When it goes it goes and I’ll have yet less crap to collect dust. I guess, I take S&T more as a tradition (a habit really). I probably read between 30 and 50 percent of each issue. The sky map and Fred Schaff’s what’s up section, the sky this month, planets, etc. mostly, as well as the letters, 25 50 and 75 years ago snippets, the editorial and focus columns and the binocular highlight; a bit of the news and maybe a feature article and Jerry Olten’s ATM article. Then it gets thrown in the pile and the pile gets thrown out in January, with the start of a new pile. Much of it I have little interest in. Their is too much emphasis on big scopes (I have smaller scopes), and are far too many ads on high end stuff that I neither need nor want. Would I miss it? Probably somewhat. But I’d get used to it. There is nothing in it that I depend on that I can’t find on the internet.
Posted 02 April 2019 - 12:44 PM
The sky map and Fred Schaff’s what’s up section, the sky this month, planets, etc. mostly, as well as the letters, 25 50 and 75 years ago snippets, the editorial and focus columns and the binocular highlight; a bit of the news and maybe a feature article and Jerry Olten’s ATM article.
Dense, specific topics in medium/short form.
Their is too much emphasis on big scopes (I have smaller scopes), and are far too many ads on high end stuff that I neither need nor want.
My "read" of the situation is that's advertising hanging on by a thread. Sort of like an antique store that has "astronomical" prices for old junk - they're lucky of they make a sale a week, but when they do, it pays for the entire week. That's why the ad's and focus on large scopes.
An example of their marketplace - I'll do outreach for a friend, and someone with more money than brains will wake up to the fact they're seeing something finally through a small scope, so they hightail it back and bring out the monster (sometimes several trips), and attempt to get "free consulting" on how to see the same object with it. Often they bring an incomplete set of parts, or haven't a clue of what parts to bring, thus the multiple trips (missing connecting parts, counterweights, ...). Worst is was the huge SCT with the secondary rolling around on the primary, or the 20+" dob where they primary was never installed out of the shipping materials.
In short, they pickup the mag in the supermarket on a lark, by a $5K scope, the packages arrive, get stored somewhere, and then there's an event, they can't get it together , stored, ... lose interest, it gets sold at a estate sale.
For the small scope audience the marketplace is somewhat of an incompetently half-thought out business, considered as a satellite (heh) to the large scope described above (it's used to mine out more from bottomless pockets, so they don't want to upset that play, as the small scope ones have 10x the overhead/returns/"badmouth" - the big purchase crowd is too embarrassed to admit they shouldn't have bought and eat the cost quietly). To engage the small scope crowd you'd have to cycle through a fast moving set of small purchases of accessories like a "book of the month club" with a follow-on buy inducement (discount on accumulated purchase - "frequent buyer"). All it would take to kill it would be a little "badmouth" internet-amplified that no one could verify and it would be dead and drill a small financial hole in the ground. Which is how the astro marketplace self-wounds/destructs every time - it's a too fragile market, and easily "passion" becomes "inconsolable bitterness".
(Am a business development advisor for various financial concerns, and many ask my advice about analyzing business/strategies.) One of the more humorous is significant wealth individuals who pride themselves on savvy, who drop huge sums on obvious stupid ambitions ... so I take them through their own business evaluation logic to analyze in detail why it was stupid ... sublime torture when they fall into the traps they lay for own professional skills that they've consciously ignored. Some try to "right" said markets, with a resulting "knock-on" failure.
The root problem is baked into human nature. With "passion" in a hobby, it is hard to retain professional objectivity necessary to deal with such inside, as the hobby is often a means to "get away" from such "work". Most just "want what they want, when they want it" - the root again. People are people, will be people.
Posted 02 April 2019 - 05:06 PM
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Posted 02 April 2019 - 06:14 PM
Another advantage to paper subscription is the ability to pass it on to an interested friend or neighbor.
People still bring me mags they get, folded open (or bookmarked), slyly handed, and ask me about "it".
They don't want to forward links via email/text/message, because they want "the personal". Businessmen often don't have the slightest clue about science/engineering/tech, yet want to appear knowledgeable, and to get a "pitch".
I've had people show up with an S&T out of the blue, because they see someone with a scope and they think that person might know. However, I'm not going to go quasar hunting for them
Posted 02 April 2019 - 06:47 PM
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Posted 02 April 2019 - 08:06 PM
At some of the outreach programs that we do, we give astronomy magazines away.
I started getting S&T with the Feb 1966 issue, and have had the subscription ever since. I keep all of them.
Several years ago, I purchased almost a complete collection from about 1949? to about 1968? (I'll have to go look to refresh my memory.) I enjoy grabbing an old one and flipping thru it.
- terraclarke and Kasmos like this
Posted 03 April 2019 - 03:44 AM
Recently I was looking online at some old Sky & Telescopes for ad research. It's fast but not that great of image quality (low res.). Then yesterday I came across the March 1978 issue in my studio. There's nothing quite like sitting back and thumbing through the real thing. Sadly, about ten years ago to cut down on clutter I cut out articles and photos from a lot of old issues and tossed them. The good news, I kept the first issue I bought (Dec. '76), and quite a few others that had special articles, a great cover, and the ones I never got around to cutting up.
- Bomber Bob and Garyth64 like this
Posted Today, 02:47 PM
Classic Scope Nicknames
Yes, our scopes are just things, but I like to name mine anyway. And, it's often more efficient than typing out Brand + Model + Specs -- especially with a tablet or smart-phone "soft" keyboard.
Sears Model 6336 [Astro Optical 76mm F15 on EQ Pedestal] --> Big Rosie
Takahashi FC-50 [Tak 50mm F8 Fluorite OTA] --> Tiny Tak
APM 152ED F8 APO --> The Beast
Goto Hy-Score Model 452 [60mm F20 Achro on EQ Tripod] --> GHS-452
Hy-Score Model 457 [ASI 50mm F10 Achro on AZ Tripod] --> HS-457
Edmund 4" F15 Achro on EQ Tripod --> Saint Edna
Dakin 4" F10 Achro OTA --> The Dakin
Tinsley 6" F20 Cassegrain on EQ Pedestal --> The Tinsley
Vixen FL80S [80mm F8 Fluorite OTA] --> TBD
Criterion RV-6 F8 Newtonian on EQ Pedestal --> The DynaVinson (in honor of the original owner, who really loved this scope! Reading his observing notes is a real treat.)
Vixen VMC200L [200mm F10 Field Maksutov Cassegrain OTA] --> TBD
ATM 5" F5 Triplet OTA --> The Triple Nickel (from a fellow CNer -- Love It!!)
ATM / Edmund 6" F5 Newtonian RFT OTA --> Cyclops (upgrading to a 2" focuser was a very good move)
JW / Edmund 4" F15 Cassegrain OTA [1974 3B Mirror Set] --> 3B4BB
My Questar, orange C5 Astro, & black C90 Spotter don't need nicknames, but I'll probably come up with some eventually.
- clamchip likes this
Posted Today, 04:38 PM
I thought this one “ATM 5" F5 Triplet OTA --> The Triple Nickel” was The Thing!