Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

If you're seeking a new job in the tech field, or if you have (or know of) a job opening for a tech peson, this is the place to connect.

Are you a subscriber?

I subscribe to SERVO
I subscribe to SERVO Digital Edition
I subscribe to Nuts and Volts
I subscribe to Nuts and Volts Digital Edition
I'm not a subscriber
Total votes: 114

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Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by VernGraner » Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:53 pm

To subscribe, or not to subscribe.. that is the question! :smile:

As many of you "regulars" here noticed, we've recently been taking steps to make these forums more connected with our print and digital magazines. Along the way, one of the discussions topics was why people subscribe (or don't) to the print and/or digital magazines. So, rather than speculating amongst ourselves, we thought it might be better to go to the source and ask all of you folks directly. If you can take a moment to fill out the poll, we would greatly appreciate it. :smile:

Also, if you have renewed recently, expired recently, changed your subscription or have some insight to offer as to why you do or do not subscribe, please let us know in the thread below. We're working hard to make the magazines and their associated resources more valuable to all of you and are very interested in what you have to say - we're really listening! :smile:

NOTE: If you would prefer to send details of your decision privately, feel free to use the "PM" link in my signature below.

Thanks in advance for your feedback! :grin:

Vern Graner

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by BobCochran13 » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:16 pm

I was pointed to Nuts & Volts by Steve Ciarca, who very kindly suggested that your magazine is suitable for a beginner like me. I'm still a beginner, still enjoying Nuts & Volts, and still learning. I subscribe to the print edition because of my 53 year old brain's expectation that a magazine is a unit of paper that arrives in the mail each month and can be read in a Lazyboy with a tea in one hand and a glow of interest and pleasure. I subscribe to the digital version so that I can get an early jump on interesting projects and be able to order supplies before the print version arrives. (There is a considerable time gap each month between the release of the digital edition and the arrival of the print magazine.)

Why do I subscribe to Nuts & Volts? I feel that if I don't read Nuts & Volts and follow a particular list of writers, I will be nothing more than and assembly language programmer living in the 1950s and 1960s and be just as outdated. I have hopes of some day becoming an electrical engineer (before I hit age 70, anyhow) and I think Nuts & Volts is essential reading. The monthly projects are so interesting that the magazine absolutely gets a huge slice of my limited time. Over the years, I've developed a list of favorite Nuts & Volts writers who I just have to follow. All the Nuts & Volts writers I've emailed or gotten in touch with me have been extremely supportive of my efforts to implement their projects. There is an amazing atmosphere of creativity, excellent writing, and friendship among Nuts & Volts authors, and I want to benefit from their creative vision and insights and learn more in the process.

The forums are a way to interact with the authors of the articles and suddenly, an outstanding or very good article becomes truly great as you read what other readers have to say, and their suggestions, and also get more insight into what the author of an article thinks and what he or she suggests doing. Like recently I asked what is meant by shorting a resistor and you, Vern, very kindly explained it to me.

Although I am deaf, meaning I can't hear, I hold a technician class amateur radio license. I reason that this is another way to learn electronics. I don't operate radio rigs (but the Nue-PSK by Milt Cram and George Heron may change that, if I ever sit down and pass the General license exam), but being KB3JCM gives me access to very good engineers.

Once, I mentioned a particular article in a past issue of Nuts & Volts to a ham radio friend who also happens to be a manager for a database vendor whose product I use. He sent back a reply that he'd seen that article -- and so did a few others. So even very experienced electrical engineering people read Nuts & Volts. That underlines the importance, to me, of reading the magazine.

I wish the digital version of the magazine were easier to use and could take better advantage of a widescreen monitor. The digital version is tough to navigate. I like to flick back and forth among pages and its easier to do that with the print version. Also, the digital version is impossible for me to access easily from my office when I want to show an article to an associate.

Bob Cochran

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by Smoke_Maker » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:17 pm

I read Nuts & Volts Tech forum first, I learn more from that part of the magazine than any other. The print magazine works best for me because i move around the house to much to sit down and read a computer screen for very long.

I like the forum for the feed back doing one of the projects in the magazine or on my own like the project I'm trying now.
Richard Furniss
is it suppose to smoke like that ?

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by JohnCollier » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:01 pm

I subscribe mainly for the print version of the magazine. I enjoy reading in bed, on the go, and other places where I don't have a computer at hand (and no, I'm not interested in a Kindle or iPad). Besides the convenience factor, seeing words and pictures in print just seems more "real" than viewing the same content on a computer screen.

To me, the digital version is beneficial for reference purposes. At the end of the month, I pitch the printed mag and download the PDF to my computer for long-term storage. That way, I can easily refer to back issues without them taking up space on my bookshelf. I appreciate that the entire issue is available as a single-file PDF--please don't eliminate this feature. I agree with Bob that the online viewer is cumbersome.

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by dyarker » Sat Oct 15, 2011 8:26 am


Computers at work, and computers at home. So a paper magazine on the sofa is how I want to do my reading!

Dale Y

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by Marcaroni » Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:18 pm

N&V subscriber. Just renewed today. I have also given subscriptions as gifts in the past.

I agree with dyarker. Print mags are cathartic, in a way, after staring at monitors all day. Good luck with the next generation though.
I also horde my hard copies just in case 'peak oil' pulls the rug out from under the information age.

I've been considering subscribing to Servo as well, but I've held out in the hopes of a combo deal. I'll subscribe to Servo right now for the right promo code :wink:

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by JoelH » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:42 pm

Hi Vern,
I am not a subscriber for financial reasons (Like 10 years of unemployment) But as soon as I am back on my feet In the words of a great Jedi Master "I Will Be" :)

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by MicroRem » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:09 pm

Subscriber for several years now. I love having a real (read paper) magazine to read. I work in the security electronics field and am always picking up a new or interesting bit of information from the tech forums and projects listed. I don's post a lot on the forums because there are folks who regularly do who are much more knowledgeable. I gotta say I Love the magazine and forums. Love it!


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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by EPA III » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:18 pm

I subscribe to Nuts & Volts, both print and digital versions. I started some years ago as an advertiser with a very small ad when the magazine was new. I dropped it after a year or two but picked up a print subscription several years ago. I signed up for the digital version recently so I could have access to some back issues that I missed: I greatly appreciate this feature.

As to why, about half the reason is to read the ads. Yes, to read the ads. But the other half is for the articles and other features.

What do I like and dislike? I like to gain an understanding of the techniques used in the various projects. To this end, I greatly appreciate articles that take the time to explain more of the details. My greatest dislike is the absence of the program code in most of the articles. Yes, I know it is available on the web, but that is not available to me when I am reading because, like others above, I do not use portable computing devices or pads. Also, I know that it is a digital age and everything digital is so much better, but I would also like to see more articles devoted to good old fashioned, non digital designs.

Paul A.
Paul A.

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by BobbyDee » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:41 pm

I also enjoy the feel of a paper magazine. I stumbled on it at a college book store my daughter worked at. That rekindled my love for electronics mags ! I used to subscribe to a few others years back , but Nuts and Volts has an awesome balance of topics. The fact that other information can be gleaned from online resources means an article can have more descriptive pictures and schematics to draw our attention to the most important aspects of a project.
I signed up for the electronic version but find it a pain to navigate , so I don't even finish reading it electronically ...I will wait for the paper version to arrive !
I think the biggest advantage of all is that my daughters surprised me with my subscription for fathers day in 2010 . I love the fact that I think of them whenever I am reading an issue ...and it makes it easy for them to buy a fathers day gift each year that I am thrilled about!
That is a hint for others out there as well , it is a gift that really does keep on giving!

Thanks Nuts and Volts !

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by dacflyer » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:50 am

subscriber here but probably will not renew.. many projects are becoming over my hear, and i have seen so many projects become PIC based.
i still will continue to post here, but as far as subscriptions i think i will let it laps for a while..
i still enjoy the boards here tho..
in the mag. i liked the Q&A and tech forum the best..

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by Pius » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:01 pm

I have been a subscriber since the very first Servo. I find the articles well written and in every issue I have found something useful, new. It does my heart good to see a magazine about robots and only robots. Years ago I survived the drought in robotic publications. I am a hands on robot builder and I appreciate the do it yourself nature of the build a bot articles. The editorials and history of robots sections are great reading. Gee I even find the advertising fun. I find that magazines like yours are a resource, not only to me an old time robot builder, but for those young fresh faces just beginning this exciting , fascinating and fun field. I just have extended my subscription and I cannot wait for the next issue.

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by gsprole » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:04 am

I subscribe to Nuts and Volts. I like to make little cool things, and find inspiration in almost every issue. Since much content is serial, and local bookstores sell out quickly, to not subscribe would diminish the value for me.

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by radionut8888 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:00 am

I am a lifetime subscriber. Over 30 years now. I think Nuts & Volts is the right combination of articles. Sometimes the continuing articles, issue to issue tend to jump around a bit. N&V has been instrumental in my learning to program PIC's. Thanks for a great read every month.

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by JamesMatthew » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:12 am

I've been a subscriber to Nuts and Volts since 2008 and Servo since 2007. I prefer the print editions - maybe it's my age but I still expect magazines to be paper. And I've yet to find a laptop or tablet screen that's easy to read from in all environments.

And the only current reason that I would have for ending my subscription is that the magazines frequently arrive torn or otherwise damaged, and occasionally don't arrive at all. They either take a very long route to my mailbox or the postal workers read them first!

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