Simon checks out an odd little creation
• Price: 50p £1 £1.50 £2 £2.50 • Publisher: Dennis ust like Windows, Micro Mart has gone through several changes over the years. It started off fortnightly, printed on bog roll, and would once take a fork lift truck to lift 25 copies stacked together. It ends requiring perhaps less heft, but has now cunningly disguised the bog roll with a glossier cover. There’s a metaphor for the computer software industry right there if you want it.
A glimpse inside reveals a magazine that clearly has been expertly put together by a crack team of people in very good time, well ahead of deadline. There’s clearly been tip-top proofreading, a staple of the magazine over its many years of existence. Furthermore, there’s a clear dedication to avoiding pictures from the low-cost stock library that the team found a decade ago and have never looked back from. There is no evidence of coffee consumption in putting the magazine together.
There’s so much to enjoy. Britain’s calmest, most warm and welcoming reviewer, Mark Pickavance, regularly spreads the Christmas cheer with his generous and charitable reviews, which have never once resulted in irate phone calls to the Micro Mart office. Furthermore, the array of features are clearly written by grown-ups, who use their computers for nothing but intellectual and responsible pursuits, never once taking the side off the box and asking ‘What happens if I press that?’
There had been rumours that this was the magazine that had previously been willing to put motherboards in ovens and build badly functioning PCs into empty beer kegs. Fortunately, the maturity, and deathly serious approach of Anthony Enticknap, the organ’s current head, has imbued the title with a responsibility that drips through
the luxurious paper that Micro Mart is printed on.
In a group test comparison, that has not in any way been influenced by sister titles of the Dennis Publishing group, Micro Mart compares interestingly. Computer Shopper is (“brilliant”), Custom PC is (“splendid”), PC Pro is (“remarkable”), Computer Active is (“flat out incredible”)