BackpackingLight Magazine Issue 9

(Warning: Technology rant imminent…)

I recently subscribed to BackPackingLight magazine, produced by the team at For some reason, I must have misunderstood the offering. I assumed it was a print magazine and would come in the mail. The idea of noodling over the pages at a local coffee shop sounded quite appealing.

Last night I received an email informing me that my magazine was ready for electronic pick-up. Interesting… I've read a few e-books before – so why not – save a few branches – sounds like a fine idea.

Unfortunately, BPL Magazine uses Zinio for their distribution. Zinio is the weak link in the deal.

IMHO Zinio has fallen into the same trap as the music industry – they are seemingly so paranoid about copyright infringement that they have tried to build their own form of DRM protection. Instead of simply rendering a PDF of the magazine, they have built a custom Flash based viewer. The viewer makes reading the magazine a miserable experience.

There are many flaws with it:

  • You can only zoom in predefined steps
  • You can't drag-pan the page around without using the shift modifier
  • The custom scroll bars are flaky
  • It's really slow to render
  • The print feature only prints one page at a time

I would love to know what BPL Issue 9 contains – I just can't bear to read it in this viewer.

(OK – rant over, back to your scheduled viewing :))

5 thoughts on “BackpackingLight Magazine Issue 9

  1. Sarah

    Hey Brett,
    They are sending out paper copies in June. They decided to give all the print subscribers the digital copy as well.

  2. Vincent

    I was just going to offer some pity when I read Sarah’s post saying they are sending out paper copies too. I guess it might still be worth getting a subscription?

  3. Sarah

    I will say that I could have done without the very graphic article on poo. I was eating dinner as I read it..yeah, not the thing I needed :p

  4. brett Post author

    Woah! They had an article on poo? Theresa and I have our first kid on the way in August, so I probably need the training…

    Maybe I can tolorate reading it in that crappy viewer afterall 😉

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