Linux Journal

Years and Years of Linux Journal...

Submitted by Scott Dowdle on Fri, 12/01/2017 - 12:25

I got an email from Linux Journal today.  It announced that they were ceasing publication because they were broke.

I've been a long-time subscriber.  How long?  Well, I started using Linux in January of 1995... and only found out about the existence of Linux Journal some months after that.  I don't recall the exact month I subscribed but it was probably sometime in late 1995 or early 1996.  Early on they were every-other-month but it didn't take them very long before they went monthly.  I continued renewing my subscription every year... although I think there might have been a few, fairly short, accidental late renewals where I might have missed an issue or two.  Whenever that happened I was sure to check the newstand (aka Barnes and Noble).

I remember early on (1996?) they were based in Seattle... and it just so happened that my family and I would periodically visit Seattle for days and sometimes weeks at a time because my first son was born with kidney problems and the Seattle Children's Hospital was his regional pediatric care facility.  Staying in Seattle for periods of time you look for stuff to do... and I decided to find their offices and pay them a visit.  In those days it wasn't too far from the University district.  On my first visit I was able to buy most all of the back issues that came out before I was a subscriber going back to issue #2.  They had long sold out of issue #1 (dated March 1994) as it obviously had the lowest print run anyway... so I never actually saw a physical issue #1... but I saw all of the rest of them.  I believe I visited their Seattle office at least 3 times.  They had tee-shirts and various other branded items one could buy.  I do remember getting one or two tee-shirts.

I also saw a Linux Journal booth at various Linux-related conferences I have attended over the years.  I was always sure to grab a few copies of the current issue they would giving away to share with my fellow LUG members.

A few years ago they went digital-only (August 2011).  I never missed an issue because they allowed access to all back issues they offered in PDF format... which goes back to issue #132 dated April 2005.  Their last issue was #283 dated November 2017.  I have the bulk of my print issues sitting on a shelf in front of my desk at work.

In the email from today they said that they were unfortunately not going to be able to give  subscribers a refund for any remaining undelivered issues.  That's fine.  I don't even know how many issues were left on my last subscription.  As a parting gift they were able to provide a link to 6 free issues of Linux Pro magazine... as well as a download link for the final Linux Journal Archive optical disc which contains every issue, now including the last one... in HTML format.  That is normally a $25 value.  I downloaded it.  They said the download was good until the end of the year... at that point I assume their website and everything else will be dismantled to stop any additional financial burden on them.

Linux Journal you will be missed! 1994-2017