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Publisher's Letter

We launch SILICON CHIP On-Line

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This month, we are officially launching our new website and the on-line version of SILICON CHIP. Some years ago, I wrote an editorial stating my opinion that the Internet was a money vortex and that few companies had made money from their web activities. That is still largely true for many companies so this new venture represents a leap of faith for us. However, the new site has been going since December 2003 and already the indications are favourable.

"SILICON CHIP On-line" is available at our existing website address at siliconchip.com.au (no need to type in the "www" bit). There you will find all the issues of SILICON CHIP going back for about two years. As time goes on, we will extend this.

About a week after this print issue goes on sale, you will find the articles also available on-line, together with our other services such as software and PC board downloads, article indexes (features and projects), errata and so on. Soon, you will also be to be subscribe to the print edition and order back copies on-line, as well as purchase books and binders.

Creating and maintaining a website as large as siliconchip.com.au and publishing the on-line edition is not a zero-cost exercise. Nor is the production of our regular monthly print edition. Either way, these costs have to be recouped, so the bad news is that this on-line service is not free. In principle, the cost of reading an issue will be the same, whether you read it on your computer screen or buy the print edition issue at your newsagents – or subscribe.

Some articles are available free while with the others you can read the first page and then you have to reach for your credit card to gain access to all the articles in a particular issue. Please have a look at the site and you should it find it pretty easy to follow.

The on-line edition of SILICON CHIP is being produced by Web Publications Pty Ltd, who also produce a number of other on-line magazines. They are pioneers in this area, having produced Autospeed, an on-line only car magazine, for five years.

Initial reactions indicate that most of our existing readers will probably prefer the print edition – you can read it at any time (in bed, on the train or bus, wherever) and you can file it away for future reference. On the other hand, for people overseas, those in remote areas and those who want immediate access to magazine issues (rather than waiting for them to come through the mail), the on-line service will be preferred.

By the way, our site is fully searchable so you should be able find any article we have done, providing you feed in the appropriate key word. In fact, feeding the appropriate key word into www.google.com will often bring you to the relevant article on siliconchip.com.au. Failing that, do a search of our article indexes and you should find what you want (provided we have published it).

So have a good look through the site. If you are a relatively recent convert to SILICON CHIP, you should find many articles that you have not seen before. Eventually, all the articles we have published will be available for access. This is great because it means that a great many articles will no longer be lost and forgotten, as they presently tend to be.

We hope you like our new website and the on-line edition. And if you think some aspect could be improved, don’t hesitate to email us.

Leo Simpson

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