Mac|Life July 2007 Review

The July 2007 issue of Mac|Life has a positive review of Scrivener 1.01 on page 60. I might just keep my subscription because of the review, but I am still miffed about the name change from Mac Addict to Mac|Life.

Thanks for that - and thank you for scanning in the page and sending it me, too, much appreciated!

I have to say that I am a little miffed by this paragraph, though:

Especially given the number of user requests that have been implemented in recent versions. It seems that the fact that I make a wish-list forum public rather than forcing users to e-mail me privately is then used as a negative thing! The review does seem to refer to 1.01, though, which is a couple of versions old. All the same…

And the con at the end:

I’m not sure about the “lag”… But I’m pretty sure it is fixed in recent versions or at least an explanation and workaround is provided in the FAQ (for the full screen lag, which is an Apple bug). And as for “features… missing or incomplete”… What?!? What features are missing? It has every feature it was ever supposed to have. Not having features that appear in other programs no more makes them “missing features” than PhotoShop not having a “page break” tool or Word not having a “clone stamp”… Harumph.

Still, four of five is pretty good and the review is well-written, so I don’t mean to be ungrateful for a positive review. Many thanks to Tom Geller, the reviewer.

All the best,

When I read it, I thought this is a typical hack reviewer’s review … he has to find negative things to say, so the “Pandora’s box” quote, which actually means nothing, and the “features missing or incomplete” quote which is another way of saying “I want to leave the door open so I don’t get backlash from readers telling me that I’ve missed something negative in my review”.
I thought of trying to post a reply, but had more important things to do this evening and couldn’t think of a suitable way of phrasing it anyway.
But as you say, Keith, four out of five is pretty good



“Some features are missing or incomplete”, without any further explanation, is a kind of comment that can hardly be taken seriously.


Considering the name of the program, I would say that a candlelight function is missing from your virtual scriptorium. So, I can’t agree more with the reviewer…


I couldn’t agree more!

I still keep those old MacAddict CDs around…I’m thinking of framing the one that says, “Conspire - Resist - Revolt” and hanging it on the wall. Those were the days!

Oh, I wasn’t implying that the reviewer was a hack, nor would I wish to disparage him in any way! In fact, I am very grateful to him for such a glowing review over all. The two quotes I posted are actually just two small parts of a whole-page review that covers the main features of Scrivener very fairly, and ends:

No, I think the review was very fair generally; I just smarted a little when I saw the paragraph that implies that I refuse to implement user suggestions, which is misleading, and the “cons” sentence that is also a little misleading (there are no missing features and nothing is incomplete!). And in all fairness, the reviewer included “Excellent document and support” in the pros. :slight_smile: Like I say, thank you to the reviewer.

All the best,

You can also read the review on their website.
The problem with the “some features missing” conclusion is that the article doesn’t tell the reader which features are missing in the reviewer’s opinion, it only says that there is a forum full of user requests. It would have been a fair review if the author had given Scrivener three points less based on an argument that the lack of “certain formatting options” (as he puts it rather imprecisely) was a serious disadvantage. But giving it one point less for reasons he can’t even explain gives the impression that he didn’t really know what he was writing about but wanted to appear as very knowledgeable and competent. Not much difference then between software reviewers and literary critics.

Anyway, it’s still a very positive review. Is there any Mac magazine left that hasn’t published a review yet?

Yes I agree -


It sort of leaves you feeling that there is something missing or incomplete. Can’t quite name the little demon though. Sort of a vague hunch. It’ll come to me though. Guess I need to get an updated version of the magazine and give it some truly workmanlike attention, not just gloss over stuff.


Actually, the reviewer doesn’t say that, he says:

So it is obvious that someone with such poor grammatical skills would think that a writing program without a built-in grammar checker would be incomplete. :wink:

I thought the review was on the positive side and then I saw that at the end and I just went, “Huh? Where’d that come from?”

Glad I’m not the only one who picked up on that.

My guess on the Mac Addict => Mac|Life thing is that they are trying to broaden their appeal to new Mac users. The type of people that own Apple hardware has shifted dramatically. What used to be a niche platform for a group of self-admitted fanatics has, thanks largely to the iPod and their successful product design, morphed into the chic end of things. Now you’ve got a lot of people who are less interested in identifying themselves as being “addicted” or “fanatical” about an operating system, and more who carry the bitten apple as a status symbol. So I think they are trying to, as the marketers say, “position their branding to leverage to dynamic market paradigm,” or whatever. :stuck_out_tongue:

Mac|Life is now “domesticated.” The best Mac magazines, since the demise and shift of MacWeek, are the European Mac magazines. I’ve decided against renewing my Mac|Life subscription, and will frequent my local bookstores a bit more, wading through the “look-at-my-ipod-crowd” to actually read the printed word about the Mac scene.

Goodbye Mac|Life, as the July issue was my last.

Hmm. Well, if by fully featured you mean ‘able to read out script in stilted voices’ then yes. If on the other hand you mean ‘actually useful’ then no, not really.

Not that I’d turn down page number in screenwriting mode, I must admit…

Not quite sure what you mean, but obviously you can print page numbers, and equally obviously, Scrivener doesn’t actually have any concept of pages given that it works in “pieces” of a larger work rather than having the whole of the text in any one place.


It was just a re-iteration of (I think) LL’s longstanding thing about an indicator of how many pages of screenplay formatted ‘bit’ I’m up to.

I take your point about the idea of writing in sections meaning page-counts are a bit contingent, but it would still be a useful.