MAD Bungles Bundle with Release of First CD-ROM
27 Megabytes of Dubious Material in PC-Only Format

MAD CD ROM Sleeve gif MAD CD ROM gif

Note: I recently discovered that people still link to this review - I'm restoring it for the time being.

MAD Magazine recently released their 350th issue. Their first issue, as far as I know, to include a CD-ROM. The CD was jointly produced by AOL (America On-Line), Kid Rhino and MAD . The CD is sealed inside a plastic bag with the magazine. The bag is covered with large print that touts its contents... "FREE MAD CD-ROM INSIDE!" But nowhere does it mention that the CD-ROM is meant to be used ONLY on an IBM compatible. In fact there is no information anywhere, in the magazine, on the jacket or on the disc itself the would let a perspective buyer know that the disk will not play on a Macintosh.

If you buy a CD-ROM bundled with a PC magazine, you can expect that it will run under Windows or DOS. The opposite is true for MacUser, MacWorld, etc. Browsing your local newsstand for magazines of general interest, more attention is required. By industry consensus, the labelling information stating system requirements is usually visible on all software. It should clearly states which platform you'll need view the CD. I had not seen a CD without this information, so I assumed that the lack thereof indicated a cross platform disk. Big mistake!

Mad may have the distinction of being the first magazine in the late 20th century to make the assumption that the battle for America's computer users hearts and minds is over. (To be fair you don't need to own a computer to enjoy a portion of the Disc. There are 3 audio tracks that can be played on any CD-player.)

Are we nearing the end of an era? Have the Microsoft rumor-mongers finally succeeded in convincing most of us with their wishful thinking and self-perpetuating mantra that the Mac is really dead? Mac market share has slipped in the last year, but the Mac and Mac users are far from dead. Macs account for about 30% of the web servers out there. The Mac multimedia and web solutions continue to be superior to Intel-based systems judged by any criteria. I'd like to think that there is a price to pay for ignoring this sizable portion of the market and pretending that they don't exist.

If you'd like to contact those responsible to let them know how you feel, here are some addresses.

Write to MAD: Send e-mail to MAD:
Send e-mail to AOL:
Contact us:
MAD Magazine
1700 Broadway, 5th fl
New York, NY 10009
voice (212) 506-4850
fax (212) 506-4848
Sorry, MAD has removed the address on AOL for letters to the editor, Ask is no longer a valid address. Steve case is the president and CEO of AOL. (His mail is answered by others) Send mail to: STEVE You can reach us at Let us know what you think.
© copyright 1996 John Laney All Rights Reserved. Publication or reuse of this material without written permission is prohibited.
MAD is a trademark of Mad Magazine. Macintosh is the trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.