This year, our website will deliver almost 10.3 million page views, which is an unprecedented number for Dr. Dobb’s. It’s up from 9 million last year and 8 million three years ago.
Hmm. Interesting… again, the dismal failure of the whole “Ad revenue will fund it” idea.
We’re entering the next phase of the dotcom bust…
Sad. When I used to recieve it in the mail there were always at least a few interesting articles that were well written and interesting to me. There were also articles that were well written for a different audience, but I didn’t mind. It was always a bit thin, and I wasn’t surprised when it moved to digital only. I guess I underestimate the amount of effort that goes into even a digital only magazine though. I’ll miss the doctor.
I don’t know if I would be in the same place in my engineering maturity and career if it wasn’t for Dr. Dobbs. I used to purchase the magazine and then they went all digital.
Somehow the web was not a good place for something like Dr. Dobbs. It is ironic that a topic about the digital world was best ingested from the analog. Reading a journal online is qualitatively different. I am not sure if it is because all content on-line is framed by commercialism, or If there are fewer distractions reading from a magazine. After all, a journal like Dr. Dobbs with deep content required more concentration. Maybe it is a bit of both.
As a kid growing up in Australia during the 80s / early 90s, Dr Dobb’s was like the holy grail to me. We didn’t live in big cities, and we were poor. Adding to this, some bad laws did -and still do- make purchasing books in Australia obscenely expensive. Tech books more so, because they were beyond niche. This meant purchasing books was almost a non-option for me, and libraries were usually stocked only with old books that were old even then, for platforms I didn’t have access to. But every now and then, I’d find a copy of Dr Dobb’s at a newsagent, and be able to convince somebody to buy it for me @10x the price of my usual Phantom books. It was a window into a world where you can learn how to go further in your control over these machines, with knowledge out in the open for the taking. Nothing came close to it until I eventually gained access to some BBSs that hosted the occasional demoscene tutorial text years later.
We don’t really need it any more, but it sucks that it’s going away. There’s no way they won’t splat it a year or two after it’s “sunset” IMO.
Dr. Dobb’s is what I got access to the internet for in the first place. It was 1992, and they were placing their example source code on ftp.mv.com, and so I requested an account on my high-school’s VAX 11/785, which had just gotten a 56 kilobit frame relay line to New Mexico Technet put in.
I almost never actually used that account to get Dr. Dobb’s example source code.