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Author Topic: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....  (Read 6373 times)

Bitwise

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Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« on: May 15, 2005, 08:52:25 AM »
First, I promise I'm not spamming the board ( honest  :-[ ).

Your beloved admin, mouser, dropped me a line earlier and asked me to come over and tell you a bit about the free online magazine I'm launching - so here I am! I've only just discovered DonationCoder and I'm mightily impressed. A very nice site - makes a change from some fairly dull programming sites whose names I shall not mention....  ;)

OK, anyway, you want to know about Bitwise, so here goes. A bit of background first. I've been writing programming columns for magazines such as PC Plus, PC Pro and Computer Shopper (in the UK) for more years than I care to remember. I've written tutorials to all kinds of languages ranging from Lisp and Smalltalk to C++ and Java. For the last 10 years I was the Delphi columnist for PC Plus; and for the last 3 I also wrote the C# column. But.....

ah, but.... the big problem with writing for print magazines is that most of the editorial staff don't understand programming and none of the publishers do. I've been trying for years to persuade magazine publishers to publish a really technical magazine - one that talked to programmers and other technically literate computer users but didn't have "50 Reviews of inkjet printers; 10 mouse mats rated and reviewed" and all that other guff. I went to meeting after meeting and lots of people said "yeah, good idea" - and then did nothing about it.

In the end, I deicided that if this was going to happen I'd have to do it myself. I can't afford to print a magazine so that meant I'd have to publish it on the Internet. However, I decided that I would publish it just like a 'real' magazine - with regular features and columns and regular monthly 'issues'. That's what Bitwise is - or will be when the first issue goes online on June the 1st.

To give you a bit of an idea of what to expect. Here are a few of the things you'll find in issue 1 (hey! This is a world exclusive. I haven't told anyone this before  :) ). There is a C# tutorial on serializaton; a VB tutorial on programming the comms port; a Delphi tutorial on writing a screen-grab utility; a beginner's tutorial to Smalltalk; special features on DVD compression and burning tools; an exclusive interview with the chief architect of Chrome (Object Pascal for Visual Studio and Mono), plus various book and software reviews, opinion columns, features and interviews. So I'm hoping you may at least find one or two things of interest.

You can find a bit of brief background info at www.bitwisemag.com

In the meantime I also have a regular column (not so technical) online at www.rantsandraves.co.uk plus a blog, which has some info on Bitwise (plus a picture of a man's bottom dressed up as Elvis Presley  :o ) at: http://www.huwsrant.blogspot.com/

all the best
Huw
====================
Editor: Bitwise Magazine
www.bitwisemag.com

nudone

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Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2005, 09:19:00 AM »
i'm not a programmer of any description but i can see the high importance of a dedicated coding magazine - it does make you wonder why it doesn't exist already.

more importantly, it sounds tempting enough for a non coder like me to see what's its all about - maybe i'll actually learn something.

Jibz

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Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2005, 10:12:54 AM »
Interesting .. I'll certainly give it a look :up:.

Bitwise

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Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2005, 10:25:20 AM »
btw, I should says it's not all programming. There are also features and reviews of other more or less technical type things such as maths, science and astronomy software, video editing, dvd burning - and even a few other odd subjects that are out on the fringes such as (in issue 1) learning a language (spoken) using the internet...

all the best
Huw

mouser

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Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2005, 02:37:46 PM »
glad to see you made it, huw.
good luck with the magazine, looking forward to first issue.

Bitwise

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Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2005, 05:46:29 AM »
Incidentally, we now have our own theme tune! Download and enjoy.....  ;)

zridling

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Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2005, 12:03:03 AM »
Dang, and I was sooo looking forward to the article, "This Summer's Hottest Mousepads!

Love the rants and raves — right down my alley. Thanks for sharing Huw!

Bitwise

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Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2005, 04:52:57 AM »
Dang, and I was sooo looking forward to the article, "This Summer's Hottest Mousepads!
Hmmm.... now you mention it, maybe I was too hasty to reject that idea!

I can see that a 'silly season summer special' may be coming your way, folks!  :)

all the best
Huw

p.s. Anyone have any suggestions for mousemats to review....?

zridling

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Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2005, 08:35:49 AM »
Here's three I'd like to see:





and of course,


Bitwise

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Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2005, 01:54:27 PM »
I thought you might like to know that Bitwise has now gone live at www.bitwisemag.com . I hope you enjoy it!

best wishes
Huw

mouser

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Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2005, 02:20:14 PM »
i like it a lot huw, nice eclectic mix of interviews, reviews, and programming lessons.  very fun site. 

looking forward to visiting the site regularly.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2005, 02:24:23 PM by mouser »

Bitwise

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Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2005, 03:47:03 PM »
Help!!!!!

Well, it's been a hectic few days and I've been a bit caught out by the success of the thing! Which is why I'd appreciate your advice.

I had vaguely thought that I might add a forum to Bitwise if we ever had enough visitors to make it worthwhile (i.e. many months, I had assumed, after launching the site). Well, in the first four days we've had more than 3,000 visits (which is about 2,950 more than I'd been expecting or hoping for  :) ), which is abviously great news, of course, in one way - but, a lot of people have been asking for some means of leaving feedback. At the moment, they're all emailing me. For now I'm going to be assembling a good old fashioned letters page for next month. However, I'm starting to think that I may need to move forward my plans to add a board of some sort....

OK, so I have two basic questions (sorry to pester you rather than post the question to visitors to my own site, but, erm, well, like I was saying, I haven't got any forums to post the question in  :-[ )

1) Which software? I've run a small board before (not on computers) using phpBB and I also modrate another (nope, that's not about computers either) which also uses phpBB. Apart from the pain of updaing the software fairly frequently, I'm pretty happy with this. I notice DonationCoder uses different board software though, and I've heard claims that the commercial system, vBulletin, is the bees' knees. Now, other than personal preference, is there really any significant reason why I should choose anything other than phpBB (which has the benefit of familiarity)?

2) There are already loads of technical/programming/computer boards going. I don't see any point in copying them. I would prefer to have a small number of well targeted forums (as you have here) rather than a huge list of forums for C#, C++, Java, Delphi, VB, Perl, Python etc. etc.  I wondered if anyone had any ideas about suitable forum topics which are relevant to the general areas covered by Bitwise but don't just duplicate all the forum subjects that are already found on so many other boards....?

Although I'd like to get a board online soonish (as people keep pestering me!) I want to make sure I get it as close as I can to being 'right' at the design stage, so any help and advice would be much appreciated.

best wishes
Huw

mouser

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Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2005, 04:33:36 PM »
what i can tell you is how i settled on simple machines forum (smf) after some serious agonizing and experimentation.

first, phpbb is good and has a large community behind it.

i was looking for an alternative for 2 reasons; first, there have been some well known exploits of it and i have friends who had their phpbb boards hacked.  it may be that all board software is in a similar situation and just doesnt get the attention that phpbb does, so this isnt an asserttion about which one is least secure, but it was enough to cause me to look elsewhere.

the other real reason was that i wanted a forum which could support good hierarchical nesting of subsections.

that led me to invision or smf.  i really love how smf handles child boards, though i have to warn you that we did quite a bit of tweaking to get smf working and looking to our liking. phpbb (at least last i checked) does not have a nice support for nested child boards.  though out of the box it may be a more attractive board than smf.

i have heard the same thing as you regarding vbulletin from people in a position to know; so if you have the money and are ok with the support license, it may be the way to go.

i was also quite happy trying invision, another commercial board, but ultimately decided that open source was a better match for us, especially since we wanted to be able to modify the software ourselves.

i have been extremely pleased with smf - it has exceeded my expectation in terms of stability and flexiblity.

Bitwise

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Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2005, 04:55:37 PM »
i have heard the same thing as you regarding vbulletin from people in a position to know; so if you have the money and are ok with the support license, it may be the way to go.
Um, not yet....  :-[

Is there any standard for data exchange? I mean, if I start using one lot of software and later want to change to another, is it possible (or anyway simple?) to import the existing database into the new board?

all the best
Huw

mouser

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Re: Bitwise Magazine - please call by soon....
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2005, 06:16:21 PM »
its very hit and miss.
i know there are some phpbb tools for converting forum data frm some formats into phpbb format, but i'm not sure how well they work, and given the issues with users registering, its probably quite hard to do it properly.  i would not count on being able to transfer users and posts - it's probably asking for trouble to try to do it.