346 Listener Review of Magazine Index CD & DVDs

January 31, 2009

Hey everyone welcome back for another episode! As I’ve always said, if you have a topic suggestion or show idea that you’d love to have on Matt’s Basement Workshop don’t hesitate to contact me. And that’s exactly what a listener by the name of Charlie Courtney did just recently.

For Christmas Charlie’s family gave him a copy of Popular Woodworking’s CD containing every issue from the years 2000-2007 and he also received a copy of Fine Woodworking’s DVD containing every issue of their magazine from #1-#201. Charlie was kind enough to offer a listener’s review of his experience so far with both discs, including his suggested uses for getting the most from them.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Handi says:


    Not a bad little video. Charlie seemd to receive a Great Gift for Christmas… That would be a Woodworkers Dream to have the orginal copy of a 75′ Issue of a Woodmag… That’s interesting thou that it’s been in Production for almost 35 years.

    I was impressed with his Knowledge with the computer and the way he talked about the review…

    I have another take on it, but it’s probably better for me to keep some comments to myself and not in public. it’s nothing bad.

    Anyway, I like dthe Episode, Keep up the Great work… I may have to do a Short video or something for you to feature, so you can critize my work! lol.


  2. Lynn Kerby says:

    Thanks to Charlie for taking the time to review these CD/DVD products and thanks Matt for making the review available. I just listened and found that Charlie’s experiences mostly mirror my own. I received the Fine Wood Working archive DVD and the Woodworking Magazine collection (7 issues). I’ll surely be adding the Popular Woodworking CD to the collection and I’ve been making use of the digital issue download/purchase on the PWW site. I still buy the print versions of most of these as well, but the digital format makes long term storage and access *SO* much easier.

    I’ve only had my FWW 201 issue archive for a few days now and love the content but have been a little underwhelmed with the delivery of the information. There is a lot of content with the complete collection of 201 issues of Fine Wood Working up to Dec 2008! The value is simply unbeatable.

    What I found not so great is the Projector app. It has been more of a hindrance to access than a help on my Mac PowerBook G4 [I’ll be checking it out on other intel based Macs soon, and hoping for a better experience]. Within a few minutes of use and a couple of apparent hangs (running the app directly from the DVD) I’d thrown out the Projector app and was simply reading the PDF files in Adobe Reader. As Charlie noted, the band displayed at the top of the screen in Projector adds nothing and makes online reading so much more difficult. I also found that the navigation was cumbersome within Projector’s builtin PDF viewer. The Adobe Reader makes viewing so much more convenient as things like mouse scroll wheels and shortcut navigation actually work. The only thing missing is a decent and usable index and I’ve found myself using the FWW online search engine to find articles of potential interest. I think I’ll just find some way to get my hands on a list of articles and issues they appeared in in text form and use that with command line tools (grep is my friend). Maybe I’ll put the DVD in a windows pc at work sometime and see if it is any better there.

    The Woodworking magazine issues 1-7 on CD are wonderful. Chris and the staff at Woodworking magazine did a great job with these and even added a bunch of links to their website and blog for related content. Even though there is a problem with accessing many of the linked content due to website reorganization (likely fixed in the next generation of CD containing 8 issues?) there is enough info in the popup box to find the new location on the website for most of the links. There is no searchable master index or anything else to get in the way of pure PDF enjoyment with this CD which makes it compatible with just about any computing platform released or updated in the past 10-15 years.

    I’m a Mac & Linux user and only use windows based stuff under duress or if you pay me enough, so platform independent access to the information on these products is a key feature to me. I’m quite impressed with these digital format magazine archives and am looking forward to more and better versions in the future.

    Great review Charlie! You pretty much nailed it.

    • Matt says:

      Hi Lynn,

      I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed Charlie’s review. When he first contacted me about it, I knew this would be one a lot of people would enjoy!

      Take care and thanks for sharing your experience also!

  3. Larry says:

    Great review. I too was impressed with Charlie’s ability to communicate and his knowledge of the computer processes. Great job having him on the show Matt!

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