I keep considering the Fine Woodworking Archive DVD, basially to both save
shelf space (I have several feet of FWW) and also to make it somewhat
easier to find things. Does anyone out there have it? If so:
a) how useful do you find it, vs. the hardcopy magazine with the annual
b) How high quality are the scans? I use the magazine (e.g., the reader
gallery) for project ideas and inspiration, and would be disappointed if
the scans are low enough resolution that they aren't as nice as the
-- Andy Barss
I know this isn't the same, but Popular Woodworking digital copies are
contain everything, including the ads. It's easy to browse and print.
I use it frequently
tho I don't have every year.
I still have my hard copy archive. Every now and then, I take a copy
and read before
Perhaps, you should direct your questions to Fine Woodworking? Ask for
If the scans are like the PDF files that you have access to for $14 a
year, they are VERY
The woodworking teacher at the Indianapolis Art Center (a professional
wookworker for about 35 years who does know his stuff) tells me each
time he sees me that I need this. Even with a full collection of the
printed magazines, he never looks at them -- the search funtion for the
electronic version can bring up every reference from issue 1 to present
day. (I assume that includes errata where necessary.)
He's used a couple of the articles as handouts in class, and the
reproduction quality is what one would wish -- limited only by your
output device, assuming no one is still using a dot matrix printer.
In any case, it's faster, easier, and more thorough than manually
searching issues or indexes. You are, however, less likely to make the
serendipitous discovery when your search is so directed. I'll probably
continue to thumb the mags I have and visit the used bookstores...
there's certainly more out there than one magazine piublisher.
<rant> I've always thought of FWW as the "ne plus ultra" of the
woodworking magazines, though lately I think they've slipped. It REALLY
frosts me that any meaningful access to their website is only by
subscription. Perhaps their business model assumes that web will
eventually supplant print -- and video is a wonderful teaching tool
(and awfully hard to do on the printed page) -- but other publishers
seem to regard the web as an adjunct to their publishing efforts rather
than as merely another revenue stream. </ rant>
An interesting rant. Consider your complaint in light of say Lee Valley.
They have shops, yet expect you pay more than shipping to get their tools
from an online site. Publishers sell Information. Some of them are willing
to give away some information online in the hope that you will buy something
else from them or from their advertisers. Last I looked at the FWW site they
did not display ads, so they need to make money somewhere else: FWW has
chosen to charge for subscriptions whether print or online.
Personally I'd love to see more of FWW free, but understand why I don't. I
suspect that the more practical the information is the less likely you are
to find it free online regardless of field of interest.
Understand Steve's rant, but even now that it's gone up to circa
$35/year, I've personally found it well worth the price when needing
info quickly, or even some fresh perspective on solving a problem, and I
can generally pick and choose the topics and pdf files that I'm
interested in and not bother with those I'm not ... besides, it's a
business expense for me.
AAMOF, recently a pdf compendium of many past articles on built-in's was
particularly worth the $3/month price of admission for my purposes.
That said, the DVD is an attractive option and I'm probably approaching
having paid that price in yearly web access fee's at this point.
I suppose if were actually commercial I'd look at it that way as well,
What irks me no end is the no access even for paid subscribers to just
look up something that is in the hardcopy that _did_ bought and paid for
It ain't the amount so much, it's the double-dipping idea that just
Is that $35 the price for online only? Do you also have to buy a hard copy
subscription? I can't seem to find the price without going through some
hoops and I'd rather not jump. Just looking at the site again, I'm thinking
it might be worth more than buying an issue now and then.
I have an online subscription only, although I buy the occasional
magazine on the newsstand.
However, I just looked and I can read what appears to be all the
articles in the July/August 2010 issue online, from the online member
page. Furthermore, each can be downloaded in pdf format to your local
IMO, there is a world of information available on finewoodworking.com
for $3/month that is just too good to pass up at that price.
It is a readily available resource ... like that Fein MultiMaster, you
don't use it everyday, but when you're in need of the tool/information
it saves time and money.
As always, YMMV ...
Yes "Pay Wall" is a big issue on the web right now. I think anyone who
doesn't figure out how to make it feel free is never going to last (or
at least not prosper). FWW is just teetering between the new and old
media world. Trust me when I say the old publishing dogs just toss and
turn at night to think anything is free. This is why the old media is
doomed., i.e. newspapers.
I was the General Manager of several sites for an early web portal
business that was experiencing great growth until the old dogs started
hating on the free access model (which generated real revenue). Their
decline can be mapped directly to the succesive steps of less and less
free access\info. They are alive today but just a shadow of their
We had a yellow pages type model focused on various industries where
every business gets listed for free and anyone can buy bigger ads.
Having a general listing for every possible business in an industry
attracted lots of eyes and was very useful. Once they restricted it to
only list companies that had paid for a listing, the site was
eviserated to only have the few companies that had bought space and
the traffic stopped. The model had lots of ways to make money from
visiting eyes and didn't only live on paid listings but once the eyes
were gone then so was the biggest revenue source. Shame to see it
I have the DVD. It is a superb resource. I keep a copy on the
harddrive of my laptop and dip into it whenever I have a need. The
search facility gets me what I need fast. I do prefer reading the
magazines, and have most on my shelf for brousing, but when I am
looking for something specific, then it is the DVD I go to.
Regards from Perth
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