Thursday, March 06, 2008

ZIff-Davis files for bankruptsy

The first stop in my post-collegiate career was a continuation of my banking career. I started as a teller and worked up to becoming Unit Supervisor and then Internal Audit clerk. By the time I was the Head Teller, I was working 35-40 hours a week and carried 15 credits. So when I decided I had to leave the outer boro of Queens, I focused on banking in Manhattan. A rather large savings bank (back in the days before deregulation became mainstream), I was hired because of my major (Computer Science) and Auditing, so I was a natural.

The job called for experience in Lotus 1-2-3 (for you youngins out there, 1-2-3 was the predecessor to Microsoft Excel. I still know how to use WordStar, too -- yep, I am old). But I didn't know 1-2-3; they assumed every graduate with a BS CompSci knew every piece of software on the market. (Truth be told, PCs were reserved for incoming undergrads when I was in my last year). But I bought a book on Lotus, read it cover-to-cover, and became an expert.

So what does this have to do with Ziff-Davis. Little, really. Besides reading the book on Lotus, I subscribed to the Lotus magazine, which contained articles with spreadsheet design, templates, tricks and trades.

Lotus magazine went belly-up in the early '90s, but I soon found all I needed in ZiffDavis Publishing. PC Magazine was my favorite: the reviews, opinion pieces, tutorials. Every month there were many choices of which article to save.

But about 5 years ago, I stopped renewing my subscriptions. Everything great to read about could be found in a few mouse-clicks. I suppose a lot of folks thought the same way.

Tonight, WIRED reports ZD has filed for chapter 11. Another stalwart is fading away, but that's what happens in an advancing world.

PC Mag, ZDNET.... they're like old friends to me, and they taught me a lot about my career over the years. They will be missed.

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