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Kalmbach should produce all of their MR back issues in PDF format Locked

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Posted by rtstasiak on Monday, January 1, 2007 8:29 PM

I have an idea from the middle of the road. Kalmbach frequently recycles article material in printed form like "Top Notch Track Plans," etc.  Why not offer these paperback anthologies, both past and present, in paper and pdf format?  This would be a lot easier (and cheaper) than scanning MR volumes frm one to one zillion and would actually make a lot of this material more accessible.  Possible themes could include "toy train heritage," "a century of car building," "scenery from Hertz to Hayden," a pdf rerun of "Model RR With John Allen," and so on. How about a digital "Great  Model Railroads" with a pdf image and a few video snippets?

Good media can be good business as well as great value for the customer.

Happy New Year!

Rich 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by andrechapelon on Monday, January 1, 2007 10:18 PM

There is a scene in the movie where he says something like that to Sam who is playing the piano and singing does he say something similar to play it again?  I know something like that is said about a song.

IIRC, the line went something like, "You played it for her, play it for me. Play it, Sam."

But then, it's been a while since I saw "Casablanca".

Andre

It's really kind of hard to support your local hobby shop when the nearest hobby shop that's worth the name is a 150 mile roundtrip.
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Posted by chris35 on Monday, January 1, 2007 11:45 PM
I currently subscribe to car and driver and when you place your sunscription, you are given the option of recieving your magazine either on paper and in the mail like always or via email.  Personally i like the paper form but just throwing it out there that there are magazines doing it.
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Posted by andrechapelon on Tuesday, January 2, 2007 1:24 AM
 CNJ831 wrote:
 jfugate wrote:

Other than some prototype information in them, any Model Railroader content over about 25 years old would be merely of historical interest about the hobby itself -- not especially useful, to be sure.

I have a complete collection of MR's back to 1960, with a select few issues all the way back to the 1940s -- and other than an occassional prototype piece or wanting to see what the hobby was doing then, I almost never refer to those older issues.

Like Brakie, I have to disagree with that position. I have MR back to the 1940's and if I was forced to truncate my collection at one end or the other, I'd definitely choose dropping the last 25 years of the magazine, rather than those earlier issues. I find them a treasuretove of ideas and useful material. Very little in the way of advancing modeling skills has surfaced in the last dozen or so years and you'll find ten times the true modeling content in those older magazines than can be found in the latest ones. In fact, I've won a number of NMRA modeling competitions building models based directly on articles, designs and concepts from the 1950's and 1960's that appeared in MR. No such similarly fruitful material has appeared therein in a long time in my opinion.

CNJ831 

In the continuum from builder of railroad models to model railroad operator it sounds like your preferences lie in the direction of model building. I'm not sure I'd agree with your characterization of the value of old issues of MR, RMC, etc. vs. newer ones. The real question comes down to what is the purpose of building a model? Is the building of the model an end in itself or is the building of the model being undertaken so as to be part of an overall scene in which the overriding purpose is to simulate some portion of the rail transportation system in a realistic manner?

This locomotive of Ray Breyer's http://www.pbase.com/dh30973/image/69520614 is being bashed to be part of an NKP roster and, while it might be a prize winner, the purpose of Ray's effort is not simply to bash up a realistic rendition of an NKP H-6d, but to provide his model railroad with a useable piece of freight motive power. The emphasis in the modeling press used to be on the individual item, whereas today it's the item as part of a larger whole. Quite frankly, I think Joe is right, by and large. While there are individual articles/series I'd like to see reprinted (e.g. "Thornburgh Builds A Wabash Mogul", Bob Darwin's series on detailing a Bowser Challenger, W. Gibson Kennedy's series on scratchbuilding Canadian Pacific's Kettle Valley passenger train, etc.), I don't think complete PDF files of past issues would be of much value.

Modeling skills haven't advanced? I don't recall anything this realistic appearing in the MR press back in the 50's/60's: http://siskiyou-railfan.net/e107_plugins/coppermine_menu/displayimage.php?album=6&pos=4

Or this: http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b337/jsix/?action=view&current=NYC1273cabooseview-5600.jpg

http://www.monon.org/models/mindheim5.jpg

http://www.trains.com/mrr/objects/pdf/mr_lv_7-03_hoosierline_01.pdf

Or even this: http://www.gatewaynmra.org/models/2004regional/2004r-102-1.jpg

It's a Spectrum 2-8-0 altered to match a Frisco 2-8-0. I'll grant you, there are giveaways to its origin, but it's pretty close.

Quite frankly, just looking at some superb models over the Internet is far more useful (in most cases) than reading a 50 year old "how to article" in MR or RMC (with some exceptions).

Mindheim's layout has appeared in MR as has Fugate's. Jim Six has had multiple articles in both RMC and MR. There have been multiple articles on bashing Genesis 2-8-2's and Spectrum 2-8-0's to more closely resemble specific prototypes. If you don't like the Genesis model, a BLI USRA light Mike can be used. And this http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y17/msowsun/Trains/2-10-2/ is far more useful than a text article when it comes to kitbashing an IHC 2-10-2 to mimic a CN T-1a. Here's one of Mike Sowsum's other kitbashes: http://tinyurl.com/yg5vcj 

Here's a kitbash involving an IHC mechanism and a Rivarossi B&O S-1a boiler: http://bb.1asphost.com/TMSOCR/bo21023.jpg

Another Spectrum kitbash, well, more of a detail job: http://tinyurl.com/yh9dwc

I remember an article by Malcolm Vordenbaum sometime in 1957 wherein he showcased several Penn Line engines that he had de-Pennsified. It was, IIRC, a good article, but the results were free lanced locos. I'd rather see articles such as the one in the August, 2000, issue on creating a UP specific version from the Genesis Mike or the one by Iain Rice (forget the issue) on on making an L&N J-3 from the same starting point, not to mention Iain's kitbash of the Spectrum 2-8-0 into a CV M-5a (sometime in 1999, can't remember the month).

I find the modern mags coupled with a judicious use of the Internet far more useful than most articles in issues of MR/RMC that are 40 or more years old.

OTOH, Bergie, if you're reading this, could you guys reprint the Jim Boyd article entitled "Lagged Boilers Are Easier"? It appeared in the September, 1967, issue.

Andre

 

 

 

 

It's really kind of hard to support your local hobby shop when the nearest hobby shop that's worth the name is a 150 mile roundtrip.
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Posted by Teditor on Tuesday, January 2, 2007 2:22 AM

Boy, sometimes these things really get into a heated situation.

For my part, I have Model Railroader back to the 60's complete and some spasmodic copies back to the 40's, I always anxiously await my printed copies of MR, TRAINS, Classic Trains, RMC, N-Scale ad-infinitum to arrive. When I can fill the voids at reasonable cost I do.

I am editor of a Model Railway Club magazine, we supply about 160 40 page copies, per month, they are available via our website or hard copy, the members and other organisations get to choose, in this day and age where "everyone" has a computer, we get about 90 that opt for a printed hard copy even though it only has a colour cover and the rest is black and white, the website version is in full colour and yet in keeping an eye on the downloads, there are probably about ten regular takers by this method. Others just don't seem to bother.

Some that have the website access still ask for a hard printed copy, yet only a few to my knowledge have them right back to issue one.

To me there is something nostalgic about collecting and keeping printed copies, yet I also buy auto magazines to read and then donate them to my doctors surgery or other means for others to enjoy, but try and take my printed model and prototype railroad magazines away from me, sitting back reading a good book, magazine etc is a relaxing enjoyable experience, I go back to old issues just because I can, I also have a lot of information on CD's, but as far as I am concerned its the pits sitting at a computer "for everything".

Kalmbach puts a lot of references to "website bonuses" in magazine articles, I hardly ever look at them.

I guess there will always be alternatives as to how we receive and/or want things, but I don't think the hard copy is going to be totally replaced any time soon, just as you can still buy kits when "everyone" wants R-T-R.

Teditor

Teditor

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Posted by Seamonster on Tuesday, January 2, 2007 7:53 AM

This sure opened up a can of worms, didn't it? Personally, I wouldn't buy back issues on disc.  I've got 30 years worth of MR on bookshelves in the train room as well as over 20 years of the NTrak Newsletter and every issue of N-Scale.  I prefer to look in the annual indexes for something I want to look up.  Besides, if they were all in my computer, I wouldn't have anything to read in bed at night.  No room on the bed for the computer. Big Smile [:D]  N-Scale has produced a set of discs of back issues, so obviously it can be done and they are a much smaller magazine than MR, but I don't know what format the material is in or if it has indexing or what.  Things like newsletters are okay electronically--I receive a couple of ham newsletters and the weekly employee newsletter from the company I used to work for by e-mail.  Those I read once and discard, but a full sized magazine would just be too much on the computer.  I think Joe is right--MR has researched the subject and concluded it just wouldn't be worth it.  However, it would be a good idea for them to have all the issues archived electronically for longevity, and it would be a good way to produce single articles for people who need them.

 

..... Bob

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Posted by CNJ831 on Tuesday, January 2, 2007 8:43 AM
 andrechapelon wrote:

In the continuum from builder of railroad models to model railroad operator it sounds like your preferences lie in the direction of model building. I'm not sure I'd agree with your characterization of the value of old issues of MR, RMC, etc. vs. newer ones. The real question comes down to what is the purpose of building a model? Is the building of the model an end in itself or is the building of the model being undertaken so as to be part of an overall scene in which the overriding purpose is to simulate some portion of the rail transportation system in a realistic manner?

 

It's indeed something of a matter of personal perspective, Andre. But I do build my own models to go on the layout and represent a real, miniature world, although  many of them have been entered in contests before doing so. The modeler's ultimate purpose for building his layout certainly factors in but the idea that the general hobby has somehow gone from the goal of basically running trains on a nicely scenicked, interesting layout, over largely to serious and formal operations, is fictious. While MR may constantly hype operations (as they have since the 1950's) as overwhelmingly important, it remains the case that no survey ever conducted among hobbyists has been able to demonstrate that even 20% of model railroaders are seriously operations-oriented. This has never been, nor likely ever will be, the prime focus of the average hobbyist. In that respect, demonstrating more advanced construction/model building concepts and techniques through articles should probably be much more a part of publications such as MR today - just as it was in the past. I'm already aware that there are plenty of other really good modelers out there, so I want to learn from them, not just see pretty, ultra-close-up pictures of bits of their layouts.

As to comparing what was done in the past with what's accomplished today, as it appears in the pages of hobby publications like MR, RMC, or now on the Internet, I can indeed cite you examples of as good or even better model building and equally or more realistic, model photography from the 1950's than actually exists today.

The magazines of yore had the goal of showing you how YOU could advance your modeling skills to create a better layout. Today, they serve mainly to show examples of what someone else has done but usually, I'm afraid, not how you can go about doing it (except maybe to buy it RTR!).

CNJ831

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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Tuesday, January 2, 2007 8:56 AM

Personally, I have all but 6 issues back to 1950 and several from before that.  The most useful information, as Joe noted above is the prototype information - remember when every issue of MR had one or more drawings?  Many of the trackplans based on real railroads are also interesting. But I also just enjoy going back and reading them for what people were doing. 

I am not sure how much I would pay, but searchability would be a big factor for me.  I would like to be able to search all the back issues at the same time.  If they are copy protected, one year per disk, then I would be much less interested with all the disk shuffling that would be required.

As others have noted MR has from time to time done reprint collections.  I would like to see them do the drawings.

Enjoy

Paul 

 

If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 2, 2007 9:18 AM

One of the aspects of model railroading that has always intrigued me is its diversity. I enjoy doing research, and I've got a more than passing interest in kit building, kit bashing, scratch building, airbrushing, soldering, electronics, and woodworking. And, I'll confess to enjoying the model train porn that arrives in my mailbox in the form of magazines and catalogs. On any given day, no matter my mood or fancy, I can work in any of these areas and still remain within the milieu of the hobby. And I don't think I'm alone in this sentiment.

Operations have never been a principal interest for me, but I read about them nonetheless. I'm also not huge on scenery or track laying, but that may change as my layout progresses.

My point is that ours' is a wide-open hobby providing for a myriad of interests. Therefore, I think it's a pointless exercise to foist one aspect of the hobby as more important than all others. Each of us will ultimately pursue those activities that provide the most pleasure and relaxation. But, I think there are again many hobbyists like me who, when pressured into the belief that there's some compulsory end game in all this, will lose interest or leave the hobby altogether.

This is my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Lynda
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Posted by markpierce on Tuesday, January 2, 2007 3:12 PM

I suggest that MR currently publish occasional (3 or 4 times a year) past classical articles.  By classical, I mean over 20 years old which are exceptionally noteworthy and have current relevance, but not covering subjects rehashed periodically.  I'd have no objection if the re-printed articles are newly edited.

Mark

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Posted by conford on Tuesday, January 2, 2007 5:39 PM

Current issues of MR are being produced in pdf format, and are available through Ebsco, a library database vendor. Some of you probably do have access to about 5 years of MR in pdf. Check and see if your library subscribes to an online index of magazine articles from Ebsco. You can usually check the online resources section of your library's website. The two databases I know of that contain MR are MasterFILE Premier and MAS Ultra - School Edition. Full pdf image is available from 7/2001 to present. Your library may provide lots of useful services, and I hope that a few of you will find out that you have access to MR online through Ebsco. Good luck. And yes I am a librarian!

Regards,

Peter

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Posted by Shilshole on Tuesday, January 2, 2007 5:52 PM

 CNJ831 wrote:
...As to comparing what was done in the past with what's accomplished today, as it appears in the pages of hobby publications like MR, RMC, or now on the Internet, I can indeed cite you examples of as good or even better model building and equally or more realistic, model photography from the 1950's than actually exists today.

I, for one, would be interested in seeing those cites of 50s examples of better model building and more realistic photography than is accomplished today.  I'm hard pressed to remember examples from mid-century issues of MR or RMC that equal those on the links Andre provided, or the diorama and structure efforts by Doug and Jackie Hole in MM, or prototypical rolling stock produced and photographed by Ted Culotta in his recent series on Essential Freight Cars in RMC, or the diesel modeling of Jim Six and Andy Harman in recent MR and RMC articles.  Of course, that may reflect more on my memory than a magazine's actual content, but I have the time to look up the articles in my modest library.

The magazines of yore had the goal of showing you how YOU could advance your modeling skills to create a better layout. Today, they serve mainly to show examples of what someone else has done but usually, I'm afraid, not how you can go about doing it (except maybe to buy it RTR!).

IMHO, that's a mis-observation; examples of instructional articles in late 20th and 21st century mags abound, ranging from MR's continuing series on 1001 new ways to employ foam to kitbashing-to-prototype-accuracy articles in MM.  Bob Hundman and others in MM went even further, providing step-by-step sequences of photos showing how to scratchbuild structures and rolling stock and including mistakes they made along the way -- photos and text documenting how not to do it as well as how to do it.  See also Ted Culotta's aforementioned series on resin kit construction and mods, or CC Crow's instructions on hydrocal casting in MM for other examples of how-tos using 'modern' materials.

I'd be happy if MR reproduced their prototype rolling stock and structure plans from the past, but much of the rest on model building or other construction (TAT IV throttles and Twin-Ts, anyone?) simply doesn't travel well.

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Posted by jackn2mpu on Tuesday, January 2, 2007 7:44 PM
 Kurt_Laughlin wrote:
 CurtMc wrote:

And therefore there should be no discussion of anything if they are not doing it?

There is certainly the tone of your postings.

Personally I don't think it is a good idea but it is worth chatting about.

No one is saying there shouldn't be a discussion.

People are saying that, given Kalmbach's position on the matter, there's really no point in discussing it.

KL

OKay, so we're into semantics here. Do we REALLY know, in first-hand words, what Kalmbach's position on this is? I mean we have Joe Fugate's words saying what he believes Kalmbach said, but as we all know, what a person says is filtered through that person's brain. Ever play telephone? What I'd like to see, and I'll wager there are others with the same thought, is Terry Thompson's or Andy Sperandeo's thoughts on this, or even those higher up in the Kalmbach Publishing empire. And we know Andy and Terry both post here. I'm not saying Joe isn't right, but I'd rather hear it from someone from at the top.

As to searching in Acrobat, it's built into the reader itself, so there's no indexing of every word that needs to be done. The only work, outside of scanning the material in (and most scanners will output documents in Adobe pdf), is to provide an electronic version of the index with hyperlinks. An advantage of pdf, and this is something an advertiser with a web presence would like and push for, is one can embed hyperlinks to a company's website. Imagine no more copying a url into a browser and getting a porno site or some such filth from mis-typing a letter or two.

It can be done, and smaller companies than Kalmbach have done it. Maybe they just need some prodding. Just because a person says that they won't do something, ever, doesn't mean they can't change. For a long time Railpace wouldn't take digital picture submission because they said the quality wasn't there, compared to 35mm film. And this was a a time when you didn't have the full-frame and close to full-frame sensors in digital slrs. Now most of the picture submissions are in digital. A lot of pro photographers swore they wouldn't go digital. Guess what? During the last couple of Olypmics, the one in Greece, for example, not one photog shot film.

de N2MPU Jack

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Posted by andrechapelon on Tuesday, January 2, 2007 8:23 PM
The magazines of yore had the goal of showing you how YOU could advance your modeling skills to create a better layout. Today, they serve mainly to show examples of what someone else has done but usually, I'm afraid, not how you can go about doing it (except maybe to buy it RTR!).

CNJ831

Before reading, beware. Somewhat lengthy.

By your own admission, you have built prize winning models. Given that, it wouldn't surprise me if you used different techniques (even if only slightly different) and materials than those who wrote the articles to which you have referred. I may be way off base in saying this, but it would seem to me that the fact you have built prize winning models makes you one of the modelers who ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT THE Censored [censored] HE'S DOING. From that premise, it would seem to follow logically that you are sufficiently knowledgeable to write something that would be the spark to enhance the modeling skills of other people. Now I don't know if you actually have written anything for publication or have given clinics, but, going by what you've said, you're certainly qualified to do so.

If you haven't written anything for publication (or given clinics or whatever), I have to shake my head at the complaint that MR and RMC ain't what they used to be. If you think that at least some of the articles should be more like the ones that were written (metaphorically speaking) "way back in the winter of aught six", why not write some yourself? There used to be a radio station in Silicon Valley that had a signature saying, "If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own!".

The ultimate truth is, nobody really learns anything that involves building or modifying anything until he/she actually does it him/her self. About three years ago, we found out the window frame in one of the back bedroom windows was rotten because my wife leaned against it and broke the window out. Fortunately, she wasn't hurt. Unfortunately (I'm being facetious here), she wanted ME to put in the replacement window. That was something I'd never done, even though I'd seen it done and read about it in DIY books. Fat lot of good that did. Once I dismantled the inside and outside trim and removed the remnants of the window, it was like facing a nightmare. You want to talk about nervous, I was a wreck. It took me nearly 10 days from start to finish. You've heard the advice, "Measure twice, cut once"? With me, it was stare at the opening for about 10 minutes, measure 3 times, stare some more, measure some more, drink a cup of coffee, well, you get the picture. It was a case of measure 45 times (punctuated by fairly lengthy bouts of staring and multiple cups of coffee), and cut once. Well, actually, in couple of cases, I had to cut twice, which just goes to show you that no matter how many times you measure, you can still screw something up. The second window (which didn't physically need replacing) was done in 2 1/2 days including painting.

Now, could I write an article that could tell you how to replace a window? Perhaps, but in order to do it justice, I'd have to do the next window with an article in mind, taking both notes and pictures from the start of the project to its finish. However, such an article would be slanted to wood framed houses with wood sheathing on the outside (in our particular case it's, horizontal  tongue in groove). In any case, all I'd be doing is showing you what I did, the techniques I used and the challenges I faced. How much of it would be applicable to your own situation is open to speculation should you need to replace a window in your own house.

Returning to the question at hand, this particularly puzzles me:  Today, they serve mainly to show examples of what someone else has done but usually, I'm afraid, not how you can go about doing it (except maybe to buy it RTR!). There are specific articles I have in mind, and please pardon me if I forget which month/year the articles appeared. I hope you'll forgive my bias toward steam locomotive projects. The examples below are just off the top of my head.

1999: Iain Rice writes an article about bashing a Spectrum 2-8-0 into a Central Vermont M-5A for Marty McGuirk. My memory of that article is that it was fairly detailed and that someone who had one or two detailing projects under his belt could have successfully undertaken this one or used some of the techniques for another project.

Later, forget which month and year, Rice writes about detailing a Genesis Mike for the L&N. Not bad, but not as good as the earlier Rice article.

August, 2000 (IIRC). Article about detailing a Genesis Mike for the UP. Forget the author. IMHO, pretty much told you what you needed to do and how to do it.

Forget the month and year (but it's fairly recent). Article on scratchbuilding a model of the Santa Fe depot at Lamy, New Mexico. Contained info on modeling a stucco building. Stucco buildings are quite common out here in the West. 

2002 (forget the month): Article on regearing an MDC Consolidation for smoother slow speed operation. The one thing that sticks out in my mind is the idea of scribing a "witness mark" on the wheel hub and the axle to make quartering the driver that much easier when reassembling. In fact, given that you are returning the wheel to its original position on the axle, you are also maintaining the quartering relationship with the other drivers. That alone made the article worth reading.

September and October, 2005: Two part article in RMC about bashing a BLI Heavy USRA Mike into a CNJ "Back Track Behemoth". I'm into SP, not CNJ, but I found the article valuable even if not directly applicable.

I guess I really don't understand your objections. I've read every issue of MR since August, 1957 (not to mention some from before), and apparently I remember the "good old days" differently than you do. I can remember any number of times in old articles wishing that something that was being described had a picture to go with it either because the text didn't make that much sense to me or a picture would have clarified the text.

No article is ever going to take the place of actual experience, even if it means doing something that hasn't been written up in the hobby press. I plan to model SP's Monterey branch in the late 40's. Every locomotive I need has been made in brass save one (plus the Spectrum consol can be bashed into an SP loco) and the MDC "Harriman" 4-6-0 is based more or less on the SP T-28. To pull the "Del Monte", I need a P-6 Pacific, which has never been done before in brass or otherwise. There are a number of approaches I can take:

1. Scratchbuild. Probably not gonna happen.

2. Scratchbash - Use an altered commercial chassis with a scratchbuilt superstructure.

3. Brass bash - Use one of the brass models of UP's Heavy Harriman Pacifics to make a P-6. These engines were built to the same plans. The biggest visible change would be to shorten the smokebox. Fortunately, someone over on the Espee Yahoo forum has done just that and provided pictures, so there's a brain to pick. Rather expensive alternative.

4. Use a USRA light Pacific as a stand-in. Altered with SP details, it could come close enough visually to pass at first glance even with a knowledgeable SP modeler. Ron Kuykendall detailed one of the Mehano USRA Light 4-6-2's to look like a P-7 (essentially a P-6 with 73" instead of 77" drivers). The only immediate giveaway was the Baker valve gear.

It's really kind of hard to support your local hobby shop when the nearest hobby shop that's worth the name is a 150 mile roundtrip.
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Posted by jfugate on Tuesday, January 2, 2007 10:17 PM

Just to conduct a non-scientific test of the notion issues of MR from the 50s and 60s are still very relevant and are more meaty than today's issues, I pulled an old issue at random from my collection -- January 1963.  I'm going to ignore columns -- I'm looking for articles in each issue.

- Caboose in 2 hours 74 minutes - 1 page of text, 4 photos, one diagram, 2 pages total
- How we built our railroad - 2 pages of text, 10 photos, 1 track plan, 5 pages total
- Alpena & Harwood Western RR - 1/3rd page of text, 1 track plan, 1 page total**
- Timber station and snowshed - no text, 1 photo, 2 pages of scale drawings, 2 pages total**
- Building timber station and snowshed - 2 pages of text, 6 photos, 5 diagrams, 4 pages total*
- Speeder rail truck - 3 pages of text, 7 photos, 6 scale drawings, 5 pages total*
- Neat way to develop a track plan - 1/4 page of text, 1 photo, 1/2 page total
- One man's roster - 1/4 page of text, 6 photos, 1 page total
- Texas railroaders banish dust - 1 page of text, 3 photos, 2 diagrams, 2 pages total
- Underbody detail on passenger cars - 1/4 page of text, no photos, 13 diagrams, 3 pages total**

That's 10 articles with about 25 pages of article content (the stuff I marked with two ** would be completely relevant today, the articles with one * would be somewhat relevant today). Looking at it another way, that's:

11 pages of text (44%)
14 pages of photos and diagrams

Now pulling a random recent issue of MR (January 2005) and doing the same analysis yields:

- Branch line for the Turtle Creek Central -  3 pg of text, 8 full color photos, 4 full color diagrams, 6 pgs total
- How to model a stucco depot - 5 pages of text, 12 full color photos, 8 diagrams/scale drawings, 8 pages total
- Smooth running railroad by the book - 3 pages of text, 6 full color photos, 1 full color track plan, 5 pages total
- Different time, different look - 3 pages text, 6 full color photos, no diagrams, 4 pages total
- Build an upgraded SD40-2 - 3 pages text, 15 full color photos, no diagrams, 4 pages total
- Power districts for digital command control - 2 pages text, 2 full color photos, 3 diagrams, 3 pages total
- Keeping track of history - 3 pages of text, 6 full color photos, 1 full color diagram, 5 pages total

That's 7 articles with 35 pages of content, or:

24 pages of text (68%)
11 pages of photos and diagrams (all full color)

I don't know if this little unscientific sampling is typical, but it shows some interesting points. The current issues have fewer articles with more text content, and they are in general more lengthy than the mini-articles used as filler in the old 1963 issue. The older issue had lots of scale drawings, which is useful even today. The 1963 issue did have more articles, but just how useful is 1/4 page of text anyhow?

If anything, the charge of "all photos and no meaty text" could be applied to the 1963 issue more than the modern one, with 7 articles in the 1963 issue having one page of text or less.

My sense is a lot of this "MR ain't what it used to be" commentary is to a large degree nostalga on the part of us old-timers rather than any real scientific analysis of the facts, if this little random selection of issues is any indication. Smile,Wink, & Grin [swg]

Joe Fugate Modeling the 1980s SP Siskiyou Line in southern Oregon

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Posted by markpierce on Tuesday, January 2, 2007 10:32 PM

Joe's comments demonstrate there are a lot of past articles that are still relevant.  This confirms my belief that MR should occasionally include re-releases of "classical" articles in current issues.  What the heck -- most of them are rarely above 4 pages long --  we're talking about 12 pages a year!  And it would be worthwhile for most all readers.

Mark

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Posted by CNJ831 on Tuesday, January 2, 2007 10:45 PM
 andrechapelon wrote:
The magazines of yore had the goal of showing you how YOU could advance your modeling skills to create a better layout. Today, they serve mainly to show examples of what someone else has done but usually, I'm afraid, not how you can go about doing it (except maybe to buy it RTR!).

CNJ831

Before reading, beware. Somewhat lengthy.

By your own admission, you have built prize winning models. Given that, it wouldn't surprise me if you used different techniques (even if only slightly different) and materials than those who wrote the articles to which you have referred. I may be way off base in saying this, but it would seem to me that the fact you have built prize winning models makes you one of the modelers who ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT THE Censored [censored] HE'S DOING. From that premise, it would seem to follow logically that you are sufficiently knowledgeable to write something that would be the spark to enhance the modeling skills of other people. Now I don't know if you actually have written anything for publication or have given clinics, but, going by what you've said, you're certainly qualified to do so.

If you haven't written anything for publication (or given clinics or whatever), I have to shake my head at the complaint that MR and RMC ain't what they used to be. If you think that at least some of the articles should be more like the ones that were written (metaphorically speaking) "way back in the winter of aught six", why not write some yourself? There used to be a radio station in Silicon Valley that had a signature saying, "If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own!".

(snip) 

Returning to the question at hand, this particularly puzzles me:  Today, they serve mainly to show examples of what someone else has done but usually, I'm afraid, not how you can go about doing it (except maybe to buy it RTR!). There are specific articles I have in mind, and please pardon me if I forget which month/year the articles appeared. I hope you'll forgive my bias toward steam locomotive projects. The examples below are just off the top of my head.

(snip)

Whew! An awful lot to address in that post, Andre! For the moment let me just respond to the two main points: writing articles and comparing the content of MR then and now.

Let me start out by saying that I wrote a monthly column for a popular science publication with a circulation probably around that of MR's for nearly two decades and that pretty much got the writing bug out of me! When I finished up that stint I swore that, in my other field of interest - model railroading - I'd steer well clear of any literary commitments, if I could. I have ended up doing three pieces for RMC back in the 90's, several for my area's NMRA Regional newsletter and did present a couple of NMRA convention clinics. But writing and similar activities really are no longer my thing.

Regarding my statement about the greater value of the hobby magazines from years ago, I have to echo a sentiment I've heard on this forum on a number of occasions expressed by oldtimers, "Back then I used to pour over the articles in the latest issue for days...now I find I'm finished reading the entire magazine in an hour or so!" 

On average, if you opened one of the earlier MR's, you came across several articles or projects each month that were immediately applicable to you and building or enhancing your layout...and you often went right out and started working on them. I'll bet I haven't done that now in a decade and it's not through a lack of interest or challenges. I'm still building my layout, my contest models, etc. Rather, those sorts of interesting articles, projects, or presentation of new skills simply don't appear any more. While I'll grant that some of the recent articles you mention might appeal to a certain limited audience, they lack the broad appeal many (most?) of the earlier articles displayed. They adressed things just about every reader would be interested in doing. Few MR articles these days honestly address advanced model building, whereas they once were common place.

I guess, as you suggest in your post, I'm a fella that can model pretty well, one  who really still enjoys excercising and honing the skills associated with that phase of model railroading. Endless beginners' articles, the monthly hyping of DCC, and being instructed on how to remove the latest RTR item from its box properly, just doesn't do it for me.

If I get the chance to delve into my MR libary tomorrow, I'll try to offer up some examples of what I feel were truly worthy and enlightening articles from the past (and who was the best model photographer in the history of MR...and he ain't current!).

CNJ831   

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Posted by Kurt_Laughlin on Wednesday, January 3, 2007 12:03 AM
 CNJ831 wrote:

Regarding my statement about the greater value of the hobby magazines from years ago, I have to echo a sentiment I've heard on this forum on a number of occasions expressed by oldtimers, "Back then I used to pour over the articles in the latest issue for days...now I find I'm finished reading the entire magazine in an hour or so!" 

On average, if you opened one of the earlier MR's, you came across several articles or projects each month that were immediately applicable to you and building or enhancing your layout...and you often went right out and started working on them. I'll bet I haven't done that now in a decade and it's not through a lack of interest or challenges. I'm still building my layout, my contest models, etc. Rather, those sorts of interesting articles, projects, or presentation of new skills simply don't appear any more. While I'll grant that some of the recent articles you mention might appeal to a certain limited audience, they lack the broad appeal many (most?) of the earlier articles displayed. They adressed things just about every reader would be interested in doing. Few MR articles these days honestly address advanced model building, whereas they once were common place.

I can relate a parallel experience of my own from plastic modeling.  When I got my first issue of Scale Modeler in '74 or '75, I read it over several days.  I read it again and again, trying to soak up every article, ad, and photo.  I got a subscription, and by 1982 I was finishing an issue in less than an hour.  Did the magazine change?  No.  (In fact, SM was known for running the same articles several times. . .)  Did I change?  Yes.  After five years I had developed in the hobby.  I knew how to mask camouflage finishes, because I had seen it done a dozen times before and had done it myself.  I knew there was big hobby shop in Denver because their ad was the same one I'd seen for five years.  I knew that there was a new Monogram kit coming out because it had been advertised for the previous three months.  When everything is new, it takes longer to absorb it.  When you have some familiarity and some better developed interests, you select what you spend time on reading. 

After getting the mag for awhile you skip ads that you initially read because there was nothing new or that you knew in a glance were for something you weren't interested in.  Articles that covered jet fighters when you built prop bombers get only a superficial read.  Product announcements in 1/72 scale get skipped when you model 1/48.  The fact is, there is only so much new in a hobby.  Improvement generally comes from practicing basic skills.  There is some evolution in techniques, materials, and so forth, but it ain't happening by each month's deadline.  You mention that there just isn't a presentation of new skills like there use to be.  Have you ever considered that with each skill you've acquired, there's one less new one in the universe for you to learn?  When your skills are already advanced through decades of practice, do you realize how rare it would be for an article to boost yours even further?

In plastic modeling, like model railroading, there's only a rather small set of basic skills involved.  I'd say 25 or less for mrr'ing, a dozen or so for plastic.  Once you become competent in each I've found that what I'm learning from others is really just small little "tips 'n' tricks": How to paint wheels using a drafting template (Not: how to paint); how to simulate weld beads (Not: how to detail models); how to make chain from armature wire (Not: how to add details to kits). 

What it looks like to this modeler of 35+ years is that we are both in the place where we've picked all the low-hanging fruit off the magazine tree.  I look at that as more of an proof of my harvesting abilities rather than a fault of the tree for not making new fruit every month.

KL

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Posted by fwright on Wednesday, January 3, 2007 3:15 PM

I have asked Kalmbach to put their back issues - especially MR - in some kind of electronic format several times, all to no avail.  I suggested $10 per year, or $75 per decade as a price I would be willing to pay.  I suggested that even decent JPEGs (better than the first National Geographic reissue) would suffice, provided the master index (they could use a subset of their present article index) would link to the start of the chosen article - a pretty simple search and link, given that the database already exists.

As Joe Fugate suggests, the market is probably somewhere between 1,000 and 5,000 for such a service.  Is that enough to make it work at the proposed prices?  And I'm willing to bet a decade's worth of MR on DVD that the '50s, '60s, and '70s would sell quite a bit better than the other decades - probably more than all the other decades combined.  Why is that?

As of right now, I have scattered issues of the '50s, a complete 1957, complete from 1962 to 1995, and complete from 2003 to present.  When I go to read back issues (about once a month), which ones do I read?  The '50s, '60s, and '70s.  For whatever reason, I will rarely bother re-reading anything newer unless I am looking up a specific article or review.  The issues from the '80s onward just don't seem to be as interesting, whereas I have nearly memorized my favorite years.  This has held true despite the many articles on obsolete control systems and electronics in the older issues.  My eight year gap represents my perception that there was nothing new in the magazine, and the subscription no longer had value.  The series on building the Proto87 project layout got me interested in MR again.

Moving and storage issues are causing me to give up this collection, but I would definitely pay to replace it in digital format.  As it is, I am busy manually scanning key articles, plans, and prototype information whenever I have time.

And as others have pointed out, digitizing the past would probably increase Kalmbach's resale of particular and popular articles.  Kalmbach could respond with an e-mail attachment of an article within minutes of receiving payment.

just my thoughts

Fred W

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Posted by johncolley on Wednesday, January 3, 2007 5:56 PM
I would think the major articles would be a good thing to put out in PDF. Not necessarily so with all the advertising and product reviews, columns, etc. It seems like the columns are frequently gathered together into subject  type books. But the articles by all the major players going back to the beginning would be nice. I still run across articles by John Armstrong, Linn Wescott, Whit Towers, and others that are timeless. jc5729 
jc5729
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Posted by Kurt_Laughlin on Wednesday, January 3, 2007 7:03 PM
 jackn2mpu wrote:
 Kurt_Laughlin wrote:

No one is saying there shouldn't be a discussion.

People are saying that, given Kalmbach's position on the matter, there's really no point in discussing it.

KL

OKay, so we're into semantics here. Do we REALLY know, in first-hand words, what Kalmbach's position on this is?

There's two possibilities:

1. KP plans on doing this.  In that case, there's really no point in discussing it because "we" ain't going to change anything.

2. KP doesn't plan on doing this.  In that case, there's really no point in discussing it because "we" ain't going to change anything.

That what I meant.  It's literally pointless for us to discuss it.

KL

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Posted by andrechapelon on Thursday, January 4, 2007 12:21 AM

Regarding my statement about the greater value of the hobby magazines from years ago, I have to echo a sentiment I've heard on this forum on a number of occasions expressed by oldtimers, "Back then I used to pour over the articles in the latest issue for days...now I find I'm finished reading the entire magazine in an hour or so!" 

I used to pore over articles, too, and hang on every word. Today, I usually scan the issue and then go back and read things that seem interesting. HOWEVER, there is a big difference now than then. Back then, I was just starting upward on the learning curve. Everything was new and exciting and there was so much to learn. It's not going to be the same today, no matter how much one might wish it. If one persists in an endeavour, one goes from "Grasshopper" to Master Po, from Luke Skywalker to Yoda, from acolyte to master. The perspective is entirely different. To wish for things to be the way they were is to wish for something that will never happen. Things are only fresh and new once. I lived in Mojave during the final years of SP steam over Tehachapi. Apart from threats on my life from my wife, there's nothing to stop me from living there again. However, Mojave, 2007, isn't Mojave, 1953 and Andre 2007 isn't Andre 1953 or '57 or '68. In the words of Thomas Wolfe, "You Can't Go Home Again".

On average, if you opened one of the earlier MR's, you came across several articles or projects each month that were immediately applicable to you and building or enhancing your layout...and you often went right out and started working on them.

Perhaps. But back then, the idea (with some exceptions) was to build a generic model railroad (or reasonable facsimile thereof), not a model that comes as close as possible given time, space, skills and money to reproduce in miniature the Southern Pacific's Monterey Branch as it appeared in the late 1940's. Jared Harper's dream is not to build a model railroad or even model the Santa Fe, but to model the Alma Branch of the Santa Fe as it was in the latter part of WWII. Jack Burgess didn't just build a model railroad, but a masterful recreation of the Yosemite Valley as it appeared in August, 1939, the last month of peace before the outbreak of WWII. Even freelancers like Eric Brooman and Allen McClellan build their layouts to look like they actually could exist in the real world.

Quite frankly, the only thing that's appeared in MR in the last 5 or so years that actually applies to my situation is the article on scratchbuilding the Lamy, NM, Santa Fe depot, and only then because some time was taken to discuss how to model stucco buildings. The Monterey station is stucco. 

If I am eventually to model the Monterey Branch with some degree of believability, I don't need "trees", but reasonable replicas of some of the signature trees of the California Central Coast and the Monterey Peninsula ( quercus agrifolia - Coast live oak, eucalyptus globulus - the most common eucalyptus in California, and cupressus macrocarpa - Monterey cypress : http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v651/andrechapelon/MontereyTrainstation083.jpg  ).

Rather, those sorts of interesting articles, projects, or presentation of new skills simply don't appear any more. While I'll grant that some of the recent articles you mention might appeal to a certain limited audience, they lack the broad appeal many (most?) of the earlier articles displayed. They adressed things just about every reader would be interested in doing. Few MR articles these days honestly address advanced model building, whereas they once were common place.

Limited audience? What's a general audience in this day and age? Back when I walked 10 miles a day to and from school through 6 foot snow drifts, uphill both ways in a howling blizzard Whistling [:-^], there was still active steam running. There's a fairly large segment in the hobby who have only seen a steam locomotive on display or in excursion service. There are also a considerable number of us who only have a passing interest (if that) in an SD70ACe or an ES44DC. The hobby covers a wider range of interests now than it did 40 or 50 years ago. Not only that, but knowledge is a lot more specialized and focused.

I earlier mentioned Monterey cypress trees. There are only 2 places in the world where the Monterey cypress is a native species and that's Point Lobos (south of Carmel) and Pebble Beach. Anyone writing an article on how to model a Monterey cypress would be writing for a very limited audience. Besides myself, I can think of maybe 2 people who might really be interested. I remember reading Jack Work's article on building pine trees, sometime in 1958 or so, IIRC. Not loblolly pine, sugar pine, Monterey pine, Eastern white pine, lodgepole pine, etc., but "pine" (of which there are about 115 species). I'm not dissing Jack Work, his modeling was superb, just making a point about now vs. then.

If I get the chance to delve into my MR libary tomorrow, I'll try to offer up some examples of what I feel were truly worthy and enlightening articles from the past (and who was the best model photographer in the history of MR...and he ain't current!).

We've both read the same articles, so fire away.

My guess is you'll name the late Ben King. Yeah, he was good. His modeling was good, too.

Andre

P.S. Back in the day, Kalmbach sold a lot of copies of "HO Layout That Grows", a bowl of spaghetti 4x8 layout that was essentially a toy train layout using HO scale equipment. Compare that with "Soo's Red Wing Division" which appeared in the late 90's, IIRC, and also appeared in one of the recent starter layout books. The difference in overall realism is at least an order of magnitude. The Red Wing divison is still a 4x8, but as far as I'm concerned it's a far better starting point than the earlier HO layout that didn't just grow but also made a rather successful attempt to mimic kudzu.

It's really kind of hard to support your local hobby shop when the nearest hobby shop that's worth the name is a 150 mile roundtrip.
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Posted by andrechapelon on Thursday, January 4, 2007 1:03 AM

My sense is a lot of this "MR ain't what it used to be" commentary is to a large degree nostalga on the part of us old-timers rather than any real scientific analysis of the facts, if this little random selection of issues is any indication. Smile,Wink, & Grin <img src=" border="0" width="15" height="15" />

Nostalgia's all it is, Joe. I have very nostalgic feelings about the family 1958 Chevy Brookwood station wagon, the car in which I learned to drive. I wouldn't want to own one, however. The wagon was "well equipped" for 1958 in that it had a V-8, automatic transmission (2 speed Pwerglide), white-sidewall tires, radio and heater (I forget when a heater became standard equipment, but I believe my parents paid extra for that option). However, that same wagon had non-power drum brakes all around, the steering had no power assist, it had a rubber floor cover (no carpet there), no seat belts, no airbags, no seat headrests, a metal dash, no collapsing steering column, bias ply tires, an oil bath air filter, etc. The engine oil was supposed to be changed at 1000 mile intervals and the chassis had to be greased at regular intervals (no uni-body construction there). The car got 17 MPG on the highway and around 13-14 in town. There was no cruise control nor intermittent wipers.

By the same token, the first locomotive I purchased with my own money was an Athearn Hi-F drive (i.e. rubber bands and drums instead of gears) F-7. While the plastic shell wasn't bad by the standards of the day, the truck sideframes were cast in mystery metal and resembled lumps of solidified lava more than EMD Blomberg trucks. The locomotive had 4 speeds. These were stop, fast, very fast and high subsonic. These speeds were obtained both in forward and reverse. The first freight car I ever bought was an Athearn Lackawanna boxcar. The trucks has to be assembled and, instead of metal truck springs, the "springs" were made of a molded rubber "thingy" vaguely resembling springs that had to be inserted while holding the the truck bolster and side frame at some thing approaching a right angle to each other. I don't mind assembling trucks, but those rubber pieces of <bleep> actually would fight you when you tried to insert them.  

They don't build 'em like they used to (either model railroad equipment or automobiles). 'Allelujah!!! 'Allelujah!!! 'Alle-e-e-lujah!!! (strains of Handel's "Messiah" in the background).

Andre

 

It's really kind of hard to support your local hobby shop when the nearest hobby shop that's worth the name is a 150 mile roundtrip.
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Posted by jackn2mpu on Thursday, January 4, 2007 6:22 PM
 Kurt_Laughlin wrote:
 jackn2mpu wrote:
 Kurt_Laughlin wrote:

No one is saying there shouldn't be a discussion.

People are saying that, given Kalmbach's position on the matter, there's really no point in discussing it.

KL

OKay, so we're into semantics here. Do we REALLY know, in first-hand words, what Kalmbach's position on this is?

There's two possibilities:

1. KP plans on doing this.  In that case, there's really no point in discussing it because "we" ain't going to change anything.

2. KP doesn't plan on doing this.  In that case, there's really no point in discussing it because "we" ain't going to change anything.

That what I meant.  It's literally pointless for us to discuss it.

KL

That is about the stupidest reason I've ever heard for doing or not doing something. Just because someone has made up their mind on something it's pointless to discuss it? That sounds like a parent's response to a child for not listening to the child's view of things. I'm sorry, but I don't need you to play parent to me, Kurt. I've made up my mind and nothing's going to change it is what you're saying is Kalmbach's position? Discussion has been known to change a so-called entrenched position of someone. It might just work here; all it takes is for Kalmbach Publishing to listen to what their customers are saying. Or does the phrase "The customer is always right" no longer have any meaning?

It is NOT, repeat NOT pointless to discuss it. If YOU don't want to discuss it, just bow out of the thread. 

de N2MPU Jack

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God, guns, and rock and roll!

Modeling the NYC/NYNH&H in HO and CPRail/D&H in N

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Posted by jackn2mpu on Thursday, January 4, 2007 6:28 PM
 fwright wrote:

I have asked Kalmbach to put their back issues - especially MR - in some kind of electronic format several times, all to no avail.  I suggested $10 per year, or $75 per decade as a price I would be willing to pay.  I suggested that even decent JPEGs (better than the first National Geographic reissue) would suffice, provided the master index (they could use a subset of their present article index) would link to the start of the chosen article - a pretty simple search and link, given that the database already exists.

Fred W

Fred:

Did Kalmbach ever give you a concrete reason why they won't go the pdf route? There has to be a reason they won't do it, and I for one would like to know that reason. That way, the posters who think it's pointless to discuss it (and you know who you are) along with the rest of us would know, and not speculate why. If you can't discuss it here, please email me off list.

de N2MPU Jack

Proud NRA Life Member and supporter of the 2nd. Amendment

God, guns, and rock and roll!

Modeling the NYC/NYNH&H in HO and CPRail/D&H in N

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Posted by markpierce on Thursday, January 4, 2007 7:07 PM

Well, let's just hope Kalmbach listens to us and does the right thing, both for themselves and us.

Mark

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Posted by Kurt_Laughlin on Thursday, January 4, 2007 7:47 PM
 jackn2mpu wrote:

Just because someone has made up their mind on something it's pointless to discuss it? That sounds like a parent's response to a child for not listening to the child's view of things. I'm sorry, but I don't need you to play parent to me, Kurt. I've made up my mind and nothing's going to change it is what you're saying is Kalmbach's position? Discussion has been known to change a so-called entrenched position of someone. It might just work here; all it takes is for Kalmbach Publishing to listen to what their customers are saying.

Y'know we see this all the time these days, people "getting the message out" about some issue or another and "raising awareness about. . ."  The idea is that if the decision makers could only hear the right argument, they would change their minds.  However this philosophy completely ignores - or refuses to acknowledge - the possibility that the decision makers have already heard the positions of all sides and simply have chosen not to go the way the "earnest explainers" wanted.  (This makes the decision makers pig ignorant scum of course, because CLEARLY anyone who actually understood the argument would change their mind.)

Or does the phrase "The customer is always right" no longer have any meaning?

Oh, it has a meaning alright.  The thing is that meaning never included: "If a few (possibly potential) customers want you enter a money-losing scheme you are obligated to do it."

Let's say the same number of people as have written in this thread - times ten - posted that they think Kalmbach should reduce the cover price of MR by 90%, because those folks "think" it would increase sales, be good for the hobby, and so forth.  Following the customer-is always-right principle, wouldn't Kalmbach be obligated to explain repeatedly why they don't think it's a good idea, to receive petitions explaining why people want the price reduction, go on the Today Show with a spokesman from the reduction group, and so forth?  Wouldn't they be horrible people if they just ignored them? 

Rather than "the customer is always right" I prefer "mind your own business."  There are no customers for this product, only potential customers.  At this point the decision as to whether it's economically advantageous for Kalmbach to turn those potentials into actuals is a business decision.  Their business decision.

If it's such a good idea I suggest that some group approach Kalmbach with enough money to completely bankroll the project - distribution, legal, labor, everything - so that it has no risk but some reward for them but a good reward for the group.  If it's such a good idea, they shouldn't have too much problem raising the money, eh?

 

KL

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Posted by Kurt_Laughlin on Thursday, January 4, 2007 7:50 PM
 markpierce wrote:

Well, let's just hope Kalmbach listens to us and does the right thing, both for themselves and us.

My guess is they are think they already are. 

It's very easy to do the Right Thing.  The hard part is determining what the Right Thing is.

KL

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Posted by ereimer on Thursday, January 4, 2007 10:26 PM

have a look at what New Yorker magazine has done

http://www.thenewyorkerstore.com/product_details.asp?sid=122751

now don't go yelling that new yorker has a much bigger potential audience than MR does , i understand that . i'm just showing what's possible .

i'd buy MR on cd's or dvd if it was available , preferably 1 decade at a time to keep the price down a bit , but if they did the same as NYer i'd buy it one chunk , and i wouldn't mind paying a similar price , especially if it came with a nice index program that made it easy to search for articles . 

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Posted by jfugate on Friday, January 5, 2007 12:33 AM
 jackn2mpu wrote:
Fred:

Did Kalmbach ever give you a concrete reason why they won't go the pdf route? There has to be a reason they won't do it, and I for one would like to know that reason. That way, the posters who think it's pointless to discuss it (and you know who you are) along with the rest of us would know, and not speculate why. If you can't discuss it here, please email me off list.

I don't know what they said to Fred but they gave me their reasons when I asked them while discussing some other things a while back. They said they had no plans to put them into PDF form for distribution on CD because:

1. Since only recent years are available electronically, the vast bulk of the issues would need to be scanned page by page and indexed by hand. Way too much work and expense.

2. The global electronic republication of issues is fraught with legal headaches around contributor contracts. It's just not worth the hassle.

3. Because of the limited market size, cost would be prohibitive given all the manual effort and legal fees it would take to produce the issues in PDF form.

That was enough to convince me the answer was a firm no and there's little chance of changing their minds. 

Joe Fugate Modeling the 1980s SP Siskiyou Line in southern Oregon

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