Mi­cro Mart

Si­mon checks out an odd lit­tle cre­ation

Micro Mart - - Reviews -

JDETAILS

• 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

Win­dows Vista

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”)

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