once in a while in the book store, browse through it and occasionally see something that looked interesting and I'd pick it up. But seldom did I find it consistently go
  • ...a cue from Google, SysAdmin now transfers existing subscriptions to another magazine: Barnacles Monthly. "Caveat Emptor, motherfucker," says company spokesman.
  • Every year i.t. companies, especially online presences are shelling out heaploads of money at irrelevant and illogical online "ventures" to merge with their existing business.

    Why some of the more sane ones gather a bid, get the magazine and make it what it should be like ?
  • *sigh* I guess it's back to "Readers Digest" for my morning constitutional.
  • starting with Linux Format (always good, and the DVDs are a quick way to get a reasonably recent major distro ready to boot), and Linux User. These two have both tutorials, news (usually old news by the time it hits print) and more in-depth articles than you get from most Linux Web sites. There are articles for novices and more advanced pieces for Linux geeks.

    Rarely get Linux Journal because most of their articles are usually focused on something I'm not interested in. They have the same problem as Sys Admi

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